Beyond the slick city life of Sydney, (which itself offers many more than 5 reasons to visit!) New South Wales offers unspoilt beaches in Port Macquarie, Jervis Bay and Yuraygir National Park contrasted with the striking mountain ranges of the Blue Mountains and Snowy Mountains. Sip the best from the vines in some world-class Hunter Valley wineries and you’ll soon realise that sun, sea, sand and snow of this state ensure there is much to keep you occupied! Here are our top 5 reasons to visit New South Wales…
Regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the Pacific, Lord Howe Island is surrounded by the world’s southernmost coral reef and it’s the nearest reef to Sydney. Hop on a 2 hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane and you’ll soon be exploring the crystal clear waters teeming with rare coral and marine life surrounded by the island’s endemic species.
The mountainous terrain of Mt Gower ranks amongst Australia’s best day walks and it’s easy to see why. Here you can hike amongst misty forest with panoramic and breathtaking 360-degree views.
Acquaint yourself with the underwater world of an extinct volcano which is a snorkelling, scuba-diving and fishing paradise. Head to Ned’s Beach or Ball’s Pyramid or take a boat trip to the neighbouring Admiralty Islands, an intriguing group of volcanic formations with another 25 or so great dive spots.
An easy and short drive from the city, head into the Blue Mountains which take their name from the blueish hue that seems to shroud the hills as sunlight blends with drops of eucalyptus oil from the trees that blanket this area.
Photograph the legendary rock formations known as The Three Sisters - said to be three sisters who were turned to stone to prevent them marrying some neighbouring tribesman, who then couldn’t be turned back. In Katoomba, experience one of the world’s steepest railways (formerly used by miners) as you explore the Jamison Valley.
Here you’ll find plenty ofbush walks, natural retreats and the internationally recognised Jenolan Caves. If music and entertainment appeals, Oktoberfest and the Blue Mountains Music Festival in Katoomba and the Garden Festival at Leura transform these small, outback towns to a buzzing hive of entertainment.
Sun-baked sand dunes meet national parks and lush wetlands teeming with wildlife in over 120,000 hectares of remote and stark landscape. Lunar landscapes and red-stained sand, make this a unique and colourful area to explore. You can houseboat holiday in Wentworth, embark on a caravan fishing trip in Brewarrina or bush walk in Cobar.
Head to the ruggedly beautiful Mutawintji National Park for astonishing Aboriginal rock art; paintings, stencils and engravings that are thought to be some 30,000 years old.
Mungo National Park, part of the Willandra Lakes Region is a World Heritage Area comprised of dried up lakes and sand dunes. This area is where some key archaeological treasures were uncovered; the remains of Mungo Man, the oldest human skeleton discovered in Australia, and Mungo Woman, the oldest ritually-cremated remains ever found.
Check out some of the remote townships and their landmarks; the Mundi Mundi plains and Living Desert sculptures of Broken Hill or take a dip in the warm artesian waters of the bore baths of the opal mining town Lightning Ridge
Border Ranges National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and is a wilderness of untouched ancient rainforest and unique plants. This is a great area for self-drive – if you follow the Border Ranges Loop, you could picnic at Antarctic Beech picnic area and swim in any of the gorgeous swimming holes made by surrounding rivers.
On the rim of an ancient volcano, ranges and plateaus, this region is dotted with small towns and little centres full of markets, handicrafts, cafes and local produce. South of Mt Warning (Wollumbin) you’ll encounter picturesque hinterland villages including Lismore and Nimbin. These little towns offer art trails and festivals, and you’ll find alternative living and organics are all in abundance here. Check out the markets at Channon or the gallery at Blue Knob.
There’s much more to this hip Northern Beaches town than just surfing and swimming! Byron Bay’s packed calendar of festivals, concerts, music and theatre and vibrant nightlife makes this cosmopolitan yet alternative town a welcoming stay and it’s easy to see why visitors flock taste their piece of the pie.
Explore any of the town’s 15 great beaches or take a drive out into the countryside through quaint curvy hallows and wooded avenues to the historic heritage of small town Bangalow. The majestic camphor laurel trees host a canopy of shade for the delightful markets.
Treat yourself to some wellness with one of the many health spas, workshops, courses or therapies. From Ayurvedic exfoliation, floatation tanks to hot yoga, there’s plenty on offer in this boho haven of counter-culture.
If you’d like to visit Australia and include New South Wales in your round the world trip, I can help recommend accommodation, tailor-made holidays, trip ideas, car hire or campervans – whatever suits your style and budget best! Just contact Annette.