At the end of Day Two, fifteen weary but happy travellers were delivered safely back to our beautiful village. So with Part One of the Tenterfield Trip done and dusted, here is a pictorial account of Day Two.
On Wednesday morning we woke to a beautiful crisp Autumn morning in Tenterfield (that’s code for FFFFF – Freezing Cold!). The sun was shining in a clear blue sky and all was right with our world.
Breakfast was cooking at the School of Arts Cafe and the fabulous team of Marion and Amanda were waiting to greet us. Marion and Amanda had started work early so that we could eat and be on our way. We still had some sightseeing to take care of – oh – and maybe just a little bit more shopping.
Who wouldn’t want to go back for more, once they have eaten at the School of Arts Cafe at Tenterfield? That’s how it happened for us… lunch one day – breakfast the next. These girls, (and the lovely Kylie), made sure our dining experiences were met with a smile, and every detail attended to. Thank you, Amanda, Marion and Kylie for contributing to our first overnight bus trip.
Make sure you stop in and say Hi! to these lovely ladies next time you are in Tenterfield.
And leave enough time to read the walls leading through to the cafe. You’ll come away with a deeper knowledge of our Prime Ministerial History. And yes, they have had to add a bit more wall space to accommodate our revolving-door Prime Ministership of recent years.
With breakfast done and dusted, the early birds opted for a walk while waiting for others to finish, before meeting back at the bus.
Joan, Elizabeth and I opted for a quick dash to the Haberdashery store we had spotted the previous afternoon. What an experience that was!!! It was like finding Aladdin’s Cave unlocked, and with the lights on.
We each settled on our own version of obsession – mine was more wool for yet another scarf, as well as some awesome quilting fabric for yet another cushion (I don’t have the skill or patience for a big project yet).
Country Curtains was a lot more than we expected.
In real friendly Tenterfield style, the saleslady approached us, started a conversation about our warm headgear and scarves, and immediately put us at ease. She showed us different wools and what they would look like as a finished product. To say we were impressed would be an understatement! And the best news? You can phone Country Curtains and they will post items to you.
Apparently, they are very used to hearing visitors say ‘we don’t have a haberdashery store in our town’.
Joan found a great souvenir for a friend, and the last we saw of Elizabeth, she was immersed in a mass of colourful wool and fabric. She eventually caught up to us – looking as happy as we felt.
Meanwhile, back at the bus…
Bags were loaded and travellers resumed their seats for the next leg of the journey.
First stop: The Tenterfield Saddler House
Don’t ever go to Tenterfield without visiting the home of the Tenterfield Saddler. But don’t expect to only see saddles and whips. This tiny cottage is overflowing with history.
I was fascinated to see the handwritten note from Hugh Jackman, thanking the Saddlery for the whip he used in the film about Peter Allen. But you will have to make the trip to Tenterfield if you want to see it.
I dare say Keith, the amazing volunteer on duty that day, was sick of hearing ‘Oh Wow!’, every time I turned around and discovered another memory from the past.
We owe a huge thank you to the unsung heroes who keep the history alive for those who lived through it and those born too late to be part of it. To the Volunteers who keep the Tenterfield Saddler Museum running – Thank You. You are all Legends.
Back to the bus…
The next ‘must-see’ item on our itinerary was the Cork Tree.
The Cork Tree is reported to have magical powers if you walk around it three times while reciting a special chant. If you make a wish while chanting, it is supposed to come true. If only we could have walked around it!
And finally, the Railway Museum
Old trains and railway stations conjure up images and memories of the past. And the Tenterfield Railway Museum provided a nostalgic snapshot of how travel used to be.
Ted navigated us back to the highway and we were homeward bound. But not without thoughts of lunch. We had our sights set on a Pie Shop we had seen advertised on the highway the day before. But to quote a famous line from Robert Burns – To A Mouse, “The best laid schemes of mice and men….”. Our pie-shop plans went sadly ‘awry’!
A short detour from the highway should have delivered us to the door of the pie-shop. Instead, we stared blankly at a door that was closed, despite a sign at the front and on the side wall blatantly advertising the promise of a cafe inside.
Doubling back we headed for a hotel we had passed moments earlier. A reconnaissance team was dispatched to see if the hotel could feed fifteen hungry travellers, but returned with ‘mmm – we might keep going…’. They also reported that the cafe down the road had been closed for about ten years.
The final leg of the journey continued.
Yes, we all had a fantastic time away – but there was something magic in seeing Mt Warning in the distance on the homeward-stretch.
We were almost home!
Casino – Next Stop
It was just before 2.00 pm by the time we pulled up in front of the Commercial Hotel in Casino. Google assured us the Commercial Hotel was the place for lunch. Except – lunch has prescribed times at the Commercial Hotel – and 2pm isn’t one of them. We were politely directed to a coffee shop at the end of the building, so coffee and cake would have to do. Surprisingly, there was more on offer than just coffee-shop fare, and fifteen hungry travellers were fed.
The best part of our impromptu change of plans was the garden seating – as long as you could find a seat in the sun.
Some of us even found time for a short walk before regaining our rightful places on the bus.
The sun was setting on Day Two…
Desley’s calculation that the sun would be setting as we came over the Burringbar Range was spot-on. The sun-visors did little to deflect the blinding light of the sun as the earth began its journey towards darkness.
The sight of the Tweed Regional Art Gallery signalled our return to Murwillumbah. Back to familiarity – back to routines.
At 4.48pm, the bus stopped at the first drop-off point.
We were home!
One-by-one, well-worn travellers retrieved their luggage and said their goodbyes.
As Day Two closed around them, the fifteen adventurers probably relived the highlights of their two-day trip to Tenterfield. They may have had a few chuckles at the memorable moments – like – trying to count the votes for where to have breakfast (after a few drinks), finding the cafe that had closed ten years earlier, and meeting the most colourful character of Tenterfield.
And sleep found them all, probably a little earlier than usual that night.
We would like to thank the following people for making our first overnight trip to Tenterfield so memorable: