New England, Sydney surrounds - Stein Travel
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New England

Also known as 'Big Sky Country', the New England region of New South Wales is a place of spacious beauty where it is possible to enjoy the great outdoors in the cool summers and cosy hospitality of the crisp winters. The centre of New England is Australia's country-music capital, Tamworth, which has played host to the Australian Country Music Festival every January since 1973. The city's population doubles to more than 60,000 when aficionados from across the land gather for the 10-day event, which culminates in the Golden Guitar Awards. Besides the music, Tamworth's other claim to fame is that it was the first town in the southern hemisphere to be lit by electricity. This historical fact has been enshrined in the Powerhouse Museum in town. Beyond Tamworth, the Big Sky Country includes tens of thousands of hectares of national parks and provides activities for visitors like horse riding, abseiling, fishing, fossicking, canoeing and bushwalking. Each park offers distinct flora and fauna and a multitude of natural attractions.

Information & Facts


250 miles (400km) north-west of Sydney.


English is the official language of Australia.


The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

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