From unforgettable station stays and a long list of top-notch eateries, to the picturesque countryside in Australia’s Country Music Capital: here is our guide to the best of Tamworth for a weekend or week-long stay.
The spiritual home of Australia’s country music scene and a stronghold of equestrian culture, Tamworth is regarded as a poster child for rural life. But although denim, R.M. Williams and Akubras are almost standard issue at birth, this New England city also has a thoroughly cosmopolitan side. A vibrant arts scene, incredible dining and a worldly outlook blend with wide, open spaces and natural beauty to make Tamworth a destination that will draw you back time and again.
Tamworth Regional Gallery
This historic gallery has been displaying works since 1919, impressively making it the second-oldest regional gallery in NSW. Exhibiting both local and international artists, the absorbing collections are well worth the devotion of some solid hours.
Showcasing contemporary works from local, regional and national artists, this long-running commercial gallery is a must-visit for the dabbler in fine art appreciation.
Len Waters Aboriginal Cultural Tours
Tamworth is Kamilaroi country and there’s no better way to discover the lore and culture of this vast region than on a tour with an Aboriginal custodian. Join local Kamilaroi man Len Waters and experience the beauty of Tamworth through an indigenous lens.
Nundle Woollen Mill
Australia has woven a woolly heritage during its history and one of the best ways to connect with the cool side of wool is on a tour at the Nundle Woollen Mill. Take a spin around the mill, hear some yarns and find a ball or two to take home.
Settled in the 1800s, Barraba was a town known for little else than cattle grazing until 2019, when the Barraba silo mural was completed. Now a destination for both art appreciators and the curious, the 40-metre-tall painting by artist Fintan Magee, The Water Diviner, has become an icon of the region.
National Guitar Museum
Of course, no trip to Tamworth is complete without the requisite Big Golden Guitar selfie, so while you’re at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre, scoot your boots along to the newly opened National Guitar Museum. Celebrating the instrument and many of its esteemed players, you’ll find signed guitars from legends such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Keith Urban.
Boutique shopping on Peel Street and beyond
Take a stroll down Peel Street and explore Tamworth’s boutique shopping. Stop by The Magic Pudding, The Lemon House, Mae & Jeune, Bungalow G and The Herd Store for a distinctly country curation of homewares and fashion.
New England can shiver through the winter and, at the right time of year, you’ll even glimpse snow. Take a daytrip to Hanging Rock (near Nundle) or Bendemeer (north of Tamworth) and explore the bush in all its icy beauty.
The Pig & Tinder Box
Taking up digs in an original, grand-old 1848 bank, this Tamworth gem is now a refined casual restaurant and bar. Modern, seasonal and inviting, the menu will please all comers, all day.
Sonny’s Bakery & Cafe
With an intent to make good coffee and bread, Sonny’s has entirely fulfilled its brief. But you can also grab delicious croissants and pastries, as well as Aussie classics of sausage rolls and scones.
Hopscotch Restaurant and Bar
This sleek establishment is all about seasonal and local produce and, understandably given its New England location, the beef is superb. Stop by for beautifully prepared food in lovely surroundings.
The Glasshouse Restaurant at Goonoo Goonoo Station
The Glasshouse is the very definition of destination dining. You’re here for the setting almost as much as the food at this contemporary restaurant that has been recognised for its excellence at stunning Goonoo Goonoo Station. Impeccable food and a breathtaking location unite to make this an unmissable Tamworth treat.
The Workshop Kitchen makes the five-star Powerhouse Hotel a go-to for stylish dining in town. Fresh, local produce and fantastic wines break the mould of the typical hotel restaurant to become an excellent all-day eatery.
The Press 2340
End the evening with a well-made cocktail or warming whisky at this speakeasy-style bar in town.
You won’t find watery campsite coffee here. The beans are sourced from Australian roasters and the coffee is made to perfection, while tea is infused with native flavours.
Goonoo Goonoo Station
Classic country style gets a touch of the luxe at this beautiful working farm just south of Tamworth. You’ll find a range of elegant accommodation options, from the homestead to the shearers’ quarters, and an award-wining restaurant and bar all set in soul-enriching surroundings.
Powerhouse Hotel Tamworth by Rydges
After recently undergoing an impressive renovation, the Powerhouse Hotel received a five-star rating: it remains renowned for its well-polished and welcoming country hospitality.
CH Boutique Hotel
Stay close to the action in the centre of town at this Art Deco-inspired hotel where you’ll find stylish, modern rooms within a quick stroll to Tamworth’s shops and restaurants.
Jenkins Street Guesthouse, Nundle
Agrarian charm colours this beautiful boutique guesthouse set in a 1938 bank branch on the main street of Nundle. Cosy and eclectic, it’s the perfect base for exploring the gems of this adorable town.