Glen Innes is just over 600km north of Sydney, and holds a particular fascination for those with a Celtic background.
Local history goes back to two long-bearded stockmen in the 1830s, Duval and Chandler: remembered today in the Land of the Beardies Festival and several place names in the district. The Scottish settlers started traditions remembered today in the Australian Celtic Festival, held in May each year, which celebrates Celtic food, history and music.
If you're not already planning your trip now, here are five extra reasons to visit Glen Innes:
1. Take a walk through the CBD to see the heritage buildings. The Land of the Beardies History House is a fine folk museum, and make sure to see the Court House and the Town Hall.
2. The Standing Stones are unique in the southern hemisphere and a monument to the Celtic pioneers. Only three of the stones are as they were found; the rest were laboriously split from larger stones. This monument was opened in 1992, and is recognised as the national meeting place for Celtic clans and descendants.
3. Visit World Heritage listed National Parks east of Glen Innes area. Washpool National Park has stunning rainforests, waterfalls and clear streams, and excellent facilities for bush walkers and day visitors. Some areas are closed after recent flooding.
4. Bird watching at the Beardy Dam and the Beardy Wetlands Reserve are only a few kilometres from Glen Innes, and have picnic shelters and toilet facilities. Water birds like cormorants, egrets, darters, ibis and spoonbills are frequently seen and you may even spot a platypus. Bird lists are available.
5. Fossicking for sapphires: try Wellingrove Fossicking Area, less than 20km from Glen Innes. Make sure to check if you require permits beforehand. Bird watching in this area is also rewarding. A brochure is available.
Glen Innes Visitor Centre
152 Church Street,
Glen Innes NSW 2370
02 6730 2400