In this historic town in the New England region of NSW, learn about nation-building history, enjoy elegant wineries and explore superb wilderness nearby. Known as the birthplace of Australia, Tenterfield is where Sir Henry Parkes made his famous 1889 speech calling for Australia's federation.

The Tenterfield Oration is credited as being decisive in propelling the Australian colonies towards federation in 1901. You can visit the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts, now a National Trust museum, where the Father of Federation gave his stirring speech.

The Tenterfield Saddler building, made famous by singer Peter Allen

Stroll the streets of Tenterfield and you’ll find many heritage-listed buildings. Pick up a brochure for the town’s self-guided heritage walk from the Tenterfield Visitor Information Centre. Stop by the 1860-built Tenterfield Saddler, made famous by Peter Allen’s song of the same name.

The song, released in 1972, is about the musician’s life and a tribute to his grandfather George Woolnough, who worked at the saddlery. The fascinating Tenterfield Railway Museum is in the 1886-built Tenterfield Station. After exploring the town, visit cool-climate wineries such as Zappa Wines.

Sunset from Timbarra lookout, Basket Swamp National Park, near Tenterfield

Nearby national parks are perfect for outdoor adventure, from bushwalking and swimming to camping and picnicking. Take Boonoo Boonoo Falls walking track to a waterfall that drops 210 metres into a gorge and enjoy eye-popping panoramas in Bald Rock National Park.

There are lots of places to stay in Tenterfield, which is about 70 minutes from Glen Innes, and a scenic drive from Armidale, Byron Bay and Lismore. There’s also train and bus options, or you can fly to nearby airports, including Armidale, Ballina, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and rent a car.