Tenterfield is a prosperous rural service centre noted for its impressive stands of deciduous trees which are particularly impressive in autumn. It is situated in a shallow valley 882 metres above sea-level at the northern end of the New England Tablelands and surrounded by rugged mountains and impressive national parks. The town’s main claim to fame, which is reflected in a genuinely fascinating museum, is that it is ‘The Birthplace of the Nation’. It was in the town, in 1889, that Henry Parkes delivered a crucial speech about the need for Australian Federation which led to the establishment of Australia as a nation in 1901. Today Tenterfield is surrounded by rich sheep and cattle country. As well it is known for its orchards and in recent times it has become an important cold climate wine area (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).
Today we left the Gold Coast behind us and headed inland to Tenterfield. It was a big drive as we had to travel up the infamous Cunninghams Gap; a pass over the Great Dividing Range between the Darling Downs and the Fassifern Valley in Queensland. We were glad that we were taking the uphill route and not downhill as the toll on your brakes would have been significant (maplink).
Arriving in the lovely town of Tenterfield we checked into Tenterfield Lodge and Caravan Park for a one night stay. We asked the park owner about any interesting drives and he suggested taking the scenic drive out to Mount Mackenzie.
The drive was mostly gravel (along Kildaire Rd), using the map the caravan park gave us, but the scenery is incredible with huge granite boulders and heaps of wildlife. Totally recommend this little tour. We ended at the Mt Mackenzie lookout which has panoramic views over the valley taking in the Tenterfield township.