Because there is only 26 letters in the alphabet and because Australia is a vast country each letter will include two locations starting with that letter. The second A is Armidale on the New England Tableland in New South Wales.
Armidale makes the cut because it is the home of The University of New England- UNE – and it is from this uni that I gained my double degree; plugging away as a part time, external student. UNE was ahead of its time catering to hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of external students, long before on-line delivery of course material became the norm. During my time as a student trips to Armidale were made to attend various residential schools and ultimately for Graduation.
Situated midway between the capital cities of Sydney in NSW and Brisbane in Qld, Armidale is located on the New England Highway. It is about 150kms inland from the coastal city of Coffs Harbour and has a population of approximately 25.000, making it the central and major city of the NSW Northern Tablelands. It is 980 metres above sea level and is home to the highest commercial airport in Australia.
The countryside surrounding Armidale is stunningly beautiful. As well as being prime grazing country for sheep and cattle, the natural beauty extends to national parks, forests, mountain gorges, majestic waterfalls and rolling hills. The area experiences four distinct seasons with autumn bringing a blaze of red and gold as leaves fall and winter is jolly cold. Most of the res schools were in June/July and one surely needed to pack warm clothes!
The city’s beautiful heritage listed buildings, cathedrals and schools are an indication of the historic agricultural wealth of the district. European settlement commenced when squatters moved into the area around 1832.
Armidale, absolutely worth a visit.