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Tenterfield - Ballina
New England & The Northern Rivers

Great DrivesA delightful journey that takes you from the heights of the Great Dividing Range down to the far north coast - through granite uplands, fertile farmland, rainforested hills and some attractive townships.

Located at the junction of the New England and Bruxner Highways, historic Tenterfield is the centre for a large sheep and cattle region. It was here that Sir Henry Parkes made his famous speech in 1889 - an event that ultimately led to Australia’s Federation in 1901 - and there are several museums and historic buildings to explore.

The town is also famous for its ‘Tenterfield Saddler’ connection, and you can visit the original 1860s saddlery. Before heading east, take a side-trip towards the Queensland border to explore the region’s national parks. Boonoo Boonoo and Bald Rock are scenic environments of granite rocks and uplands, gorges and rivers that are ideal for bushwalking.

Casino, the next main town along the highway, is known as the ‘Beef Capital of Australia’. Attractions here include the museum, scenic drives into forestlands, and some delightful parks. From here, it’s just a short hop to the university city of Lismore, where you can visit the art gallery, the Lismore Visitor and Heritage Centre, a macadamia processing plant and a couple of nature reserves. Lismore is the ideal base for exploring this scenic Northern Rivers region - a land of forests, waterfalls and fertile valleys. To the north, the village of Nimbin offers a glimpse into the area’s ‘alternative’ lifestyle. There’s a museum, arts and crafts shops, and a drive to World Heritage listed Nightcap National Park - with its forests and spectacular scenery.

The Bruxner Highway then takes you down to Ballina - past macadamia, avocado and tropical fruit farms and the attractive town of Alstonville, with its heritage listed buildings.

Where to Stay

Time required: 2 days minimum

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