EVER since Sir Henry Parkes delivered his Federation Speech in the school of arts in 1889, Tenterfield has been in the consciousness of the Australian public.
Just a three-hour drive south of Brisbane, Tenterfield is known as the gateway to the New England and Northern Rivers regions and is steeped in history.
It was Sir Henry’s speech which ultimately led to federation in 1901.
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Indeed, the town has a “federation feel” with many historic buildings preserved.
These include the offices of The Tenterfield Star, once owned by James Francis (J.F) Thomas and otherwise known as the solicitor who defended Harry “The Breaker” Morant and Peter Handcock.
Tenterfield Historic Walk, takes about an hour and passes historic buildings such as the post office (1881), sandstone obelisk (1894) and the General Sir Harry Chauvel Gallery (Australia's first General was born at Tabulam Station) at Centenary cottage.
One of the oldest cork trees in Australia, grown from seed sown in 1861, provides shade and a pleasant stop in Wood Street.
The town boasts a strong arts and culture scene.
Exhibitions are regularly held at the Artists’ Collective Studio, which also sells artworks, jewellery, pottery and textiles.
Tenterfield Cinema and Theatre, in the Sir Henry Parkes School of Arts, screens latest movies and hosts live, professional and amateur performances.
While in Tenterfield take a drive and visit some of the picturesque surrounding villages, such as Jennings-Wallangarra (twin towns which straddle the NSW-Queensland border) and Drake, where gold was discovered in the 1870s.
Liston is a tiny town nestled in the hills of the Great Dividing Range, once a main stopover for the old Cobb & Co coach route from Brisbane. There is a playground and picnic facilities at Liston Hall.
There are also a number of hotels, motels and farmstays in and around Tenterfield.
The Main Street is dotted with modern and funky cafes and restaurants, serving a variety of delicious food, wine and coffee and featuring local produce.
Temperature wise, Tenterfield is a perfect 26 degrees average during summer.
For more information, visit tenterfieldtourism.com.au