Inverell sits close to the Queensland border and is just over a 5-hour drive from Brisbane. Situated inland, the town is around 3.5-hours from the coast, where you can drive to coastal cities such as Coffs Harbour.
With Lake Inverell and the Macintyre River close to and flowing through the town, there are many lovely drives and walks in the heart of downtown Inverell. With a long mining history, Inverell has been called the ‘Sapphire City’, with commercial sapphire mines and diamonds giving the area much wealth. This wealth resulted in many fantastic heritage buildings that still line Inverell’s streets today. Visit the visitor and information centre and pick up a heritage pamphlet; it will outline the locations and history of all the heritage and national trust buildings in the area. Drive to all these locations in your own free self-driving heritage tour. See buildings such as the Post Office, Town Hall, Council Building and Courthouse, with many of the buildings built during the mining boom in the 1800s.
There are many other small towns and cities in the area within driving distance in your car hire. The town of Armidale is just an 1.5-hours away. Known for its cathedrals and heritage buildings, the drive between the two cities is a pleasant one. Armidale has done a fantastic job of preserving its past; what once were courthouses, town halls and hotels, have now become cinemas, restaurants and pubs.
Inverell downtown is full of fun activities and places to drive. After your self-driving heritage tour, visit the Inverell Art Gallery. A community gallery operated by the Local Inverell Art society, the gallery holds regular exhibitions of both local and visiting artists. The gallery space also holds weekly art classes and regular workshops for locals and visitors alike. You might even find something unique to purchase and take home with you. The entry fee is a gold coin donation to the gallery and the hours run from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through to Friday, and 10 AM to 1 PN on Saturday. The building itself is a lovely federation style gallery named Butler Hall and will be part of the heritage tour of Inverell.
Once you’ve finished taking in the art of the region, up next is the history, with a stroll through Pioneer Village. With the grounds dating back to 1840, you can see over a dozen historical buildings, from the foundry and machinery shed to the Gooda Cottage and Miners Hut. Also on site are the Rob Roy Hall- Devines Photography Museum, with examples of photographic history and antique equipment, and the Gournama Homestead, the Historical Society’s Museum. The village is just outside downtown, around a 5-minute drive from the city centre.
Right in Inverell you have many walking trails around the river and lake. Lake Inverell is home to many native species of fish and marine animals. Around the lake, you are likely to see kangaroos and wallabies, and in the lake and river, if you visit at dawn or dusk, you might spot a platypus. The Barayamal Walk will take you through Barayamal National Park; take the 6-kilometre walk and enjoy the stunning nature of the park.
Take a 40-minute drive north of Inverell in your rental car to Kings Plains National Park. Skip along the creek and natural pools, or see a range of birds, with the park acting as natural breeding grounds for many endangered species.