Glen Innes is a town of surprises. Situated on one of the nation's major north-south routes, the New England Highway, this working, rural hub services a sizeable area of northern NSW, yet the evidence of its enviable pioneering history has endured many changes. The Celtic connection is as strong today as it was when its pioneers first settled here.
Set in the most prolific sapphire region of Country NSW, Glen Innes hosts the annual Minerama Fossicking and Gem Show and the annual Australian Celtic Festival, and is home to the Australian Standing Stones.
This charming rural town boats glorious parks, stately heritage-listed buildings, book shops, boutiques and collectables shops.
Set high in the Northern Tablelands of NSW, Glen Innes enjoys kind summers, so is a great place to escape the summer heat, though occasionally in winter there's a dusting of snow and mornings can often be frosty. Within a short drive there is much to see and do in an area stretching from the Queensland border to Armidale, from the Pacific beaches to the Western Slopes.
With rainforests, waterfalls, extensive grazing country, mountains, fossicking and huge, beautiful skies, there is something around here to interest everyone in the family.
The original owners of Glen Innes and surrounding areas are the Ngoorabul people.The Ngoorabul name of the township of Glen Innes is Gindaaydjin, meaning "plenty of big round stones on clear plains". The arrival of European settlers saw the significant disruption of the life of Ngoorabul people, with widespread loss of life through massacres, disease and poisoning. Many Ngoorabul people continue to live in the Glen Innes area, still practising many aspects of their traditional culture and way of life.
In about 1838 Archibald Boyd registered the first run in the Glen Innes district. Two stockmen known as "the Beardies" because of their long beards took Boyd to this area to establish his run. The Beardies later introduced other squatters to the best runs in the area to become known as the Land of the Beardies or Beardie Plains.
The name Glen Innes is believed to be bestowed by Mosman in honour of Innes. Glen Innes was gazetted as a town in 1852, and the first lots were sold in 1854.
The town boats a railway station that was once part of the Main North Line. These days the line is closed at this point so the station is not in use. The buildings have been reused.