12 best adventure activities of New England

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Heading to the New England High Country and keen to get the adrenaline pumping and heart racing? We've rounded up 12 of the best adventure activities that will do just that! 

WORDS Leah Glynn

1. Soar over New England's gorge country in a WWII-era Warbird plane

There's no better way to see the cavernous gorges, thundering waterfalls and snaking rivers that surround Armidale than from the air, so why not do it in style, in a WWII-era plane? You can guarantee this will appeal to adrenaline junkies and aviation buffs alike. 

2. Hike the Green Gully Track

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This 65km, five night trek is not for the feint-hearted, but complete the Green Gully Track - one of Australia's most acclaimed hikes - and you'll be rewarded with breathtaking scenery. The walk goes through Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and follows a track formerly populated by stockmen, so there is also a strong, cultural significance connected to the hike.

3. Mountain bike The Piney

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Make some serious tracks as you tackle The Piney, one of New England's most demanding mountain bike trails. Snaking through Armidale State Forest, the 15km, signposted track will get the blood pumping in no time!

4. Cycle along Tourist Drive 19

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With top-notch wineries, picture-perfect chapels and historic woolsheds just some of the enticing attractions you'll pass on Tourist Drive 19, the open road between Armidale and Uralla never looked so good! 

5. Horse ride the Bicentennial National Trail

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Giddy up! Passing directly through Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, this epic trail was originally established as a long distance horse riding trek. Nowadays, it can also be enjoyed on pushbike or foot, but make sure to prepare precisely - the 'BNT' traverses through some pretty wild countryside!

6. Go fly-fishing

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Discover (or rediscover) the quiet bliss of fly-fishing. There are various spots to try your hand at fresh water fly-fishing in the New England region, so why not cast a lure and see what's biting.     

7. Rock-climbing the region’s national parks

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The New England High Country, with its sheer cliffs, rocky outcrops and granite boulders, is overflowing with rock-climbing hot spots. There's climbs to suit all levels of experience, but for some seriously thrilling climbs, we recommend Wollomombi Falls, Dangar Gorge or Cathedral Rocks. 

8. Kayak Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

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Get set to ride the rapids on a multi-day kayak adventure through the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Cruise the mighty Macleay River from West-Kunderang Recreational Retreat to George's Junction, and enjoy the 30km of awe-inspiring views .

9. Climb Cathedral Rock

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The challenging climb to the top of Cathedral Rock National Park is well worth rock-hopping over boulders once you finally see the incredible views. Our tip: the hike is best completed at dawn to make the most of cooler conditions, plus there's less people clogging the track! 

10. Ride the Waterfall Way on a motorcycle

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What better way to to tackle the winding, hilly Waterfall Way, than on a motorbike? The aptly named road weaves through the heart of many of New England's national parks (and, obviously, past many a spectacular waterfall), making it a motorcycle trip not to be missed.

11. Drive the Old Glen Innes Road

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This historic former stock route is any 4WD enthusiast's dream drive. Old Glen Innes Road, unsealed from Grafton to Glen Innes, weaves alongside the picturesque Boyd River and packs plenty of heritage, history and incredible scenery along the way. 

12. Go camping in Washpool National Park

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Looking for a great camping spot just out of Glen Innes? Washpool National Park ticks all the boxes when it comes to finding that elusive perfect camping area. In particular, hikers and bird watchers will delight in the natural beauty and abundance of wildlife.