New England is a beautiful and intriguing area of NSW, higher than the coast and so much colder, with some areas receiving snow during the winter – others whitened by frost. Driving through the New England area the tourist will notice many huge rock formations – or just single, huge rocks sitting out in the middle of the paddocks. The New England region encompasses Tamworth and Armidale to the north and Walcha and Nowendoc further south. It is bounded by Werrikimber Mountain to the Great Dividing Range.
The eastern fringe is bordered by several well-known national parks such as Washpool, Guy Fawkes, Dorrigo, New England and Oxley National Parks. Much of the New England region is above 800 metres above sea level, with some towering to 1600. Rocky gorges are common in many areas, with the vegetation being distinctive to the region.
The main part of the New England region is a plateau so while the climb up is steep, once on top the geography is more of a few rolling hills, but with much flat area as well. Both sheep and cattle do well in the region. Steep gorges on the eastern side of the plateau drain into several major rivers such as the Clarence and Macleay. On the western side tributaries lead into the Namoi, Gwydir and Severn rivers, forming part of the Murray-Darling Basin. Ebor and Wollomombi both have beautiful waterfalls. Good catchment areas have seen the building of several large dams such as the Copeton, Keepit, Chaffey and Split Rock dams.
The New England Highway is a well-constructed road that services the area, linking major centres such as Tamworth, Armidale, Tenterfield and Glen Innes. The Oxley, Gwydir and Bruxner highways dissect the region from east to west. The area was first opened to settlement in the 1830s after explorers John Oxley and Alan Cunningham crossed the southern and western edges.