Located in northwest New South Wales at the junction of the New England and Oxley Highways, Tamworth could be described as your typical country town: friendly, easy-going, small. It has a population of fewer than 40,000 and lies within a local government area of 9653 square kilometres and a population of some 55,000.
But come January around the Australia Day weekend, Tamworth explodes into a teeming metropolis as up to 50,000 country music lovers converge on this inland city for the Tamworth Country Music Festival with its Australian Country Music Awards and the highly-prized Golden Guitars.
- If you're planning to be in Tamworth for the festival, book your Tamworth accommodation well in advance as hotels, motels, caravan parks and other accommodation venues fill up quickly with early bookings.
The Tamworth Country Music Festival is scheduled for 10 days covering two weekends around Australia Day, and the whole town becomes a country music venue.
Aside from performances in concert halls, you'll find festival gigs in pubs, clubs, shopping centres, church halls, school buildings, museums, sports grounds, parks, and streets. You'll even find a vineyard and an old train carriage as performance venues.
Country music albums, vocalists and groups are nominated for various annual Golden Guitar Awards and winners are announced during the festival.
- Tamworth weather is mostly fine and mild with summer temperatures of 16°C to 31°C and winter temperatures of 3°C to 16°C. Most rain occurs in the summer.
- The Country Collection on the New England Highway, South Tamworth, houses a wax museum with effigies of Australian country music stars. A 12-metre-high Golden Guitar is right out in front.
- The Australian Country Music Foundation Museum on Brisbane St is open from 10am to 2pm Monday to Saturday.
- At the Hands of Fame on Kibble Ave and Brisbane St, you'll find handprints of country music stars.
- Airlines fly on the Sydney-Tamworth and Brisbane-Tamworth routes.
- Tamworth is a stop on the Sydney-Armidale train line.
- Long-distance coaches run through Tamworth on the New England Highway from Sydney or Melbourne to Brisbane.
- If driving from points south, take the New England Highway from Newcastle. From points north, connect with the New England Highway and drive south through Glen Innes and Armidale.