Tamworth is nationally famous as the "Country Music Capital of Australia", annually hosting the Tamworth Country Music Festival in late January. The city is recognised as the "National Equine Capital of Australia" because of the high volume of equine events held in the city and the construction of the world class Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC). The city additionally is known as the "City of Lights", being the first place in the Southern Hemisphere to utilise electric street lights.
Tamworth itself is a well developed and confident regional centre. It has a great location by the side of the Peel River, that has playgrounds, coffee shops and parks. Peel Street itself is the main shopping strip, running parallel to the river.
You can fly, drive yourself, catch a train from Sydney or Armidale, and catch a connecting coach in from a few surrounding towns. The days of coaches plying the inland route between Sydney and Brisbane are gone, with all such services now travelling the coastal Pacific Highway route to Brisbane.
It will take around 5 hours to drive from Sydney - with no breaks. Effectively a full day's drive. There are a variety of inland routes if you are coming from Melbourne, but by the time you pass Canberra, the quickest route will be via Sydney.
NSW Trainlink trains connect Tamworth to Armidale and Sydney daily. A connecting bus travels along the old branch line to Inverell before each train departure and after each arrival. Tickets must be booked before boarding.
Peel Street is less than 5 minutes walk downhill from the station.
- 1 Tamworth Airport (TMW IATA). A sizeable airport for a regional town. It has a nice air-conditioned terminal, with a cafe and ATM. It has car hire and taxis available to meet flights. For Qantas club members there is a flight lounge in the terminal. Qantas runs regular services between Sydney, up to six flights a day on weekdays. Virgin Australia also fly to Tamworth from Sydney.
The airport itself is around 10 km from town. Too far to walk. There is cycleway nearly all the way to the terminal.
The main mall along Peel Street can be walked on foot in about twenty minutes. The nice parks between the mall and the Peel River have pedestrian and cycle paths running through them. For anywhere else in the city, a car is definitely recommended.
A couple of bus companies run services through Tamworth on weekdays.
During the Country Music Festival in January there are special bus services which do various circuits of the city.
- 1 Golden Guitar, 2 The Ringers Rd (on the New England Highway just south of the city). Tamworth is Australia's country music capital. A memorial to country music.
- 2 Memorial to the Australian Light Horse (Waler Memorial), Bicentennial Park, Kable Avenue. The cast bronze statue of a Waler horse and an Australian Light Horse Trooper.
- 3 Tamworth Regional Botanic Garden, Piper Street (in the north of Tamworth), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 28 hectares of land comprising native gardens, ponds and a new Asian-inspired garden.There is a lookout in that gives stunning views across the area's agricultural land. No entry fee.
- 4 Oxley Scenic Lookout. is set high above the city. Its westward outlook allows for stunning sunset and evening views.
- Tamworth Country Music Festival: 15–24 January 2021. An annual music festival and is a celebration of Australian country music culture and heritage. The festival lasts for two weeks during late January and during this period the city of Tamworth (or 'Tam-vegas' as it has become known by visiting celebrities and journalists) comes alive, with visitors from all across the country and worldwide who come to join in the festivities. The festival has many times been counted among the world's top ten music festivals. In 2007 Forbes rated it as number 8 of the World’s Coolest Music Festivals. The enormous number of visitors during the bash doubles the city's population and brings significant economic benefits to the region. Visitor numbers for the 2007 festival were estimated to be 50,000. The mass number of visitors means that accommodation throughout the area is consistently booked out for this period up to 12 months in advance, with many visitors camping in caravans and tents by the cities riverside. The festival is the second biggest country music festival in the world. A significant degree of national media coverage is given to the festival with all television networks showing the festival in the news. The commercial television stations Channel Seven, Ten and Nine have all broadcast shows and segments from the festival.
Akubra hats are a local specialty - this is the home of country music after all!
Tamworth is a great retail sector for the New England with 5 Major Shopping Complexes, 3 Down the main Street.
- Tamworth Shopping World: Anchored by Big W, Woolworths, The Regent Shop and Australia Post is a large shopping complex on Brisbane Street. It consists of 50 Specialty Shops, A Fast Food Court & Multi Storey Car Park over 3 levels.
- Tamworth City Plaza: Ancored by K-Mart and Coles, it is in the heart of the CBD. The Centre Includes 45 Specialty Shops, A Fast Food Court, and Undercover Shaded Parking.
- Centrepoint Tamworth: Also located in the heart of the CBD, across from Target Department Store, Centrepoint Offers Franklins Supermarket, 6 Cinema Complex with a Performing Arts Arena, Child Care Centre, 40 Specialty Shops over 2 floors of shopping, Fast Food Court & Alfresco Dining and a multi Storey Car Park over 3 levels.
- Tamworth Arcade: A small arcade offering 20 specialty stores in the heart of the CBD.
- Tamworth HomeSpace: A Bulky Goods Centre in Tamworth's fastest growing Estate. It is located near Harvey Norman, and other Bulky Goods Stores.
- Albert Hotel, 211 Peel St (Tamworth), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Panama Jacks has a selection of entrees and main courses to suit everyone’s appetite. Entertainment provided.
- Bucking Bull, Centrepoint Shopping Centre, ☏ . Tasty, good quality food. Specialising in burgers, roast meats, sandwiches, subs and hot filled spuds. Dine-in or take-away.
- SSS BBQ Barns, Near the Golden Guitar, Great Atmosphere, Food and Service with a Smile.
- Hogsbreath, on Peel Street serves a range of foods.
- Outback Jack's, near the Golden Guitar, Goonoo Goonoo Road. It is a steakhouse.
Imperial Hotel, Cnr Brisbane and Marius Street, known to the young people of the town as "The Impy", is the hub of Tamworth's night life.
Good companions, Brisbane Street, also known as "The Goodies". With its metro styling, it is one of the few local venues with a cocktail list.
Tamworth Hotel, Marius Street (opposite the train station). Grand country town hotel. Known for its selection of beers, cigars and fine wine.
Central Hotel, Cnr Peel and Brisbane Street.
For a cheap drink visit one of the registered clubs, including Wests Diggers, West Tamworth League Club, the Services Club, or one of the sporting clubs.
- All Seasons Tamworth Towers, Cnr Oxley Hwy & Ebsworth Street, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. 108 rooms with views of the Moonbi Ranges and the Peel River. All rooms are non-smoking, and feature Austar television, high speed Wi-Fi and reverse-cycle air conditioning. Restaurant and bar on-site. From $99.
- Motel 359, Goonoo Goonoo Road.
- Tamworth YHA Hostel, 169 Marius Street, Tamworth, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Beds from $23.
- The Albert Hotel, 211 Peel St, ☏ . Newly renovated hotel offers a great atmosphere catering for a relaxed evening or a night out. Entertainment provided.
- EconoLodge Savannah Park Tamworth, New England Highway, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. All 25 rooms are on ground floor level with parking at your door. The rooms are set well back from the road. Extensive gardens surround the half-court tennis/basketball court and swimming pool with heated spa. Rates start at $105.
- Take the half-hour drive to Nundle. Go gold prospecting, buy wool at the mill, check-out the art gallery, search for antiques, or have lunch at the pub. There is also a craft co-op, an op-shop, general stores, an 1850s-type prospector's store, a restaurant and places to have coffee. There is a motel if you wish to stay-over. Take a different route back to Tamworth - either the sealed New England Highway or the back dirt road.
- Armidale is an easy day trip.
- Barraba is 90 km north of Barraba in the heart of the Fossickers Way.
- Bundarra is 161 km north of Tamworth via New England Highway, Uralla, Thunderbolts Way.
- Tingha is 196 km north of Tamworth via New England Highway, Guyra, Guyra Road.