Imagine a place where you can climb giant granite rock formations, paddle wild rivers, indulge in a round of golf, hit the field with friends or saddle up. This is all part of the New England High Country experience, where you are guaranteed to get the blood pumping.
Sport and outdoor activities are an integral part of life in the New England. From rugby matches, mountain biking and all sorts of competitive and adventurous pursuits to leisurely games of golf and tennis, there’s something for everyone.
SportUNE, the University of New England’s state-of-the-art facilities including a gym, climbing wall, pool, playing ﬁelds and tennis and squash courts, is open to visitors and the wider community seven days a week.
It was here, in 2011, that many of the over 1000 university and TAFE students from Queensland, Northern Territory and northern New South Wales competed in events for the Northern University Games.
The local hockey competition attracts a crowd of young (and older) players who, even during extreme winter conditions, such as sleet and driving rain, play on thanks to the campus’ top-notch synthetic ﬁelds.
Seasonal cricket, football, netball, rugby and tennis are also popular with all ages, with competition games typically held on Saturdays and casual games on the go at other times.
You don’t have to be Tiger Woods to tee off at the picturesque golf courses in Tenterfield, Inverell, Glen Innes, Armidale, Walcha, Uralla and Guyra, and on a glorious day there’s really no better place for a visiting golf enthusiast to be.
At most courses, you are welcome to play social or competition rounds in clear, clean High Country air, surrounded by native bushland.
As you’d hope in an area that has long celebrated horsemanship, there are plenty of opportunities to go horse trekking in New England.
12 Adventures of New England
A collection of adrenalin-pumping activities to enjoy in the magnificent natural playground of New England High Country. 1. Fly over the spectacular gorge country in a WWII-era Warbird plane Adrenalin junkies, history buffs and aviation nerds alike will love taking in the scenery of New England’s national parks from a WWII-era fighter plane. 2. Hike the Green Gully Track A five night trek through Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, the Green Gully Track is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and challenging hikes. Stay in restored cattlemen’s huts and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the park. 3. Mountain bike The Piney While New England has plenty of awesome mountain bike trails, probably her best is The Piney at Armidale State Forest. Enjoy 15km of signposted track through challenging undulating pine forest. 4. Cycle Tourist Drive 19 A mix of sealed and unsealed roads, Tourist Drive 19 takes you from Armidale to Uralla via wineries, vine-clad chapels and historic woolsheds and homesteads. The perfect day’s cycling! 5. Horse ride the Bicentennial National Trail This epic trail passes through Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and can be enjoyed on horseback, pushbike or foot. Choose your own adventure. 6. Go fly-fishing Try your hand at the delicate art of fresh water fly-fishing in one of the region’s stunning national parks. The trout double dare you. 7. Rock-climbing the region’s national parks This is gorge country, so rock-climbing opportunities abound. From the staggering heights of Wollomombi Falls and Dangar Gorge to the granite boulders of Cathedral Rocks, there’s a climb to suit your experience. 8. Kayak Oxley Wild Rivers National Park Embark on a multi-day kayak adventure in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park from West-Kunderang Recreational Retreat to George’s Junction; almost 30km of stunning scenery and solitude. 9. Climb Cathedral Rock Best completed at dawn, this challenging climb in Cathedral Rock National Park involves clambering over boulders and the use of a support chain in order to enjoy the stunning view from the top. 10. Ride the Waterfall Way on a motorcycle It’s windy, hilly and delivers what it promises in the name. In short, this is a motorcycle trip not to be missed. 11. Drive the Old Glen Innes Road An unsealed road from Grafton to Glen Innes, the Old Glen Innes Road is a former stock route that weaves alongside the picturesque Boyd River. Home to a ghost town, a convict tunnel and bushranger legends. 12. Go camping in Washpool National Park An easy drive east of Glen Innes, this scenic national park is heaven on earth for campers, hikers and bird watchers.