Things to do in Tamworth
The Tamworth region is one of the most progressive and stimulating places in inland Australia, combining country living with city style, history, sport and culture.
Best known for its famous country music festival held every January, the vibrant regional city of Tamworth is also home to several quality museums and galleries as well as many buildings dating back to the 18th century.
Enjoy the sounds of country buskers along the main street, dine at top restaurants showcasing local produce and wine, or relax at the many perfect picnic spots with breathtaking views around the district.
Where is it and how do you get there?
Tamworth is approximately 500 kilometres north of Sydney and is the 'capital city' of the New England North West region of NSW.
The Armidale XPLORER runs daily from Sydney and stops at Tamworth.
To check times, use the booking form on the left.
There are a number of bus services operating within the Tamworth region, as well as taxis, hire car companies and coach tour operators. In addition there are several kilometres of cycle ways along the Peel River.
During the Country Music Festival, a bus shuttle service operates to the major venues and accommodation.
What to do and see
Usually over 700 musicians (including buskers) come to the Tamworth Country Music Festival to perform at more than 60 venues. The festival has more than 2,500 events held over the 10 days and many of these events are free. However, there’s more to Tamworth than the country music festival!
Tamworth offers a rich tapestry of cultural activities with art galleries, museums, libraries, a Conservatorium of Music and a theatre. Visit the Tamworth Regional Gallery which is one of the oldest galleries in NSW and has regular changing exhibitions of national and local significance and a shop with tantalising merchandise.
The Weswal Gallery offers fine art, unique handmade jewellery and beautiful giftware created by artists and features regular solo and group exhibitions. The Gamilarart Cooperative operates a gallery showcasing local and contemporary indigenous treasures and the Tamworth Regional Craft Centre specialises in creative crafts from painting to quilting, embroidery, woodturning, even blacksmithing and bonsai and all crafts on display are for sale.
Step back in time at the PowerStation Museum which recognises Tamworth's status as the first town in Australia to turn on electric street lighting in 1888. See displays about the history of electricity and electrical appliances that past generations used for washing, cleaning, heating, cooking, ironing and entertainment.
Built in 1875 the Calala Cottage Museum is furnished mainly with items from the late Victorian period. Exhibits in the museum range from early aboriginal artefacts through to clothing, machinery, and telephones. Wander through the kitchen, fully equipped in late 1800’s style, and imagine what it was like to cook before electricity and gas.
For the motorbike enthusiasts, the Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum is a must see. There are more than 50 meticulously restored motorcycles on show, dating back to the 1950’s through to the 1980’s.
Catch a show at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre, the largest entertainment centre in regional Australia. The centre hosts some spectacular shows including rock concerts, agricultural shows, home exhibitions and the red carpet Golden Guitar Awards - the Oscars of country music.
Experience an event at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre which is the most unique livestock events complex in Australia. The centre hosts more than 50 events per year, from agility dogs to alpacas and show jumping to rodeos. It has an indoor arena with tiered seating for 3,360, horse sporting fields, two showjumping and dressage areas and much, much more.
The country music fascination does not end in January, all year you can enjoy a number of country music attractions. Visit the award winning Walk a Country Mile Museum, located in the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre and view its great collection of country music memorabilia and information about past and present country musicians. Interactive displays feature various artists, songs and lyrics. Watch early film clips and test your knowledge.
Investigate Australia’s rich country music heritage at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame and examine old photographs, historic video and film footage, music and souvenirs.
The Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre, with its giant statue of a golden guitar, a replica of the famous golden guitar used for Australia's Annual Country Music Awards, is hard to miss. Browse through hundreds of Australian and overseas country music CDs and DVDs, souvenirs and gift items. While there, make sure you visit the Gallery of Stars Wax Museum, which in the style of Madam Tussauds, has beautifully carved life-like figures of many of Australia’s famous country music stars such as Smoky Dawson, Jean Stafford and Slim Dusty.
For a change of pace, grab a picnic hamper and walk to the Oxley Scenic Lookout and watch the sun go down over Tamworth and the Peel River Plain extending to the Liverpool Ranges. Don’t forget your camera to take snapshots of the magnificent panoramic views.
Just outside Tamworth are several quaint country towns well worth a visit. Barraba is popular with birdwatchers, Quirindi boasts stunning sunflower fields from December to March and at Gunnedah the Waterways Wildlife Park has koalas and other native animals to see. On the way to historic Nundle take a swim or go fishing in Chaffey Dam.