Sea and beach

New England

Towns:Tamworth, Glenn Innes, Armidale, Inverell

Attractions: Country Music Festival, Bird Watching, Celtic Heritage

New England

New England and Orano Region"The Saddler" and the town of Tenterfield were forever immortalized by Peter Allen lyrics.However, Tenterfield is only one of the "hits" in this Region of NSW.With towns like Armidale, Glenn Innes, Inverell and the iconic Tamworth, both musicians and historians alike will be more than satisfied.The first settlers around the Glenn Innes area were mostly Scots and the town and surrounds still cherish this Celtic heritage. The Australian Standing Stones are a megalithic circle of stones similar to those once used in ancient times. They stand strong as a tribute to those early settlers and, in more recent years, is the venue for the annual Celtic Festival held on the first weekend in May.Located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Armidale is known as "the city of four seasons", enjoying a warm Summer, the reflective colors of Autumn, a crisp Winter and the delicate beauty of a Spring that is sure to delight. Many heritage buildings and museums can be found here, along with all the services and culture this large country town has to offer.If you fancy beauty of the precious stone variety, then you should not miss the rich gem fields of Inverell, Warialda and Bingara, just to name a few. The area is well known for its' sapphires and other precious gems, so why not try your hand fossicking?The scenery of the Region is nothing short of spectacular. Washpool National Park is the largest rainforest wilderness in NSW, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and offers unsurpassed wilderness hikes. The Gibraltar Range has some of the most majestic granite outcrops, breathtakingly steep gorges and crystal clear waters imaginable.And, for the country music fans, there is the world famous Tamworth Country Music Festival. For over 30 years, each January has seen the festival showcase Australia's country music artists at their very best. The usual populations of just under 50,000 swells by at least that again as country and western fans from home and abroad gather to celebrate "all things country".So, if the song is right, and "time is a traveler", make the time to travel to the Orano region on your next getaway.Once thought of as the town where the highways intersect, (Newell, Mitchell and Golden), today's Dubbo is jam-packed with attractions, that cannot be experienced in just "a quick stop-over". From exploring the outdoors by canoe or kayak down the scenic Macquarie River to stepping back in time at Dundullimal Homestead - one of the oldest standing timber slab homesteads in Australia, there is something for every member of the family. How about trying out Australia's first full pipe at Dubbo's skate park? Or challenging yourself at the BMX track? Maybe take a stroll through the fully restored Old Jail or the Western Plains Cultural Centre. Look to the stars at the Dubbo Observatory or look for some bird life in and around the many parks and gardens, such as the tranquil Shoyoen Sister City Garden. Most famously the Western Plains Zoo has so much to see and do, that you might find you need to take up the option of the free second day on your entry ticket. Make sure you can stay a while to experience all that Dubbo has to offer.Beneath the Moree Plains, lies The Great Artesian Basin. This gives Moree the title of "Spa Capitol". Since 1895, the natural hot springs have provided relaxation and rejuvenation, whilst the waters have been said to benefit both health and healing. With some of the richest agricultural soils, Moree's landscape is a striking contrast - black soil, white cotton crops and fertile green pastures. Take a guided tour of Trawalla Pecan Nut farm, located about 35kms east of Moree on the Gwydir Highway.These fertile soils extend south, with Narrabri producing some of the best quality cotton, fat lambs, beef and wheat found anywhere in the world. The natural scenery is well represented: Mount Kaputar National Park rises 1,200m above the surrounding plains. Best known is Sawn Rocks -a 40-m high columnar basalt cliff face, and Waa Gorge - another reminder of the regions' volcanic past.For the bird watchers, the nearby Pilliga Nature Reserve is the largest remaining native forest and has recorded sightings of 240 different birds, including some "special finds" such as the threatened barking owls and turquoise parrots .The anglers are also well catered for, the Barwon River at Mungindi and the MacIntyre River at Boomi, where the "locals" include cod and yellow-belly.The Black Opal was discovered at the iconic Lightning Ridge, but the area is also an important paleontological site, with fossils dating back 110 million years. Why not try your hand at fossicking? Or take a quirky journey with a "Car Door Tour". Only in Australia could car doors, strung in trees or leaning in easily seen places, lead you to some of "The Ridge's" greatest attractions.Ke a quirky journey with a "Car Door Tour". Only in Australia could car doors, strung in trees or leaning in easily seen places, lead you to some of "The Ridge's" greatest attractions.

Saumarez Homestead - Armidale
Two Wheel Touring - Tamworth
Restaurant - Tamworth
Historical House and Tea Room - Morre