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Armidale Heritage Tours

by Vanessa M (follow)
New South Wales (56)      History (19)      Walks (6)      Northern Tablelands (4)      Armidale (2)     
Armidale is known as a cathedral city and is renowned for its Gothic architecture, so any visit here should include a look at some of its most famous buildings, with the churches being the main attraction. The best way to make sure you do the city justice is to complete one of the town's heritage tours.

There are a few different tours to choose from. A walking tours includes the best churches on a route that's a few kilometres long, while a self-guided driving tour (which takes 1-2 hours) covers all the key sites. Both have more than 30 buildings and other attractions to see and they don't overlap, so you may want to do them both.

If you don't want to spend your time trying to navigate a new town, you can also join the free, two hour Heritage Tour. The tour bus can be joined from four different locations: the New England Regional Art Museum, the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place, the Armidale Railway Museum, and Booloominbah Homestead, a former gentleman's residence in the grounds of the University of New England's.

Booloominbah University of New England

Two of the top attractions on these tours are very familiar from the tourist brochures: St Peter's Anglican Cathedral and The Catholic Cathedral of St Mary and St Joseph. There are also many other churches too.

St Peter's Anglican Cathedral armidale
St Peter's Anglican Cathedral

The Catholic Cathedral of St Mary and St Joseph Armidale
The Catholic Cathedral of St Mary and St Joseph (during light rain)

However, there's much more to the town's architecture than its religious side and quite a few eras of design are represented. Some of the other buildings you may catch include the Court House, the Town Hall, hotels and a series of cottages that are still in their original state and represent different eras of the town. Not all attractions are a buildings however.

apex lookout drummond park armidale
Apex Lookout at Drummond Park

celtic cross armidale
The Celtic Cross

Some of the buildings worth visiting in the area are not on the tours. Saumarez Homestead, a National Trust pastoral property, can only be visited during one of its own guided tours, which take place on weekends and public holidays. Another of the area's notable buildings isn't even Armidale; you'll find Gostwyck Chapel a short drive to the south.

In addition to the heritage tours, other things to do in Armidale include visiting one of the museums or galleries. The area is full of National Parks too, with the closest being Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, and is part of tnderbolt Country, where bushranger Captain Thunderbolt roamed, so there are many interesting sites to see nearby.

oxley wild rivers national park
Armidale is the highest city in Australia and the surrounding area is full of impressive gorges

A trip north to Glenn Innes is good for fossicking, another Heritage Walk, the Australian Standing Stones and Balancing Rock. To the south is Tamworth, known for its country music scene.

Armidale is also the start of Waterfall Way, which takes you to the coast via a beautiful stretch of countryside. You'll end up between Coffs Harbour, with its Big Banana and Dolphin Marine Magic, and Nambucca Heads, with its famous V-Wall.

Where: Armidale, in the Northern Tablelands region of NSW
When: When you want to experience a little of the nation's past
Cost: Free (even the coach tour is free, though it does appreciate donations)

#New South Wales
#Northern Tablelands
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