GLEN INNES N.S.W
In May of each year there is a Highland Games and Festival held here and is reputed to be one of the biggest in the country..This particular area of New England....Grafton..Maclean and Glen Innes all have strong Celtic ties and the "Standing Stones" is recognised as the National gathering point for Celtic descendants and clans. When recently staging a presentation of the world famous Edinburgh Scottish MiltaryTattoo there was no trouble sourcing the hundreds of scottish dancers that were needed for this spectacular show. The organisers only had to look to the huge amount of different clans represented in Glen Innes, Grafton and Maclean for their needs. here in New South Wales.
There are a few festivals held in Glen Innes and they are : The Australian Celtic festival with the Highland games in May , The "Land of the Beardies" festival which is held in November , and the Mineral and Precious Gems Festival called the "Minerama "in September.
.. Depending on how much time you have while in Glen Innes...Do some fossicking..!!
I know when I am driving allover Australia I "fossick" whenever the chance presents itself..Of course you must be in a gem area and that is what "fossicking " is about seeking out gems and precious stones.. Glenn Innes is one such place known for its amazing sapphires and also its emeralds...but sapphires mainly.. The activity of fossicking" is not only fun but can be extremely rewarding. This I found when fossicking in Queensland..where I found many sapphires..A local fossickers licence is needed but a small fomality , as they are inexpensive to obtain locally. seek local advice as to "hot" areas to have a "fossick"...Good Luck.
Glen Innes NSW...Australia
Just for a bit of fun in the evening you will find the RSL' fills the bill' We did not win on the poker (slot) machines but found the meal very enjoyable. We were escorted to our table set with a white cloth and chose barramundi which actually tasted like the 'real thing' (There has been a bit of a stir as some places are serving cat fish and calling it barramundi or snapper)
The dining room is named 'Crystal Room '
At weekends we noticed the Club adveritses entertaiment as well...a band and a vocalist is the usual choice,
The townhall of Glen Innes is one of the most beautiful townhalls that I saw in New South Wales and it dates back to the year 1887.
In my last 2 pictures here: another shopping-centre built in the style of the early settlers and a bank-building, well banks always seemed to have enough money to build impressive buildings.
The courthouse of Glen Innes is dating back to the year 1873. Most of the early settlers of Australia had been convicts and so it seemes to me that the newly built state of Australia wanted to show everywhere, that law and justice have to be obeyed there as well. So you will find an impressive courthouse even in smaller villages and towns all over Australia, and in most cases the police-station was eighter in the same building or next to it.
The Club Hotel is a really impressive building dating back to the year 1906. It has these typical arcades on the street-level and the balconies on the upper floor. Such hotels were normally always built on the crossing of 2 main roads.
There is a pub in that building nowadays, BUT I am not sure, if they also are a hotel still, this is why I list it here just as a sight and not as a hoteltip.
In my last 2 pics: another pub/hotel.
The Post & Telegraph Office is an interesting building made of red bricks and it is also one of the oldest buildings of Glen Innes. The Post Office, the townhall and the Courthouse were mostly the first buildings that were built in solid stones in each village after the first settlers came to Australia.
Here you can see some more of the various buildings with interesting architecture in Glen Innes. In case that you love to see all details of such an architecture, you should calculate about 1-2 hours for exploring all of these great buildings of Glen Innes.
The Kwong Sing Centre of 1886 is a good example of an early settlement of chinese merchants in that area and that shopping-centre is obviously still in the ha^nds of that family for more than 100 years now.
For me it was interesting to see that great facade of the shop, that is quite impressive in its size even for today.
One thing you can often get, especially in autumn and winter, is wonderful sunsets.
This one happened a little east of Glen Innes. The dead trees shown here are the results of a 90s dilemma called dieback that decimated parts of the New England. There were three different things that caused trees to die off in bulk, not only here but in parts of W.A. and elsewhere. Fortunately it seems to have been stalled and replanting has salvaged some of the growth that supports the necessary ecosystem.
Phytophthera was the main culprit, a fungus related to that which caused the potato blight in Ireland in the 19th century.
What it does make for though is a great foreground for a sunset!
Glen Innes prospered initially with the mineral boom in the late 19th century and its location on a major roads intersection but, along with most other rural towns, suffered after World War II when larger properties and more efficient practices meant less people on the farms and thus less trade.
What to do? Re-invent yourself, add the gimmick mentioned elsewhere and suddenly your town has an air of prosperity and that in itself attracts more people.
Some of the highlights are the Land of the Beardies History House, a 25 room folk museum, one of Australia's finest, Gem Hunters Haven, Cooramah Aboriginal Centre, Reddestone Sapphires, the Big Book on the Gwydir Highway (with more than 100,000 titles including rare first editions) and Highwoods, a 1.2ha arboretum in Macquarie Street.
I picked up my Heritage walk brochure from the Vistor centre, then started my walk.
The brochure is excellent, it covers the buildings erected between 1860 and 1930.
Quite a few buildings had been repainted in their original 19th-century colours, they look wonderful, and the street lamp-style street lighting compliments the heritage buildings.
It is easy to follow, and had good descriptions on what I was viewing.
So now, I will tell you about what I saw, and show you some photo's.
Photo  .... ......St. Patrick's Catholic Church which was built between 1908-09. The church was built for the sum of 9000 pounds. The original granite church on the north side was built in the 1870's for 1,500 pounds. This was converted to St. Joseph's School when the present Church was built.
Photo [2/3]..........St. Joseph School/convent, built in 1916. This is next door to St. Patrick's Church. All of them are very imposing buildings, with the Church & the Convent having stained glass & Leadlight.
I am not a proper Bird watcher, but I do love seeing new Birds that I have never seen before, or have only seen in Aviaries.
I have noticed on visiting Visitor Information centres lately, that they now have proper Birdwatching pamphlets for the area you are in, if it is a Birdwatching area. I do try and find new Birds, and had quite a bit of success.
Areas good for Birdwatching are Sinclair Lookout, the turnoff is 13km from Glen Innes heading to Inverell.
Wellington Fossicking area, the Severn River. The turnoff, is 12.5kms from Glen Innes heading north.
Beardy Dam & the woodlands, is one of the best in the area.
Pyes Creek road, and here you have a chance of seeing the beautiful Rainbow Bee--Eater, they are a very pretty Bird.
The Washpool & Gilbralter range National Parks attract a lot of Birds including the Black & Yellow tailed cockatoo.
Mann River Nature Reserve, and here you find the Azure Kingfisher, Bee -Eater, beautiful rose Robins, golden Whistlers, Red backed Fairy Wrens, so many pretty coloured birds. The list is long of what lives in this area, way too many for me to list.
It is easy to find the areas, as included in the pamphlet is a detailed map.
Continuing on my walk, I came across the beautiful Westpac Bank.
Photo ........WESTPAC BANK
Built in 1884/85, this Bank is built in one of my favorite styles, Victorian/Italianate. A very pleasing building to the eye, and nicely painted . This Bank has changed names many times, firstly it was the Australian Joint Stock Bank, the Australian Bank of Commerce and the Bank of New South Wales.
Photo [2/3]....FORESTER'S & MILNER'S BUILDINGS
The Forester's building was built in 1900. Forester's, is the name of a "friendly society" that was brought out to Australia with settlers from the 18th & 19th centuries. This building, is built in an Edwardian style, with a high parapet and the centre is decorated with an Urn.
The Milner's building, built in 1903, is two storied, but has a Federation parapet.
Nearly all of these lovely old buildings are located in the main street, all I had to do, was to cross the street to take some photos.
Here are some more of interest.
Photo ........THE TOWN HALL
I thought this building was beautiful! Built in 1887 during the "boom period," it is called a "High Victorian" grand Town Hall. The style is French Renaissance Italianate, and is very elaborate. It is one of the most distinctive Town halls in New South Wales. It was built in Australia's Centenary year.
Photo .........FORMER ANZ BANK
Was built in 1877.
Photo .....STATIONER'S HALL CHAMBERS
Built in 1914. This is an Edwardian style building, comprising of fronts with ground floor shops.
Photo ........THE NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK
Another favorite of mine! Built in 1890, and once named the CBC Bank, it is another building built in the Italianate style, that many CBC buildings are built like.