As Australia's country music capital, Tamworth boasts not only a world-renowned music festival every year but also all things country music including the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, Country Music Wax Museum and National Guitar Museum. Besides that, there are also plenty of free attractions to keep you occupied while you're in town.
Located at the visitor information centre, The Big Golden Guitar is a whopping 12 metres tall and welcomes visitors on their way through New England Highway. It was opened by country music legend Slim Dusty in 1988. It has a fibreglass body with no actual strings. You can't play it, but you sure can get a photo in front of it. To experience plucking and strumming a 5.8-metre guitar, you'll have to go to the visitor information centre in Narrandera.
Not far from The Big Golden Guitar is Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre where the Roll of Renown and Galaxy of Stars can be found. The roll honours significant contributors to country music on giant granite boulders while the star-shaped plaques recognise very famous musicians.
Established in 1977, the Hands of Fame Park pays tribute to those whom the Hall of Fame has inducted such as Rocky Page, Robyn McIntosh, Rex Dallas, Lindsay Waddington and so on. Feel free to compare the size of your hand with the handprints of some of your favourites. The park can be found on Kable Avenue at the corner of Brisbane Street. Barmera has something similar too if you'd like to visit that South Australian town one day.
A walk along Pioneers Parade will have you facing some of our most beloved country music legends. Busts commemorating Buddy Williams, Barry Thornton, Reg Lindsay and others have all been installed in the one location at Bicentennial Park south of the Hands of Fame Park. Public toilets are available here too.
After exploring Kable Avenue, head over to Peel Street for an encounter with the statues of Slim Dusty, Joy McKean, John Williamson and Smoky Dawson. These life-size bronze statues were recently unveiled, well, in the past ten years or so. You'll also notice bronze plaques that celebrate the winners of Golden Guitar Awards along the footpath.
If you're looking for something that's not country music, the townships of Barraba and Gunnedah are both just an hour's drive away. Their silo artworks are worth checking out. The Water Diviner located south of the Barraba town centre was painted by artist Fintan Magee while the silos on Barber Street in Gunnedah features Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar.