The Big Lap - Tamworth, Home of Country Music




Previously.....  we had escaped the major floods near Windsor in Sydney and drove the van and bird up to Tamworth where hubby's sister lives.   We took a side trip to Launceston, Tasmania to check out a couple of places that we have planned to settle down at.  

Now back at Tamworth on the farm.  More about that later.



Sydney had completed some major road works since we lived there.  They had to because it is an ever expanding city and consequently roads have become increasingly congested.  We feel that Sydney is so much better to get around in now.  Yes there are tolls, but if you download the app then your car is just scanned by cameras which aleviates the need for toll booths.  We also found that there are heaps of underground tunnels.  Travelling under the Sydney Harbour was scarey, but it didn't take as long as I had anticipated.  The tunnel heading out of Sydney and up towards Newcastle was long.  The thought that we were driving underneath houses and buildings was a bit daunting.  

Anyway, finally we were out of the long tunnel and on our way towards Newcastle and the turnoff to the New England Highway which is the inland highway towards Brisbane.  We had planned to go up the coast highway and visit all of the beaches that we love, but unfortunately more rain to come put an end to that.

First major city, Muswellbrook, is the home to a huge coal burning power station.  There were plenty of huge sign boards along the highway pleeding with Australia to save jobs.  As much as we understand their plight, they need to face the facts of diversity to change the way we do things in order to protect our children and grand-children.



Taking the caravan up to Tamworth was a major exercise.  Hubby had experienced a lot of stress getting it out of the traffic, through the long tunnel and up the mountain range.  We decided to break the trip up and stay for a night half way.  I found a free RV park in Aberdeen called Taylor Park.  (Abercairney Terrace on Wiki Camps).

This was a pretty little place and we could park on level gravel and not unhook the van.  There was only one other van here.  I would recommend.  Next door was the public toilets in a beautiful little park and a Tavern.  We had dinner at the Tavern in the outback beer garden.  It was very pleasant.



Nice name.  Rolls off the toungue easily.  😀

Driving in this area and though Scone etc brought back memories for me.  We used to make the trip from Brisbane to Sydney quite often to visit my brother.  My favourite route was the coastal, visiting beaches along the way.  If dad wanted to go the quick way, then we would take the inland New England Highway.  I would always remember this part of the trip because the grass was green and there were lots of horses.

This is horse country with lots of thoroughbreads being raised here.  You can certainly tell the difference between thoroughbread horse studs and cattle farms.  

We stopped at an RV Camp at Wallabadah.  They charge $10 here which is good.  We just stopped for a quick cuppa and snack.  Very nice.
They had a magpie warning sign here.  Yes they can be a pest in baby season, September.  But most of us Aussies know various ways to deal with them.  Some wear sunglasses back to front on hats, some have these funny bike helmets with sticks coming out of them.  I just used to ride or walk along waving a stick above my head.  Magpies are actually very smart birds so I wouldn't egg them on.  It's best to get to know them and if you do the you will find that they will remember you and leave you alone.  After all, they are just protecting their young and it is only for that bit of the year.



Tamworth is the home of Australia's Country Music Festival held at the end of January every year.  COVID has disrupted that and finally, this year in 2022, they are having it mid April.  

Unfortunately we will not be there for it.  We do plan to visit one year as it is easy for us because hubby's sister has a property just south of town.  Her husband is into raising Friesian horses.  He is from the Netherlands and that is where he sources the Freisian breed.  They are beautiful horses.

We stayed with the relos for a week after Tasmania and enjoyed a bit of the country life.

It was fantastic to catch up.



The Big Golden Guitar is out the front of the Tamworth Information Centre at the southern end of town.  

This Information Centre is one of the better ones that we have visited.  It is well laid out.  We bought a sticker for hubby as he is sticking them on the inside walls of our car canope, and a fridge magnet for me.  

There was a Cafe here but unfortunately it had closed for winter the day we visited.  They also have a wax museum, but we didn't have time to check that out.  I liked the guitars on the wall signed by various Australian Country Artists.  Very cool.  And I discovered some more cool silo art that we didn't have the time to visit, so I took a photo.  



We all had a lovely little picnic at the Tamworth Lookout.   It has sweeping views over the valley and sea of houses.  We didn't realise how big Tamworth is until coming up here.

Down the hill we checked out the Botanical Gardens.  There is a lovely meandering path through shady trees and bush.  It was so peaceful.  

Next door to the Botanical Gardens is a little model railway and down from that is an Astro Telescope.  Makes me look forward to our next stop at Coonabarabran and the huge Telescope there.  Can't wait to see the amazing planets, something that has been on my 'must see' list ever since I was young.



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