Emmaville, Glen Innes, and Armidale

Travels through Australia’s New England Tableland, so called as it has four distinctive seasons, unlike much of the rest of the country (other than Melbourne which often has them all in one day!).

Emmaville Mining Museum was a quirky first stop south from Tenterfield, with an amazing collection of minerals and stones, and quirky heritage items. As with the rest of the trip so far from Brisbane there were no tourists around. The 2019/20 fires put a lot of people off travelling to Australia, and this is a relatively quiet part of New South Wales for tourists at the best of times.

Glen Innes had some great heritage buildings, including an ornate town hall.

On a hill by town are the Australian Standing Stones, erected in 1992 to celebrate the strong Celtic roots of the local population.

Just beyond the stones Martins Lookout provides a view back down over the town.

Stonehenge Recreation Reserve made a good lunch spot, with more surreal stones, and to have had lunch at Stonehenge.

Armidale is one of the largest towns in the region, home to 25,000 people, and the oldest regional university in Australia. There were views of the town from the Drummond Apex Lookout.

Around Central Park are a number of heritage church buildings, the most impressive of which is Saints Mary & Joseph Catholic Cathedral. It was built between 1911 and 1912, amazingly in 20 months, using the distinctive brick design common to many buildings in Armidale.

The smaller but still impressive St Peter’s Anglican took a little longer, being built between 1871 and 1938.

Further around Central Park is the St Paul’s Presbyterian Church and a Masonic Lodge.

Close to the small Armidale airport Saumarez Homestead is an unusual 30 room house built between 1888 and 1906. The house can only be entered with a guided tour that runs at the weekends. Visiting on a Monday I explored the fairly average gardens instead.

The University of New England is home to a Zoology Museum and Museum of Antiquities. Unfortunately neither are where Google Maps thinks they are, and the on campus signage (and parking situation) is terrible, so after a frustrating twenty minutes driving around the campus I gave up…

Author: jontycrane

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