Guides

The Ultimate Guide To Tamworth, From Luxe Hotels To Day Trip Adventures

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When I say Tamworth, you might automatically think slightly dingy side-of-the-road motels and ‘country music’ — a fair association. But what happens when the famous Country Music Festival is cancelled for the year, and a brand new 5-star hotel moves into town?

You get to explore what the rest of Tamworth and its surrounds have to offer, and you get to do it in luxury.

Here’s your guide to a long weekend in the heart of NSW, and why you should absolutely give it a go.

Where to stay

 

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I’m not one to ever diss the class roadside motel or pub stay, in fact I’m a huge fan. However, I was a bigger fan of my stay at the brand new, five star oasis provided by Powerhouse Tamworth Hotel by Rydges.

The stylish decor of emerald green trimmings and dark moody colours in the rooms, and plenty of wood touches around the reception and dining areas didn’t take away from the country surroundings, but absolutely modernised it.

There’s also a gym and a pool onsite, the latter that literally looks like an island oasis, with palm trees and small islands giving the pool a tropical feel.

The location is ideal, close to everywhere you’ll want to go, but still a little secluded. The parking is minuscule, considering most people have quite large cars for long road trips or country living, but I could work with it.

What to eat

 

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Peel Street is your main hub in town, lined with cafes and restaurants, so you’re sure to find something here. While other cafes are dotted around, a lot seem to close at lunchtime on Saturday and not reopen until Monday.

If you want something a little more upmarket (although, frankly, very well-priced still), a stay at Powerhouse has you right next door to The Workshop Kitchen. I arrived quite late on my first night, but the smells drifting out the door of this restaurants had me literally drooling and very keen for my dinner the following night. It didn’t disappoint. Right next door is the Coal Bunker Bar for some killer cocktails in moody surrounds.

Besides that, I love Miss Juju Vietnamese restaurant. The ‘lunchbox’ deal gives you a good mix of spring rolls, bao and noodle salads, and yes there’s a vego option. The restaurant itself is casual and super cute.

What to do

 

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I’ll be honest here, Tamworth itself doesn’t have enough to keep you entertained, unless you’re happy to spend the weekend by the hotel pool (no judgement). I recommend taking a decent car, so I was lucky that Toyota were kind enough to lend me a car for the drive, it sure beat my little bomb (that I love, but wasn’t built for the country).

Instead, it’s the perfect home base to launch off into adventure and day trips. The number one thing you MUST do is join a Len Waters Culture tour. See the land in a whole new way and appreciate its rich Indigenous history on your choice of many different lengths and types of experiences. Trust me, it’s amazing.

Besides that, a 50-minute day trip out to Nundle is popular for a reason, with cute stores like the historic Nundle Woollen Mill and Odgers and McClelland. Again, be careful though, they don’t seem to be open on weekends.

Just 15 minutes further in the car will take you to Hanging Rock (no not THE Hanging Rock), a striking rock formation you can either view from the official lookout or take a fairly short walk to the top of. It’s particularly beautiful at sunset.

Gunnedah is another vibrant country town, this time on set up on a river bank. It’s about an hour’s drive from Tamworth and has literally all the obscure country town museums you could ever hope for, as well as beautiful views.

 

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Obviously you’ll also need a selfie with the Golden Guitar before you go, especially if you’re a fan of Australia’s ‘Big Things’.

The author stayed as a guest of Powerhouse Tamworth by Rydges.

(Lead Image: Provided / Powerhouse Tamworth by Rydges)