Monday, 21 January 2013

Tamworth Country Music Festival 2013

We have always wanted to go to the Tamworth Country Music Festival. 
My sister and brother-in-law have been for the past few years and we have not been able to go due to work commitments. BUT..... this year we were in a position to attend at least the first few days of the Festival.

We were able to book a powered site, which was good as the weather was so hot. One day was over 42.8C.

The caravan is good - although it is a long walk to the pool.
Anyway, this is what we did......

There are a lot of statues and monuments and historical information plaques all around the town.

On Peel Street there are a number of plaques showing the Festival award winners for each year.

Love these boots - they belong to a singer/songwriter, and she was lovely. We had a slight conversation, but I can't remember her name.

 Jonnie loves noodles!

War Memorial

In the Bi-centennial Park there are busts of Country Artists. As more funds are raised more busts will be crafted. 

Next we went to the Hands of Fame corner in the CWA Park.

 Out past the Golden Guitar is the new TREC Centre.
We went there for the Toyota Star Maker Finals - so good.

Outside the Centre

Not far away is the Longyard Hotel, named after a Slim Dusty song.
 "Yes he's lookin' kind of jaded
And his sight is not the best
And the hair around his muzzle's turnin' grey
He has seen a hundred musters
And I think it's only fair
We leave him in the longyard here today"

 Just down the road is a Truck Drivers Memorial.

Back in the CBD, not far from Peel Street, is the quilt shop.

We saw so many ROOSTERs supporters in Tamworth. 

Back in the van park, it was starting to fill up. This was Tuesday.

Our new flag.

Friday was the first official day of the Festival. We caught the bus into the CBD and walked up and down Peel Street. The day was just over 40C so it was very hot. 

Buskers were starting to get set up for the week.

Me and Smokey Dawson :)

On Saturday my sister and brother in law arrived.

 My sister and I sat and supervised.

The next day we did Peel Street again.

There were many more buskers and a lot more people.


 I loved the mixture of old and new.

Sunday night we went to the Toyota Star Maker final 15.
These are not them.

Previous winners.

One of the contestants - she was really good and I thought she should have got into the final 4, but didn't.

Last years winner and the Blue Grass Band.

The judges had a hard time choosing 4 of the 15, and I can understand why. They were all so good. This is the compere of the show, and also a previous winner.

Outside the theatre were a lot of stars for Country Stars.

We had a great time in Tamworth at the Country Music Festival and will go back.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Nundle NSW

Nundle is a little village south east of Tamworth - I think (I'm totally confused by the maps and signage of Tamworth).

Nundle became a village after gold was found at nearby Hanging Rock in the early 1850's. The general area was known as Peel River, honouring Sir Robert Peel - PM of Great Britain - in 1818 by Surveyor General Oxley. The name Nundul appeared on maps as early as 1842, and is the Aboriginal word for mouth and may refer to the mouth of the Nundle Creek where it flows into the Peel River.

It is located about 50kms from Tamworth. We drove along the New England Highway and turned off when our GPS told us to :).

The roads off the highway were like this. Hilly, some trees, dry grass and predominantly cattle and sheep country.

It was a very hot day and the cattle were finding shade under the trees. We were hoping that as we were going up into the edge of the range it would be a little cooler there. We were also aware of the bushfires around us, the closest one was 43kms away from Nundle, although as we were leaving Nundle a few hours later the fire trucks were heading to Hanging Rock National Park.

We decided to have lunch first and couldn't find the picnic spot by the Nundle Creek so headed to Hanging Rock. This is what the roads were like as we got into the National Park and headed up to the Rock.

It was very very high up and very steep looking down.
Photos don't really show that.

 I guess some people need to be reminded to keep safe!!

Oh, and it wasn't cooler up here!

 I had read about the log cabin picnic area, so we decided to have lunch there.

 This would be really special in winter with a log fire - and wood was provided - but this time of year it is hot, unusually hot this year, and there is a total fire ban.

This was our lunch - Jonnie was not happy as I forgot the Vegemite.

After, I wanted to go to the toilet, well after trekking down the back and looking at the toilet, I decided I didn't need to go.

Can you see why? :)

Next stop was the Hanging Rock Cemetery. Peter is so use to us visiting cemeteries, but this is the first one this trip.  

These are the graves for the Ashton Family of Ashton's Circus fame. The graves and plaques were a bit confusing. Mary Ashton's grave is above - she dies at Hanging Rock at the age of 19 while giving birth.
There is also a plaque saying Mary Ashton is buried in Maitland! 
So.... after some research (I love Family History),.... The Aston Family Circus is the oldest circus in Australia. James Henry Ashton (1818-1889) founded the circus in the early 1800's. James was an equestrian and registered his circus in 1852. James had 3 wives and 12 children. He visited Hanging Rock in Aug 1852. His second wife, Mary Anne Riley, an Irish immigrant, died at 19 in childbirth 11 days after giving birth to Mary Ann Catherine, on 27 Aug 1852, and is buried at Hanging Rock. Their daughter Mary Ann Catherine died at Maitland 2 months later and is buried in Maitland. In May 1953, Henry married his third wife, Elizabeth Critchley at Hanging Rock and gave the first performance of his Ashton's Olympic Circus.
James and his family travelled eastern Australia and it is believed that Ned Kelly even attended Ashton's Circus. 
James Henry, when he was in his seventies, he passed the circus management to his sons James and Fred.
Sheba Dam on Barry's Road was built at the end of the gold rushes to provide water to the fossikers. 
 There is free camping here.

We then headed back to Nundle.

Saw these interesting mailboxes along the way.  


This is my kind of of mailbox. It belongs to a Quilting Retreat just outside of Nundle.
"The Cottage on the Hill."

Built late 1880's. In the main street of Nundle - Jenkins St.

This is a park that was built as part of the Economic Stimulus Plan.
It is a playground with a sheep theme,

The central cubby house was really lovely. Solid timber and would make a great live-in cabin.

The playground is built in front of the Woollen Mill, which sadly was closed the day we went.
The mill still used the original machinery to make the wool.

Another cheap camping area was Chaffey Dam. There were a lot of vans there, and it would be a great place to stay for a number of days in the right weather - fish, kayak, just chill out.
Peter said we'll need the generator for the cold - I said he would have to put a jumper on!!

So that was Nundle. 
for our adventure on the way home.