The Boy from Oz

Tenterfield Travel Blog

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The "Tenterfield Saddlery", made famous by Peter Allen's song about his grandfather George Woolnough. Still operates as a saddlery today.
Today was the big day, arriving in the birthplace of Peter Allen, a true-blue, dinky-di, all-Aussie legend if ever there was one!  And in true legend form, the tourist information centre has on display one of Peter's ruffled show shirts, trousers and maracas - understate elegance at its best.  Surprisingly, whilst there is quite a bit of Peter Allen information around, there's not as much as we thought there would be.  Apart from the "Peter Allen Motor Inn" as you drive into town, there is not much obvious connection in the town.  We must not forget, either, the Tenterfield Saddler's building.  This was owned by George Woolnough, Peter's grandfather, and features in the song of the same name.  The building is now a leather goods shop, but the very friendly lady there is happy for you to look around at the memorabilia.  We did a walking tour of the town (courtesy of a free map from the tourist info) which took us around many of the historic buildings and places.  Although many don't know it, Tenterfield is a very important historical site for Australian history, being know as "the birthplace of Federation".  Sir Henry Parkes gave his famous Federation Speech on 24 October 1889 in the Tenterfield School of Arts, laying the foundation for the union of the various colonies.  In the town itself, this is emphasised much more than the Peter Allen connection.  Tenterfield is a really lovely little town with some beautiful old buildings and is worth a visit.
We should say that on the way from Tamworth to Tenterfield we drove through Armidale, which looked a nice place, a Glen Innes which features Australia's own standing stones.  Glen Innes is really capitalising on the celtic connection and has a festival every year, including Australia's largest Scottie Dog Picnic - that might be worth seeing!  Hundreds of little Scotties all trying to kill each other, being the territorial little things they are - Mum and Dad's Scottie (Geordie) would love it!
Another famouse personage of this area is the bushrange Captain Thunderbolt (Fred Ward) and there are also plenty of "Capt Thunderbolt slept/ate/drank/died here" sites!  We saw a sign on the highway near Uralla pointing to his hideout up in the mountains, but we think it might have collapsed (being an old cave) because not much there anymore.  The best Thunderbolt hideout is just outside Tenterfield, you can walk up to it just off the road.  Only about 1km up the road from the cave are a set of World War II tank traps.  We all learn in Australian history at school about the "Brisbane Line" whereby if the Japanese had invaded the mainland, only the area under a line drawn roughly from Brisbane to Adelaide would be defended, but we didn't realise that this actually had a physical manifestation to it.  The tank traps are huge posts which have been sunk into the gullies through the mountain range with the purpose of stopping any Japanese tanks from getting over the pass.  They have rotted down a bit smaller now, but still really interesting to see this part of history still.
Tonight Tenterfield treated us to a huge thunder storm which resulted in lightning and rain all night - it would be great if we could send it down south!
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The Tenterfield Saddlery, made f…
The "Tenterfield Saddlery", made …
photo by: theonionlady