One of Australia’s greatest ever performers – Peter Allen – was the one to officially put Tenterfield on the map, with his famous song (based on the life and times of his beloved grandfather, George Woolnough) and his connection to Tenterfield’s most famous landmark – the Tenterfield Saddler.
Built in the 1880s, the Saddlery produced saddles and other horse-related items. Today the building remains in the same condition as it was when the last saddler left the building. From the tobacco-stained walls to the original cedar door and floorboards, the building is a fascinating one. It’s also a treasure-trove of memorabilia and relics from a bygone era, with the walls literally bursting with history. And for Peter Allen fans, perhaps the greatest piece of memorabilia, displayed in the museum, is a pair of Peter Allen’s red satin show shoes. Visitors to the Saddlery are welcome to try on the shoes and ‘tread the boards’ as Peter Allen would have done.
Tenterfield is a town proud of its heritage and many of the locals are undergoing restoration projects to transform the town’s most prized buildings. One of those locals is Tim Dillon, who – together with partners – transformed The Commercial Boutique Hotel, maintaining its original art deco features. There’s a wine bar and restaurant showcasing the region’s fantastic local produce, and boutique accommodation upstairs.
Just down the road is the Old Council Chambers – another of the town’s restoration projects, undertaken by Bianca Wicks and Steve Haslam. Formerly council chambers, it’s been converted into two uber-stylish studios or ‘chambers’, which can be rented individually or as a whole house. There’s also an events space in the converted old horse stable out back. The Old Council Chambers is a delightful combination of history, luxe finishes and facilities.