10 things to do in and around Armidale during winter
Armidale is located in a high altitude area of the New England Tablelands. That means our winters are cold, and sometimes even feature snow. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time on a winter holiday!
We’ve got ten suggestions for things to do in Armidale during winter:
1. Get cultural at NERAM
NERAM (the New England Regional Art Museum) is a living museum of art, sculptures, classes, workshops, and valuable collections. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 4pm, the galleries feature significant works by both Australian and international artists. Admission is free, though donations are appreciated.
Kid-friendly exhibitions are often set up for local school participation, making it a family-friendly destination. Alternatively, it is a peaceful place for a solo trip, allowing you to wander the halls and enjoy the sights. The shop is also worth a browse; you could pick up a unique memento of your Armidale trip, with options of finely crafted ceramics, jewellery, toys, books, art supplies, and other creative products.
Once you’re done, you can refuel at the popular NERAM cafe, Studio 52, which has earned a great reputation for food, coffee, and service.
Find out more: www.neram.com.au
2. Head out shopping
Armidale is a growing city with many shopping opportunities. Conveniently, our main centres are within walking distance to each other.
Armidale Central is home to the shopping giants Big W, Prices Plus, and Woolworths, and well as other specialty stores including Sanity, MyHouse, Bras & Things, Suzanne Grae, Spendless Shoes, and several cafe options. Meanwhile, across the street is Armidale Plaza, where you can find Kmart, Spotlight, Target, IGA, specialty clothing shops, cafes, and other boutique options.
3. Take a scenic drive
Armidale and the surrounding areas are set among the hills and mountain scenery of the high tablelands. Our region features national parks, gorges, waterfalls, and forests, each begging to be explored.
Hiking, bike-riding and rock-hopping are popular experiences for locals and visitors alike, but if the weather is too cold, a driven tour can also be breathtaking.
You can find some great suggestions for your scenic drive here: www.armidaletourism.com.au/experiences/scenic-drives
4. Get active at the Armidale Sport and Rec Centre
You don’t have to head outdoors for enjoy some active fun. The Sport and Rec Centre offers ten-pin bowling, skating, laser tag, indoor sports, and the popular ‘Kids World’, with climbing gyms, ball pits and slides.
The best part? It’s all indoors, undercover, and heated, making it the perfect place for a cold winter’s day. And it’s only a short drive away from Moore Park Inn.
Make it a family day out by trying everything, and enjoying lunch at the cafe. Your choices include pizza, nachos, wraps, burgers, chips, and many other tasty treats to keep the kids happy. And if you don’t have children, you can still have a great time at the Sport and Rec Centre, with the Bowling Alley being open till late.
Find out more: www.armidalesportandrec.com.au
5. Catch the latest movies
The Belgrave Cinema is the only cinema on the Northern Tablelands that provides a mix of mainstream movies and quality art-house films. The sloped stadium seating provides easy viewing, with wheelchair access and hearing aid loop also available. The auditoriums are able to seat 190 (in Olympian) and 110 (in Arcadian) people, with each chair being generously sized and comfortably soft.
The well-stocked Candy Bar has all the family favourites, including popcorn, choc-tops, soft drinks, chocolates and lollies. Take advantage of Cheap Tuesday to save money on standard ticket prices, and remember to point out any concessions you may have.
Find out more: www.belgravecinema.com.au
6. Take a Guided Heritage Tour
Travelling without a car, or simply wanting to sit back and relax? Armidale Heritage Tours are a great way to securely see some of the best sights in our region.
Scenic opportunities can include NERAM, the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the Armidale Railway Museum, and the University of New England’s historic Booloominbah Hoemstead (be sure to check out the stunning stained glass windows!). Each destination is complemented by personal commentary from tour guides.
The tours operate on donations and volunteered time. Booking are recommended.
Find out more: www.armidaletourism.com.au/experiences/wool-rural
7. Be entertained at the Armidale Servies
The recently-renovated Ex-Services Memorial Club — more fondly called the Servies — is Armidale’s biggest club, providing local members and visiting guests a range of entertainment and dining facilities.
Located in the heart of the city (and next door to the Belgrave Cinema), the Servies frequently features live music in the main lounge, where you can listen while enjoying a delicious meal from the Mill Bistro. This area also has the KidZone, where your children can happily play with the provided toys, XBox, Playstation, and interactive touchscreens in the semi-soundproofed room.
With a dance floor, raffles, bingo, showcase events, and more, you’re bound to find something to enjoy, away from the winter weather.
Find out more: www.armidaleservies.com.au
8. Try the local brew at the New England Brewing Company
The New England Brewing Company is known for their range of handcrafted, all malt, unfiltered beers. Located in the Old Woolstore in Uralla (a short drive from Armidale), the Company began brewing in 2013 in answer to the lack of regional beers in New England.
Open from Thursday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm, the Company’s unique brew is on tap and in the bottle shop next door at the Top Pub. Plus, they love showing off the brewery to visitors. Feel free to contact them and organise a tour and tasting.
Find out more: www.newenglandbrewing.com.au
9. Soar high with a helicopter tour
Make your next holiday one to remember with a Gorge Discovery Flight. The trip will give you an eagle eye’s view of the city and surrounds, including some of the region’s most beautiful natural locations, such as Gara Gorge, Mihi Falls, and Blue Hole.
The New England Gorge Country is made up of wild and wonderful terrain best experienced from the air, so if you’re looking to add an adventurous edge to your holiday, contact the friendly Fleet Helicopters staff.
Find out more: www.fleethelicopters.com.au/scenic-flights
10. Enjoy dinner at Archie’s on the Park
We might be biased on this one, but our on-site restaurant, Archie’s on the Park, is undeniably a highlight for many of our patrons! We are highly reviewed and regarded as one of the top dining destinations in Armidale, attracting local diners, current guests, and other national visitors.
Our seasonal menus provide a variety of choices in entrées, main meals, desserts, sides, vegetarian options, and children’s options. Plus, our extensive wine list is sure to suit any palate, with an array of white wines, red wines, champagnes, imported beers, ciders, scotches, ports, and much more.
Archie’s on the Park is complemented by a venue that is spacious yet intimate. Our open fires are able to comfortably heat the setting, and our service is equally warm.
You can learn more about our restaurant here, or call us to reserve your table.