New South Wales
Sydney offers a range of experiences for shopping, culture and ethnic blend. While it is by far the most popular city for tourism in Australia with its iconic Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge which are set amongst the plethora of restaurants, bars and cultural attractions, the region surrounding Sydney and even further into New South Wales has so much to offer as well. From the mountains to the beaches, national parks to the famous wine regions, there is plenty to see and do in New South Wales.
Explore the culture, take a walk through nature and enjoy the views of the coastline.
Sydney is a city that has it all – culture, history, natural beauty and a popular cafe culture. The iconic Sydney Opera House is a top attraction for tourists and has more than 3,000 performances every year. It is located on Sydney Harbour which itself has fantastic views of the city and surrounds, and includes the infamous Harbour Bridge. Take a cruise along the water to explore or enjoy a short ferry ride from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour where you will find an array of entertainment, restaurants, bars and clubs. The Rocks area is filled with character and heritage and has a history dating back to early colonial days, as well as art galleries, boutique stores and historical buildings and museums.
Sydney is also home to one of the world’s most famous beaches – Bondi Beach, which is around 1km long and the widest beach in Sydney. The Bondi Baths are more than 100 years old, there is a wading pool for children and of course, the open beach itself where you are likely to fight the crowds for space on a sunny summer’s day. Another well known Sydney beach is Manly Beach.
The Hunter Valley is just a few hours’ drive from Sydney and is well worth the time. There is an abundance of scenery to enjoy, including the historic district of Pokolbin and the Brokenback Ranges. It is most famous for its wineries, with more than 150 wineries scattered through the region, including Pokolbin, Wollombi, Broke, Lovedale and Maitland. It is a gourmet travellers heaven with an abundance of delicious fare and fine dining on offer, including local olive oil, cheeses, coffees and smokehouse products. Explore the region by taking a scenic joy-flight in a helicopter or you might instead choose to step back in time and travel the traditional way, by horse and cart.
Stretching from Sydney’s Royal National Park to Eden, near the Victorian border, the South Coast region has plenty for tourists, from water sports such as fishing, diving and snorkelling, sailing, canoeing and kayaking, right through to fine gourmet dining, art galleries and antique shops.
There are a number of towns and a great way to explore is by following the Grand Pacific Drive which starts just north of Wollongong. Visit Illawarra to see the largest Buddhist Temple in Australia - Nan Tien Buddhist Temple, and Port Kembla, one of three major ports New South Wales which was established in the late 1890's to facilitate the export of coal from the Illawarra regions mines. Shellharbour is located between the Tasman Sea and the Illawarra Escarpment and is an ideal holiday destination. In the region you can visit Killalea State Park, Minnamurra Rainforest and the famous surfspot, The Farm.
Kiama is famous for its blowhole and lighthouse and was the site of two volcanic flows, the Gerringong Volcanics. The blowhole was formed as part of the erosion process of more recent rock. Nearby, Shoalhaven stretches from Berry in the north to Durras in the south and is home to the famous Jervis Bay, the Kangaroo Valley, Ettrema Wilderness, Budawang Ranges and Morton National Park.
Into the Eurobodalla region and you will find Batemans Bay, the seaside villages of Tomakin, Mossy Point and Broulee, and Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba; and the Sapphire Coast where you can visit Bega, famous for its cheeses, Mimosa National Park, the old whaling town of Eden and Wallega Lake.
CENTRAL NEW SOUTH WALES
Central New South Wales was the first region in Australia where gold was discovered and is an agricultural centre teaming with wildlife, National Parks, fishing and nature walks; country towns, Aboriginal culture and stunning scenery.
Travellers can find a range of things to see and do here, including visits to farm gates and farmers markets, cellar doors and orchards. When it comes to nature, there is an abundance of bird life and other fauna, and while in the region you will also experience a mix of culture.
Bathurst was the birthplace of the first gold rush and also home of the Bathurst 12 Hour motor race and the Bathurst 1000 motor race. The buildings date back to the gold rush days and hold plenty of history, and the region also has a growing wine industry.
Orange is known as the Colour City and is a well-known fruit growing district, producing apples, pears, and many stone fruits such as cherries, peaches, apricots and plums. The streets are filled with 19th century buildings and a walk along the City Heritage Trail will take you on a journey through history.
The Blayney shire is located on the Central Tablelands, where the peaks of Mt Canobolas and Mt Macquarie dominate the skyline. The town of Blayney itself includes classical Victorian government buildings and churches and it is home to the wind farm, developed by Pacific Power International in 2000 - the largest wind farm in Australia at the time.
Stuart Town is a great place to learn about the history in gold mining and try gold panning yourself. It was the site of a gold rush during the 1870s and it was the place where the first ever gold dredging took place in 1899. Stuart Town is just near Wellington, and Wellington Caves and the Phosphate Mine are well worth the visit.
The Pacific Coast in New South Wales stretches from the Tweed Coast in the north, to Clarence Valley in the south; Byron Bay in the east to Nimbin in the west. There are a range of activities throughout the region, from fishing, bushwalking and mountain climbing, to surfing, kayaking, hang gliding, river cruises and cooking classes; and the major drawcard for the region with tourists are the three major river systems–Tweed, Richmond and Clarence.
The Tweed region is located in the caldera of an ancient shield volcano and extends from Coolangatta in the north, down to Kingscliffe and Cabarita in the south. Tweed is at the heart of Australia’s Green Cauldron – nominated by Tourism Australia as a “National Landscape” and with its unspoilt beaches, lush World Heritage listed rainforests, mountain ranges and farmland, it is a popular holiday destination.
Byron Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, while the area around Ballina, Nimbin and Lismore is the perfect relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with nature. Ballina lies on the coast, while Nimbin and Lismore are inland, amongst World Heritage National Parks.
The Clarence Valley is bound by the Kyogle in the north, the Coral Sea in the east, Coffs Harbour in the south and Tenterfield in the west. There are rainforests, marine parks, rural and coastal communities to enjoy.
Byron Bay on the north coast of New South Wales is a popular tourist destination, best known for its laid back lifestyle and surf culture. Located over 700 kilometres from Sydney, the town’s history dates back to 1770 when it was first discovered when Captain James Cook found a safe anchorage. He named the spot Cape Byron - after the world circumnavigator John Byron – and it has since been confirmed as the Easternmost point of mainland Australia. Places to visit include the Cape Byron Headland Reserve, a State Conservation Area, where you can visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse, and take a walk to the easternmost point.
Byron Main beach is most popular with families and swimmers due to its smaller waves, while Watego’s Beach has a cult longboard crowd and Tallows Beach is a surfers dream with its larger swells. In the town itself you can enjoy shopping, restaurants and cafes, galleries and bars; and you can also try skydiving, hang-gliding and bike riding or visit one of the many spas.
The sub-tropical hinterland is minutes from town and includes rainforests, waterfalls, mountains, tropical fruit and dairy farms, markets and macadamia plantations.
Newcastle is a city that has much to offer. Located on the southern end of the Hunter River mouth in the Hunter Valley region, Newcastle is the largest coal exporting harbour in the world and the Port of Newcastle is the centre for trade to the Hunter Valley region and northern New South Wales. From exciting major events, fantastic cafes and restaurants, to great shopping and sightseeing; the countryside to the vineyards and bushland, to its vibrant working harbor, cityscape and coastal location, there is much to enjoy. Visit the Newcastle Museum and the Newcastle Art Gallery, take a walk down to Darby Street or Junction precinct for some shopping, or visit one of the city’s 8 beaches. Merewether, Newcastle, Nobbys, and Bar Beach are popular for surfing and fishing and are close to the city centre; while the Newcastle Ocean Baths, Honeysuckle Precinct and Lee Wharf are also great places to visit.
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
Pylon Lookout at Sydney Harbour Bridge
Cremorne Point to Mosman Bay Walk
Dorrigo National Park
Manly Sea Life Sanctuary
Drive the Legendary Pacific Coast
Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout