Glen Innes is famous for its countryside, highways, country roads and spectacular views. One of our favourite drives is the Ben Lomond Drive which takes you south of Glen Innes with some very appetising refreshment stops on the way! Often referred to as Tour Drive 2, the Mountain Villages Drive we just refer to it as the Ben Lomond Drive. You will find a brochure via this link.
When planning this trip, skip the morning coffee because we recommend stopping just 2 km south of Glen Innes at the famous Super Strawberry.
It is well-known for its incredibly decadent strawberry milkshakes and fresh scones with strawberry jam and cream. They also serve Byron Bay Coffee along with some savoury options. A great place to have a late breakfast or morning tea before heading off to explore.
Continue down the New England Highway for a further 10km and keep your eye out for the stone gateway on the left which is the entrance to an area referred to as Stonehenge Recreation Reserve. It has an elevation of 1067 metres and is home to spectacular frosty morning. Take the time to have a wander through the acres of parklands that are home to a stunning collection of scattered granite boulders. There are lots of shady spots to sit and watch the world go by and often you will find sheep grazing among the boulders. If you have kids with you, there is also a small playground and lots of room for them to run to let off steam!
When you return to the New England Highway, keep an eye out for Balancing Rock which is just 500 metres south. There is a spot to pull over safely, and you will be able to see Balancing Rock from the highway. This large boulder is balanced on a point on another boulder and is worth a photo or two!
Continue heading south and enjoy the country views. Keep an eye out for Blairmore on your left, which is one of the most photographed driveways in the New England area. This is a great spot to stop and take a photo as this poplar lined driveway is truly stunning, but please keep in mind that this is private property.
As you approach Glencoe to the south, it might be time for another refreshment stop! Keep an eye out on the right for the historic Red Lion Tavern which is open from Wednesday to Sunday. Enjoy lunch and some refreshments in front of the fire during winter months or soak up some sunshine in their outdoor area during our warmer months.
After lunch, continue south on the New England Highway and take the right turn to Ben Lomond. This poplar lined road is another popular spot for photographers during autumn. This road winds high into the Ben Lomond range that has an elevation of 1500 metres. Stop and visit the town of Ben Lomond whose station (circa 1844) was the highest station on the Northern Line. We recommend returning via Maybole and Graham’s Valley. This return route home is slightly slower than the option that takes you a little further south on the sealed Ben Lomond road but it is spectacular. The Maybole road takes you along the top of the range along 12km of unsealed single lane country roads. You will enjoy incredible panoramic views to the east and west so take your time and enjoy the drive.
This road will bring you to the New England Highway which then returns you to Glen Innes. A perfect way to end the day is to head to the Australian Standing Stones and if you are lucky you will catch one of our colourful sunsets. Then come back and unwind at the Hereford Steakhouse Char Grill!