Towns, Villages and Suburbs
The Tamworth Region covers 9,653.25 square kilometres, with a population of over 58,000. From the Nandewar Range north of Barraba, to the head of the Peel River and the Great Dividing Range, Tamworth Region is one of the most progressive and exciting places in inland Australia. It combines country living with city style, history, sport and culture. The region is about three times the size of Sydney basin or the same area as Lake Eyre.
Approximately three quarters of the region’s population lives within the city of Tamworth with the balance residing in the small townships of Manilla, Barraba, Kootingal, Nundle, and the villages of Attunga, Bendemeer, Dungowan, Duri, Moonbi, Somerton, Woolbrook and Woolomin, and various rural localities.
Barraba lies 90 kms north of Tamworth and is situated on the Manilla River, in the heart of the Nandewar Ranges. It has a population of 2,300. The 1510 metre high extinct volcano, Mount Kaputar, and the spectacular Horton Falls, lie to the west of the town. Barraba is a famous bird watching region and was the first area to produce its own Bird Routes in Australia.
Bendemeer is situated 42km north of Tamworth at the junction of the New England and Oxley Highways. It hugs the banks of the trout-filled McDonald River in the Moonbi Ranges. The river is also home to platypus. The Bendemeer area is famed for its fine wool, fat lambs and prime beef.
Kootingal is a pretty village nestled in the foothills of the Moonbi Range just 17 kms northeast of Tamworth. Kootingal is a rich alluvial agricultural region for Lucerne (alfalfa), with poultry, livestock, fruit and vegetables being the other major products. There are also horse studs and training farms.
Manilla is located at the junction of the Manilla and Namoi rivers. It is 44 km north of Tamworth on the Fossickers Way with a population of 2110 people. It lies between Lake Keepit and Split Rock Dam. Northwest of the town is the world famous paragliding site, Mt Borah. The unique Warrabah National Park, with its pristine gorges, quiet swimming holes and abundant wildlife is also within easy driving distance of the town.
Moonbi is situated at the foot of the Moonbi Range, 24 kms northeast of Tamworth, on the New England Highway. The Peel River and the floodplain is on the right, while to the left is the Moonbi Range, which begins to form part of the Great Dividing Range as you head north. North of the village is the Moonbi Lookout, which has breathtaking views of the region.
Nundle is an old goldmining town less than one hours drive southeast from Tamworth, situated between the Peel River and the slopes of the Great Dividing Range. With traces of gold and a variety of gemstones found in the area, many people visit Nundle to pan in the Peel River or fossick at Hanging Rock. Swimming, sailing and fishing is a popular activity at the nearby Chaffey Dam. There are also many trout fishing spots in the numerous streams around Nundle.
Tamworth is the major business centre of the North West and New England Region of NSW. The City of Tamworth covers 184 sq km and is home to over 50,000 people. It is widely known as the Country Music Capital of Australia, and attracts some 50,000 visitors every January to the festival. Throughout the year Tamworth thrives with cultural activities offering Art Galleries, Museums, a Conservatorium of Music, Libraries and the Capitol Theatre Tamworth. In 2008, Tamworth opened its doors to a $30 million world-class Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) which now attracts some of Australia’s most action packed equine events.