History & Heritage

Tenterfield is one of the country’s most significant historical areas. Known as the ‘Birthplace of our Nation’ – Sir Henry Parkes delivered his famous Federation Speech in the Tenterfield School of Arts in 1889, which ultimately led to the Federation of all Australian States in 1901. The preservation of a number of landmark buildings gives the township of Tenterfield a ‘Federation’ feel. See the History page for more information on Tenterfield’s involvement in the war efforts and its political and indigenous history.

Centenary Cottage Museum

Tenterfield Centenary Cottage Museum consists of the Cottage Museum, General Sir Harry Chauvel Gallery, Petrie Pioneer Cottage and various examples of machinery from a bygone era.  

General Sir Harry Chauvel Gallery – Australia’s first General was born at Tabulam Station.  His i

Historic Cork Tree

Tenterfield’s giant cork tree, still growing in Wood Street, was brought from England by Edward Parker in a jam tin in 1861. It is believed to be one of the largest Cork trees in Australia. Although not as old as some of the trees dotted around the English countryside, our Cork Tree flourishes in

Historic Stannum House

This Tenterfield landmark is a fully restored Victorian-era Italianate villa. On the ground floor are three display rooms packed with antiques, together with our buffet restaurant ($9.95 breakfast, lunch & dinner).

Upstairs are four beautiful bedrooms used for B&B accommdation. St

Paddy's Flat Tank Traps

The Tank Traps at Paddy’s Flat were another integral part of Australia’s defences during World War II.

There are 26 concrete pyramids that were cast onsite and then connected together by steel cable in the river. Timber posts were also buried in the ground on the bank either side of the r

Pioneer Cottage Museum, Urbenville

Come along for a visit and a chat on the verandah. Talk about your memories of the district, bring along photos and/or memorabilia to share. 

Sir Henry Parkes

BEST REMEMBERED FOR his fiery and impassioned support for the Federation of the Australian colonies, Sir Henry Parkes made his most famous speech in the Federation campaign to the people of Tenterfield at the Tenterfield School of Arts on October 24, 1889. He won immortality as the “Father of Fed

Sir Henry Parkes School of Arts

PLEASE NOTE:  The Tenterfield School of Arts (encompassing the Museum, Cinema, Theatre and Library) is currently closed until further notice (Covid-19 related)

The Sir Henry Parkes School of Arts is a m

Tenterfield & District Historical Society

The Society aims to foster and maintan a widespread interest in the study of the history of Australia through the preservation, collection and display of both physicla and documentary material relating to the history and environment of the Tenterfield Shire in New South Wales. 

Tenterfield Soundtrails

Discover our region through audio stories.

The Tenterfield soundtrail carries you up the creek and down the main street of town, and into the history, the hearts and minds of the locals. Hear stories of the ghosts in the jailhouse, the playful patter of what it means to be a local, talkin

Tenterfield Station Homestead

Tenterfield Station is an outstanding example of a significant historic rural complex with a high degree of original fabric. The station includes an 1890s homestead and a group of rural station buildings, including barns, a blacksmith and butcher shop, and an iconic water tank stand. Its so

Wallangarra Railway Cafe

Open 7 days a week for Breakfast & Lunch. Visit the Railway Museum! Delicious food and coffee in amazing surrounds. Available for functions also!

World War II Tank Traps

The World War II Tank Traps were believed at the time to be part of the ‘Brisbane Line’. The road was, until the early 1950s, the New England Highway and the only all-weather road from Sydney to Brisbane. These tank traps were 1km north of a major training camp, the London Bridge Army Camp.

Tenterfield Historic Walk

Tenterfield was gazetted as a town in 1851, and the Tenterfield Historic Walk includes a large number of landmark buildings in the town. The walk takes about an hour. Pick up a brochure from the Tenterfield Visitor Information Centre (157 Rouse Street).

Some key landmarks on the historic

Tenterfield Railway Museum

The Station opened in 1886 and is a rare survival of something that was once common throughout NSW.   It is an almost intact nineteenth century railway precinct.  When the line was completed to the border in 1888, Sydney and Brisbane were linked by rail for the first time.  Service

Tenterfield Saddler


PLEASE NOTE:  The Tenterfield Saddler is currently closed until further notice (Covid-19 related)

For 50 years this quaint blue-granite Saddlery on High Street was the meeting place for those who enjoyed discussions

Thunderbolt's Hideout

Frederick Ward, better known as “Captain Thunderbolt” (1836-1870), was well known throughout the Tenterfield district. There are many caves and hideouts in the New England area, but few are as easy to visit as the one in Tenterfield.

Thunderbolt’s Hideout is 12km from Tenterfield, and is