Lorraine & Ian's southern trek travel blog

Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Didgeridoo player

University of New England. Chancellor & Vice Chancellor rooms here.

Beautiful stained glass history of 'Gordon of Khartoum' and stairway

Carpet made to exact design of original lino.

Stained glass window

Stained glass window in boardroom

Ian in naughty corner! No - showing where people were sat in...

Board Room

Front of building where graduation ceremonies are held.

2/5/2017 Armidale

We slept in till 7.45am - much warmer in bed than out! We did an Armidale Heritage Tour this morning, and I mistakenly thought it started at 9am, so was in a rush to get ready, only to be reminded that it started at 10am. Oh well - that's my mistake for the day!

The tour was fantastic. It's a free tour, but donations are welcome, and we had no hesitation in leaving money in the tin. Our driver was friendly and helpful, and the guide named Gloria, a retired school teacher who also set up and ran a private Kindergarten, was very knowledgeable and a real wag, with a great sense of humour. She's lived in Armidale all her life, and loves it and is very proud of her city. We were shown some lovely old pubs, most which have been restored to their original beauty; 2 cathedrals - Catholic and also the Anglican, which years ago, needed a lot of repair, so the ladies held weekly cake stalls, and raised so much money that the repairs were paid for and there was enough left over to build a bell tower including bells - and it's said that some of the ringers are from the Catholic Church; beautiful old Presbyterian and Methodist churches; Courthouse and Police Station; Post Office and Schools, along with parks which are spectacular with trees in their autumn dress, New England Regional Art Museum where we saw a painting by Margaret Olley, the Aboriginal Cultural Centre & Keeping Place where a young man who had only learned just before Christmas time, played the didgeridoo, the Armidale Railway Station Museum where we were given a talk and had a cuppa, numerous other small but just as interesting points of interest, and finally, the University of New England, which was originally Booloominbah Homestead. We went inside and saw a couple of the rooms and heard such interesting stories about how the carpet was made with exactly the same pattern as the original lino, and how they came to have a beautiful old carved dining chair, and saw some great stained glass windows. The old buildings are beautiful with such history, but we also saw some modern 'multi-coloured boxes' which fortunately, were well away from the historical buildings. The grounds are enormous and contain some century old trees - minus the Bunya Pine which was chopped down because 'a nut could fall down and hit someone on the head'. As our guide said, it hadn't happened in over 100 years! Stupidity in action! This is just a part of what we heard today - such an interesting and informative tour, and for anyone passing through Armidale, well worth doing.

The tour went overtime, and we were hungry by the time it finished, so we bought chicken and chips for lunch, then checked out the shops before buying a few groceries and heading home. It has turned quite cool, and we were pleased to go into our vans, unload the shopping and stay put for the night.

A great day!

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