Amber Lodge: Boutique accommodation in Armidale, NSW

Armidale and New England High Country

Our region boasts spectacular waterfalls, gorges, world-heritage national parks, cool-climate vineyards and a fascinating and diverse cultural heritage. Canyoning, mountain biking, birdwatching, trout fishing and other outdoor adventures take on an exciting new dimension up high. And you’ll be delighted all over again when you come inside to discover our galleries, museums, fine food and wine.

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.

One of Armidale’s best kept secrets is that there are four national parks, each with extraordinary natural attractions, all within an hour’s drive from the city centre. There’s a monumental tumble of giant granite boulders to climb in the Cathedral Rock National Park. And, along the aptly named Waterfall Way, Ebor Falls in the Guy Fawkes River National Park is one of several majestic waterfalls to admire. Much of the extensive wilderness in the New England and Oxley Wild Rivers National Parks is World Heritage listed. When you spy the views from Point Lookout in the New England National Park and walk along the trails that wind through temperate rainforest there, or, hike through the spectacular gorges and encounter dramatic waterfalls and hundreds of kilometres of pristine waterways in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, you’ll see why.

If you’re wondering where to eat, stylish caf├ęs buzz with activity and serve up great coffee and delicious meals all day. Restaurants, clubs and pubs also offer a wide range of contemporary Australian and international cuisines, often featuring food and wine produced in the surrounding countryside. Making the most of the fresh air is easy to do in Armidale. Here, for example, you can enjoy energetic outdoor pursuits in nearby national parks, or a challenging round of golf on Armidale Golf Club’s 18-hole championship course, where you’ll also be surrounded by peaceful bushland and the odd kangaroo. The Club has a resident professional on hand to help you improve your stroke or choose the right gear, and a restaurant where relaxing over drinks or a meal finishes off a great day out on the greens.

At around 1000 metres above sea level, New England’s High Country offers visitors a truly evocative and unique experience with four distinct seasons. The city of Armidale and the towns of Guyra, Uralla and Walcha share a rich history and stunning natural environment. Where else can you experience World Heritage wilderness in the morning and indulge in the sophistication of world-class galleries and vineyards in the afternoon?

For further information, visit the tourism website.