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Tamworth

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Tamworth is a city in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. Straddling the Peel River, Tamworth is the major regional centre for the New England region and is in the local government area of Tamworth Regional Council. Approximately 318 km from the Queensland border, the city is located almost midway between Brisbane and Sydney, the two largest cities on the Australian east coast. In 2010, Tamworth had an estimated population of 47,595 people. At the 2011 Census, the urban centre of Tamworth had a population of 36,131.The city is known as the "First City of Lights", being the first place in Australia to use electric street lights in 1888. Tamworth is also famous as the "Country Music Capital of Australia", annually hosting the Tamworth Country Music Festival in late January; the second biggest country music festival in the world. The city is recognised as the "National Equine Capital of Australia" because of the high number of equine events held in the city and the construction of the world class Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre, the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.HistoryThe Kamilaroi people, from whose language comes the word "budgerigar", inhabited the area before European contact. John Oxley passed through the Peel Valley in 1818 and described it as "it would be impossible to find a finer or more luxuriant country than its waters...No place in this world can afford more advantages to the industrious settler than this extensive vale". In 1831, the first sheep stations and cattle stations were formed, and in the same year the Australian Agricultural Company (AAC) was granted a lease of 127,000 hectares of land at Goonoo Goonoo, south of the present location of Tamworth, extending to present-day Calala.
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