First settled by Scotsmen
100 km north of Armidale on the New England Highway. Glen Innes was first settled by two hairy Scotsmen. This fact is commemorated in the local Land of the Beardies Museum, which is housed in the old town hospital. Here you can see exhibits and memorabilia from those whiskery times (www.beardieshistoryhouse.info; open 10 am to noon, 1 pm to 4 pm, Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm; entry fee.)
In the late 19thC, Glen Innes became a favourite watering hole with the thirsty bushrangers who roamed these parts having escaped from the penal colonies of the coast. Nowadays, it’s well known as a sapphire-mining centre.
Between April 30th and May 3rd Glen Innes hosts the Australian Celtic Festival, celebrating what you’d expect, Celtic culture in Australia – a riotous occasion featuring music, as well as beard-growing competitions and much desperate slaking of thirst.
A notable feature of the landscape is the made-made standing stones. In Australia’s Bicenturary Year, 1988, the Celtic Council of Australia decided to petition the building of a monument to the founding Celtic people of Australia. Eventually the idea of the standing stones, which are inspired by the Ring of Brodgar, in Scotland were erected and officially opened on 1st February 1992. Each of the six stones is 3.7 m tall, three were discovered naturally in the local region, while another three were split from larger rocks from the Snowy Mountain region and transported to Glen Innes.