With beautiful rivers, ancient rainforest, deep gorges and Australia’s second-highest waterfall, the Armidale area offers incredible nature experiences. For outdoor adventure, take your pick from bushwalking and rock climbing to kayaking, fishing, mountain biking and birdwatching.
The region is home to four national parks, all part of the spectacular Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. There’s the New England National Park, the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, the Cunnawarra National Park and the Werrikimbe National Park.
You can take a helicopter joy flight for an aerial panorama or head to Point lookout in New England National Park for eye-popping views. On the Eagles Nest walking track are giant moss-covered Antarctic Beech, while the Lyrebird walking track has rippling brooks, pretty waterfalls and colourful birds.
In the Oxley Wild Rivers, there’s superb waterfalls including the Wollomombi Falls, where water drops 220 metres over cliffs – it’s the highest waterfall in NSW and the second-highest in Australia. There’s a campground near the falls. The Apsley and Chandler waterfalls also impress.
The Waterfall Way is a scenic drive between Armidale and Coffs Harbour, winding through five national parks including the Oxley Wild Rivers. This enchanting route includes the Ebor Falls in the Guy Fawkes River National Park, where you might encounter brush-tailed rock wallabies.
You can hike to giant boulders in nearby Cathedral Rock National Park. Birdwatching and camping are also popular in the park, where wedge-tailed eagles soar. Another birdwatching paradise is the Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve, which sits in a silted volcanic crater.