Every January Tamworth hosts the biggest musical event in Australia, The Country Music Festival! Its ten huge days of non stop entertainment showcasing the talent of over 700 artists, from buskers to superstars. After years of turning down their invitations, I finally caved in and joined five friends on their annual weekend in Tamworth. I unexpectedly had loads of fun as we boot scooted our way around  the festival venues! It wasn’t all about the music, I was on the lookout for a unique eating spot.


 Tamworth   Tamworth Country Music Festival  Tamworth Country Music Festival

We left the car at home and relaxed with a train ride from Sydney to Tamworth on the Countrylink XPT. This gave us time to chat with nibblies on the 5 hour trip north. Mechanical issues delayed our departure by two hours, but we took it in our stride as part of the journey. The train was air conditioned and quite comfy with views of the countryside rolling by.

country link xpt   train 

We stayed near Tamworth's Longyard Hotel, so they were the obvious choice for dinner that night. It was great pub food, my barra and golden chips were delicious and I was amazed I could order a double wine!  I didn't ask my mates for food photos but everyone was happy with their meals, especially the girls who ordered the steak sandwiches. As country people would say, it's a great feed at the Longyard!

The Longyard Hotel  The Longyard Hotel Tamworth  The Longyard Hotel Tamworth 

We got our long weekend off to a screaming start by catching the eccentric Hillbilly Goats morning show back at the Longyard! Their high energy bluegrass tunes woke us up faster than the caffeine in our coffee! They were a great band to start the weekend with. We were pumped.   

The Hillbilly Goats  The Hillbilly Goats  The Hillbilly GoatsHillbilly Goats

Over the next few days we did the rounds of the Tamworth pubs and sang our hearts out to a stack of great performers. We caught Col Finely at the Courthouse, Mark Webbe rocked the house at the Tudor  and we saw Saving Lincoln at the Albert. There was a party atmosphere everywhere we went.

Col Finely  The courthouse Hotel Tamworth  The Longyard Hotel Tamworthard Hotel Tamworth


The Longyard Hotel Tamworth  Mark Webbe  Tamworth Country Music Festival 


The Longyard Hotel  Saving Linchon  The Longyard Hotel

In between gigs we shopped and took in the festival atmosphere along Peel Street which was crammed with buskers and markets. The girls encouraged me to buy a cowboy hat, apparently if you're at the Country Music Festival, your going to look silly without one! 

tamworth Country Music Festival  Tamworth Country Music Festivalworth Country Music Festival  Tamworth Country Music Festivalworth Country Music Festival


Tamworth Country Music Festival  Slim Dusty Tamworth  Tamworth Country Music Festival

I stumbled across the Teamo Teahouse tucked up the quieter end of Tamworth's main street. When I walked past this hip cafe, my inner foodie drew me inside to explore. I waved my friends off to the next gig saying I'd meet them there. 

Teamo Teahouse Tamworth  teamo Teahouse Tamworth  Teamo Teahouse Tamworth

Teamo’s dining area was outside in a narrow tranquil setting dotted with rustic tables and chairs. You could totally peace out in the gazebo down the back with nice drink and colouring books.  They do great coffee but Teamo's specialty is tea. They have a wall full of unique blends to choose from, and the staff can recommend the best tea for your food.  

Teamo Teahouse Tamworth  teamo Teahouse Tamwortho Teahouse Tamworth  Teamo Teahouse Tamwortho Teahouse Tamworth


Teamo Teahouse Tamworth  Teamo Teahouse Tamworth  Teamo Teahouse Tamworth Teahouse Tamworth  

I coaxed my mates back to Teamo for a late lunch on Saturday. While they didn't have a huge menu we found the staff helpful and accommodating. One of my friends, who has a few food intolerances, was able to get herself a big thick gluten free leg ham and cheese toasted sandwich. I was craving something fresh so I ordered a vietnamese salad with omelette bursting with herbs. Everything was wholesome and made from scratch.

Teamo Teahouse Tamworth  Teamo Teahouse Tamworth

Sadly, the long weekend party had to come to an end but I made sure I checked out the Golden Guitar and Country Music Wax Museum before we headed back home on Sunday morning.

Tamworth Country Music Festival Tamworth Golden Guitar  Tamworth Country Music Festival

I didn't expect to enjoy the Country Music Festival as much as I did, it was a blast! I am putting it back on my calendar for next year. There is so much to see and do around Tamworth you could easily stay a week.