Tenterfield sits astride the Great Dividing Range at the northern end of the New England Highway, 18kms from the Queensland border.
A town of four seasons, Tenterfield has a mild spring with a moderate alpine summer climate followed by a glorious autumn when the many deciduous trees display their russet-gold foliage. The winters combine warm sunny days with clear crisp nights.
One of the most romantic and colourful of Australia's frontier towns, Tenterfield is known as "The Birthplace of Our Nation" -Sir Henry Parkes delivering his famous Federation Speech in the Tenterfield School of Arts on 24th October 1889. This Speech ultimately led to the Federation of all Australian States on January 1st 1901.
Some of the well-known characters who helped to shape the town were:
Captain Thunderbolt (alias Fred Ward), a bushranger in the area in the mid 1880s
Local solicitor Major J.F. Thomas, noted for his defence of Harry "The Breaker" Morant
A B "Banjo" Patterson, married local girl Alice Walker from Tenterfield Station at St Stephens Presbyterian Church in 1903
Peter Allen, the International entertainer, was born here, grandson of "The Tenterfield Saddler", whom he immortalised in his hauntingly beautiful song.
New residents in Tenterfield? Check out these websites for more information:
Boonoo Boonoo Falls National Park
Boonoo Boonoo Falls National Park - (pronounced "bunna boonoo" meaning "big rocks). The Falls cascade over the eastern edge of the New England tableland crashing 220 metres into the rainforest and gorges below. An old gold field, Morgans Gully, can be visited while in the Park. Excellent swimming, camping and picnic areas – gas cooking galley under cover provided in both picnic and camping areas.
Bald Rock National Park
Bald Rock National Park – rises 260 metres above the surrounding bushland and is a massive 750 metres long and 500 metres wide – the largest exposed granite monolith in the southern hemisphere. Your reward for the climb is panoramic views across boulder-studded landscape – a gentle 3 kms circuit along Bundoonga Wallk saving the short but steep descent for the end of the circuit. Mt Lindesay Road is sealed from Tenterfield to Bald Rock.
Basket Swamp National Park
Basket Swamp National Park -bush camping facilities are provided in this waterlogged Park. 200 hectares of heath and sedges, cleans, stores and slowly releases water throughout the year into local creeks and eventually to the Clarence River. This is a woodland park without facilities that would suit self-reliant bushwalkers. It includes Timbarra Lookout and gives access to nearby Basket Swamp Falls and the Woollool Woolloolni Aboriginal Place. Boonoo State Forest, which has a picnic and camping area with tables and toilet, is directly north.
The scene of a massacre in 1844, this unusual granite outcrop keeps its secrets. There is no evidence of this terrible time, but the majestic beauty of this huge granite rock remains. Geologically, Bluff Rock consists of molten magma which cooled beneath the earth's surface about 225 million years ago. Subsequent uplift and erosion have exposed it. Bluff rock stands above the surrounding area because it has been more erosion resistant due to having fewer cracks which water can penetrate and accelerate the erosion process. The viewing area is 10kms to the south of Tenterfield.