Pioneer Museum, Tourism New South Wales

Population 9748

This town on the Macintyre River at the centre of the New England tablelands is known as the 'Sapphire City'. It is also rich in other mineral deposits, including zircons, industrial diamonds and tin. The country here has lush farm and grazing land and excellent weather conditions with cool nights and warm sunny days. A Scottish immigrant gave Inverell its name, which means 'meeting place of the swans' in Gaelic.

Visitor Information

11–31 Campbell St; (02) 6728 8161 or 1800 067 626

Nearby national parks

  • Warrabah National Park

    The Namoi River winds its way through the heart of the tranquil Warrabah National Park as it flows towards the Western Plains. Giant granite...more

  • Guy Fawkes River National Park

    Guy Fawkes National Park in the state’s north-east is isolated, extensive and wild. The Guy Fawkes River winds its way through the...more

  • Washpool National Park

    World Heritage-listed Washpool National Park is a tranquil retreat, an area of remote wilderness and magnificent, undisturbed, warm temperate...more

Nearby towns

  • Bingara

    Located in the centre of an area known as Fossickers Way, Bingara is an old gold- and diamond-mining town in the Gwydir River Valley. Gold...more

  • Warialda

    Warialda is a historic town in a rich farming district. Its location on Warialda Creek gives the town a charm and contributes to its lush...more

  • Glen Innes

    This beautiful town, set among rolling hills on the northern tablelands of New South Wales at an elevation of 1075 metres, is known for its...more

In Town

Pioneer Village This collection of homes and buildings dating from 1840 was moved from its original site to form a 'village of yesteryear'. Attractions include Grove homestead, Paddy's Pub and Mt Drummond Woolshed. Gooda Cottage has an impressive collection of gems and minerals. Tea and damper are served by prior arrangement. Tingha Rd; (02) 6722 1717.

Visitor Centre and Mining Museum: local and imported gems, a static display on the local mining industry, photographs and a video of local mines, and a working scale model of a sapphire plant; Water Towers Complex, Campbell St.

Inverell Art Centre: paintings, pottery and craft; Evans St.

Gem Centre: visitors can see local stones being processed; Byron St.

Transport Museum: over 200 vehicles on display with an impressive collection of rarities; Taylor Ave.

Town Stroll: includes sites such as the National Trust–classified courthouse and the CBC Bank building with stables at the rear; brochure from visitor centre.

Arts, crafts and wood-turning: work by local artists; brochure from visitor centre.


Kwiambal National Park The Macintyre River flows through gorges and plunge pools to Macintyre Falls and then leads into the Severn River. The park is rich with protected woodlands of white cypress pine, box and ironbark. Bat nurseries can be viewed with a torch in the remarkable Ashford Caves, which until the 1960s were mined for guano (bat droppings) to be used as fertiliser on local farms. The park makes a serene site for swimming, bushwalking and camping. Encounters with kangaroos, emus and koalas are common. 90 km N.

McIlveen Lookout: excellent views of town and surrounding pastures and nature reserve; 2 km W.

Lake Inverell Reserve: 100 ha of unique aquatic sanctuary for birds and wildlife. Also an excellent site for picnics, bushwalking, birdwatching and fishing; 3 km E.

Draught Horse Centre: 6 breeds of horse and displays of harnesses and memorabilia, horses are paraded twice daily; Fishers Rd; 4 km E.

Goonoowigall Bushland Reserve: rough granite country rich with birdlife and marsupials, it offers superb birdwatching, remains of a Chinese settlement, bushwalking trails and picnic areas; 5 km S.

Morris' Honey Farm: visitors can see working bees, taste honey and learn how it is produced. Ride the miniature train and explore the animal park and bottle museum; inquiries (02) 6723 6281; 8 km SW.

Copeton Dam State Recreation Area: perfect for boating, waterskiing, swimming, fishing, bushwalking and rock climbing. It also has adventure playgrounds, water slides, and picnic and barbecue facilities. Kangaroos graze on the golf course at dusk; inquiries (02) 6723 6269; 17 km S.

DeJon Sapphire Centre: working sapphire mine with sales; Glen Innes Rd; (02) 6723 2222; 19 km E.

Gwydir Ranch 4WD Park: rugged and colourful gorge country ideal for canoeing, camping, fishing, bushwalking and swimming. Also popular with photographers and artists; 28 km W.

Green Valley Farm: working sheep property with zoo, accommodation, extensive gardens, playground and picnic and barbecue facilities. The highlight is Smith's Mining and Natural History Museum, with a rare collection of gems and minerals, local Aboriginal artefacts, antiques and period clothing; inquiries (02) 6723 3370; 36 km SE.

Pindari Dam: fishing, swimming, camping and picnic and barbecue facilities; 58 km N.

Gwydir River: one of the best whitewater rafting locations in the country during the summer months; brochure from visitor centre.

Warm-weather wineries: cellar-door tastings; brochure from visitor centre.

Fossicking sites: great spots for searching for tin, sapphires, quartz or even diamonds; maps at visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

Lake Copeton 19 km

Lake Copeton has an excellent catchment area, fed by the Gwydir River and runoff from the New England Tablelands. The lake is about 46 km west of Inverell on the Gwydir Highway. Its dam wall was constructed primarily to... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Birdwatching - Port Macquarie to Lismore 73 km

There are a couple of top birdwatching spots in the New England area. One of the most spectacular is an all-weather bird hide among masses of waterbirds at Quipolly Dam, about 18 kilometres north-east of Quirindi. Mother... Find out more

Armidale Bicentennial Arboretum 98 km

Armidale Bicentennial Arboretum, a dozen blocks from the centre of town, has thousands of native plants, walking tracks, picnic shelters and aquatic gardens with a waterfall.... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

The Royal Club Hotel Motel

The relaxing, down-to-earth bistro at this local hotel-motel is in a separate dining area, away from the front bar. Tuck into steaks, schnitzels or a mixed grill while the kids play in the adjacent children’s room.... Find out more

Campsites around town

Copeton Northern Foreshores Reserve camping area 17 km

On the northern shores of Copeton Dam, across the water from Copeton Waters State Park, this is a wonderful spot for fishing, waterskiing, fossicking, boating and birdwatching. At only 17 km south-west of Inverell via... Find out more

Copeton Waters State Park camping area 22 km

What can’t you do here? Canoeing, sailing, golf, fishing, walking and cricket are just a few of the activities on offer for daytrippers or multi-day visitors alike. There’s even a waterslide. There are cabins... Find out more

Ironbark camping area 34 km

A small natural clearing amid woodland beside Kings Plains Creek, the Ironbark camping area is about 800 m along the road from Kings Plains Creek camping area. It’s got vehicle-based camping (2WD in dry weather... Find out more

Kings Plains Creek camping area 34 km

A broad, sweeping grassed area ringed with ironbark woodlands, this camping area can be reached via Jindalee Rd from Kings Plains Rd west of Wellingrove. Turn west about 2.5 km from Jindalee. There’s a short walk... Find out more

Pindari Dam camping area 45 km

Pindari Dam is 22 km east of Ashford on the Severn River, accessed via Pindari Dam Rd. The small camping area is perched just above the dam with lovely water views. It offers easy access to aquatic activities such as... Find out more

Gwydir River camping areas 47 km

Bingara is a quaint and friendly town, 100 km north-east of Narrabri on the Gwydir River. There’s a 10 km area eastward from the town on Keera Rd where casual riverside bush camping is available. You can swim, fish... Find out more

Cranky Rock Recreation Reserve 50 km

Located 8 km east of Warialda on the Gwydir Hwy, Cranky Rock Recreation Reserve is characterised by a visually arresting assembly of granite boulders, picnic facilities, a kiosk and bush shower. Visitors can follow a... Find out more

Lemon Tree Flat camping area 71 km

To reach the camping area, follow Wallangra Rd north from Ashford and turn onto Limestone Rd. Parts of the road are unsealed, so if it’s been raining check with the parks office for road conditions. You can set up... Find out more

Blatherarm Creek camping area 81 km

From Deepwater, north of Glen Innes on the New England Hwy, turn west onto the Stannum Rd and follow the signs to the conservation area. The campground is via Blatherarm Rd off Silent Grove Rd. It’s not far from... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Glen Rest Tourist Park 60 km

Located 3.5 km south of Glen Innes, in a pleasant rural setting, this park is an ideal stopover for travellers passing through the region. Bookings are required during peak periods and festivals and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

Craigieburn Cottages 60 km

On the southern outskirts of town, this park is in a picturesque setting with green lawns, shady trees and enormous granite boulders.... Find out more

Fossicker Caravan Park 61 km

Only 200 metres from the centre of town, this park is within easy walking distance of most town services. It is one of the best parks in Glen Innes. A minimum-length stay applies at Easter, long weekends and special... Find out more

Armidale Tourist Park 99 km

A lovely spot with shady trees and wide expanses of lawn, this park is only 3 km from the town centre. There are two kennel areas where guests can leave their dogs while enjoying the local attractions or catching up on... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Blair Athol Estate

Blair Athol Estate, a 1904 manor set in gardens dating back to the 1870s, is surrounded by 20 hectares of farmland and boasts 2 hectares of formal gardens, containing many plant species grown from seeds acquired from Kew... Find out more

Fossickers Rest Tourist Park

This is a privately owned four-star caravan park set in 2 hectares of rural landscape, with lots of shady trees. There are camping sites, powered caravan sites, cabins (including budget and deluxe) and spacious... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Runnymede rest area 3 km

4km E of Inverell (L) or 63km W of Glenn Innes (R)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Bells rest area 15 km

46km SE of Warialda (R) or 15km NW of Inverell (L)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Swan Brook rest area 31 km

33km E of Inverell (R) or 34km W of Glen Innes (L)

Just off the highway on the east side of the bridge.

Dumboy Creek rest area 34 km

25km SE of Warialda (R) or 36km NW of Inverell (L)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Koorligur rest area 56 km

3km E of Warialda (R) or 58km W of Inverell (L)

Just off the highway among some trees.

Cunninghams rest area 59 km

78km E of Moree (L) or 2km W of Warialda (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Celtic Country South rest area 60 km

92km N of Armidale (R) or 7km S of Glen Innes (L)

Large area adjacent to the highway.

Beardy Waters rest area 65 km

10km N of Glen Innes (L) or 82km S of Tenterfield (R)

Among a few trees on the banks of Beardy Waters.

Beardy Waters Woodland park area 66 km

6km E of Glen Innes (R) or 154km W of Grafton (L)

Well off the highway among the trees. 

What's on around town

Market: Campbell Park: 1st (except Jan) and 3rd Sun each month.

Outback Festival: Sept.

Grafton to Inverell Cycling Classic: Sept.

Sapphire City Festival: Oct.

Antique Machinery Rally: Oct.

Great Inland Fishing Festival: Dec.

Inverell Jockey Club Boxing Day Meeting: Dec.

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