Tamworth is a city in northeast New South Wales famed for its annual Tamworth Country Music Festival, which draws big-name and international acts. Tamworth is also host to The Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre, on the city’s southern outskirts, which hosts horse-related events. Close by, visit the Big Golden Guitar Centre, with its giant guitar statue, music store, and wax museum. The central Tamworth Regional Gallery houses local textiles and art.
1. Australian Equine & Livestock Events Centre
The Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) is a multi-building and stadium complex that was envisioned for equestrian usage. It consists of two indoor stadiums, stables, and a training center, which is situated on the New England Highway approximately 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) south of the Tamworth Central Business District in the suburb of Hillvue.
The center, designed by architects Timothy Court and Company and constructed by National Buildplan, offers a landmark edifice for New England Highway traffic. This complex is multi-level, can seat more than 4,000, and is considered the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. AELEC can be used in its entirety or parts as per the participants’ requirements.
Tamworth is famous for being the National Equine Capital of Australia due to its sheer high volume of equine events that are held in the city every year and the presence of several equine organization offices and numerous breeding and training establishments in the vicinity.
Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC)
2. Cathedral Rock National Park
Cathedral Rock National Park is a great place to experience the granite tors of New England. The walk to Woolpack Rocks from Barokee along with ascents of both Cathedral Rocks and Woolpack Rocks is a 14 km (8.7 mi) return trip, which is demanding in portions but gratifying. Trek up on the Cathedral Rock to sit on a natural throne, perched atop 200 m (656 ft) of stacked boulders, and survey your kingdom.
Camp, walk, bird-watch, and appreciate the scenic sights with great picnic spots at the Cathedral Rock National Park, located east of Armidale and west of Dorrigo on the New England Tablelands. The Cathedral Rock path is an exhilarating and stimulating walk, close to the Barokee campground and Round Mountain, presenting scenic views across the New England Tablelands from the summit.
The track is utmost and easily accessed from Barokee campground. Follow the circuit clockwise and trek through the sub-alpine woodland to the summit, as you clamber over boulders and straddle crevices.
For the gutsy adventurer, pack a set of headlamps and set out to Cathedral Rock at sunrise or sunset. Remember to pack your camera, binoculars, raincoat, warm clothes, and a flask of coffee to recompense yourself for attaining the top. Beware that the boulders along this path will be slippery when wet, hence good footwear is essential that provide adequate ankle support.
Cathedral Rock National Park
Website:Cathedral Rock National Park
3. Australian Country Music Hall of Fame
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
If you are country music fan then the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame is just for you. As a country music enthusiast, you will immensely enjoy this place, which has a super cheap entry fee, allowing you to explore the initial history of country music in Australia and a collection that spans the history of country music in Australia. Attractively arranged with tons of personal memorabilia, stage outfits, instruments, and graphics, it also has interesting short videos narrated by John Laws. The flow of the exhibits worked considerably well.
The museum is a bonus that’s well maintained and administered by a team of enthusiastic volunteers. Extremely entertaining and a must do on your visit to Tamworth. Allow about an hour for the museum section and the video display playing in the theater room.
The best time to go is in the latter part of January when the festival is on. Entertainers line the main street giving their all to impress you and the judges hoping for that big break. There are spontaneous concerts, promotional concerts, and paid concerts, which will make your trip to Tamworth extremely enjoyable. It is not to be missed.
Australian Country Music Hall of Fame
4. Tamworth Powerstation Museum
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Tamworth was the first town in Australia to receive electric street lights. You will thoroughly enjoy the exhibits along with a conversation with the guide who is knowledgeable and has a passion for Tamworth being the first city in Australia with electric street lights. These guys are gems and take advantage of the guided tour as they show you things you would otherwise miss.
The displays and souvenirs from the bygone age are extensive and bring back childhood memories. This museum is worth going to see the phases of electrical technologies over the years. The original steam engines are currently on display and are fired up and working on certain days of the week.
Tamworth Powerstation Museum
Website:Tamworth Powerstation Museum
5. Tamworth Country Music Festival (late January)
The Tamworth Country Music Festival is an annual music festival held in late January and is a celebration of Country Music culture and legacy of the national Australian country music scene, with numerous concerts and live performances at various venues. The festival continues for two weeks over Australia Day and during this period, the city of Tamworth comes alive, with visitors from across the country and the world over come to join in the celebrations. The festival is the second biggest country music festival in the world, after Nashville.
The festival is considered among the world’s top ten music festivals. The massive number of visitors means that accommodation throughout the area is constantly booked out for this period up to 12 months in advance, with many visitors camping in caravans, camper vans, tents, and camping sites sprawling throughout the region.
The diversity of country music is limitless during the festival and you will find hundreds of buskers on Peel Street alone, offering a diverse assortment of entertainment each day.
If you are planning to visit the Tamworth Country Music Festival, the next festival will be held on 19th to 28th January 2018 so get a head start to make bookings accordingly.
Tamworth Country Music Festival
Website:Tamworth Country Music Festival
6. Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum
The Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum is a must check out for any bike aficionado. The museum houses a private collection of over 50 motorcycles in mint condition from the 50’s all the way to the 80’s and they are all immaculately kept. Donations fund the museum. However, there is an awesome gift shop to purchase the little trinkets to remember your visit to this museum. The gentleman in the museum is knowledgeable about the bikes. The variety of bikes and history along with them is brilliant and well presented.
Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum
Website:Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum
7. Australian Railway Monument and Rail Journeys Museum
Catch a glimpse of this interesting railway building located within the old and historic Werris Creek Railway Station, which will make your head spin. This functioning railway station has the most astonishing museum, that is comprehensive and growing as parts of the buildings are getting reinstated. Fortunately, several individuals, all former rail workers, had the prudence to set up this centre with a vast array of mementos, photos, and documents, which could will have been lost without their vision and eagerness to preserve a bygone era. The helpers are very well-informed and a delight to listen to. As there is a lot to see, do keep aside several hours to go through the museum.
The National Railway Memorial is located outdoors, which is quite humbling. Apart from the remarkable work put into this museum’s collection, the artistic sculptors have made quite good elucidations of the various areas within the history of the Railway Workers. The Memorial is also dedicated to the workers by paving bricks on the footpath into the Memorial, one of the best cataloging processes one can witness for historical data. It is worth the visit, regardless of one’s interest in railways, but purely from the historical past of an amazingly productive era. It looks as if the railway tracks from all states converge into a central turntable area. Each of the walls pays homage to the railway men and women of the various Australian states who were killed whilst on duty. There are these great sculptures of stainless steel rods depicting the various railway jobs standing among the memorial.
There are wonderful video presentations and for anyone who likes trains, travel, steam, and history, this visit is necessary. A small shop retails memorabilia and great DVDs of rail travel within Australia. Entry is free but a small donation is appreciated to help the ongoing work all by enthusiastic local volunteers
Australian Railway Monument and Rail Journeys Museum
8. The Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre
The Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre is a great photo opportunity for travelers passing by. The volunteers are helpful and friendly and genuinely interested in helping tourists choose the most enjoyable route. The Tamworth Big Golden Guitar is one spot you must visit. It is an authentic gold mine of Australian Country Music legends. Have your photo taken beside the Big Guitar, or with some of the wax figures of past country legends.
It is definitely worth a view to check all the country stars’ guitars up on display. After going through the collection, exit through the back door and arrive at the Longyard Pub and spend the rest of the a day without going anywhere else during the festival.
The Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre
Country music heaven for country music buffs
For all those who appreciate country music, it is mandatory that you visit Tamworth during mid January when the Annual Country Music Festivals are held second only to Nashville, TN. You are in for a huge treat when you visit during the season where you can check out the new developments in the country music circuit and get your money’s worth during the festivals.
Get Trip101 in your inbox