With heritage, charm and natural beauty on its doorstep, Tenterfield is a quaint town with a big story.
Here’s five reasons to visit:
- Learn about Federation at the Sir Henry Parkes Museum
Considered the birthplace of Australian Federation, Tenterfield is where Sir Henry Parkes made his Federation call during a public address on October 24, 1889, known as the ‘Tenterfield Oration’. You can visit the very hall in which he made that speech, which is now the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts Museum. The building also houses a theatre, cinema, and café.
The museum tells Australian history through state of the art technology and exhibition design. It focuses on themes including Sir Henry Parkes’ Federation call, his life and collections, Tenterfield’s connection with Australian Federation and Federation’s influence and impact on social, cultural and economic life.
- Take a scenic meander up Mount Mackenzie Drive
This scenic drive is just an hour return loop from town and weaves through farmland and impressive granite outcrops – the likes of which define the landscape in this part of New England – and eventually climbs to the top of Mount Mackenzie.
The view is nothing short of stunning, some 1298m above sea level with a vista stretching over the town of Tenterfield to the Great Dividing Range beyond and across the border in Queensland. Pack a picnic, because there are barbecue facilities and picnic tables awaiting you at the top.
- See if ‘time is a traveller’ at the Tenterfield Saddler
Immortalised in song by Peter ‘The Boy From Oz’ Allen, The Tenterfield Saddler is a quaint bluestone cottage that served as a meeting place for local discussions and scuttlebutt for more than a century. Saddler George Woolnough soaked up the chatter and opinions of his many friends who wandered in as he worked away on his fine leather products.
One famous customer was poet and author Banjo Paterson, who lived in the town for a short while and married a local girl, Alice Walker of Tenterfield Station, in 1903.
- Step back in time at the Tenterfield Railway Museum
Housed in the impressive gothic architecture of the former Tenterfield Railway Station on a quiet backstreet, the museum hosts an impressive array of railway relics from passenger and freight trains to luggage carts and other equipment including suitcases, curios and railway advertisements from throughout the 20th century. Oh, and someone here is an avid gardener, as the entire museum is adorned in plants, ferns and greenery.
- Enjoy country hospitality at its best from fine dining to hearty country pubs
The Tenterfield region offers a myriad of dining options, including inviting cafes with rustic charm, hearty country pubs and restaurants. Enjoy talking with the locals or relaxing with a local wine or craft beer at the bar or by an open fireplace in winter. Many of Tenterfield’s dining establishments are housed in lovingly restored buildings laden with history – if walls could talk!