An elegant and historic town by the MacIntyre River, Inverell is in the heart of gemstone country. Try your luck fossicking for sapphires and other precious stones on the banks of the river, where people have been seeking their fortune since 1854.
Rich diamond and gem-quality sapphire deposits were discovered in the 19th century, giving Inverell the title of Australia’s Sapphire City. Today you can admire polished gems in jewellery shops such as Inverell Jewellers and Billabong Blue Sapphire.
You can also fossick for sapphires, gems and precious stones at Billabong Blue Sapphire Fossicking Park and 7 Oaks Sapphire Fossicking. Many fossicking sites allow camping, and are great spots for bushwalking and birdwatching.
Inverell Pioneer Village has a collection of historical buildings dating from 1841 set in manicured gardens. The Mining Museum here houses a collection of photos and artefacts. The Scottish Memorial Cairn pays tribute to the region’s early settlers.
Discover other cultural treasures on a visit to Inverell Art Gallery. Found in two colonial buildings, this gallery is home to a rich collection of work from the local arts community. Explore the National Transport Museum for classic and vintage cars.
Lake Inverell Reserve is a popular spot for picnics, BBQs and fishing. A scenic drive north is Kwiambal National Park, where there are more bushwalking tracks, as well as mountain bike trails and top spots for fishing and camping.
Try river fishing on the Slippery Rock walking track. This 4km return track offers some spectacular views of nearby gorges and waterfalls. There are also scenic walking tracks in the Goonoowigall State Conservation Area, home to hundreds of wildlife species.
Getting there and where to stay
Inverell is a seven-hour drive from Sydney and just under five hours from Brisbane. The closest airport is in Armidale and you can hire a car for the 90min drive north. There are lots of places to stay including caravan parks, motels, historic cottages and homesteads, a boutique hotel and the luxury glamping experience Faraway Domes.