Tamworth, New South Wales

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Tamworth
New South Wales
View over Tamworth from Oxley Lookout.jpg
Tamworth view from Oxley Lookout
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Tamworth
Location in New South Wales
Coordinates 31°05′S150°55′E / 31.083°S 150.917°E / -31.083; 150.917 Coordinates: 31°05′S150°55′E / 31.083°S 150.917°E / -31.083; 150.917
Population41,006 (2016 census) [1]  (32nd)
Established1818 (explored)
1850 (established)
1946 (city)
Postcode(s) 2340
Elevation404 m (1,325 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Tamworth Regional Council
Region North West Slopes
County Inglis
State electorate(s) Tamworth
Federal Division(s) New England
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
24.7 °C
76 °F
9.8 °C
50 °F
636.1 mm
25 in
Tamworth Hotel in Marius Street Tamworth Hotel.jpg
Tamworth Hotel in Marius Street

Tamworth is a city and the major regional centre in the New England region of northern New South Wales, Australia. Situated on the Peel River within the local government area of Tamworth Regional Council, about 318 km from the Queensland border, it is located almost midway between Brisbane and Sydney. According to the 2016 Census, the city had a population around 60,000. The Kamilaroi people are the traditional custodians of Tamworth.

New South Wales state of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Peel River (New South Wales) river in Australia

Peel River, a watercourse that is part of the Namoi catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the North West Slopes and Plains district of New South Wales, Australia.

Tamworth Regional Council Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

Tamworth Regional Council is a local government area in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The area under administration is located adjacent to the New England Highway and the Main North railway line. It was established in March 2004 through the amalgamation of the former City of Tamworth with surrounding shires of Barraba, Manilla, Nundle and Parry.

Contents

The city is known as the "First Town of Lights", being the first place in Australia to use electric street lights in 1888. [2] Tamworth is also famous as the "Country Music Capital of Australia", annually hosting the Tamworth Country Music Festival in late January; the second-biggest country music festival in the world. The city is recognised as the National Equine Capital of Australia [3] because of the high number of equine events held in the city and the construction of the world-class Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre, the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. [4] [5] [6]

Tamworth Country Music Festival

The Tamworth Country Music Festival is an annual music festival in January held in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia and is a celebration of Country Music culture and heritage in particular the national Australian country music scene, with numerous concerts and live performances at various venues. The festival lasts for two weeks over Australia Day and during this period the city of Tamworth comes alive, with visitors from all across the country and worldwide who come to join in the festivities. The festival has many times been counted among the world's top ten music festivals. In 2007 Forbes rated it as number 8 of the World's Coolest Music Festivals. The enormous number of visitors during the bash doubles the city's population and brings significant tourism and economic benefits to the region. Visitor numbers for the 2012 festival were estimated at 50,000.

Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre

The Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) is a multi building and arena complex that was designed for equine usage. It has two indoor arenas, stabling, plus an education and training building, which is located on the New England Highway approximately five kilometres south of the Tamworth Central Business District in the suburb of Hillvue.

History

The Kamilaroi people, from whose language comes the word "budgerigar", inhabited the area before European contact. In 1818, John Oxley passed through the Peel Valley and commented, "it would be impossible to find a finer or more luxuriant country than its waters...No place in this world can afford more advantages to the industrious settler than this extensive vale". [7] In 1831, the first sheep stations and cattle stations were formed, and in the same year, the Australian Agricultural Company was granted a lease of 127,000 hectares (310,000 acres) of land at Goonoo Goonoo, south of the present location of Tamworth, extending to present-day Calala. [8]

Budgerigar small, long-tailed, seed-eating parrot

The budgerigar is a long-tailed, seed-eating parrot usually nicknamed the budgie, or in American English, the parakeet. Budgies are the only species in the genus Melopsittacus. Naturally, the species is green and yellow with black, scalloped markings on the nape, back, and wings. Budgies are bred in captivity with colouring of blues, whites, yellows, greys, and even with small crests. Juveniles and chicks are monomorphic, while adults are told apart by their cere colouring, and their behaviour.

John Oxley British explorer

John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley was an explorer and surveyor of Australia in the early period of British colonisation. He served as Surveyor General of New South Wales and is perhaps best known for his two expeditions into the interior of New South Wales and his discoveries of the Tweed River and the Brisbane River in what is now the state of Queensland.

Sheep station type of ranch in Australia or New Zealand

A sheep station is a large property in Australia or New Zealand whose main activity is the raising of sheep for their wool and meat. In Australia, sheep stations are usually in the south-east or south-west of the country. In New Zealand the Merinos are usually in the high country of the South Island. These properties may be thousands of square kilometres in size and run low stocking rates to be able to sustainably provide enough feed and water for the stock.

In the 1830s, a company town began to develop on the Peel's southwest bank, the present site of West Tamworth. In 1850, a public town was gazetted on the opposite side of the river from the existing settlement. [9] [10] This town became the main town, called "Tamworth" after Tamworth, Staffordshire, represented at the time in parliament by Robert Peel. The town prospered, and was reached by the railway in 1878. [7] The first streetlights used in Australia were commercially owned in Waratah Tasmania in 1886, [11] but on 9 November 1888, Tamworth became the first location in Australia to have electric street lighting powered by a municipally owned power station, giving the town the title of "First Town of Light". [2] [12]

West Tamworth, New South Wales Suburb of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia

West Tamworth is a suburb of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, in the city's west. It is between South Tamworth and Taminda. It is an important commercial and residential area of Tamworth. In West Tamworth is the important commercial area of Bridge Street, which is one of the main roads connecting the northern side of Tamworth with the southern. The Oxley Highway runs through part of West Tamworth.

Tamworth, Staffordshire Place in England

Tamworth is a large market town and borough in Staffordshire, England, 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Birmingham and 103 miles (166 km) northwest of London. Bordering Warwickshire to the south and east, and Lichfield to the north and west, Tamworth takes its name from the River Tame, which flows through it. In 2015, it had a population of 77,157.

Robert Peel British Conservative statesman

Sir Robert Peel of Drayton Manor and Bury, 2nd Baronet, was a British statesman and Conservative Party politician who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and twice as Home Secretary. He is regarded as the father of modern British policing and as one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party.

Timeline

East-West Airlines (Australia) Australian regional airline 1947-1993

East-West Airlines was an Australian regional airline founded in Tamworth, New South Wales in 1947. It operated to major regional city-centres and connected these centres to various state capitals, and by the 1980s it was Australia's third largest domestic airline. It also carried out its own heavy maintenance in Tamworth and operated a network of Travel Centres.

Golden Guitar

The Big Golden Guitar is one of the many "big" attractions that can be found around Australia. Located in Tamworth, New South Wales, the monument is one of the best-known points of interest in New England, New South Wales. It is also a major attraction during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre is an Australian arena, located approximately 5 km south of the Tamworth Central Business District, in the suburb of Hillvue. It is a multi-purpose centre, with a capacity of 5,100 and is the biggest of its kind, outside the NSW and south-east Queensland metropolitan areas.

Geography

Tamworth is located on the western side of the Great Dividing Range, on the banks of the Peel River, about 420 km (260 mi) north of Sydney on the New England Highway, and 280 km (170 mi) inland from Port Macquarie on the Oxley Highway. The town is situated at a narrow point on the Peel River floodplain, nestled at the base of the Wentworth Mounds, a spur of the Moonbi Range, where the Northwest Slopes rise to the Northern Tablelands. The elevation is around 400 m (1,300 ft) AHD. The Peel River runs southeast to northwest through Tamworth. The main town centre is on the northeast bank, between the river and the Wentworth Mounds, which rise to heights of 800 m (2,600 ft), towering over the town. The southwest bank is much flatter, and the town's suburbs sprawl to the south. Water for residents and the town's industry is supplied by Chaffey Dam, 44 km (27 mi) south east of the town.

Great Dividing Range mountain range in the Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria

The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world. It stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 mi) from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales, then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into the central plain at the Grampians in western Victoria. The width of the range varies from about 160 km (100 mi) to over 300 km (190 mi). The Greater Blue Mountains Area, Gondwana Rainforests, and Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Areas are located in the range.

New England Highway highway in New South Wales and Queensland

The New England Highway is an 878-kilometre (546 mi) long highway in Australia running from Hexham at Newcastle, New South Wales at its southern end to Yarraman, north of Toowoomba, Queensland at its northern end. It is part of Australia's National Highway system, and forms part of the inland route between Brisbane and Sydney.

Port Macquarie Town in New South Wales, Australia

Port Macquarie is a coastal town in the local government area of Port Macquarie-Hastings. It is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, about 390 km (242 mi) north of Sydney, and 570 km (354 mi) south of Brisbane. The town is located on the Tasman Sea coast, at the mouth of the Hastings River, and at the eastern end of the Oxley Highway (B56). The town with its suburbs had a population of 45,698 in June 2016.

Tamworth occupies an area of 486.5 km² 486.5 km2 (187.8 sq mi) as of 2003. Surrounding towns include Gunnedah, Willow Tree, Uralla, and Nundle.

Climate

Tamworth has a warm climate with hot summers and mild winters. It is included in the rainfall records and weather forecast region of the North West Slopes [19] or the North West Slopes and Plains division of the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts. [20] Under the Köppen climate classification scheme, Tamworth has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa).

Temperatures exceed 35 °C (95 °F) on around 20–25 days a year, but over the past few years have exceeded this number substantially. The average maximum temperature is 33 °C (91 °F) in the summer, and overnight is around 18 °C (64 °F), the mean annual rainfall is 673.2 mm (26.50 in). Winters are mild or sometimes even warm by day, and cool to cold by night. Daytime temperatures hover around 16–17 °C (61–63 °F) and occasionally make it to 20, and overnight around 3 °C (37 °F). On 12 January 2013, Tamworth recorded a new record high of 42.5 °C (108.5 °F), eclipsing the previous record by 0.5 of a degree, but one year later on 3 January 2014, Tamworth broke this record yet again by almost 3 degrees, recording 45.1 °C (113.2 °F). It has since broken this record again, recording 45.9 °C (114.6 °F) on 12 February 2017. [21]

Rainfall is experienced all year round, with summer storms providing occasional heavy downpours. Tamworth's rainy season, in the early months of a new year (particularly January) can result in major flooding. Snow is rare in Tamworth itself nowadays, but does rarely occur in the surrounding villages such as Nundle; in the 19th to early 20th centuries, however, snow has indeed fallen in Tamworth itself. Frosts are not seldom. On 28 and 29 November 2008, Tamworth, Gunnedah, and the surrounding area received torrential rain that caused severe flooding and led to the area being declared a natural disaster area. [22]

Climate data for Tamworth Airport
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)45.1
(113.2)
45.9
(114.6)
39.0
(102.2)
32.2
(90.0)
29.7
(85.5)
25.4
(77.7)
22.0
(71.6)
29.8
(85.6)
34.0
(93.2)
37.0
(98.6)
41.2
(106.2)
41.4
(106.5)
45.9
(114.6)
Average high °C (°F)32.7
(90.9)
31.1
(88.0)
29.0
(84.2)
25.3
(77.5)
20.7
(69.3)
17.0
(62.6)
16.3
(61.3)
18.5
(65.3)
21.7
(71.1)
25.1
(77.2)
28.0
(82.4)
31.0
(87.8)
24.7
(76.5)
Average low °C (°F)17.5
(63.5)
16.9
(62.4)
14.2
(57.6)
9.8
(49.6)
5.9
(42.6)
3.5
(38.3)
2.9
(37.2)
2.9
(37.2)
5.8
(42.4)
9.5
(49.1)
13.3
(55.9)
15.4
(59.7)
9.8
(49.6)
Record low °C (°F)7.1
(44.8)
6.0
(42.8)
1.9
(35.4)
−0.2
(31.6)
−4.0
(24.8)
−6.0
(21.2)
−6.6
(20.1)
−6.3
(20.7)
−4.0
(24.8)
−0.3
(31.5)
3.0
(37.4)
5.6
(42.1)
−6.6
(20.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches)57.2
(2.25)
79.7
(3.14)
46.6
(1.83)
25.4
(1.00)
27.3
(1.07)
48.8
(1.92)
45.5
(1.79)
36.9
(1.45)
45.2
(1.78)
54.6
(2.15)
90.3
(3.56)
73.8
(2.91)
632.7
(24.91)
Average precipitation days6.17.66.14.14.48.58.26.46.88.39.08.183.6
Source: [23]

Demographics

According to the 2016 census of Population, 41,006 people were in Tamworth urban area.

The estimated urban population of Tamworth at 30 June 2015 was 42,255, [25] having grown, on average, 1.3 percent year-on-year over the preceding five years. [25] Tamworth had a working population of approximately 18,000 [26] in 2008. At the 2011 census the industry sector in Tamworth with the most employees was School Education with almost 6 percent of the workforce. [27]

Population for Tamworth Urban Area. [28]

Tamworth, New South Wales

Suburbs

Central business district

Post Office Town Clock TOWN CLOCK PEEL ST.jpg
Post Office Town Clock

The Tamworth central business district is the town centre and is located north of the Peel River. It is primarily a business area of Tamworth, with many shops, restaurants, car dealerships, as well as shopping centres and public facilities. The Tamworth Regional Council has its headquarters in Peel Street at Ray Walsh House. Bicentennial Park and number one cricket oval are also located in the suburb.

Economy

Orchard outside Tamworth during winter Tamworth orchard.jpg
Orchard outside Tamworth during winter

Tamworth is primarily a service centre for the New England and North West regions, providing services to a population of some 200,000 plus people from the Tamworth region and satellite areas. The retail industry is the biggest employer, followed by manufacturing and health services. The industries with the most number of businesses in order are property and business services, agriculture and construction, closely followed by finance and insurance services. With a diverse economy agriculture, education, transport and aviation are major industries. [29]

Aviation

Aviation has been a significant part of the local economy, partly due to the town's exceptionally suitable flying weather, with the former East West Airlines and Eastern Airlines having had service and maintenance bases at the Tamworth Airport. The Tamworth airport is an important centre for flying training activities defence force graduates, but training of civil aviation students has declined dramatically in recent years. The BAE Systems Flight Training College encompasses the flight screening course for all Australian Defence Force pilot applicants, Basic Flying Training School for the Australian Defence Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force. The Australasian Pacific Aeronautical College and New England Institute of TAFE in the town also provide aeronautical training. [30]

Agriculture

King George Avenue near the Peel River where many farms are located Kinggeorgeavenuetamworth.jpg
King George Avenue near the Peel River where many farms are located

Agriculture is an important industry in the Tamworth economy. An estimated 307,000 hectares (760,000 acres) of land are used for the agricultural industry, with an economic gross value of $75 million contributing to the Tamworth economy. [31] Important agricultural activities include beef, sheep, grain, dairy, poultry and lucerne. [31] Other agricultural areas include alpaca, buffalo, berry, fish, goat, hydroponic, nut, olive, and specialised game fowl farming, as well as wineries. [31] Offices for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources are located in Tamworth. [31]

Australian National Equine Livestock Events Centre (AELEC), New England Highway, Tamworth, NSW AELEC.JPG
Australian National Equine Livestock Events Centre (AELEC), New England Highway, Tamworth, NSW

Equine and sporting horse events

Tamworth is recognised nationally as the sporting horse capital of Australia and is the headquarters for three major equine associations: CHA, ABCRA and AQHA. Many of the Australia's most important equine events take place in Tamworth. Various international, national and state championships are regularly held in the Tamworth district, as well as Australia's richest sporting horse event; the NCHA Futurity. Additionally, the ABCRA National Finals Rodeo occurs during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Equine sports and their participation is very high in the Tamworth region amongst residents. The strength of the equine and sporting horse industry has resulted in hundreds of businesses and horse studs being located in the town's region.

Titles held in the town include: ABCRA National Finals and Junior National Finals, Australian Quarter Horse National Championships and Barrel Race Super Challenge, and the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity among many other events. [32] These events were hosted at the Tamworth Showgrounds in the suburb of Taminda; however, they are now hosted at the new Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre as of 2008. The Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre has been built by the Tamworth Regional Council at a cost of $30 million. Construction of stage I began in June 2007 and was completed in October 2008. The centre has an indoor arena seating 3,360 people, stables for over 478 horses, [33] a covered stud livestock-selling area with seating for 660 people and truck and camping facilities for 195 vehicles. [34] Associations for Appaloosas horses, all breeds, Western Performance, Australian Stock Horses, Pony Clubs and cutting horses all use the centre.

Retail

Tamworth is the largest and main retail centre for the New England and North West Slopes regions of New South Wales. Retail accounts for 22.5% of the working population and is the largest employer in the town. [35]

Peel Street is the major retail and shopping area of Tamworth and is located in the Tamworth Central Business District. Three blocks of Peel St were refurbished over different stages during the 1990s. There are a few hundred shops in the main street, as well as restaurants, street cafés and banks. These include a large Target (formally Grace Bros.).

There are many shopping centres located in Tamworth, with the majority being located in the Tamworth Central Business District (CBD), but many are also located in various neighbourhood suburbs. Shopping centres include:

Tamworth Regional Council Building in Peel Street Tamworth RC.JPG
Tamworth Regional Council Building in Peel Street

Tourism

Tourism is a significant industry in the Tamworth area, worth $AUD239 million annually as at December 2014, [36] with by far the most significant draw being the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival, the biggest event of its type in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. Other attractions include Tamworth's museums and galleries. Nearby destinations include several country towns, including Barraba, popular for birdwatching, Nundle, and Quirindi. [37]

Country Music Festival

Tamworth's big Golden Guitar Big GoldenGuitar Tamworth.jpg
Tamworth's big Golden Guitar

Tamworth is best known for hosting the Country Music Festival. The Festival is held over a period of 10 days during January, and is the second biggest country music festival in the world. The festival has many times been counted among the world's top ten music festivals. In 2007, Forbes rated it as number 8 of the World's Coolest Music Festivals. [38] It features thousands of Australian and international country music artists performing live shows 24 hours a day. Each year, an estimated 100,000 people pass through Tamworth for the festival, with around 70,000 staying for a substantial duration of the festival, with some camping along the banks of the Peel River.

The 10-day festival culminates in the Golden Guitar Awards – the most prestigious award Australian country music artists can win for their music. In honour of its country music, Tamworth is home to the 'Big Golden Guitar', the wax museum and the hands of fame park of successful country music artists. Homegrown country music stars include Felitown Urquhart and up-and-coming talent Chasing Bailey, whose music style is a mixture of country, rock and other genres.

Vehicle manufacturing

In the 1990s, Ansair established a bus bodying factory in Tamworth to body Scania and Volvo buses for Brisbane Transport and the State Transit Authority. Jakab Industries also bodied buses as well as ambulances and postal vans between 1973 and 2002.

Venues

Tamworth Capitol Theatre

The Tamworth Capitol Theatre is fitted with a 405-seat auditorium with two levels of tiered seating, professional theatre lighting, a full sound system, dressing rooms, an orchestra pit, and fly tower, and is fully air conditioned. It is a multifunctional space for live theatre and cinema productions. It has significantly added to the existing cultural facilities in the region and provides a forum for live theatre, including dance, drama, music, educational activities, conferences and community events. During the Country Music Festival The Capitol Theatre is host to three independent shows per day. [39]

Tamworth Town Hall

The Tamworth Town Hall, located in the Tamworth Central Business District, is a historical building used for events, conferences and concerts. Additionally, it is commonly used for career expos, antique shows, meetings and conventions. It was built in 1934, has a proscenium stage, a gallery and a seating capacity of 1074 people. [40]

Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre

Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre is located in the suburb of Hillvue. It is a multipurpose centre with a seating capacity of 5,100, [41] and is the biggest of its kind outside the New South Wales and south-east Queensland metropolitan areas.

Education

Culture and recreation

Sport

Sport is a very important part of Tamworth culture, and over 50 different sports and recreational pursuits are participated in by the community. [42] Many major annual and one-off sporting events are held in the town because of the wide range of facilities and venues available. [42] There are over 180 sporting clubs in the Tamworth region and the region has several strong competitions, including basketball, cricket, football (soccer), hockey, netball, rugby league, rugby union and Aussie rules football. As a result, the town has produced many sportspeople, including test cricketers, olympic shooters and hockey players, and many players in the National Rugby League. [42] The Northern Inland Academy of Sport is one important institution in the town that has helped talented sportspeople to establish themselves "on and off the field". [42] It was established in 1992 and has a wide range of community support.

During the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June, Tamworth hosts a Baseball tournament with teams competing from all over NSW and QLD.

Facilities

Located within the town are an athletic track, Australian football grounds, badminton courts, baseball diamonds, indoor basketball courts, indoor and outdoor cricket pitches, croquet turf, cycling (velodrome and bmx track), two 18-hole golf courses, a gymnastic centre, water bases hockey fields, the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre used for equine sports, eleven bowling turfs, a kart-racing track, a speedway track and a motocross track, netball courts: twelve asphalt courts, 30 grass courts and an indoor synthetic court, an inline hockey court, rugby league and union fields (nine senior fields and seven junior fields). Shooting sports have a 3 x 25 m standard pistol range, 1 x 10m air pistol range, 1 x 100m free and action pistol range; 1 x 50m service pistol range and 1 x 100m rifle range. Soccer fields include six senior fields, 8 junior fields and an indoor standard court. Two international standard softball diamonds and ten competition standard diamonds are available. Squash courts, two olympic swimming pools and one indoor pool, tennis courts (two hardcourts, 17 synthetic courts, 8 clay courts and one indoor synthetic court), two tenpin bowling centres, 16 touch football/Oztag fields, two indoor volleyball courts and three beach courts, as well as 2 water polo competition level pools are located there. [42]

Senior sports teams

Tamworth Golf Course Tamworthgolfcourse.jpg
Tamworth Golf Course
Team nameSportCompetitionYears
Tamworth Rugby Club Rugby UnionCentral North1954
Pirates Rugby Club Rugby UnionCentral North1962
North Tamworth Bears Rugby League Group 4 1911
West Tamworth Lions Rugby League Group 4
Oxley Diggers Rugby League Group 4 2014
Tamworth FCFootball (soccer)McDonald's Northern Inland Premier League2008
North Companions Football (soccer)McDonald's Northern Inland Premier League
Kootingal Kougars FCFootball (soccer)Tamworth District Football1976
Oxley Vale Attunga Football (soccer)McDonald's Northern Inland Premier League1984
Tamworth Kangaroos Australian rules football Tamworth Australian Football League
Tamworth Swans Australian rules football Tamworth Australian Football League
South United Hockey Club HockeyTamworth Men's Hockey1990
Kiwi Diggers Hockey Club HockeySubaru Super Sticks1958

Performing arts

Parks

Bicentennial Park Waler.JPG
Bicentennial Park

The many important parks in the town of Tamworth include Anzac Park, Bicentennial Park and The Tamworth Regional Botanic Gardens. The botanical gardens were established in 1995 and are run by the Tamworth Regional Council. Bicentennial Park is characterisd by its stagnant waters and high population of wild ducks. The gardens cover an area of 28 ha (69 acres), [43] 5 ha (12 acres) of which has been developed. The gardens conserve the flora of the region, as well as include flora and plant displays from various parts of Australia and the world.

Heritage listings

Tamworth has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

The following buildings in Tamworth are listed on the now defunct Register of the National Estate: [50]

Museums

Tamworth Power Station Museum

Tamworth was the first town in Australia to light its streets by municipally generated electritown in 1888. A larger power station was established in 1923 at a site in Marius Street, East Tamworth due to the high demand of electritown and the main building was demolished in 1982. The Tamworth Power Station Museum's purpose is to tell the story of the town's role in the development of electric street lighting, from the early days of oil lamps in 1876 and gas lamps in 1882, through to the installation of the first electric lights in November 1888. The museum has one of Australia's largest collections of early 20th century electrical appliances.

Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum

The Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum holds more than 50 motorcycles spanning from the 1950s to the 1980s. The museum specialises in Ducati, Triumph, Honda, Velocette and Laverda. The museum holds an example of the limited edition MV Agusta F4 Serie Oro.

Churches

Cross of Light at Tamworth Lookout Tamworth lookout christian cross.jpg
Cross of Light at Tamworth Lookout

Since 2000, the Combined Churches of Tamworth have run a free to the public festival called "Lifefest" in Bicentennial Park. The event is run on a Saturday in July in conjunction with Fusion Tamworth and with the support of Tamworth Regional Council. The family day celebrates National Thanksgiving Day and involves various stalls with free food, drinks, games, and showbags, as well as a drama presentation, music performances, and displays from police, fire brigade and ambulance personnel; 2007 attracted a crowd of a few thousand to the festival in the park.

Media

Tamworth serves as the regional centre for media in the New England District. Much of the region's history is stored in its original form at the Tamworth Regional Film and Sound Archive – a volunteer organisation hosted by the Tamworth Regional Council - and their database is available online. In 1970, the town (city hall, main street, swimming pool, Hoyts drive-in, and station) and region served as the setting for the Judy vignette in the 1971 film 3 to Go .

Newspapers

Television

Tamworth is served by three commercial and two public television services, each having their respective primary and multichannel services across the North West region:

Regional news coverage of the Tamworth area is provided on all three main commercial networks. Canberra-based Prime7 produces and airs a 30-minute local news program for the Tamworth area at 6:00 pm. Newcastle-based NBN Television airs news, sport and weather opt-outs for the area within its hour-long 6:00 pm bulletin. Subscription television services are provided by Austar.

Radio

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) operate and broadcast five radio stations:

Several other radio stations are based in the town, including 2TM, general community station 88.9 FM, Christian community radio station Radio Rhema 89.7 FM, and hit music station FM 92.9. The community radio stations both broadcast from Bald Hill. FM 92.9 and 2TM are owned by the Broadcast Operations Group, branded as the "Super Radio Network".

Transport

Front of Tamworth station Front of Tamworth Train Station.jpg
Front of Tamworth station
Tamworth station Signal Room Tamworth Station Signal Room.jpg
Tamworth station Signal Room

Tamworth Airport has daily flights to Sydney Airport with QantasLink and Virgin Australia [51] and has daily flights to Brisbane Airport by regional carriers Fly Corporate [52] and Jetgo. [53] Regional airline Fly Corporate [54] began a regular service between Brisbane and Tamworth on 31 October 2016.

Tamworth station is situated on the Main Northern railway line. Trains no longer continue all the way to the Queensland border, but the town is still served by the NSW TrainLink Xplorer service between Sydney and Armidale, where daily coaches continue to Tenterfield. Other NSW TrainLink coaches operate to Inverell. Until November 2009, Pacific National operated a regular fuel service from Sydney, carrying 30 million litres (6,600,000 imp gal; 7,900,000 US gal) of fuel a year to Tamworth and Dubbo. It was the last freight service to serve the town; in the 1980s, up to six trains a day ran. [55]

Tamworth is served by thrice-weekly bus services to Coffs Harbour and Brisbane by New England Coaches. [56] Greyhound Australia stopped servicing Tamworth in 2016 citing unprofitable passenger loadings.

Local services are provided by Tamworth Buslines [57] who also provides interurban services to nearby Quirindi (Rt 428), Manila (Rt 443) and Bendemeer (Rt 444)

Sister cities

Tamworth has the following sister cities:

Countrytown (and Province or State)
Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand Gore
Flag of the United States.svg United States Nashville, Tennessee
Flag of Japan.svg Japan Sannohe, Aomori [58]
Flag of England.svg England Tamworth
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China Chaoyang District, Beijing

Attractions

Tamworth's old Visitor Information Centre, built in the shape of a guitar. The Tamworth Visitors Information Centre - Taken on the Saturday, 9th July 2011 at 3-20pm. - panoramio.jpg
Tamworth's old Visitor Information Centre, built in the shape of a guitar.

Military history

During World War 2, Tamworth was the location of RAAF No.20 Inland Aircraft Fuel Depot (IAFD), completed in 1942 and closed on 14 June 1944. Usually consisting of 4 tanks, 31 fuel depots were built across Australia for the storage and supply of aircraft fuel for the RAAF and the US Army Air Forces at a total cost of £900,000 ($1,800,000). [59]

Notable people

Academic
Arts, entertainment and media
Politics
Sport

See also

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