Tamworth is the Australian Country Music Capital and home to the largest Country Music Festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Don't be fooled though, there's much more to the city!
Tamworth proudly proclaims itself as Australia's Country Music Capital and it is only one of the noteworthy reasons proclaiming visitors to sing its praises as a destination. The city has an extensive repertoire of attractions from the natural wonders of Mother Nature to its cultural and artistic offerings, as well as top restaurants showcasing regional produce and wine.
It is the hub of a regional council of about 58,000 people who live in the city or in the towns of Barraba, Manilla and Nundle. The Tamworth Regional area is about three times the size of Sydney basin or about the same as Lake Eyre.
Tamworth is a beautiful, vibrant and prosperous regional city of approximately 500km north of Sydney and 600km south of Brisbane; the city covers 184 sq km and is home to nearly 50,000 people. Tamworth is the "capital city" of the New England North West region of NSW, serving around 182,000 people.
The retail industry is one of the larger employers and the range of products and services available compares more than favourably with other cities. There is so much fresh produce supplied by local growers, from market gardeners and hydroponic farms to specialty foods based on fish, berries, wine, and olives. Whilst many industries have grown exponentially and the local economy has diversified, agriculture continues to be the backbone with a gross production value estimated at over $75 million.
Recognised by many as the sporting horse capital of Australia, Tamworth is a thriving equine centre boasting four major equine association headquarters (NCHA, ABCRA and AQHA) making way for some of Australia's most glamorous and action packed equine events.
Horses are big business in the Tamworth area with various international, national and state championships regularly held in the district along with Australia's richest sporting horse event, the NCHA Futurity (annually in May/June) as well as the ABCRA National Finals Rodeo showcased during the Country Music Festival every January.
In 2008, the city opened the doors to a $30million world-class Australian Equine & Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) which houses an indoor arena with seating for 3,100 spectators (expandable to 5,000), as well as stabling for 500 horses, truck parking and camping facilities for over 200 vehicles. The AELEC is the principal equine facility in Australia and many locals are predicting that in time, equine will grow to become a bigger industry than country music.
Tamworth offers cultural activities with art galleries, a Conservatorium of Music, museums, libraries and a newly constructed Capitol Theatre.
There is plenty of accommodation with five star hotels to apartments, units, bed and breakfasts, farm stays, caravan parks and camping grounds.
The Tamworth Region also has a high quality reputation for its education with 35 schools and open learning, TAFE and university campuses.
Tamworth has many star attractions year round including the award winning Walk A Country Mile Museum interpretive exhibit at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre, the Australian Country Music Foundation Museum featuring some of Australia's best loved artists, the Gallery of Stars Wax Museum to see favourite stars immortalised in wax. Also the bronze cast Country Music Legends busts in Bicentennial Park and Galaxy of Stars where top artists are honoured with a star in the footpath, at the entrance to the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.
Visitors to this region all year round not only soak up the musical atmosphere, but with landscapes that cover 9,653.25 square kilometres from the Nandewar Range north of Barraba, south east to Peel and the Great Dividing Ranges.