- Q: What are the tips for driving around Tamworth?
A: Apart from all the venues in the shopping centre,
everything else is a fraction too far for walking.
Possible exceptions are The Family and Joe Maguires
which are both about 1 km from town.
Here are five points to make navigating easier.
(1) There are only three bridges across the river.
These bridges are the main bridge in the middle of town at Brisbane Street,
a bridge at the western end of Peel Street
close by Spotlight and Joe Maguires Hotel,
and the bypass road which diverts the New England Highway
from South Tamworth to East Tamworth, thus avoiding the shops.
The locals, of course, call this road "The Bypass".
(2) Starting at the West Tamworth Leagues Club.
An olympic pool is adjacent to the club and
the Southgate Inn is over the road from the pool.
From the pool, you can drive up Belmore Street and come out at the Family Hotel,
and two blocks further along to the Locomotive Hotel.
(3) Again, starting at the West Tamworth Leagues Club.
If you head uphill in Kent Street you can get to The Pub very quickly;
you can travel either side of the golf course,
although veering to the right is simpler.
After you cross over the railway line on a huge overpass,
The Pub is about 1 km along the Gunnedah Road on the right.
Follow any signs marked Gunnedah.
(4) There is a back road connecting Joe Maguires
(which is out the western end of the main street)
across to The Pub. It's about 3 km.
Cross the river from the roundabout near Joes,
then follow the road around and you will reach The Pub
on a corner at the Gunnedah Road.
You can also get to the Locomotive Hotel
by turning left at the first roundabout,
and then right at the next roundabout, then left at the next corner,
then travel a few blocks and cross over a level crossing.
Then take the next right and the Locomotive hotel is on your right.
The Family Hotel is one block away at the traffic lights.
A map might be needed the first time.
(5) If you are starting from the East Tamworth end of town
or you are at the eastern end of Peel Street near the Country Music Museum,
it's much faster to go to places such as The Longyard
or TREC or the South Tamworth Bowlo or Wests or Butler's Auditorium by going across the bypass.
Don't go back through town.
After a week you will either know where everything is
or you will have decided to spend the entire week in the
air-conditioned comfort of the West Tamworth Leagues Club.
- Q: Do they have traffic jams during the festival?
A: The only big traffic jam is
when a free open air concert ends in Bi-Centennial Park (renamed to Toyota Park).
However with several streets closed off for the festival,
it's best to avoid the main bridge into Tamworth when possible.
Try to use the Bypass Road and the back road near Joe Maguires instead.
- Q: What's the parking like in Tamworth?
A: There is heaps of parking in town,
with parking lots tucked in behind many of the arcades and larger shops.
One big one is behind K-Mart.
There is far more parking hidden away than found on the street,
so the best answer is find a favourite parking lot and stick with it.
My two favourites are behind the Community Centre
and across the railway line from the Imperial Hotel.
- Q: Do they have booze buses in Tamworth?
A: Yes, extra police are brought in to do breath testing, so watch out.
The two main places are on the Bypass Road at the lowest point,
and on the back road that leads from The Pub across to Joe Maguires.
The NSW police try out all their new technology in Tamworth,
including sniffer dogs, drug testing caravans
and even those riot squad trucks can be seen parked in Fitzroy Street.
Young constables have to lead sniffer dogs around the place, sniffing out
the lunch boxes and thermos flasks of grey-haired pensioners.
The police have shiny new black vans marked "Crowd Control and Riot Squad".
- Q: Do they have speed cameras?
A: All along the New England Highway in fact
and they keep moving them around.