TAMWORTH – on the New England Highway – is also known as the “City of Lights” because it was the first in Australia to be fitted with electric street lighting, in 1888. To most Australians, however, Tamworth means country music – it’s a sort of antipodean Nashville and recently became the Texas town’s sister city. If country music isn’t your thing, there are art galleries and craft studios around, and the city is gradually building its reputation as a food and wine destination. In April it hosts the Taste Tamworth festival, which is ten days of food-related activities. In the second half of January each year, fans from all over Australia and beyond descend on the city for the ten-day Tamworth Country Music Festival. Every pub, club and hall in the city hosts gigs, record launches and bush poetry, culminating in the presentation of “Golden Guitars”, the Australian Country Music Awards – for information and bookings, contact the visitor centre.

Outside of festival time Tamworth is a lot less atmospheric but there is still enough to keep you busy. For panoramic views of the city and the Peel River Valley, head to the Oxley Lookout and Nature Reserve at the end of White Street.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Australia remains a classic travel destination. A steady stream of gap-year backpackers, career breakers and round-the-world-trippers head down under to sample …

22 Nov 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Pack your stuff, throw it in camper van along with a surfboard and don’t look back… This might be an old cliché but it’s one for good reason: Australia r…

18 Oct 2016 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney and Melbourne have been battling it out for supremacy as long as Europeans have been setting sail for Australia. Both are capitals of their respective st…

03 Oct 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month