Tamworth – Heart of the New England Region
However, the picturesque setting of the Peel Valley, a rich history, and a vast array of experiences (internal link to Attractions) also make Tamworth a fantastic destination in its own right.
The original inhabitants of the area were the Kamilaroi people who are one of the four largest indigenous nations in Australia. Around the region, you can discover preserved rock art that pre-dates European inhabitation and much of the Kamilaroi people’s language is preserved in place names around the region. For example, Goonoo Goonoo (pronounced Gunna Gan-ooh) means ‘running water over rocks in times of drought’. (You will probably use Goonoo Goonoo Rd to get to our motel).
Explorer John Oxley and his party were the first Europeans to visit the area with Oxley proclaiming the vale one of the best places in the world for the ‘industrious settler’. The Peel River was named after British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, and the subsequent settlement named after Peel’s home town of Tamworth in England.
Agriculture has always formed a base for the region’s economy traditionally focused on beef, sheep, grains, dairy, poultry, and lucerne. However, diverse industries such as olives, aquaculture, goats, alpacas, nuts and wineries have also become part of the Tamworth region’s agricultural production.
Other major contributors to the local economy now include aviation, tourism and events (music, equine, sport), retail, education, manufacturing and mining support industries.
Climate & Seasons
With its location on the New South Wales northern slopes, Tamworth has distinct seasons. Summers are warm and in winter the days are mild with cool to cold nights.
Spring and autumn bring an explosion of colour in their own ways with fresh blooms and an abundance of deciduous trees around the region.
Culture & Recreation
Tamworth is considered Australia’s country music capital and is home to the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame and other country music attractions. The Tamworth Country Music Festival is held over ten days in January each year attracting over 100,000 visitors.
Tamworth is also known as the sporting horse capital of Australia with the three major bodies, CHA, ABCRA and AQHA, all having their headquarters here. The Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre hosts major events throughout the year.
The city also has a variety of first-class facilities catering to a wide range of other sports.
Tamworth is also a key regional centre for the performing arts. The Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre with a capacity of over 5000 seats is the largest of its kind outside the NSW and QLD major metropolitan areas.
Dining & Shopping
With its rich and diverse agriculture industries, it’s no surprise that Tamworth offers a variety of outstanding food and beverage experiences. From farmer’s markets through to international cuisines, Tamworth has a ‘foodie scene’ to rival any metropolitan city.
Tamworth’s Peel Street provides an outstanding ‘main street’ country shopping experience. There are also shopping centres with your favourite department and chain stores.
For those unique items, Tamworth hosts a variety of markets every weekend. You may also enjoy a day trip around some of the nearby townships such as Manilla, Barraba, and Nundle which have amazing antique and collectable shops and boutiques.