With a name meaning ‘the meeting place of swans’ in Gaelic, it should come as no surprise that Inverell is a country town rich in wildlife and natural splendour. The historic township is fringed with reserves, dams and wilderness areas, with the Goonoowigall State Conservation Area and the Copeton and Pindari Dams boasting a wide range of native birds and fish species respectively. With numerous walking tracks and historically significant sites also on hand to explore, Inverell is an adventure just waiting to happen.
Known as the Sapphire City, Inverell is set beside the Macintyre River in a picturesque valley surrounded by gemstone country. The region is famous for supplying around 80 per cent of the world’s sapphires, and hence offers the perfect opportunity to try your luck at fossicking. Those wishing to delve even deeper into the history of the region can also visit the famous Thunderbolts Rock or the remains of an old Chinese settlement.
The accommodation options available are also varied, and range in style to suit all needs, tastes and budgets. Historic and modern bed and breakfasts offer a dose of luxury, while well-appointed motels and caravan parks provide a range of first class facilities to appease even the fussiest of travellers. Visitors can also rest their heads in a renovated shearer’s quarters, a regal manor built at the turn of the century, or a national park beneath a canopy of stars. Bakeries, cafes and restaurants also abound, with Olives of Beaulieu, Sapphire Chinese Restaurant and Freckles Café just a few of the options set to tempt tastebuds.
This New England treasure trove is a gem of New South Wales’ north east. The landscape is breathtaking and enduring, the heritage rich and palpable, and at only five hours from Brisbane and six and a half hours from Sydney, it’s ready to be discovered.