Armidale is a great place to base yourself for exploring the many national parks in the region.  New England National Park is probably the jewel in the crown.  There are also many waterfalls/gorges in the area - Apsley Falls, Tia Falls, Wollomombi Falls (one of the highest in Australia), Ebor Falls, Dangars Falls (or Dangars Gorge) to name a few.

 Armidale itself is a pretty small city, much quieter now that it has been bypassed.  It is especially stunning in the autumn when the deciduous trees present a rainbow of colours.  It is somewhat more cosmopolitan and worldy than could be expected from a rural city, due to the diverse population, especially students from the university.

 Said university (UNE - Armidale) is well worth a drive around.