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Glen Innes is an inland town close to the Queensland border in New South Wales. The town is around 2.5-hours from the coast and towns such as Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour. Named after the Scottish Highlands, the area is located in the New England High Country in New South Wales. It is a picturesque rural town filled with heritage-listed buildings and surrounded by regional towns and national parks. There are many stunning drives on offer in your rental car from Glen Innes, from driving to the coast or to other inland towns such as Inverell, less than an hour west of Glen Innes.
We strongly encourage a drive east to the coast, not only because of the many coastal towns but because to get there, you will drive through and past multiple stunning national parks such as the Guy Fawkes River and New England National Parks.
There is an opportunity to complete the famed Waterfall Way Drive, from Armidale to Coffs Harbour. Armidale is just an hour south of Glen Innes and is usually the end of the Waterfall Way Drive, but works just as well as the beginning. Armidale is known as the Cathedral city, also filled with museums, galleries and heritage-listed buildings. The Waterfall Way Drive is known for its stunning scenery, including, you guessed it, waterfalls.
The drive is 210 kilometres from Armidale to Coffs Harbour or three hours; if driving uninterrupted, add the drive from Glen Innes to Armidale, which becomes four hours. You will, however, spend much more time outside of your car as you complete stop-offs in towns and national parks to enjoy the many walking trails and stunning views accessible right from the car park or rest stop. The recommended stop-offs include Bellingen, Dorrigo National Park, Ebor and Wollomombi. It is regarded as one of the great drives in Australia and the world. You can see five national parks and multiple towns, so why not enjoy the best of the area and take a drive from Glen Innes to Waterfall Way.
The Glen Innes area is full of activities, from fossicking for gems to the local Celtic festival. If you are interested in heritage buildings and architecture, many of the towns in New South Wales include some of the oldest and most well preserved in all of Australia, including Glen Innes. Take a drive to the Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre on Church Street to pick up a pamphlet detailing information and history of the heritage buildings in town, then take your car hire on a self-driving tour. While at the information centre, ask the helpful staff about anything else you need during your time in Glen Innes, from fishing spots or other local attractions. The driving tour of Glen Innes is estimated to take 1.5 hours and covers all the major attractions in town, including the Australian Standing Stones.
Pay a visit to Glen Innes Art Gallery to see some local artistic talent, housed in a modern gallery space, with works spanning a range of mediums from portrait to ceramics and jewellery. With a focus on regional and state artists, there are also other Australian artists whose works are shown. Across the driving tour, you will come across other museums and buildings you might want to pay a visit to.
It would be a shame to visit the New South Wales High Country and not pay a visit to one or more of the national parks in the area. Guy Fawkes River, Washpool, Nymboida, New England, Oxley Wild Rivers, Dorrigo, Cathedral Rock and Barool National Parks are just some of the national parks within driving distance of Glen Innes.