the big golden guitar

The Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth, NSW

the big golden guitar
The Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth. Source: Creative Commons

Most Big Things in Australia are either based on fruits, humans, or animals, and that’s what makes the Big Golden Guitar special. This famous giant guitar sculpture is also one of the most photographed Big Things of Australia. In this blog, you will learn more about the history of the Big Golden Guitar, its location, design, fun things to do when you visit, and so much more.

Location of the Big Golden Guitar

The Big Golden Guitar is located in front of the famous Longyard Hotel on Sydney Road in the city of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. It is one of the major points of attraction in New South Wales, New England, and all of Australia. An estimated 3.6 million photographs of the gigantic monument have been taken since its official opening.

History of the Big Golden Guitar

The history of the city of Tamworth should give you a better understanding of why the Big Guitar was erected at the first place.

Tamworth is popularly referred to as the Country Music Capital of Australia. Actually, there is an annual award ceremony known as the Golden Guitar Awards, or the CMMA Country Music Awards of Australia, held in Tamworth every January. The winners of the award are usually presented with a mini guitar trophy, a smaller replica of the giant Golden Guitar. According to NBN News, this colossal structure attracts more than 110,000 visitors every year.

The country music festival in Tamworth is the second-largest country music festival in the world, after Nashville.

In 1988, Slim Dusty, one of the most popular country music artists in Australia, unveiled the Golden Guitar in Tamworth as a symbol of the city’s love for Australian country music. Dusty won more Golden Guitar awards than any other country music artist.

The design of the giant Golden Guitar

This massive guitar sculpture stands 12 metres tall and weighs at least 500 kilograms. It is made of fiberglass and wood, with steel barriers as reinforcements. However, the guitar does not have any strings attached; it is an exact replica of the guitar trophies given to winners of the CMMA awards.

the big golden guitar
A rear view of the Big Golden Guitar. Source: Creative Commons

Tamworth City Council takeover

In 2019, the attention-grabbing structure was donated to the Tamworth City Council. The council held a unanimous vote to accept the donation as part of the cultural gift program in order boost tourism in the city of Tamworth.

Fun things to do at the giant Golden Guitar

If you are a country music fan, you will love a trip to the Big Golden Guitar. Let’s take a look at some worthwhile attractions within this area.

The Country Music Wax Museum

This museum hosts wax statues of over 20 Australia country music stars and pioneers. It also includes a statue the late Slim Dusty, who officially launched the giant Golden Guitar on January 25, 1988, alongside the then General Manager of Tourism in NSW, Paul Crombie.

The museum provides country music lovers the perfect opportunity to learn more about the pioneers of this genre of music, and the transition to the current stars. For example, the Walk a Country Mile is an interactive section of the museum that illustrates the growth of country music, through photos, artefacts and recordings of old concerts.

Fans of country music and art in general can also volunteer at the museum, by assisting with archiving and cataloguing, welcoming visitors, collecting entry fees, planning, erecting and maintaining exhibits, and so much more. The volunteering opportunity is also great for socializing and making new friends, contributing to the community, and more importantly learning about country music.

There is also a rich collection of country music artefacts at the museum worth checking out. They include audiotapes and oral histories, master records, video libraries, books, significant documents, periodicals, pictures, posters and so much more. In the video library section, you’ll have access to DVDs, video tapes, VHS, and historical Prime TV Country Music videos.

You can also check out some antique stage clothing dating back to the 1930s and worn by some of the most popular country music artists in the history of the genre.

The National Guitar Museum

This museum is basically a hub of knowledge for lovers of country music from all over the world. It features more than 45 guitars, including the original riffle guitar belonging to Smoky Dawson. It also displays guitars from legendary artists such as Brian May, Tommy Emmanuel, Paul Stanley and of course, Slim Dusty.

When you visit the museum, you’ll get the rare chance to see signed guitars from The Eagles, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and many others.

The iconic guitars aside, this museum is home to precious picture collections of other instruments from famous country and rock artists such as Midnight Oil, Troy Cassar-Daley, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Archie Roach, INXS and more.

The Strings and Beans café

After touring the Giant Guitar and the wax and guitar museums, you’ll probably be hungry. The Strings and Beans café is one of the many places to enjoy some good food in Tamworth during your tour of the city. Located at the 2 Ringers Road, this famous local restaurant is a must-visit whenever you are in town.

One thing you need to know about the Big Golden Guitar is its accessibility 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. Feel free to take as many selfies as you can to keep the memories of your tour alive for generations. You do not even have to be a country music fan to visit the giant Golden Guitar; if you are a fan of Australia’s Big Things, that’s more than enough reason to visit this iconic structure.

If you enjoyed reading about the Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth, you may want to check out more Big Things on our website, and hopefully subscribe to our newsletter for related content.

If you enjoyed this article we highly recommend reading our post about The Big Mango.

We also have a Big Things store featuring T-shirts on some of the most famous big things in Australia. These include The Big penguin, The Big Kangaroo, The Big Jumping Crocodile and The Giant Koala. They are available in baby sizes all the way up to adult sizes.

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