After the Scenic Rim we travelled south to our night accommodation in Tenterfield NSW. Tenterfield is mainly known as the “Birthplace of our Nation” because it is in this lovely historic town that Henry Parkes (considered the Father of Federation) first argued for the idea of having a Federation of States for Australia.
Tenterfield has a lovely array of historic building both in the township itself and in the surrounding region. The township lays claim to historic buildings including the Post Office, Court House and Goal and Police Buildings – all built around 1860.
As Tenterfield is situated atop the Great Dividing Range, autumn and spring deliver the most wonderful colours to the region. Many ornamental trees have been planted in and around Tenterfield and the golden and red colours during the autumn change bring visitors from all over Australia. As with most townships in Australia, Tenterfield boasts a glorious Avenue of Honour in memory of all those men who fought and died during the First World War 1914-1918. Just after the war had finished, the leading avenues into the town were planted with ornamental trees and now, almost 100 years later these trees are a magnificent site – especially as the leaves begin to turn at the beginning of autumn.
There is plenty of accommodation available in Tenterfield, with all levels of comfort available. My favourite accommodation is at the Bowls Club, who have built some 10 double bed units and these are available for a very reasonable cost. And of course, the motel units are situated in the bowling club precinct, there’s no problem of drink-driving. Just a stroll away is a great restaurant within the Bowls Club.
From Tenterfield we travel south to Glen Innes, Inverell, Bingara, Barraba, Manilla, and finally over night at Gunnedah. Glen Innes and Inverell are typical country towns that have a population of 6,000 and 10,000 respectively.
We stopped at a little park in Inverell for a cuppa and were really taken with this town. We’ve marked this place as somewhere to come back to some day and further explore. The architecture of this town has very pretty and a lot of original buildings and facades have been saved and renovated.
We headed off to a town called Bingara, where we had pencilled in an important stop. This township has one of only two original Greek cafes in Australia (the other is in Katoomba NSW). This café sits alongside the Roxy Theatre. This beautiful theatre and café was built by three Greek immigrants in 1936 and was used as a film and live theatre until it was closed in 1958 due to a dwindling population and the advent of television. It sat unused and untouched for forty years.
Luckily in 2004, a group of interested citizens joined forces, and with the help of sponsors and grants, restored the theatre and adjoining café to their original grandeur. Many of the original fixtures and fittings had been removed and were recovered from many backyards and pastures throughout the surrounding region. The original art deco architecture is a joy to behold and has been completely renovated using the original colours of the day. We were given a tour of the facility and it was a great experience. Certainly worth the time to visit.
We travelled on to Gunnedah to our overnight stop. Gunnedah is the major regional centre in this part of NSW, with all the financial and social services a community needs. The main street was very busy and certainly looked prosperous. We drove up to the highest point in the area to a lookout called Penioners Hill and took this shot overlooking Gunnedah.
A good night sleep was in order, as the next day we had a rather long day ahead of us. We were heading south to Canowindra.