Tamworth has a diverse history, stretching back many thousands of years before European settlement in the area.
The Kamilaroi people were the first to call the Tamworth region home, with some of their history recorded on rock art that is preserved across the region. The Kamilaroi Nation is one of the four largest Indigenous nations in Australia; a unique culture that has contributed greatly to our history and community.
The Gamilaraay language has given our area many unique place names including; Barraba, a place of many yellow jacket or box trees, Manilla, winding river, Calala, place of battle or a winding river and Goonoo Goonoo, running water over rocks in times of drought.
The first European visitors to the Peel Valley were John Oxley and his exploration party in 1818. Oxley could see the beauty and potential of our region, claiming, “No place in this world can afford more advantages to the industrious settler than this extensive vale.”
By the mid-1830s the settlement had progressed under the Australian Agricultural Company at which time, approval for the name Tamworth was given to develop the town along the Peel River. Tamworth officially appeared on the map in 1837 and by 1850, was proclaimed a town with a population of about 250 people.
Tamworth has long been a progressive and innovative town, exemplified in November 1888 when we became the first town or city in Australia to use electric street lighting. This tradition of ingenuity and innovation continued, with numerous industries flourishing in the region including milling, brewing, mining, agriculture, aeronautical engineering and tourism.
The first ever Tamworth Country Music Festival took place in 1973 and is now an internationally renowned event attracting over 300,000 visitors each year. Country Music is undoubtedly what our city is known for but we welcome over 1 million visitors each year who come to explore the natural beauty of our beautiful region, participate at one of the many cultural and sporting events that we host annually, do business or simply relax.
The Tamworth Region is now a thriving economic and cultural hub of North Western NSW, home to over 60,000 people and thousands of businesses spanning health care, social assistance, manufacturing, construction, accommodation, food services and agriculture.