From pristine beaches to the awe-inspiring Australian outback, New South Wales (NSW) is one of the most unique places in the world. Enjoy stunning stretches of coastline, great bushwalks in beautiful national parks, and outstanding dining experiences in spectacular locations.
New South Wales is home to the Australia's largest city - vibrant Sydney. With the famous Opera House and Darling Harbour to the world-renowned Bondi Beach, Sydney is a melting pot of cultures, delicious restaurants, dazzling shows and great shopping. Sydney is bursting with attractions and tours. Explore Circular Quay, The Rocks, the Royal Botanic Garden or climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Walk along the harbour foreshore from Campbells Cove, to under the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Walsh Bay, home to the world-class Roslyn Packer Theatre.
Explore Sydney's Darling Harbour, where you can meet penguins and sharks at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and get up close to koalas and a giant saltwater crocodile at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.
Sydney will dazzle you day and night.
But it doesn't stop here in NSW. Take in the splendour of the Great Dividing Range, including Australia's highest peak as well as the spectacular Blue Mountains, that separate the coastal strip from the pastoral hinterlands that slowly disappear as you move west to the harsh Australian Outback dotted with mining towns and endless red earth.
To the west of Sydney you'll find the legendary Blue Mountains, a 1 million hectare, World Heritage-listed wilderness that has inspired artists and writers like Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson. Discover attractions here that will appeal to all visitors, from the adventure seeker to the traveller who revels in the luxurious. Each year around 4 million people visit the Blue Mountains and dine in the many cafes and gourmet restaurants. There is a variety of accommodation available that ranges from self-contained cottages, bed and breakfasts to Victorian-era hotels and luxury lodges.
Discover hidden canyons as you descend 350 metres on the Grand Canyon circuit with rock overhangs, misty waterfalls and towering tree ferns to hitting the heights at 1100 metres above sea level at Hassans Walls. There is a boardwalk that provides easy access. Other lookouts are Echo Point and Govetts Leap. If you're a thrill-seekers, including children from the age of five you can swing through the trees on a selection of 21 flying foxes, as well as balance on aerial wooden bridges strung between trees and if you want ot test yourself then take a variety of treetop challenges at the new Grose River Trees Adventure Park at Yarramundi.
A coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, Byron Bay is a destination that ticks all the boxes. Internationally known for surfing, Byron bay has 9 outstanding surfing beaches including 'The Pass' which lies directly next to the world famous Lighthouse, 'The wreck' which is great if you are a beginner, and the main beach called Belongil. You don't have to be a surfer to enjoy a visit to Byron. You can go snorkelling at Julian Rocks Marine reserve, Kayaking, Hang Gliding, Whale Watching from June to November, cycling, skydiving, visit the hippy village of Nimbin or explore the surrounding National Parks and the Byron Bay Hinterland.
Byron Bay is a haven for 'foodies' from Crab doughnuts to Naked Treaties' a super healthy, fluffy, buckwheat crepe found at Sweet Crepe, that is bursting with berries and bananas, with all the trimmings including housemade Rawtella and coconut yoghurt and toatlly guilt free.
Home to a number to a number of picturesque towns like Umina Beach, The Entrance, Avoca Beach, Terrigal and Ettalong Beach the Central Coast bridges the area between Sydney and Newcastle. The perfect place for adventure, from playful dolphins and surfing beaches to World Heritage rainforest and the dramatic volcanic hinterland. You can snorkel and dive coral reefs in crystal-clear waters or enjoy kayaking or a boat cruise. Along the legendary Pacific Coast, you'll find 48 national parks and 12 state forests including many towns and villages, and Newcastle, NSW's second largest city. Other great places to visit include Port Stephens, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour which is home to the Big Banana.
Along the south coast you can chill out on spectacular beaches with some of the whitest sands in the world and if you are game pat some kangaroos in the wild. For oyster lovers enjoy freshly shucked oysters on Australia's Oyster Coast, or take off on Australia's highest zip-line. There is a lot to see and do along the Central Coast of New South Wales.
Southwest of Sydney discover the Southern Highlands. It is just a 90 minute drive from Sydney to Bowral, home to the annual Tulip Time Festival and the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame.
This region offers deep volcanic soils that support a range of fresh produce, from beef and dairy to wine grapes and truffles. The high altitude is perfect for cool-climate wines, so there are plenty wineries to visit. Explore gorgeous gardens, spectacular waterfalls and wonderful national parks or dine in acclaimed restaurants such as Biota Dining and Eschalot.
If you love your wine and consider yourself to be quite the 'foodie' then the Hunter Valley Region is the place for you. Home to Australia's oldest wine region, quality restaurants, and stunning World Heritage wilderness, the Hunter region north of Sydney is the perfect place for you to escape. Explore charming towns and villages, rolling vineyards and olive groves. Go bush walking in Yengo National Park, join a winery tour and visit Barrington Tops National Park a World Heritage listed rainforest where you can see Aboriginal rock engravings.
In the outback national parks you'll discover lush wetlands teeming with wildlife as well as sun-baked sand dunes and big skies that light up the night with thousands upon thousands of stars. Country hospitality in this part of New South Wales is as much a part of its soul as the diversity of its capital Sydney and the coastal surf scene is.
This region has been home to Aboriginal inhabitants for a millennia and today, you can see Aboriginal rock art, some 30,000 years old, at sites in Mutawintji National Park at Broken Hill, as well as the remains of Mungo Man and Mungo Woman, dating back some 40,000 years, at Mungo National Park.
Lord Howe Island
This World Heritage-listed paradise, is 600 kilometres off the coast of Port Macquarie and allows only 400 visitors at a time. A holiday here is all about relaxation, nature and an unhurried attitude. You'll get around on bike or walk and hike. Climb of Mount Gower, at 875 metres, and considered to be one of the world's best hikes. Swim, snorkel, dive or go kayaking in the crystal clear waters. This place is also one of Australia's premier birdwatching destinations with 130 permanent and migratory bird species.
The Snowy Mountains
Home to Australia's highest peak Mt Kosciuszko, the Snowy Mountains is a stunning vista of rivers, mountains and glacial lakes. In the winter months enjoy skiing or snowboarding and in the warmer months go bush walking, mountain biking or horse riding. If you love to fish then the clear waters of The Snowy Mountains are ideal, with an abundance of Atlantic salmon, brook, brown and rainbow trout.