Discover the spirit of Australia’s country music capital

The country music capital of Australia, home to the Big Golden Guitar, silo art, Aboriginal sites of significance and one of the oldest regional art galleries in NSW, Tamworth dances to its own rhythm and is a must-see stop on any regional journey through New South Wales.   
There is a strong desire for people to head to the heart of our regional towns and cities, to experience the history that showcases the backbone of Australia’s oldest state. 
In Tamworth, not only will the wide, open spaces and clean air delight you, but perhaps also its roots as the home of country music in Australia. This diverse town is just one of the exciting stops on a new Scenic handcrafted land journey 16-Day New South Wales: City & Outback itinerary that departs from Sydney. 

On this incredible trip, you’ll spend two nights in Tamworth enjoying all the highlights of the city and its surrounds. Explore the silo art that adorns the enormous agricultural silos dotted throughout the district, a movement started in 2015 in Western Australia that has spread throughout regional Australia. Your Tour Director will also take you on a visit to the Nundle Woollen Mills for an understanding of the process taken to transform the raw material of sheep and other animal shearing into a ball of wool yarn. 

Whilst in Tamworth, Scenic guests will stay at the newly renovated Powerhouse Hotel Tamworth by Rydges. We spoke with the Group Reservations Supervisor of the hotel, Alice Snyder, to get an insider’s perspective and tips on the best things to enjoy and experience when in Tamworth. 

Tamworth’s Must-see Sights  

The Tamworth Visitor Information Centre is home to the Big Golden Guitar and is the perfect  place  to see its Country Music Wax Museum, with its wax figures made in Nashville in the early 1980s. It’s also home to the National Guitar Museum, which opened in early 2020 and houses signed guitars from Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Queen, KISS, Keith Urban, The Eagles, Midnight Oil, INXS and many more.  

The Tamworth Regional Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in NSW. Weswal Gallery is another spot to appreciate contemporary local, regional and national art. Stop by the Tamworth Powerstation Museum to learn more of the town’s early electric history.  

In your free time, visit Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum located adjacent to your hotel. It’s a must-see for its vintage BSA Gold Stars and Ducatis from the 1950s, as well as Triumphs, Velocettes, Hondas, Laverdas and more. There are more than 50 motorcycles in the museum, part of a rotating collection of 70-plus motorcycles, all in pristine condition. 

Regional Highlights  

You will love the vast, open spaces, the sunsets, the stars in night sky, the genuine country hospitality and a more relaxed pace that encourages you to soak up every experience. The region also has some fantastic attractions worth exploring in the nearby historic town of Nundle, a scenic 45-minute drive from Tamworth.

Visit the historic Nundle Woollen Mill and buy some beautiful woollen products from the shop at the last operating spinning mill in Australia. While in Nundle, make sure to visit Odgers and McClelland – a one stop shop for beautiful and practical kitchen and garden wares with vintage roots, housed in a beautifully preserved 19th century village store.   

 ‘The Water Diviner’: Silo Mural by Fintan Magee 

An hour north of Tamworth, you can visit the township of Barraba to see the impressive Water Diviner mural on the trio of 40-metre high grain silos. In 2019 the Barraba Silo Art Committee chose Fintan Magee as the winning artist to create an artwork on the three, privately-owned silos. 
After he inspected the site and met with the local community to understand the local area and their stories, he decided on the concept. At the time, New South Wales was in the grip of one of the worst droughts Australia had ever faced and large areas of the state were suffering severe water shortages with supply being limited to critical water needs only. The mural depicts a local water diviner searching for groundwater using a y-shaped rod or two L shaped ones. Diviners study the landscape where they suspect water may be located – ground minerals and magnetic forces force the sticks to cross or be pushed downwards when water is located. The mural took just 24 days to complete in April 2019 and the silos are included in the Australian Silo Art Trail Collection.  

An Insight Into Tamworth’s History   

Outside of its country music pedigree, Tamworth is the largest and most populated city in the north-western region of New South Wales, and the second-largest inland city in the state. It is known as the ‘first city of lights’ being the first place in Australia to use electric streetlights in 1888, with the hotel’s name a historical reference as the physical location of the former electrical power-house. This unique history was the design inspiration for the hotel redevelopment and an obelisk at the front of the property also marks this amazing feat.  
The city is also recognised as the ‘National Equine Capital of Australia’ with the opening of the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre in 2008 which holds numerous events including awe-inspiring rodeos throughout the year.  
New to the hotel, the Powerhouse King Suite 131 has been re-named the ‘Slim Dusty Suite’ with a plaque erected in honour of the country music legend and his annual visits staying in this same room for more than three decades for the Tamworth Country Music Festival

The Powerhouse Hotel’s Recent Renovations 

The Powerhouse Hotel Tamworth by Rydges is the only 5-star property in the New England region of New South Wales. The property sets the benchmark for regional hospitality with a solid reputation for exceptional service, upmarket facilities and amazing wining and dining at The Workshop Kitchen & Coal Bunker Bar. 
The multi-million dollar 5-star redevelopment was designed by Australian award-winning design team, Paul Kelly Design and was a finalist in the 2021 Paul Davis Hotel Interior Design Awards recognising outstanding hotel interior design in Australasia. 
The recent completion of the redevelopment marks the launch of 20 brand-new luxe serviced apartments and 61 newly refurbished rooms and suites, all with high-speed NBN Wi-Fi, 60 inch smart TVs on an acoustic wave wall, wireless mobile chargers, multiple USB ports and catering for every modern traveller’s needs.   

Local Flavours at The Workshop Kitchen 

The Powerhouse Tamworth incorporates the iconic regional dining establishment, The Workshop Kitchen, renowned for its wood-fired grill and stand-out local steaks. The wine list is a ‘2-glass rated’ wine list, acknowledged in Australia’s 2020 Wine List of the Year Awards. You can’t go past a steak from local Jack’s Creek Beef, consecutive winner of World’s Best Steak. Try the 300gm 6-7+MS Wagyu Rump Cap with a side of Jalapeno mash and green beans, almonds and feta.   

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