The town of Glen Innes was gazetted at the height of the gold rush in 1852. Today’s Glen Innes Highlands citizens cherish the area’s Celtic heritage. It was a public-spirited group who established the Australian Standing Stones, a megalithic array similar to those found in the ancient Celtic world. They are unique in the southern hemisphere and have been officially recognised as the national monument to Australia’s Celtic pioneers. The Stones are the venue for the annual Australian Celtic Festival held on the first weekend in May.
Spend time in Glen Innes Highlands country and it is easy to forget you are in the 21st century.
Much of the area’s pioneering spirit has been preserved at the Land of the Beardies History House Museum and Emmaville Mining Museum, for example.
The Glen Innes Highlands town centre contains over 50 heritage-listed buildings. The Showgrounds are a beautifully preserved example of 19th century pavilions and grand stands.
Many locals are keeping traditional crafts alive. You will find crafts that date from the area’s pioneering days – saddlers, blacksmiths and farriers. There are glass blowers and stained glass makers, a boutique distillery, dance and drama schools and troupes, painters, sculptors and potters. A visit to Glen Innes Highlands is a chance to watch them at work or learn a new craft.
For a small regional town, some visitors are surprised that Glen Innes Highlands is home to several collectable books stores with close to a quarter of a million books in stock.
So, where to start? Well, that’s really dependent on your interests. Download the application and commence your historic journey.