Armidale’s “cover has been blown!”
That was the statement made by Australian Traveller magazine when their readers voted Armidale as their third hottest travel destination for 2014. The editor went on to write “With a rich pastoral history, Armidale balances a city-esque vibe amid a country landscape. This seemingly sleepy country town is in fact a buzzing urban centre with an impressive catalogue of galleries, museums….as well as picturesque national parks, majestic waterfalls and plenty of walking trails to ensure you get your fill of country air”.
At around 1000 meters above sea level New England High Country enjoys four distinct seasons and offers visitors a truly evocative and unique experience.
What’s so appealing about Armidale is that it’s a cosmopolitan and sophisticated urban centre located in a picturesque rural setting on the doorstep of some of the most scenic national parks in Australia. This means that it ticks a lot of boxes as a perfect change of scene for jaded city slickers from larger metropolises and anyone seeking a serene but interesting place to unwind.
The past has a place in modern-day Armidale. Gracious cathedrals and stately buildings dating from the 1860s reflect the lofty aspirations of the early settlers and remain a hive of activity today. But the best way to learn about the history of the city is to hop onboard the Armidale Heritage Tour bus for an entertaining 2½ hour narrated sightseeing jaunt that takes in the most important sites.
These days, the fact that Armidale is home to the University of New England, an institution that has attracted students and faculty from across the globe since its establishment as a university college in 1938, is a major reason for the worldly and refined feel about the place.
With the University, TAFE, four prestigious private schools as well as public schools all achieving results, Armidale is also widely known as a centre of education excellence.