Glen Innes is often called Celtic Country, with many of the first settlers in the area being of Scottish origin. The Australian Standing Stones at Centennial Parkands, overlooking the town, are a testament to this history and probably the biggest drawcard in the area, partly due to the four-day Australian Celtic Festival, which is held on the site on the first weekend of May every year.
The stones aren't a relic of the past though. They're actually a recent erection and were only opened in 1992. Built to recognise the Celtic heritage of the town, they came about after locals made a submission to the Celtic Council of Australia during the 1988 Bicentenary, proposing that Glen Innes be chosen as the site to erect the planned national monument to honour all of the Celtic peoples who helped to pioneer Australia.
Each of the stones that makes up the formation is almost four metres tall (and that's just above ground level) and they've all been arranged in a way that combines both traditional Celtic and more local priorities. A sign at the site includes a map and some background information to help visitors identify each stone and understand its significance.
The main circle is comprised of twenty-four stones, representing each hour in a day. Four stones outside this ring mark North, South, East and West, and also make up the four points of the Southern Cross, along with one of the seven stones used to mark the winter and summer solstices.
Three stones also reside in the centre of the circle. These are the Australis Stone for all Australians, the Gaelic Stone for Ireland, Scotland the Isle of Man (and their Gaelic speaking Celts), and the Brythonic Stone for the of Wales, Cornwall and Britany (home of Brythonic-speaking Celts).
Most of the rocks were paid for through sponsorship, which cost $1000 and was used to cover the cost of splitting them from larger rocks in the local area and transporting them to the site. The exceptions are the three central stones.
As well as the Australian Standing Stones, there are also a few other things of significance at Centennial Parklands. For example, there is a replica Excalibur not far from the monument (which could easily be overlooked).
Crofters Cottage is also located on the site. This building is a replica Taigh Duhd, which was the stone house of the early Celtic people. It was inspired by photos of a real Taigh Bugh, which survived the Battle if Cullden. The cottage is open every day except Sunday and sells refreshments and souvenirs.
Where: Centennial Parklands, Glen Innes
When: Any day