Discover historic towns, vineyards, cosmopolitan culture and snowy mountains near lush national parks. Find the perfect escape in Outback, city, mountains or coast.
New South Wales has everything from picturesque country towns to idyllic coastline. Soar on a dawn balloon flight over vineyards, ski the Snowy Mountains, ride along Port Stephens’ white sands and discover the rugged Outback surrounding historic Broken Hill.
Sydney, the capital, is a must-see. Historic buildings bring charm to the bustling city and pretty beach suburbs. Walk through Cockatoo Island’s old jail before having a cocktail at a waterfront bar. Picnic with river views in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens, enjoy fine dining at the Docks and see a show at the Sydney Opera House.
Visit Hunter Valley, a wine-growing region with extraordinary beauty and excellent restaurants. Enjoy a dawn balloon ride or cycle the area. Spend a day visiting breweries, wineries and cheese manufacturers.
Newcastle is popular for music, art, culture and surfing, with eight beaches nearby. Watch for dolphins in Port Stephens’ Great Lakes Marine Park, ride the sand dunes and investigate the culture of the Worimi Aboriginal people. Dive with reef fish at the Solitary Islands Marine Park at Coffs Harbor. Relaxing Byron Bay, a hub for artistic types, offers camping spots within view of the water and migrating whales.
Challenge yourself in the Blue Mountains on a three-day walk from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. Ride one of the world’s steepest trains through rainforest or abseil down a waterfall. The Snowy Mountains offer winter skiing, fine dining in cozy chalets and incredible views from Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko.
Rust-colored landscapes surrounding Broken Hill showcase Outback scenery. Elegant 1800s architecture stands out against the huge slag heap, produced over 130 years of mining. Salt bush and emus dot the drive to Silverton, a one-pub town where Mad Max movies were filmed.
Don’t miss regional New South Wales. Tamworth, once a gold-mining town, is known for country music, gem fossicking (prospecting) and traditional country crafts. Pretty Tenterfield, featuring historic 19th-century architecture, is a great base for exploring the national parks of the New England Tableland.