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Tamworth: Country Icons and Outdoor Action
Tamworth, in the New England region of New South Wales, has several unique claims to fame. The first town in Australia to be publicly lit up with electricity in 1888, the Tamworth of today is an international hub for country music.
During your visit, make sure to do some wine tasting or try local dairy products. Delve into the region’s past and tour cottages dating back to the 1840s. Stretch your legs at one of the neighbouring national parks or cast a line off the banks of local rivers.
Holiday homes in Tamworth range from tidy cottages to spacious residences with panoramic views over the countryside.
Tamworth: A Hub for Country Music
Tamworth is known far and wide for its country music scene, the epitome of which comes to life in January. Tamworth plays host to the second largest country music festival on the planet. 50,000 visitors flock to the small New England town to watch their favourite Australian and international country singers perform.
If you can’t make it for the festival, soak up the country atmosphere at the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre. The centre doubles up as a wax museum, where you will be able see real size figures of country icons. A larger-than-life replica of the golden guitar presented at the Australian Country Music Awards features prominently in front of the centre.
Wine and Dine in Tamworth
Cool climate wines thrive in the New England region. Close to Tamworth, you will find 20+ cellar doors. A number of guided tours allow visitors to sample a variety of wines, as well as local cheeses and produce. Venture along the New England Foodie Trail and stop at local eateries, farms and wineries.
In town, Tamworth has restaurants and cafes for every budget and traveler. For a taste of history, head to the family-friendly Currabubula Pub and Cafe, which has been open since 1838. The venue regularly hosts live entertainment.
Each year in April, the Taste Tamworth Festival takes place, with over 120 events run by local farmers and restaurateurs.
History and Heritage in Tamworth
Find out about Tamworth’s electric heritage at the Powerstation Museum, where you can take a self-guided tour of the permanent displays, featuring original machinery that once lit up the city’s streets.
For more insight into the region’s past, visit Calala Cottage, a residence that belonged to the town’s first mayor. Now housing the Tamworth Historical Society, it harbours artifacts and artworks belonging to Tamworth’s founding families. Also on the grounds is a shepherd's hut, built circa 1840.
Just a short drive from Tamworth is the once prominent gold mining town of Nundle. The historic settlement features one of the few remaining spinning mills still at work in the country. Some of the machinery is close to 100 years old. Watch how wool was spun in centuries past and purchase your own wool clothing and blankets produced on site.
The Great Outdoors
Not far from Tamworth, visitors have several lakes, rivers and national parks at their disposal. Locals tend to camp and fish at Lake Keepit - you might even reel in some catfish. Meanwhile, Manilla River, close to Barraba, is a popular destination for birdwatching.
The national parks of Nowendoc, Warrabah and Mount Kaputar offer a whole host of outdoor activities. Wander through fields of wildflowers at Nowendoc. Bushwalk for kilometres at Mount Kaputar, setting of a long extinct volcano. You can hike up to the top of the mountain for sweeping views over the countryside.
If you visit Warrabah National Park, spend some time on the shores of the Namoi River, where you will find plenty of picnic spots. There’s also a playground for those travelling with children.
Getting to Tamworth
Tamworth is set roughly halfway between Sydney (a 5-hour drive) and Brisbane (just under a 7-hour drive). Tamworth’s regional airport is located about 10km from town, with direct daily flights from both capital cities. If you’d rather take public transport, direct bus services also operate several times a week but take almost double the time.