Way Out West Where the Rain Don't Fall ...
Updated: Jul 31, 2020
As a tourism professional I am acutely aware of how tough it's been for many tourism businesses as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, however for many businesses, especially those in regional areas, the pandemic comes hot on the heels of years of drought and a devastating bushfire season. One region around our area that has been particularly challenged is the Tenterfield region - an area of magnificent high country just across the Great Dividing Range from our home in Northern New South Wales.
The Visit Tenterfield tagline is "Step out of your imagination and into the unspoilt beauty of Tenterfield. It’s humble. It’s authentic. It’s true."
It was time to put this tagline to the test and spread some regional tourism love to our neighbours in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, with Sparky and her mate coming along for the ride.
Visit Tenterfield lists one of the Top 10 Experiences in Tenterfield as "Take a scenic country drive and marvel at Granite Country formations and rocky outcrops. A popular route is along Kildare and Mt Mackenzie Roads, where you can marvel at Doctors Nose, Little Bald Rock and Draining Rock. Mt Mackenzie Lookout also offers a great picnic spot and BBQ area."
A quick check of Google Maps showed this scenic country drive loop from Tenterfield to the Mt Mackenzie lookout was around 38kms, with approximately 20kms on unsealed roads. As any bike rider will attest, any destination with the word "lookout" in it's title means significant climbing. No problems, we've got eBikes :-) And what a spectacular country road loop it is, traversing through stunning granite outcrops and enjoying incredible vistas across the ranges. The Mt Mackenzie lookout is almost 1,300 metres above sea level - so yes, a significant climb indeed - but oh so worth it !!
Whilst in the Tenterfield region, we enjoyed many of the other suggested "Top 10 Experiences" including some incredible hiking in the Bald Rock National Park and Girraween National Park. It was heartening to see signs of recovery in the bush from the bushfires the previous summer, however the devastation to the natural environment and infrastructure was evident.
As with any of our hiking and biking adventures, food and drink play a major role in our experiences. I highly recommend the Commercial Boutique Hotel for dinner and drinks enjoyed around a lovely welcoming open fire, especially delightful in the depths of winter, and their Deepwater Brewing Deliverance Stout on tap - wow, just wow !!
So did the Visit Tenterfield tagline deliver as promised? Absolutely ... Click through my images below to share our journey.