Think Tamworth, think country music. This is undoubtedly Australia’s country music capital, home to a world-renowned music festival and the 12-metre high Golden Guitar. As the hub of the New England region of NSW, it also boasts amazing food and wine experiences, and a plethora or outdoor adventure activities.
Tamworth Country Music Festival
The Tamworth Country Music Festival, which runs over 10 days in January, is justifiably famous with nearly 3000 events featuring some of the biggest names in the industry drawing over 300,000 people. The lesser-known Hats Off To Country Music Festival in July is a more intimate, four-day event that’s also worth a visit.
The Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre is filled with music memorabilia, including more than 20 guitars signed by local and international musicians. You can see how your digits compare with the handprints of over 300 musical stars whose hands have been immortalised in concrete at the Country Music Hands of Fame Park.
Things to do
The Tamworth Regional Gallery, one of the oldest galleries in NSW, is a great spot to discover the district’s heritage. See colonial silverware along with modern exhibitions that change every six weeks. You can also catch a cultural performance at the purpose-built Capitol Theatre.
Make the most of the great outdoors and go bushwalking, fishing or paragliding. If horseriding and rodeos are your thing, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to riding trails and events including the spectacular Australian Stock Horse Society National Show in March and the National Cutting Horse Association’s Futurity competition in May and June.
Kids will love getting up close to kangaroos, wallabies and other friendly animals at the Tamworth Marsupial Park and Adventure Playground where they can even feed a joey. Another fun spot for kids is the T
Eat and drink
With green pastures and fertile soils, the Tamworth region is chock-full of delicious food and wine experiences. You can enjoy some of the local bounty at a range of restaurants and the annual 10-day Taste Tamworth Festival in April, which celebrates the region’s fresh produce and cool climate wines.
Getting there and where to stay
Tamworth is a five-hour drive north of Sydney and seven hours from Brisbane. There is also a daily direct train and the journey takes just over six hours. Or fly into Tamworth Regional Airport and hire a car to explore the area. Places to stay range from riverside camping and motels to country cottages, heritage pubs and a beautifully refurbished colonial pastoral village at Goonoo Goonoo Station.