We thoroughly enjoyed the drive and found plenty to see along the way.
After a bit of a late pack up in Coonabarabran, due to the tent being very wet, we headed off about midday. Gunnedah is only an hours drive north of Coonabarabran. As we drove into town we saw a sign pointing to a lookout so we decided to check that out. Called Pensioners Hill Lookout, it offered a fantastic view of the whole town. The park area is a Rotary Club project and there were some amazing rock carvings depicting local life. It would be a great spot for a picnic.
Arriving in town, we found a place to park right near the local cricket field. This is at the southern end of the main street. Just across the road was a Woolworths and on the other side Coles, so we were able to stock up on a few essentials. There were plenty of easy parking spots if you are towing a van or a camper.
The park is a perfect spot to stop if you are travelling with kids. There were clean toilets and also a decent playground area, plus picnic tables.
I took a leisurely walk up the main street and found that there were lots of shops and the town seemed vibrant and busy.
Tamworth is a very busy regional city. There are loads of shops, plenty of places to eat and lots of things for visitors to the town to see and do.
If you are looking for a great spot for lunch, once again we found the best view in town! Oxley Lookout is located on the northern edge of town, about two kilometres from the city centre. There were shady trees, green grass and plenty of picnic tables.
There are some great smaller towns, such as Uralla and Nundle, close to Tamworth that you can spend a day exploring as well.
TAMWORTH – COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL OF AUSTRALIA
Tamworth is the Country Music Capital of Australia. Every year in late January, Tamworth hosts its annual Country Music Festival. Thousands of Country Music fans descend on Tamworth to enjoy free concerts, buskers and market stalls. The Golden Guitar Awards are also held during the festival and stars come from all over Australia to attend.
Even if you are not a huge Country Music fan, I still think a stop in Tamworth is worthwhile. Our first stop was at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre. Home of the Big Golden Guitar, the centre also houses the Gallery of Stars Wax Museum. There are also a selection of guitars hanging on the wall of the Visitors Centre. They have been signed by some pretty famous people including Keith Urban, Troy Cassar-Daly, Casey Chambers (no relation) and Lee Kernagan.
Another interesting spot to stop is the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. This not-for-profit, volunteer organisation, houses a huge collection of costumes, photos, instruments and memorabilia from some of Australia’s best known country music stars.
The building itself is shaped like a guitar (of course) and you can learn about the history of country music in Australia. I was particularly interested in the various artists that have successfully crossed over into ‘mainstream’ music, like Keith Urban and Casey Chambers. Also don’t miss the display dedicated to Country Music icon Slim Dusty. Who hasn’t sung ‘The Pub With No Beer’ at least once in their life?
The Hall of Fame is open daily from 10.00am to 4.00pm and entry is $7.00.