TAMWORTH – THE AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER GUIDE
Boot scoot your way into Tamworth, the town well known for country music and rowdy cowboys. Even if country music isn’t your thing, the area hosts a range of delicious restaurants and a never-ending party scene.
WHERE TO STAY
If you’re travelling to the region for a taste of the Tamworth Country Music festival, make sure to book months in advance. For those who love to party, camping grounds are marked close-by for spectators to set up their swags. Be warned that nights in Tamworth can get particularly rowdy and you probably won’t be getting much sleep.
WHAT DO TO
Nothing says proud country music town than shaping your visitor’s centre as a giant guitar. Inside The Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre is a wax museum in respect of Country Music’s most important stars.
Oxley Scenic Lookout gives locals and travellers alike the opportunity to gaze out at the beautiful city below them. Get the most out of the view and take a picnic with you or have a barbeque.
Tamworth knows how to party. Most pubs have live music and are packed to the brim with intoxicated, dancing country folk. Head out on a Friday or Saturday night and let Tamworth show you how to have a great time. Take your partner by the hand…
Ask any Australian what Tamworth is best known for and they’ll list Keith Urban, Jackie Cole, Slim Dusty…country singers. Make sure you’re in town when 55,000+ visitors from all over Australia cram their way into Tamworth for its’ biggest party of the year: The Tamworth Country Music Festival.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Visitors rave about the place, but it really depends on the activities you’re travelling for when deciding on the best time to travel. Joining the masses and flocking to the biggest country music festival in the southern hemisphere is highly recommended. The festival is held at the end of January every year. Summer in Tamworth is dry and dusty, just the way dinky di Aussie cowboys love it.
Countrylink express trains run between Sydney and Tamworth. Qantas and Brindabella Airlines fly into Tamworth airport from Sydney and Brisbane. From here, Taxi’s will cover the 10km trip into town.
Where is it? New England, Northern NSW. If you subscribe to the belief that there are only two types of music – country and western – make the pilgrimage to Tamworth in January for the nation’s premier music festival. With 55,000 other folk boot scooting around town, it’s got a great vibe for all ages, and gives you the chance to see some of the country’s greatest stars take the stage, as well as talented unknowns. Next year’s event takes place January 20-29. Go at least once; you’ll love it even if you don’t own a cowboy hat....
Famous for being the Australian Country Music Capital, Tamworth doesn’t just make the Top 100 for its musical notoriety (although, come on, even the Visitor Centre is shaped like a massive guitar), but for its history and progressiveness. “A town with more Australian country music culture than the rest of Oz combined.” – MyPOWER Team Its Australian Country Music Festival attracts 50,000 each January and, like all good Australian towns, Tamworth features an oversized attraction, but others will struggle to compete with the Big Gold Guitar, unveiled by the king of country himself, Slim Dusty. Beyond music, Tamworth is recognised...
If you’re wild for the Australian outback and have always fancied yourself something of a latter day Indiana Jones, then Jack or Jillaroo School is a must. They don’t just offer courses for horse riding; they also show you a way to release your inner action hero – minus the priceless artefacts and villains, but definitely plus the weeding, cattle mustering and at least some animal blood. And as Robyn Rosenfeldt wrote for us in issue #17 of AT, you’ll also learn exceedingly cool skills like whip cracking, lasso throwing and horseshoeing. Which mightn’t seem of great use initially but...
This list was compiled in 2006. The updated 2011 Edition can be found here. For those of you who thought country music was just one simple genre, look out: there’s country swing, blues, bluegrass, western, hillbilly, bush ballad, rockabilly, pure country, Australiana, and even wild west forms of hip hop and reggae. There’s only one place in Australia where you’ll find all this at once: Tamworth in New England, NSW, every January. It’s not just the music that takes you to the Tamworth Country Music Festival – it’s the experience. Typically there are around 800 artists listed on the program, and...
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