Tenterfield's Out of Town Adventures
Last updated May 1, 2023
After a big working week, why not throw on a backpack for a memorable out of town adventure - there are endless ways to experience the great variety of man-made and natural environments within just a few hours’ drive.
Wander through historic streetscapes, bushwalk or cycle along country roads and secluded trails, plunge into crystal-clear streams, rock hop… or just relax on a picnic rug and listen to the soundtrack of your ancient wilderness surrounds.
Remember, if you are craving an ocean breeze, the glorious North Coast is only three hours over the range and for a city experience, the thriving regional centre of Toowoomba is just two and a half hours across the QLD border. Below are a few ways to discover the beauty of our region just to get you started.
Glenrock Gardens and The Barn Café
Cherrydale Orchard and Nursery
Family-run orchard providing quality cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums for the public through direct farm gate sales during harvest season (early Nov through to late Feb). Onsite nursery open during the fruit harvest and Fri, Sat and Sun in autumn. Cash sales only.
8116 New England Highway, Tenterfield
02 6736 2781
Curry’s Gap State Conservation Area
The reserve was set aside for the preservation of its old-growth forests, which are home to a number of vulnerable animal species and is just on the outskirts of Tenterfield, at the base of Mount Mackenzie.
The area was previously known as ‘The Common’ and many Aboriginal families were housed here from the 1930s through to the 1980s, before being permitted and accepted to live in town.
It was also used as a training ground for the army during World War II. Now popular for bush walking and birdwatching you’ll find a waterhole, a small rock pool and remnants of original houses that were owned by residents of The Common. Entry is via a gate on Mount Mackenzie Road.
Mount MacKenzie Tourist Drive
Taking only an hour, this meandering route showcases the beauty of the town’s surroundings - follow the signs north from the Tenterfield Visitor Centre for Tourist Drive Number 9 and travel past mountains backdrops, farmland, rock formations and multi-coloured woodlands.
The drive concludes at the Mount Mackenzie Scenic Lookout, almost 1,300 metres above sea level, providing some of the best views in the Northern Tablelands and is perfect place for a summer picnic or winter snow-spotting.
New England High Country road trip
Jump in the car, pump up the radio and marvel at the diversity of landscapes, where the view around every corner is even more stunning than the last. There are endless daytrip or weekend itineraries that take you through the towns and villages of this spectacular area… hit the road and experience the warm country hospitality and breathtaking natural beauty for yourself!
Glen Innes - Known as Celtic Country, the picture-postcard town is very proud of its Scottish first settlers and celebrates this heritage with unique local landmarks and fantastic annual events. The nearby World Heritage National Parks are perfect for every kind of outdoor adventure. Chase Adventure | Glen Innes Highlands
Armidale - Australia’s highest city known for streets ablaze with gold and flaming red foliage in the autumn months. Home to the University of New England, Armidale blends impressive heritage architecture with a cosmopolitan character, a vibrant arts scene and a culturally diverse population. The surrounding wilderness along the escarpment of the Great Dividing Range includes 20 national parks - towering gorges, thundering waterfalls, monolithic outcrops and dense, ancient Gondwana Rainforests just waiting to be discovered. Armidale - Accommodation, cool climate wines & national parks | Visit NSW
Walcha - Charming historic town set amongst strikingly beautiful countryside. Open Air Gallery, featuring a permanent display of over 50 sculptures by renowned local, national and international artists. Walcha - Accommodation, things to do & more| Visit NSW
Uralla - Picturesque, colonial gold rush town with retail gems, artisanal food, boutique wineries, a great pub and craft brewery. Home Uralla Visitor Information Centre
Regional Art Trail – New England North West
Explore over 70 of the region’s wonderful cultural experiences - visit artist studios, galleries, museums and public art sites, discover a rich and diverse artistic landscape right on our doorstep. Follow one of the suggested Country Art Escapes tours or create your own art trail.
Plan a day trip or create a longer tour of the region and take the opportunity to sprinkle your cultural tour with fabulous food, wine and accommodation and eclectic local festivals. Visit www.artsnwconnect.com.au and www.artsnw.com.au/event-calendar to create your own art trail adventure!
Surrounding Tenterfield there are more lovely wineries with welcoming cellar doors popping up every day! Below is just a taste of what’s available on the doorstep:
Ballandean Estate Wines - Four proud generations have been producing cool climate, high altitude wines that reflect the diversity and regionality of the Granite Belt. Cellar door plus Gourmet Food Gallery, wine lounge, on-site, award-winning restaurant and regular events.
354 Sundown Rd, Ballandean QLD
Balancing Heart Vineyard - Delightful cellar door in the heart of Queensland’s Granite Belt region - stroll through the vineyard with glass in hand taking in breathtaking views of the local area and the famous rock that gives the winery its name. Sunset dinners also available, bookings essential.
221 Old Wallangarra Road, Wyberba QLD
Border Mountains region road trip
Following the NSW/QLD border, this region owes its distinctive character and dramatic terrain to volcanic upheaval 24 million years ago. Picture craggy granite tors, remnant volcano peaks, thundering waterfalls and pristine creeks snaking to the Clarence River - the Border Mountains promise wild and untamed outdoor adventures! This breathtaking scenic drive follows Mt Lindesay Rd and winds its way through the villages of Woodenbong, Urbenville, Legume and finishes in Liston. Map: Border Mountains Tourist Drive | Tenterfield True (visittenterfield.com.au)
Urbenville - At the headwaters of the Clarence River, a popular destination for 4WD enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers, surrounded by national parks, rainforests, rivers, and pioneering relics. View the old shafts and workings of the gold fields and visit the Pioneer Cottage Museum for a time capsule of life in the 1890’s.
The historic bridge over Koreelah Creek – Built in 1931 and designed by John Bradfield, the same man who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Acacia Creek Plateau – Spectacular views to the south towards the headwaters of the mighty Clarence River.
Undercliffe Falls – Waterfall with deep rock pool at the base, ideal for an invigorating summer plunge.
Aloomba Lavender Farm - Wander through the picture-perfect purple pastures or simply relax on the deck with a cuppa and take in the view. Café, gift shop, BandB accommodation + bush camping available. 5425 Mt Lindesay Road, Liston www.aloombalavender.com.au/
Thunderbolt’s Hideout – An easy 300m stroll from the parking area, you’ll find large granite boulders forming two caves, the perfect hiding spot for the notorious bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt. He used the large area between the rocks to stable his horses and camp and the top of the rock made an ideal lookout, as this was the main road to Warwick during the gold-mining days.
Dumaresq Valley road trip
Head west from Tenterfield towards Mingoola, a small but vibrant farming town located near the Queensland border. Marvel at the beautiful waterways, spectacular mountain ranges, historic tobacco sheds, and agricultural lands. Go hiking, swimming, fishing or just enjoy a drive through spectacular landscapes.
Glenlyon Dam - Popular for swimming, fishing and water sports (boats for hire from the Glenlyon Dam Tourist Park), the tourist park offers cabins, powered and unpowered sites, plus toilets, showers, picnic tables, BBQs, playground and kiosk. Glenlyon Dam | Queensland Government (daf.qld.gov.au)
Sundown National Park - Outdoor adventurers will be in heaven amongst the dramatic landscapes of sheer-drop gorges, sharp tree-lined ridges and peaks rising 1,000m above them. The network of hiking, mountain bike, cycling and 4WD trails lead to an endless variety of views, or you can take to the water on the Severn River and The Broadwater to rock hop, fish, swim or explore via kayak or canoe. Visit the thundering Nundubbermere Falls, admire the visa from Rats Castle, Red Rock Gorge Lookout, or the western circuit ridge and discover the relics and abandoned mines from the 1870s mining boom. Sundown National Park | Tenterfield True (visittenterfield.com.au)
Reedy Creek Estate - Since the 1960’s, locals and travellers alike have been enjoying the superb countryside views at Reedy Creek Estate’s cellar door, where you can taste your way through wines and digestifs or grab a bottle of their Prosecco or Old Vine Shiraz to go. Morning and afternoon tea, antipasto plates and Italian pasta lunches. Check website for opening hours and bookings. 6617 Bruxner Way, Mingoola Reedy Creek Estate
Known as the coldest place in QLD during winter months, Stanthorpe is the heart of the Granite Belt region and nationally recognised for its wineries and variety of fresh produce, particularly apples and stone fruit. The town is home to a lovely range of cafes, popular restaurants, boutique stores and galleries.
It’s surrounded by picturesque farmlands, fruit orchards and over 50 vineyards waiting to be discovered, with a growing reputation for unusual or emerging varieties. It’s also home to two breweries, Granite Belt Brewery and Brass Monkey Brew House, plus the Truffles Discovery Centre, Stanthorpe Cheese and Suttons Juice Factory, Cidery and Cafe. Australia’s Big Apple is just along the New England Highway, encircled by the entirety of QLD’s apple crop - over one million trees!
Cycle the Granite Belt Bike Trail
Experience QLD’s most famed wine region at a leisurely pace and cycle the 34km of quiet, marked country back roads between Stanthorpe and Ballandean. See dramatic granite landscapes dotted with vineyards, storybook fruit orchards and scenic views round every gentle bend and with dozens of cellar doors and fabulous foodie stops to choose from… your saddle-bags will be full of goodies to take home and savour. Both self-ride and group guided tour options + BYO bike or standard and e-bike hire available.
Bike hire: Granite Belt Bicycles (who also host the tours) - https://www.granitebeltbicycles.com.au/
Bike tour and accommodation packages - www.31therocks.com/packages-and-specials/
If you are keen for some more two-wheeled action, there are eight cycle tour routes of varying lengths and difficulty in the region - http://ridethegreatdivide.com.au/category/stanthorpe-region/
Award winning craft beer “Brewed with Altitude” in the picturesque village of Deepwater. Cellar door and homemade pizza. Call 0458 948 808 for opening hours and pizza orders. 40min drive from Tenterfield
52 Wellington Vale Rd, Deepwater
From Tenterfield, follow the Rocky River Rd along the meandering Timbarra River for a beautiful country drive to Drake. Since the days of the 1880’s gold rush, this village has transformed many times over, following the rise and fall of various industries, such as mining, timber and grazing.
Today, Drake offers a base for many outdoor adventures, including water activities on the Clarence River, Rover 4WD and Motorcycle Park and the nearby Paddy’s Flats Tank Traps, a significant part of World War II history. 45min drive from Tenterfield.
A 50min drive from Tenterfield, this historic mining village is situated on a plateau known as the Mole Tableland near the QLD border and features an unearthly landscape of huge boulders and rocky outcrops. It’s also a popular area for bushwalking and fossicking –try your luck at finding topaz, beryl or quartz in the creek near Blatherarm campground.
When you arrive, purchase the local mud maps to discover the local mining sites of Curnows, Dutchman, Scrubby Gully and Five Head Stamper. Close by is Torrington State Conservation area with more than 30,000ha of dry forests, woodlands, balancing boulders, gorges, creeks and waterfalls to explore. The land, waterways, wildlife and plants of the area are significant for the Ngarrabul, Marbul, Bigambul and Jucumbul people – the traditional owners. Thunderbolt’s Lookout offers dramatic 360° views of the surrounding tablelands.
The area is also home to 2 Wild Souls Meadery, where you can sample some unique sparkling honey mead at the cellar door (by appointment). 41 Gilligons Lane, Torrington www.2wildsouls.com.au/
Nestled in a scenic valley at the foot of the Great Dividing Range and on the banks of the beautiful Macintyre River, Inverell is a historic and picturesque town renowned for its vibrant, supportive community and the spectacular Inverell sapphire.
Known in the region as a fabulous daytrip destination for retail therapy, Inverell is a thriving tourist, commercial, service and agricultural centre. The surrounding area features swathes of national park wilderness, tranquil, wandering waterways, outstanding recreational areas and highly productive cropping, grazing, mixed farming and mining land.
The rich, volcanic soil has provided the perfect environment for gems and minerals and is the area is popular with fossickers who regularly unearth not only sapphires, but topaz, diamonds, emeralds, quartz, garnets, citrine, rhodonite and tourmaline. At three times the capacity of Sydney Harbour and with the longest recreational boat ramp in the Southern Hemisphere, the nearby Copeton Dam is a wonder to behold! 1hr 45min drive from Tenterfield.