The delightful country town of Guyra is located 1330m above sea level on the Northern Tablelands of the Great Dividing Range. There’s a range of places to stay, from pretty campsites, caravan parks and riverside cabins to comfy motels, bed and breakfasts and farmstays.
Explore natural wonders
Lagoon Circuit Walking Track
Lagoon Circuit walking track is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the serenity of this pristine lagoon and surrounding wetlands. It’s an easy 4.8 kilometre walk, offering scenic views across the water from every vantage point. As one of the few remaining Ramsar-listed wetland areas in the New England Tablelands region, there’s also excellent birdwatching along the way.
Start at Little Llangothlin picnic area and follow your way around the lagoon on a well-marked walking track. Stop to admire the view and watch the sunlight glistening on the water. Then see how many different bird species you can spot.
With over 100 different bird species found here, there are plenty of birdwatching opportunities. You’ll see black swans and nomadic pelicans in the distance and may even see majestic raptors, such as brown falcons or the white-breasted sea eagle flying overhead. With a bit of luck, you might also catch a glimpse of rare species like the comb-crested jacana and blue-billed duck.
Like the sound of an afternoon surrounded by wetlands, native plants and more birds than you can count? Head to the birdwatching platform at Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve in Guyra. This wooden observation platform sits at the eastern edge of the lagoon, a bustling bird habitat, and is a great place to stop for a picnic, while driving on the New England Highway.
Come face-to-face with a huge variety of birds, including endangered and threatened species. See if you can glimpse the renowned Japanese Snipe, which lives here from August to April, before returning to Japan, and keep an eye out for other migratory birds, including common greenshanks and white-throated needletails.
After watching from the bird hide, why not enjoy a different view with a short walk around the wetlands? There’s no formal track, but it’s easy to walk along the levee bank. Then pause for a picnic, once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, but be sure to protect your sandwiches from any opportunistic ibis.
Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve is easily accessible by driving from Glen Innes and Armidale, making it a great destination for car touring and day trips by the lagoon.
Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve is a hidden gem, ideal for daytrippers and those looking to getaway from it all. It’s only a short drive from Armidale and Glen Innes, yet offers superb birdwatching, bushwalking and picturesque places to picnic.
The reserve protects Ramsar-listed Little Llangothlin Lagoon and the surrounding wetlands, one of the few remaining high altitude freshwater lagoons on the New England Tableland. It provides refuge for over 100 species of birds and an abundance of animals, so no wonder it’s a favourite for birdwatching and wildlife enthusiasts.
Enjoy birdwatching around Little Llangothlin picnic area and wander down to the nearby viewing platform. Or go bushwalking along the easy Lagoon Circuit walking track and take advantage of the many great vantage points to admire this spectacular natural setting along the way.
Hike up Cathedral Rock to sit on a natural throne – perched on 200 metres of stacked boulders – and survey your kingdom. The nearby Round Mountain is the highest point of the New England Tablelands, although only by a royal whisker at 1,584 metres.
The track is most easily accessed from Barokee campground. Follow the circuit clockwise and hike through sub-alpine woodland to the summit turnoff. Rock-hopping is the scientific term for what you’ll be doing for much of the next 400 metres as you clamber over boulders and straddle crevices. On the way back, keep following the circuit around through a protected valley of manna gums.
For the intrepid, pack headlamps and set out to Cathedral Rock at sunrise or sunset. Remember to take your camera, a raincoat, warm clothes, and a flask of coffee to reward yourself with for when you reach the top.
Watch the Guy Fawkes River plunging 100m over two waterfalls at Ebor Falls. Three lookout platforms along the edge of the gorge – upper falls, lower falls and valley view — give spectacular views out into the rugged gorge country.
A walking track links the upper falls and lower falls lookout platforms via the escarpment edge and is an easy walk that’s suitable for children. You can start out at either end and return via the road.
Golden everlasting daisies bloom around the upper falls in the warmer months and rare ground orchids flower in the late spring and summer. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a wedge-tailed eagle soaring above you as you picnic in the grassy woodlands area next to the falls.
The Gumbaynggirr people traditionally called Ebor Falls ‘Martiam’, which means ‘the great falls’.
Bushwalking, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, birdwatching, camping and horse riding are all on your doorstep. You can clamber up the giant boulders in the Cathedral Rock National Park for breathtaking 360-degree views, or, a little further east along Waterfall Way, watch the Ebor Falls cascade dramatically down the cliffs in the Guy Fawkes River National Park. Kayaking and adventuring in the Styx River and the world-heritage-listed New England National Parks are also an easy drive away.
Parks are not the only venues for water sports around here. Copeton Dam, west of Guyra, is a favourite spot for water skiers, while Malpas Dam, to the south, is a popular gathering spot for sailors and rowers. Mother of Ducks Lagoon on the edge of town is a bird watchers’ and picnickers’ paradise. This tranquil body of water is home to black swans and a wide variety of aquatic birds.
A round of golf on the idyllically situated Guyra Golf Course is well worth the walk. A short drive north is Little Llangothlin Lagoon; a wetlands area popular for spotting blue-billed ducks and other birds on their migratory path.
Fusspots at Ebor – Explore the Waterfall Way
One of the most spectacular waterfalls along the aptly named Waterfall Way is Ebor Falls, the majestic falls are adjacent to the tiny town of the same name, Ebor. Fusspots at Ebor is a sweet, family-friendly café offering a classic lineup of sandwiches, salads and light meals, plus a kids’…
The Waterfall Way is one of the main arteries into New England from the east, and it’s aptly named. Weaving through a number of the high country’s world-class national parks, this road promises to defy the advice of 90s pop culture and instead go chasing waterfalls. Here’s our pick of…
The delightful country town of Guyra is located 1330m above sea level on the Northern Tablelands of the Great Dividing Range. There’s a range of places to stay, from pretty campsites, caravan parks and riverside cabins to comfy motels, bed and breakfasts and farmstays. Bushwalking, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, birdwatching,…
With a population of around 2000, and with most business confined to the original main street strip, the town has retained its heritage charm. Pastoralists arrived in the area in the 1830s and the town was established in 1880. The railway stopped running years ago, but the cute station building is now the Guyra Antique Machinery Railway Museum. Speaking of museums, the old Shire Council Chambers is home to the Historical Museum.
Meander along the main street where you’ll find cafes and shops, with local produce. Guyra also boasts one of the best children’s playgrounds in regional NSW. Couple this with a vibrant town centre and it makes for an excellent family outing or stopover point on longer trips. Visit the local hideout of bushranger Captain Thunderbolt (Frederick Wordsworth Ward, 1835–1870), aptly known as Thunderbolts Cave, not far from the village of Black Mountain.
Farms around Guyra have long been known for their potato crops and for producing some of Australia’s finest beef, lamb and wool. Guyra is also famous for tasty, vine-ripened glasshouse tomatoes. The Lamb and Potato Festival held in January each year celebrates the excellence of some of this local produce.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging.
The Armidale Regional Community pays tribute to their love of land, love of people, and love of culture.