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Travel guide Tamworth

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  • Heritage Tamworth streetscape at night
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Bicentennial Park
  • Midweek Festival
  • Paragliding

Now Tamworth has something else to sing about!  Famous for country and western music and the festival, which is held every January, Tamworth was voted Australia’s Tidiest Town of 2009 in the annual Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Town Awards, part of the Sustainable Communities Awards along with the Clean Beaches and Sustainable Cities Awards.

Long known for its devotion to country music and all that goes with it, Tamworth can now hang its hat on environmental sustainability as well.  Also winner of the national Community Action and Energy Innovation Award, the city has focussed squarely on litter reduction and energy savings with its ‘Don’t Waste Tamworth’ and ‘Ban the Bulb’ programs. In fact Tamworth can now boast that the majority of the city is ‘incandescent-free’ having supplied nearly every home with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

So it is fitting in the 40th year of the iconic Tidy Towns program that Tamworth can celebrate its environmental achievements as well as its musical ones.

People are becoming more aware of the impact our activities have on our glorious, but fragile environment and are increasingly looking for ways to enjoy and be part of the natural world, without doing any further damage. The Sustainable Communities Awards underline the important aspects of tourism that we should all be aware of, including resource recovery and waste management, environmental innovation, water conservation, energy innovation and heritage and culture… and remind us that if we don’t travel and stay in an environmentally sustainable way, we are damaging the very things we most want to see. 

You can’t talk about Tamworth without mentioning the ‘Golden Guitars Awards’, where the best of the best in country music are lauded each year and music holds sway all year round with more than 20 country music icons to check out, including the 12m Golden Guitar itself, to wax museums and the interactive centre of music memorabilia.

However if you think that music is all Tamworth has to offer, you would be ignoring the many other attractions of this regional centre, which services a large rural community and is the commercial and retail centre of the north west and New England area.

Things to do
If jumping off a cliff is your thing, then head to nearby Manilla on the banks of the Namoi River, the paragliding and hang gliding capital of NSW.  Enthusiasts from all over the world enjoy the thermals and if you love to soar like an eagle, then this is the place to do it. For those who like to wet a line, Manilla has fishing options like Lake Keepit and Split Rock Dam.

Nundle is an historic gold mining town and in the mid 1800s saw an influx of prospectors from all over the world hoping to make their fortune, and traces of gold and gemstones are still found to this day, so enjoy a coffee in the pretty main street and plan your assault on the goldfields.

Barraba is 90kms north of Tamworth along the well-named Fossicker’s Way and while well known as another fossicking area, it is also a bird-watcher’s paradise where the endangered Regent Honeyeater can be seen.

In fact Tamworth and surrounds is a blend of sophistication, country warmth and heritage and the gateway to our rural heartland.

When to go
Tamworth is a great place to visit all year as its height above sea level (400m) means it is free of humidity, while offering summer tops of around 31 degrees C and comfortable night time temperatures around 16 degrees C. Winters are cooler and drier and a great time to visit for the sense of history, shopping and historical attractions.

How to get there
Tamworth is an easy 5 hours drive north of Sydney and about 6 hours south of Brisbane and lies on the main inland route from Victoria to Queensland.  There are daily flights and train and bus services from both Sydney and Brisbane, however if you don’t drive you will want to hire a car to make the most of exploring this fascinating region.

Where to stay
There is plenty of choice when it comes to accommodation, from the luxurious to the spartan, family-friendly to pet-friendly … and everything in between.

The Retreat at Froog Moore Park is an amazing property with 5 rooms, each offering a different theme, such as Moroccan, Japanese, Succulent, or the Dungeon – for a break away with a difference!

Or take your furry friend for a stay at Aaron Cottage and enjoy touches like the pressed metal ceilings, spacious yard and room to sleep up to eight people.  Montaray Cottage is in the glorious Loomberah Valley, just 25kms from Tamworth and offers serenity and rural vistas and is a great place to stay while exploring the delights of the region.

There are many places to choose from and you can find them all in the TakeABreak Tamworth  and New England accommodation listings.

About the author
Lisa Monk is a marketing communications writer with a diverse background that includes experience in travel, hotel, finance, public relations and advertising. She has worked with Club Med, the Holiday Inn group and on a number of other travel projects on a freelance basis.  Lisa has travelled throughout Asia Pacific, North America and England.

Lisa now works with TakeABreak.com.au as editor of the Holiday Inspirations newsletter and other publications.  She lives in Sydney with her husband Andy, and sons Joseph and Nicholas.

About the author
Find out more about Lisa at http://bit.ly/h_experts

More accomodation in New England & North West
Armidale | Glen Innes | Inverell | Walcha | Gunnedah | Tamworth | Narrabri | Bingara | Uralla | Barraba | Tenterfield | Guyra | Merriwa | Wollomombi | Deepwater | Stanborough | Glencoe | Red Hill | Warwick |

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