Out & About with Kids - - WE REVIEW -

More than just the coun­try mu­sic cap­i­tal, the north-west NSW city of Tamworth is a vi­brant cen­tre for the spec­tac­u­lar sur­round­ing coun­try­side, with great lo­cal pro­duce, up-close wildlife en­coun­ters and cul­tural sights that will keep vis­i­tors of all ages en­ter­tained.

The Pa­cific High­way, hug­ging the NSW east coast, has tra­di­tion­ally been the most favoured route for fam­i­lies driv­ing be­tween Syd­ney and Bris­bane. But the ru­ral land­scapes and his­toric towns along the New Eng­land High­way are well worth ex­plor­ing. Here are 6 great rea­sons to take the in­land route on your next fam­ily hol­i­day and en­joy a per­fect pit stop in the heart of the re­gion - Tamworth.

1 It’s the buzzing cen­tre of beau­ti­ful New Eng­land

With spec­tac­u­lar nat­u­ral sur­rounds and quaint his­toric towns, the New Eng­land re­gion is a des­ti­na­tion in it­self. To the south of Tamworth lies the former gold min­ing town of Nun­dle where you can try you hand at gold pan­ning, then take a stroll around the wa­ters of nearby Sheba Dams, renowned for its rain­bow trout fish­ing and birdlife. Go bush­walk­ing along the trails of Warrabah Na­tional Park and visit beau­ti­ful Hor­ton Falls, or soak up the sweep­ing views from the Hang­ing Rock Look­out.

2 Tamworth’s cul­ture is more than just coun­try mu­sic

Tamworth is syn­ony­mous with coun­try mu­sic, and the an­nual Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val - Aus­tralia’s largest mu­sic fes­ti­val - is held here each Jan­uary. But if coun­try mu­sic isn’t your thing, never fear! This town has more than its fair share of fan­tas­tic fam­ily-friendly cul­tural at­trac­tions to dis­cover.

A walk down Peel Street, the heart and soul of Tamworth, will take you past many of the city’s beau­ti­ful 19th cen­tury build­ings, in­clud­ing the Post Of­fice and the Fed­er­a­tion-style Rocks on Peel. Grab a Tamworth Her­itage Walk map from the vis­i­tor’s cen­tre to guide you around town – the kids will love the mu­ral art­work along the mo­saic pil­lars, bring­ing the re­gion’s his­tory to colour­ful life.

Don’t miss a visit to the Tamworth Re­gional Gallery (one of the old­est gal­leries in NSW) where the Kid’s Art Trail will en­gage lit­tle ones, or check out the steam en­gines at the Tamworth Pow­er­sta­tion Mu­seum cel­e­brat­ing this city as the first to be lit by mu­nic­i­pal street light­ing back in 1888.

And if you want a lit­tle taste of coun­try mu­sic fever, head to the Big Golden Gui­tar stand­ing out­side the tourist cen­tre on the out­skirts of town. There’s also a coun­try mu­sic-in­spired wax mu­seum, or you can take a wan­der through beau­ti­ful Bi­cen­ten­nial Park where busts of some of Aus­tralia’s most leg­endary coun­try mu­si­cians line the walk­ways.

3 Let loose at the Tamworth Re­gional Play­ground

Any­one who’s trav­elled with kids will know there is noth­ing like an in­no­va­tive play­ground where they can let off some steam while sight­see­ing. Opened in 2015, the Tamworth Re­gional Play­ground in Bi­cen­ten­nial Park boasts sand pits, zip lines, tun­nel slides and climb­ing struc­tures, as well as a splash pad wet­zone and a soft fall area just for lit­tle ones, and you can grab a cof­fee and re­lax at the ad­ja­cent Hop­scotch Restau­rant and Bar.

4 Get up-close with the lo­cal wildlife

Tamworth Mar­su­pial Park com­bines a hands-on wildlife ex­pe­ri­ence with an Ad­ven­ture Play­ground de­signed by the lo­cal kids. The play­ground is di­vided into an area for un­der 5s and an older chil­dren’s area (with a na­tive an­i­mal theme through­out) with free bbqs, per­fect for a pic­nic.

Me­an­der along the bush walk­ing trails of the Mar­su­pial Park and hand- feed kan­ga­roos, get up­close to na­tive birds in the free flight aviary, and ex­plore the nearby botan­i­cal gar­dens.

If your kids are into horse rid­ing (or want to give it a try), ex­plore the mag­nif­i­cent Cock­burn Ranges on scenic horse rides with Kootin­gal Horse Rid­ing Ad­ven­tures (and their lo­cal cow­boy guides!) They cater to all ex­pe­ri­ence lev­els (even if you’ve never rid­den be­fore) and they also of­fer pony rides for younger chil­dren.

5 Sam­ple Tamworth’s gourmet goods

Tamworth’s lush coun­try­side yields an abun­dance of fresh pro­duce, meats, fish and cheeses (as well as cool cli­mate wines that will ap­peal to mums and dads!) Take a leisurely 90 minute drive to New Eng­land Cheese in Nowe­doc to sam­ple their multi-award win­ning cheeses and yo­ghurts (visit at milk­ing time!), and don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity to feast on a trout tast­ing plate at the Arc-En- Ciel Trout Farm at Hang­ing Rock on the way back. The chil­dren will love see­ing the farm in op­er­a­tion and have a chance to touch the slip­pery fin­ger­lings in their large tanks.

VisitTam­worth’s Satur­day or­ganic mar­ket at the French restau­rant, Le Pruneau, or wan­der the Peel Street Mar­kets on a Sun­day morn­ing where home grown pro­duce is sold along­side hand­made arts and crafts. You’ll find plenty of fan­tas­tic cafes and restau­rants in­clud­ing Ruby’s Cafe & Gift Store, a reg­u­lar meet­ing spot for lo­cal fam­i­lies with a vin­tage play­ground at the back. If you’re se­ri­ous about food, time your visit to co­in­cide with the an­nual Taste Tamworth fes­ti­val, held each April, where the re­gion’s ar­ti­san pro­duc­ers, gourmet grow­ers and top restau­rants show­case their wares across ten event-packed days.

6 Bunk down at fam­ily friendly ac­com­mo­da­tion

As the set­ting for one of Aus­tralia’s big­gest mu­sic fes­ti­vals, it’s no won­der Tamworth has a great se­lec­tion of ac­com­mo­da­tion, and when it comes to fam­ily- friendly op­tions, the tran­quil set­ting of Par­adise Tourist Park, on the Peel River, ticks all the right boxes. With ac­com­mo­da­tion to suit all bud­gets and style of trav­ellers - pow­ered car­a­van sites, cab­ins and lux­ury vil­las - plus a play­ground, swim­ming pool and recre­ation hall, Par­adise Tourist Park is just a short walk from Tamworth city cen­tre.

So what are you wait­ing for? Bun­dle up the fam­ily and hit the road to Tamworth to dis­cover for your­selves just what the ‘ buzz’ is all about!

Pre­vi­ous page: Best friends Nun­dle Woollen Mills Play­ground Above: New Eng­land Cheese Op­po­site page from top left: Tamworth and Kootin­gal Horse Rid­ing Ad­ven­tures Arc-en-Ciel trout farm Tamworth, BIG4 Par­adise Tourist Park

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.