Just outside of town there's a house, a decrepit house. For years I've tried to imagine a good shot of that house. Checked it out every time I go past, can't quite vizualize the shot.
Fondest memory: Then, a sunset looked like it would happen one night and I drove off down there, spent 15 minutes trying to work out how I could include the house but it wasn't going to work out, so I moved.
Just down the road was a dead tree. How I love dead trees in the foreground of a sunset. Thus here you see the progression of that sunset till it finally turned red in pic 5.
Hope you enjoy.
When this famous line was coined for a song I don't think this was quite what the author had in mind. I think paddocks etc. were what he was thinking but it certainly is also apt in this case.
On the north east hills of Tamworth is some lovely real estate and even prettier parks and gardens. Some streets, as shown here, have a fine stand of eucalypts that must make living in such a lovely aspect a pleasure.
It seems that half of the towns in Australia went mad for the bicentennial. Money for projects flowed everywhere, much of it for lasting projects such as we see here.
Located just one block south of Peel Street, the main shopping centre, this is one of the focal points for tourists and the Country Music Week in late January.
It was wonderful to see that a church, now terminally short of parishoners, had found new owners to at least preserve and maintain the architecture.
It used to be a Presbyterian Church but is now used as Government Offices and is located on the main highway (northern side) of Tamworth.
If you like this work then you're bound to enjoy your walk around the park. Silvio Apponyi was commissioned to do 67 works in 1988 and his sculptures and reliefs are a feature as you meander through this pleasant adjunct to the CBD centred around Peel Street and the namesake Peel River the town was founded around.
Fondest memory: Though born in Germany, Silvio Apponyi emigrated to Australia when he was just 18 months old. He hasn't stopped travelling since.
He got his arts degree in South Australia and got a scholarship to return to Germany, Munich specifically. Whilst in Europe he roamed various countries, taking particular interest in public sculpture and fountains.
On his return to Australia he won a number of awards and added to his resume by learning woodblock printing in Japan.
From 1994-1996 he was resident artist at Mulgara Gallery at Ayers Rock Resort.
His work has been shown in such diverse places as London, Japan and Kuala Lumpur and he has worked with many mediums other than the granite you see here. Wood, bronze and marble to name but a few.
In additon to sculpting people he has an obvious passion for Australian wildlife with pieces ranging from kookaburras and lizards to sea lions and whale's tails and 26 of his works on that theme can be seen at Woodville Gardens in South Australia.
Undoubtedly his largest and most seen work though is the giant merino at Goulburn.
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.
This is where a lot of Country Music Week happens, the main street of Tamworth. There is a busker at every second shop - literally. At times one drowns out the other. There are so many characters here that you could spend the whole day strolling and listening; except it's hot because it's in the middle of summer and you'll probably be wanting a drink or two.
So, you'll slip into a pub and there'll be a band there. Oh well, off to the cafe for some peace. Oh no, there's a singer in here as well. Remember, that's why you came!
Fondest memory: It takes up the week leading into the long weekend but, in the week preceding that one there are plenty of people and acts who arrive early and pick up a lot the vibe.
Don't get put off by the country music stigma. It's just a great occasion and a fabulous atmosphere that you'll rarely find anywhere else.
Do I like it - yee hah!!
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).
Australia has a holiday called Australia Day. Unlike most other countries in the world we don't really celebrate our heritage a lot but, in typical Aussie style, we look upon it as another opportunity to have a day off. Governments recognize this and somehow the holiday seems to end up making it a long weekend somehow. Are we complaining? No, we're Australian, we can't be bothered!
What it does do is allow us to have a festival or two on that weekend and Tamworth has excelled with the number one attraction Australia-wide. The town of over 30,000 more than doubles in size. This picture will explain part of the attraction.
When you reach the top you are rewarded with substantial, rather than spectacular, vistas over a vast amount of countryside. Possibly up to 300 degrees are visible from the summit and this view looks towards the Moonbi Ranges en route to Armidale.
There is an alternate track you can take on the way down or up called the nature gully track or such which isn't much different in length but adds a little more variety to your walk.
Summing up, it was good exercise, a rewarding walk with good, but not great, views.
"I don't know, I only made it about two thirds of the way up." With those words ringing in my ears I pulled up in the carpark next to the nature reserve, grabbed my camera gear and commenced climbing.
Col, my friend who had uttered the above, also had added, "It's steep." He got that right. What it also was was rocky. The sort of "rocky" that you trip up on every so often. Lucky I had my steel-capped safety boots on!
Flagstaff Hill was indeed a challenge yet, with a couple of breaks, I managed the 2.19 km hike in around 34 minutes. I suggest that's a fairly good time and you should allow more if you're in a group or you're not fit.
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.
Fondest memory: They are located to the north of town. As you get closer you will see the signs.
On the Saturday of the long weekend in January (closest to the 26th) they have the parade in the main street.
Fondest memory: They also have so many other things you could write a book about it. They also have the world's biggest line dance. This is not a festival to be taken lightly.
Cars done up in ridiculous (at times) regalia and scores of floats with heaps of all the usual suspects you see on parades.
The town of over 30,000 more than doubles in size. If you haven't booked your accommodation for next year, you're too late. It's booked a year in advance.
This is very popular, you have been warned.
Just getting out of my car to go and buy a pie and it was such a crystal clear day with bold blue sky I thought the architecture across the road from the railway station was worth a photo.
I hope you see something in it too!
Country Music Week (read at least a fortnight) is THE thing that happens in the north west of N.S.W. every year.
Fondest memory: Down Peel Street, the main drag in this part of the world, you may come across anything from buskers to purveyors of foodstuffs to..........snakes? Yes, anything is likely.
Here you see me heavily disguised in sunnies and country hat trying to blend with the crownd while I actually fondle your real live type reptile. (Hard and slippery if you want to know.)
You can easily spend hours seeing heaps of interesting things during the two weeks towards the end of January in the main street alone.
As for the other 70 venues where bands might be playing well, you can spend days!