Over the past forty years Tamworth has become synonymous with country music. It is now known as ‘The Country Music Capital’ and the combination of a Big Guitar, the huge Country Music Festival (reputedly the second largest in the world), the Country Music Hall of Fame and numerous lesser attractions, has ensured that the city can offer days, even weeks, of country music-flavoured activities. In spite of this apparent focus on all things country, the city has much more to offer.
There is the rich history of significant and gracious buildings; the importance of the surrounding agricultural area which produces wool, dairy products, eggs, poultry, wheat, lucerne and honey; the economic importance of cattle, horse and sheep studs; and the simple fact that, with a population of over 40,000, it is a thriving and prosperous service centre. It is, in fact, so large that it has become the most important service centre in the New England region with nearly one quarter of the city’s workforce being employed in the retail sector (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).
Tamworth Caravan Park
Tamworth was not all that enthralling. We arrived following our trip from Tenterfield (maplink) and checked into the Big4 Paradise Tourist Park. The first thing we noticed was some of the local kids starting a series of fires in scrub-land next to the park; apparently an ongoing thing with fire brigades etc involved.
We went down the local visitor centre and the person we spoke to said that there was really nothing on except the “Nundle Dragon Festival” otherwise Tamworth is a pretty boring place (that’s what they said!)
Looks like the only time to visit Tamworth is for the Country Music Festival held each January!
Nundle Chinese Gold Festival
We were really fortunate to be in Tamworth on the same week-end that the Nundle Chinese Gold Festival was being held. It celebrates the village’s rich gold mining history and the many Chinese who were drawn there to seek their fortune.
There were Chinese dancers, magnificent dragons and many street and food stalls. It was perfect weather and a great day was spent immersing ourselves in some of the local history. Held every Easter, it is really a great thing to do if you are in the area.
Nundle is about 60km south of Tamworth (maplink).
Here are some videos we took of these amazing performers…