Armidale is a city in the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia. Armidale had a population of 24,504 as at June 2018. It is the administrative centre for the Northern Tablelands region. It is approximately halfway between Sydney and Brisbane at the junction of the New England Highway and Waterfall Way.
In Armidale, the presence of four distinct seasons make it climatically unlike most of Australia; hence, the “New England” moniker and the autumn colours are notable features of the city. Summers are characterised by warm to very warm days followed almost always by cool, sometimes cold, nights. Thunderstorms often produce heavy falls of rain and occasionally hail in the afternoons and early evenings, also bringing a sudden drop in temperature. Unlike nearby coastal areas, Armidale does not usually experience high humidity levels making most of the summer days quite comfortable.
Before the British colonial settlement of New South Wales, the Indigenous Anēwan people occupied the area that encompasses current day Armidale.
Armidale was first settled in the early 1830s, following the earlier exploration of the area by John Oxley. It was named after Armadale on the Isle of Skye in Scotland by George James MacDonald. MacDonald was the Commissioner of Crown Lands and head of the local Border Police detachment in the New England district from 1839 to 1848.
Oxley recommended the region for grazing, and soon early pioneers set up small farms in the locality. The James Barnet-designed heritage-listed Armidale Post Office opened on 1 April 1843. The town, which was surveyed in 1848 and gazetted in 1849, was established to provide a market and administration for the farms, but soon after gold was discovered at nearby Rocky River and Gara Gorges, and a gold rush ensued, enlarging the town rapidly in the 1850s.