Ultimate guide to things to do in Tamworth with kids
Tamworth, in northern NSW, is a place that offers the best of both worlds – a laid back country lifestyle with all the convenience of city life. And there’s loads for families to do. In fact, with its famous music festival to native wildlife, raucous rodeos and flavour packed regional produce it is a great family destination any time of year.
It is, of course, best known for the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival, Australia’s largest. Now in its 44th year, the 10-day event attracts more than 50,000 visitors who boot scoot their way in to town to see more than 700 performers at a staggering 2600 shows, headlined by some of the industry’s biggest names. But along with all that country music you’ll find family friendly fun including street performers and a family zone with children’s concerts and rides to suit kids of every age.
Foodie families should take the Farm Gate Trail where, along with loads of tasty treats, kids will have the opportunity to watch cows being milked and taste honey straight from the hive. Or fans of fishing can take the kids trout hunting at one of the specialist trout farms that are located within an hour of Tamworth.
And Animal lovers aren’t forgotten at Tamworth’s Marsupial Park. Run by volunteers, kids can get up close and personal to the park’s kangaroos, peacocks, cockatoos and emus or play in the new Adventure Playground with areas for kids up to 12-years of age.
Top things to do in Tamworth
This town is jam-packed with something to do for all families of all ages. Here’s our top ten.
- Let the kids go wild at Tamworth Regional Playground.
- Boot scoot your way to the Tamworth Country Music Festival .
- Go bush and pitch a tent at Warrabah National Park.
- Enjoy water sports and fishing at Split Rock Dam.
- Let the kids go wild Tamworth Marsupial Park and Adventure Ground.
- Take the kids Gem fossicking in the Peel River.
- Pony loving kids can watch show jumping and dressage displays at the Australian Equine and Livestock Centre.
- Hop to the Jump Up Trampoline Zone.
- Little rev heads will love the Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum.
- Light up the kids’ night at the Uralla Lantern Parade.
Things to do in Tamworth with…
What kid wouldn’t want to get up close and personal with kangaroos, wallabies, cockatoos, emus and peacocks? Tamworth Marsupial Park and Adventure Playground offers the opportunity for kids to not only shuffle up to kangaroos, wallabies, cockatoos and emus, but to hand feed peacocks and spot colourful birds in the free-flight aviary. Once they’ve had their animal fix they can run wild in the new Adventure Playground with a special area for under-fives, designed to encourage their fine and gross motor-skill use. And most surprisingly, the 14-hectare park is run by volunteers and entry is by donation only, so it needn’t cost an arm and a leg for a great day out. For more close encounters of the animal kind, kids can meet the resident goats at Sunhill Dairy Goats Farm in Uralla while you can taste test the delicious goat cheeses produced on site.
There are plenty of places to play in Tamworth, indoors and out. Tamworth Regional Playground, which adjoins Bicentennial Park, is one of the best spots to let the kids run amok. Here they can ride or scooter along extensive bike tracks or take on the giant swings, flying fox and three-metre sway bridge. There’s also an excellent onsite café, free Wi-Fi, BBQ and picnic facilities, so it really has got the whole family covered.
Thorny’s Putt Putt @ Longyard Golf is another favourite for families with two 18-hole mini golf courses that cater for all ages & abilities. And there’s plenty of indoor fun to be found too at Kids Zone where kids can climb and crawl in the safe indoor play centre. Or perhaps you’d rather strike it lucky at Tamworth Tenpin Bowling or leap into action at Jump Up Trampoline Zone.
From thrilling rodeos to outback trail riding, the Tamworth region is a horse lover’s heaven. Take a trail ride, suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced, through spectacular scenery with experienced guides at Kootingal Horse Riding Adventures. If you’d rather watch, most weekends you’ll be able to watch equestrian events at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre, with competitive dressage, show-jumping and cutting by some of Australia’s best riders. 50 minutes southwest of Tamworth is the town of Quirindi, which hosts an annual rodeo every February where cowboys will wow the whole family with bronco riding and trick riding. And if you’re seeking activities that are horse free, the Wooldridge Recreation and Fossicking Reserve in nearby Uralla offers free camping facilities, and kids will love to try their luck panning for gold, crystals and diamonds, sapphires and topaz.
Active adventure seeking teens will find plenty to keep themselves busy in Tamworth’s great outdoors with heaps of hiking trails, boating, horse riding, canoeing and rock climbing. There are two incredible national parks. Pitch a tent in spectacular Warrabah National Park where you can fish, swim, kayak and canoe on the river, while at rugged Mount Kaputar National Park, you can hike along the escarpment or its creeks and enjoy the spectacular smattering of wildflowers in spring. For something completely different why not learn cattle-mustering and horseback skills at Leconfield Jackaroo and Jillaroo School or, if you prefer spokes to saddles, grab your bikes to tackle the extensive network of tracks at Tamworth Mountain Bike Park. Or if you’re up for a bit of a family battle, you can go crazy at Tamworth Paintball and Laser Tag, which offers more than a dozen combat fields.
Best time to visit Tamworth as a family
Tamworth is an enticing destination at any time of the year for families. It has a warm climate with maximum summer temperatures reaching around 33 degrees Celsius. Its temperate climate also means that crisp frosts in winter are not out of the question. Rain can occur all year round, but summer storms mean occasional heavy downpours in the early months of a new year, especially January when flooding can occur.
However, that shouldn’t put off family exploring, as this is when Tamworth hosts the world-famous Australian Country Music Festival. In fact, January is very, very busy and with loads of other popular events dotting the local calendar it’s really important to pre-plan and pre-book to procure the best accommodation for your family and your budget. If you’re looking for a bargain, winter is the best time to pick up great holiday deals and packages.
Family-friendly places to eat in Tamworth
This family-friendly city caters for every family preference with dining selections from pubs to restaurants and cafes – many with kid friendly menus and playgrounds to keep the kids amused. And with the area renowned for its fine prime beef and sheep pastures along with seasonal vegetables, a hearty and healthy meal is assured.
The Hopscotch Restaurant and Bar in Bicentennial Park is literally a hop, skip and jump to the Tamworth Regional Playground and is fab for families. And Currabubula Pub and Café, a 20-minute drive from Tamworth, has been a meeting place for families since 1838 thanks to its great food, friendly atmosphere and old-world charm.
Or hit up a farm trail for more gastronomical treats direct from the growers, or grab a takeaway and head to a local park for a family picnic or a sausage sizzle among gum trees where curious kookaburras watch over you.
Things to do for free in Tamworth
- Keith Urban got his start in this country town as did many other music legends, and the music festival that gave them their path to fame has plenty of free events to get the family singing and scooting along. Even if you visit outside the event, the Golden Guitar, standing 12 metres tall is worthy of a snap for the family photo album.
- With your dancing boots cast aside, Tamworth is also known as the National Equine Capital of Australia and there are a number of scenic drives to explore the region’s stunning landscape.
- The Tamworth Regional Playground could take up a full day with its endless family fun environment. There’s slides, a giant hop scotch, sky walk, towers and picnic and BBQ areas.
- And for a small donation only, you can get up and close with Australian wildlife at the Tamworth Marsupial Park, which is run by a dedicated band of volunteers.
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