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Choose to explore the fascinating mining or mountain villages of Glen Innes Highlands and be transported back in time.
Our three mining villages of Emmaville, Torrington and Deepwater have richly contrasting landscapes immersed in the history of the mining boom days. Take Tour Drive 11 – a 140km round trip including sights of rolling pastures of the New England, majestic trees and the mining country of our famous Reddestone sapphires.
The mountain villages in Tour Drive 2 starts take you on a journey through the rolling New England countryside and majestic views of Elm and Poplar trees, aflame with colour in autumn. Explore the towering granite boulders and parklands at the Stonehenge Recreation Park and view the famous Balancing Rock before stopping for lunch at Glencoe’s Red Lion Tavern.
Emmaville boomed after the discovery of tin in the local creek in 1872 and was initially known as Vegetable Creek after the Chinese market gardens planted vegetables to feed the settlement.
By the early 1900s the mining town’s population swelled to 7000 including 2000 Chinese, with 5 hotels, a joss house, school, postal services and a hospital. Australia’s first Medical Benefits Fund and St John’s Ambulance service both began in Emmaville.
Today the town is home to a proud community of 300 people. Take time to explore the streets and many of the original public buildings, miner’s cottages and cemetery.
Don’t miss the Emmaville Mining Museum for a real glimpse into the local history. Enjoy a counter meals or drink and have a chat with the locals in one of the town’s original hotels.
The picturesque village of Glencoe is 22km south of Glen Innes. Glencoe was named by early European settlers after Glencoe, Scotland.
The small farming village has an elevation of 1,150 metres and population of approximately 200. After a long day of fossicking and fishing stop into the newly renovated Red Lion Tavern, an atmospheric old English style pub. Perfect for lunch, dinner and refreshments. The Glencoe Sports ground is located on the northern side of the village and is a great spot for birdwatching. Located north of Glencoe is the Balancing Rock and the scenic views and large boulders at the Stonehenge Recreational Reserve.
Deepwater is located 35km North of Glen Innes on the New England Highway. The village was established in 1838 and is home to a thriving community of 400 people, many still directly related to the original settler families.
With the opening of the Great Northern Railway Line in 1886, Deepwater became a bustling township exporting, wool, dairy, livestock, meat and mining products.
Today you will find historic buildings still in existence including the Picture Theater, Court House, Post Office, School of Arts, Deepwater Public School, and the General Store. The area is largely agriculturally focused, with the main pursuits being wool, fat lamb and beef cattle production. In January the town comes alive with over 3,000 people visiting for the annual Deepwater Races. While in town you can enjoy a meal from one of the two hotels, bakery, roadhouse or Deepwater brewing. Other popular activities include fishing, site seeing, farm stays and camping along the beautiful river frontage. Download maps
The little hamlet of Dundee is located between the Deepwater and Glen Innes.
Dundee is the gateway to Rangers Valley Feedlot. Home to the districts first flour mill and the Severn River Rail Bridge – the longest timber truss bridge in Australia.
Surrounded by grazing and farming properties, Dundee holds an annual Campdraft which is a fun family event. Visit the historic cemetery with magnificent wrought iron gates and enjoy the scenic countryside.
The discovery of the extremely rich Torrington tin lode in 1881 created much excitement but in a very short time the small prospectors had lost control to overseas mining companies, the precursors of today's multi-nationals.
In the 1920s, 500 men were employed at the mines. Mining has given way to fossicking and tourism and now visitors enjoy the spectacular scenery of rocky granite outcrops, steep gorges, gently flowing streams as well as fossicking for topaz, quartz and the many minerals found in the area.
Torrington State Recreation Area has more than 30,000 ha of wildlife featuring the famous Old Mystery Face, Captain Thunderbolt's Lookout and many other spectacular rock formations, streams and waterfalls. The Reserve is recognized as being of State significance for conservation, mining, honey production, recreation and cultural heritage.
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