Sydney's Daily Telegraph (Armidale has beaten out some of Australia's top destinations as the place to head for holidays) was a little surprised at this one I quote:
"For savvy holiday-makers seeking out the best Aussie destinations in 2014, Armidale is the place to be.
Australian Traveller, one of the nation's top-selling travel magazines, has named the historic New England town as one of the hottest places in Oz to visit this year, third behind only the Kimberley region of Western Australia and the Top End....
But, according to the Australian Traveller list, Armidale beat even the Whitsundays, the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Victoria's "foodie" region and the entire state of Tasmania, among other higher profile destinations on the list, due to its "city-esque vibe amid a country landscape".....
Editor Georgia Rickard said yesterday the list was based on domestic travel trends over the past 12 months and feedback from a recent survey of more than 1000 Australian travellers.
"Armidale is an unusual choice but, surprisingly, it kept popping up across the board," she said.
"It has a reputation of being just another country town, and not necessarily a particularly sexy one. But in fact it's a stunning place with a thriving food culture, beautiful architecture and it is so close to some gorgeous natural surrounds.""
Armidale is a beautiful place. It really is. I was interested in the comments on the story. One person wrote: " Try Newcastle. Beaches, wineries, nice people, like Sydney was 20 years ago. Oh - also has the largest salt water lake in the southern hemisphere...." Newcastle is nice and achieved a much bigger ranking - Newcastle makes Lonely Planet top ten global cities, 2011. Armidale can't quite make that!
Another commenter said: "The place closes down after 12noon on the weekend." Ouch.