Home' Caravanning Australia : Summer 2010-2011 Contents New South Wales
114 • Caravanning Australia • Summer 2010-2011
National Park at Mulligan’s camping area. For those wanting
something less strenuous, shorter walks are accessible, and can
be completed in as little as one hour.
For country music lovers, or those just wanting to perch the
family beside the 12-metre high Big Golden Guitar for a happy
snap, Tamworth (207km south of Inverell) is hailed as the country
music capital of Australia. It hosts the annual country music
festival in late January – the second biggest of its kind in the
world – which runs for 10 days and culminates in the Golden
Guitar Awards; the highest honour in Australian country music.
The Coca Cola Concerts in the Park (running from the 15th
to the 22nd of January) and the Buttercup Open House (held on
the 20th and 21st of January) are two free events on the country
music festival’s calendar – both in their 34th year and highly
praised by visitors. Concerts in the Park offers walk-up
performers the chance for a ten-minute spot performance with
the Alwyn Aurisch Backing Band. Held in the Tamworth Town
Hall, the Buttercup Open House is the biggest free event on the
calendar with 15 artists performing each night.
Discover Australia’s country music history, culture and folklore
at the award-winning Walk a Country Mile museum. Located in
the Tamworth visitor information centre, it retraces the life and
times of country music in Australia: the artists, the stories, and
the events that shaped and influenced the trajectory of our proud
musical past and present.
Gunnedah, 76km east of Tamworth, is one of northern New
South Wales’ family-friendly towns. There are plenty of activities
for kids and parents alike, including horse riding, arts festivals
and up-close encounters with native wildlife like emus,
kangaroos, wombats, birds, lizards, possums, and more at
Waterways Wildlife Park – Gunnedah is the koala capital of the
world. You can hardly turn a corner without spotting one peering
down at you from a eucalypt.
For the adventurous family, Lake Keepit (35km northeast of
town) is ideal for all varieties of water sport – waterskiing, fishing,
swimming, sailing, windsurfing and power boating. Facilities for
the kids include a children’s pool, BMX track, a skateboarding
area and roller-skating rink. There are barbeques, a kiosk, toilets,
half-court tennis and a five-hole golf course.
34km southwest of Gunnedah lies what could be deemed
NSW’s fountain of youth. One step across the 150-degree east
meridian line will recapture 30 minutes of your youth (or
conversely, you can age 30 minutes when headed towards the
east coast) – everything west of the east meridian line is 30
minutes behind the east.
A further 100km west, the ancient trachyte (fast-drying lava)
spires of Warrumbungle National Park are testament to the
violent volcanic activity that shaped the area. A 130km spur of
The Great Dividing Range, this is one of the few places on earth
where rainforest can be found in such arid surroundings. There
are also 180 species of bird in the area and plenty of other fauna
including koalas and kangaroos.
A great place for bushwalking, the park contains more than
30km of walking tracks of varying lengths and levels of difficulty,
surrounding differing visual attractions. These walking tracks are
outlined in material available at the park’s visitors’ centre. There
are ranger-guided tours available as well as Aboriginal cultural
walks and information and slide evenings held at Canyon Camp.
The best known of these volcanic spires is the Breadknife,
90 metres high and only one metre thick, it juts into the sky,
surrounded by green, undulating forest and colourful wildflowers,
which bloom in early summer
In 1915, 26 men set out from Gilgandra (80km southwest
of the Warrumbungles) to Sydney on the first recruiting march
of World War I. As they passed through each town they called
“coo-ee”. Their call echoed down the streets of the towns they
strode through, and this much-publicised act encouraged many
men to join them. Six weeks after they started out, they reached
Sydney with 263 men in tow, willing to risk their lives for their
Gilgandra celebrates this event every October with a large
street parade: the Gilgandra Coo-ee Festival. It includes the
‘coo-ee’ calling contest, a rodeo and live bands. The Coo-ee
Heritage and Visitor centre is a good place to learn about this
Artesian Baths, Lightning Ridge.
PHOTO: NICK RAINS ©TOuRISM NSW
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