We know it can be daunting with all the admin involved in packing the car to the brim and heading off on an adventure with the family. You want to make sure the destination delivers, right!?
If you’re racking your brain on how to keep those pre-teens and tweens entertained, read on for our suggestions on how to spend four days in the Tamworth region that’ll deliver for the whole family.
On your way into town and to get your bearings, the first stop just has to be the Big Golden Guitar at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre. Make your trip Instagram official with a family shot in front of the iconic Big Golden Guitar, before heading inside to explore the Visitor Information Centre complex including the Country Music Wax Museum and National Guitar Museum. It’s a great spot to spend an hour or two, exploring the history of the Country Music Capital and soaking up some local knowledge from the friendly volunteers who staff the centre. Treat yourselves to some Tamworth region souvenirs, and if a coffee or snack is required (it nearly always is!), pop into String n Beans Cafe. With a “What’s On” guide and walking maps in hand, you’ll be ready to start exploring.
First stop is beautiful Bicentennial Park in the Tamworth CBD, which will take about seven minutes in the car. This is where you’ll find the award-winning Tamworth Regional Playground, where you can relax whilst the kids exhaust themselves. Right on site is Hopscotch Restaurant and Bar, so when it’s time for lunch, the hardest decision will be whether you want to dine in for a more formal meal, or takeaway from the kiosk for a shaded picnic in the park.
Walk lunch off by exploring the walking tracks around the park, or head a block across town to Tamworth’s main thoroughfare, Peel Street, for an afternoon of shopping.
After some time out? Head to your accommodation! Try a two-bedroom river view villa at Paradise Tourist Park, a leafy caravan park just five minutes in the car or a 20-minute walk from the CBD. It’s located on the banks of the Peel River and is a great spot for you to base yourself during your stay (and there’s a pool!).
Hmmm, what to do for dinner? Tonight, we recommend you check out family pub favourite Joe Maguires, which has a number of indoor and outdoor dining areas. Or peruse the What’s On guide for details on local pub entertainment including trivia, meat raffles and live music for a proper “local” experience.
And that’s your first day done and dusted!
Fancy a road trip with a bit of adventure on the side? Let’s kick the day off by heading north through Barraba to see the spectacular views of Horton Falls, an easy drive less than two hours from your accommodation. The falls can be viewed from two vantage points, with the surrounds ideal for swimming during the warmer months or a bushwalk if the water is too fresh for you! It’s a great spot for a packed picnic (drop into the Barraba IGA for supplies!) with BBQ facilities, picnic tables and toilets available.
On the way through, make sure you stop to tick another compulsory family selfie off the bucket list, this time at The Water Diviner Silo Artwork on Fossickers Way about 1km south of Barraba. This impressive mural is painted on a whopping 40m canvas of silos, and forms part of the Australian Silo Art Trail. Warning – you might need a selfie stick to make sure you get everyone in this one!
After a morning soaking up the Great Outdoors, we recommend stopping in to at historical Manilla on your way back to Tamworth. Park the car on Manilla Street and step back in time as you wander and explore. We recommend the Manilla Heritage Museum complex but if you’re time poor, there are a couple of great boutiques that may interest you instead. For an afternoon treat, stop in at Molly Mays café for a seat in the garden with one of their infamous Ultimate Shakes, or takeaway if you dare in the car (be warned – they’re stacked!).
Upon your return to Tamworth, it’s the perfect opportunity for a sunset photo together at Oxley Scenic Lookout. It’s less than ten minutes from your accommodation by car and open from 7am to 10pm every day, plus has spectacular views of the Peel Valley and the city of Tamworth.
It’s been a long day, so takeaway (or something delivered) back at your villa might be what’s on the cards. Check out this Eat & Drink listing for some ideas, and sleep well because you’ve got another big day ahead!
Seeing The Water Diviner silo art is sure to be a highlight of your day two activities. Be awed as you gaze up at the 40 metre high paintings and make sure you get lots of photos before leaving.
Start the day off by exploring Trip Advisor’s #1 recommendation, Tamworth Marsupial Park and Adventure Playground. Kids can get close to native Australian wildlife, or explore the community-built playground which has two distinct areas built to encourage kids to use their fine and gross motor skills – and of course, their imagination! The best part? It’s totally free and will provide hours of entertainment for young and old!
Head back to Peel Street in the CBD for a bite and an easy few hours shopping (or window shopping!). You’ll find loads of options for lunch – we recommend Williamsburg Burger Bar – or if you’re chasing a pub lunch and some adult beverages (after all, you’re on holidays too! Williamsburg has alcoholic options too), stop in to either The Post Office Hotel or The Tudor Hotel which are both centrally located, have great food and drink options, and are family friendly. Keep an eye out on your travels along Peel Street for tributes to the giants of Australian country music – bronze statues portraying Smoky Dawson, and Slim Dusty and Joy McKean, plus plaques inlaid into the footpaths celebrating the winners of the coveted Golden Guitar Award. Top off a great afternoon with a unique family bonding experience at Escape Rooms Tamworth, a 60-minute live game for over 12s where teams solve puzzles and complete challenges.
Come dinner time, we recommend you try a Tamworth institution, Safari Club Bar & Grill (which is conveniently a few doors down from Escape Rooms on Brisbane Street). Take your taste buds on safari and you’ll find generous portions of South African delicacies, barbeque favourites and delicious seafood. Once you’re done, work off the meal (and put the kids back in their place!) with a game or two at Tamworth Tenpins and More.
Your final family adventure is at Tamworth Kootingal Horse Riding Adventures, located at beautiful Swamp Oak station about 30km east of the CBD. Here, take your pick from station tours, trail rides, pony rides for the kids, or fall in love with the residents of the petting zoo. One thing’s for sure; that good, old fashioned country hospitality will be the perfect send off from the Tamworth region for your journey home.
This is the proper country experience! All experience levels are welcomed so don’t worry if you’ve never ridden a horse before. If you don’t want to saddle up there are a range of other activities available for the whole family too.