Peel Street is th original commercial hub for this well established city at the base of the New England Range.
In recent years it has been adjusted to the point where it is now just a two lane thoroughfare but with angle parking and judicious use of trees and foiliage to make the surroundings more pleasant. Australia's belated embracing of the al fresco concept has made the footpaths of this town more user-friendly and created a better atmosphere.
Always a commercial hub, it is one of the country towns that has vacuumed up the surrounding commerce and thus, without necessarily thriving, always has a busy and sustainable air about it.
Tamworth Botanical Gardens
I do hope you enjoy this shot. It took me about 20 minutes to get, chasing butterflies all around the rose garden which, as you would have already gathered, is part of the Tamworth Botanical Gardens.
Now, it must be said I have a bit of a soft spot for botanical gardens in Australia. For starters, they're cheap (free entry, can't get any cheaper than that) and they often have a lot to offer. Sydney, Perth, Newcastle and Coffs Harbour's spring readily to mind as worthwhile places to visit.
Tamworth however, in 2004, are a fair way from being an outstanding feature of the town.
Now, this is not to decry the efforts of the people who have, in the past, and are currently working hard on the project. It's simply that they're a long way from completion.
While the rose garden and the picnic spot are definitely well advanced, much of the soil in other spots has yet to be turned.
It does have a good location though, with nice views over the town and plains beyond and you can certainly get a few minutes pleasure out of what they currently have on show. They are located to the north of town. As you get closer you will see the signs.
The real meaning
For the previous shot, this one and the next I am indebted to a friend of mine from Tamworth, Col Newman, who kindly let me use these snaps.
Col's hopeless with a camera but a really nice guy................just joking Col.
This pic sums up what country music week is all about, the characters. They're liable to be wearing anything (but with a tendency to country clothing), playing anything (when was the last time you heard a piano accordian on a country music recording?) and singing anything (blues, rock 'n' roll, folk, jazz, oh, and some country as well).
This is not so much a "must-see" activity as a "hard-to-avoid" activity. Its proximity, adjacent to the New England Highway, means that you will notice but, apart from buying fuel at the local service station, I haven't found any reason to tarry there. The village has a nice setting, situated as it is at the base of the Moonbi Range, but there's nothing there to make you stop except this rather attractive sign that the local council has erected.
However, it is at the low point and soon after this the road rises through the pass in the Moonbi Ranges up to the heights of Armidale.
A reason for being
Tamworth's base is a rural economy, though these days there are lots of small industries in the industrial parks. However, you don't have to go far to see what originally put Tamworth on the map.
Here's a couple of scenes I shot once while heading north. They were taken about 30kms short of Tamworth on the New England Highway.