Situated on the New England Highway, approximately four hundred twenty kilometres northwest of Sydney, Tamworth is Australia’s country music capital. A regional centre with a population of around forty thousand people, the city is located at the southern end of New South Wales’ picturesque New England region and is a great place for backpackers to book a hostel for a while and experience traditional Australian country hospitality, as well as its best locally produced country music.
Tamworth has a rich agricultural heritage, with sheep, cattle, and grain farms located around the surrounding areas. This is an attraction for many independent travelers as it provides an insight into an aspect of the Australian way of life far removed from that seen in the bigger cities and popular holiday resorts. Some backpackers come to the area in search of seasonal farm work, and Tamworth hostels can often provide suggestions about the best times of the year and places to apply.
If you’re captivated by the iconic image of the traditional Australian stockman or drover, and wouldn’t mind giving it a try yourself, Tamworth also has a couple of jackaroo and jillaroo schools where you can learn the tricks of the trade.
A great time to visit Tamworth is during the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival in January. At this popular event you can listen to some of Australia’s best country musicians and take part in the numerous other happenings around town. Be sure to book your Tamworth hostel accommodation well ahead of time, however, as this is a very big event with tens of thousands of visitors arriving from all over Australia and further afield.
Other interesting places to visit in Tamworth include the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Walk a Country Mile Museum, and Tamworth Marsupial Park. There is also a regional art gallery, a few other museums, and some great local farmers markets. If you’re visiting Tamworth in early March, be sure to also check out the annual Tamworth Agricultural Show. Australian country shows are loads of fun and give you a glimpse in traditional Aussie country life, as well as having great fairground rides and sideshows.
Tamworth is located on the New England Highway, the inland route connecting Sydney and Brisbane. For backpackers relying on public transport, Tamworth is connected with these cities and other regional centres by regular buses and trains.
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