New England Tableland is bounded by the Hunter River on the
south, the Queensland border on the north, the escarpment and
coastal plain on the east, the inland slopes on the west.
This forms a rough rectangle about 400 x 180 km, ranging in
height above sea level from about 800 m to 1586 m at Round
Mountain on the eastern escarpment. This is the highest point
between the Australian Alps and Mount Bartle Frere in North
It's possible to walk comfortably all year round as the summers
are relatively cool. A 4-season sleeping bag is essential for
the frosty winter nights which are usually followed by sunny days. Annual
rainfall is around 760 mm with more falling in summer, often as
New England Highway curls around the south-western side of the
tablelands before bisecting the plateau north-south. From this
highway, roads branch off to the east from the main tableland
towns of Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Armidale, Uralla and Walcha.
These roads, from north to south, are the Gwydir Highway, the
Waterfall Way, the Oxley Highway and Thunderbolts and Bucketts
Way. They give access to gorge and escarpment wilderness areas
as they head towards the northern coast of NSW.
great range of altitudes, landforms and soils in the New England
Tableland provide a variety of environments supporting about
3000 plant species and endangered animals such as the
brush-tailed rock wallaby. The temperate rainforests of New
England and Washpool National Parks form a link in the chain of
Gondwana rainforests of north-eastern Australia along the
coastal escarpment. They have World Heritage listing.