This week in our ‘How to spend a perfect day in…’ series we explore the scenic Evocity of Armidale.
Located in the stunning New England region of NSW, Armidale is nestled amongst World Heritage National Parks, incredible waterfalls, gorges and cool climate vineyards. Rich in natural beauty and an abundance of outdoor activities including canyoning, fishing, mountain biking, bird watching and hiking, the splendour of Armidale’s surrounds can be enjoyed all-year-round. However, there is far more to Armidale than meets the eye. With a rich and vibrant arts community, galleries, diverse local music scene, great boutique shopping and fine food, Armidale is a cosmopolitan and friendly city.
Begin your day with a walk or ride in one of Armidale’s many parks and gardens. The Creeklands Cycle Way and Armidale Pine Forest or ‘The Piney’ as it’s affectionately known, are popular choices for local cyclists. There’s also the gorgeous Arboretum, a heritage listed park boasting thousands of native and imported plants, walking tracks, a look-out, and aquatic gardens with waterfall and footbridge – undoubtedly one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating ways to start your morning.
There are also numerous sporting facilities and recreation centres in Armidale ensuring there is something for everyone, no matter how you like to work up a sweat. From badminton, squash, tennis, basketball, netball or even indoor rock climbing, the University of New England’s SportUNE facilities are state of the art. There’s also Crossfit Armidale, Anytime Fitness, Feel Good Gym and yoga studios such as Sama Studio and Armidale Yoga Studio providing great like-minded communities to meet new people and stay active.
After an active morning, you’ll no doubt fee like refuelling with a coffee and brunch at one of Armidale’s many cafes including The Goldfish Bowl Bakery, Altitude Coffee Roastery, Little Coco’s,or Two Goats Cafe and Baa (which also has great live music in the evenings!). However, if you prefer to cook your own brunch at home or sample produce fresh from the growers, the Armidale Farmer’s Market offer a fantastic selection of local produce and home-made goodies. Held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, the farmer’s markets are a great community event enjoyed by many.
Armidale’s bustling city centre is a shopper’s delight, bursting with hidden gems and a unique array of boutiques, local department stores and gift shops. With options including, Concepts of Armidale, Turner’s, Reader’s Companion record and boutique bookstore, Things with a difference and Raw Fibre (where every product is made locally!) Armidale has something to tempt every shopaholic. There are also monthly maker’s markets in the Mall where you will find a huge variety of handcrafted items including candles, bath and body products, skincare, makeup, clothing, bags, linen, pottery, woodwork, art, homewares, toys and much more.
As the afternoon rolls around, you might enjoy a change of pace as you stroll through one of Armidale’s galleries including Armidale Art Gallery or NERAM. Here you can enjoy diverse collections and exhibitions from local, national and international artists, with a comprehensive program of events and workshops. Or if a spot of wine tasting is more your style, Peterson’s Winery & Guesthouse offers cool climate wine tastings in the unique restored horse stables at the vineyards.
If you prefer to relax with a refreshing swim, Armidale has plenty of swimming venues including Monckton Aquatic Centre, Dumaresq Dam or Gara Gorge ‘Blue Hole’ which are both popular swimming spots where you can bathe while soaking up the gorgeous natural surrounds.
To complete your perfect day in Armidale, enjoy a few social drinks and a meal with friends at one of Armidale’s many bars, restaurants or pubs. From craft beers and custom cheese platters at The Welder’s Dog, great atmosphere and bistro style meals at various pubs including New England Hotel, The Royal Hotel and The White Bull to gourmet dining at restaurants including Azka Restaurants Wine & Tapas Bar, Bistro on Cinders and Archie’s on the Park there are countless options to enjoy a fantastic night.
As a proud university city, Armidale offers something for all lifestyles, with endless natural beauty and community minded spirit. To discover more about Armidale and learn how you can call it home, visit evocities.com.au/armidale/.