Looking for inspiration on what to do on your New South Wales holiday? We have you covered! Here is our round up of Top 21 Things to do in New South Wales.
The capital city of Sydney is an international metropolis and is home to some of the country’s finest restaurants, shopping, attractions and not to mention an extremely diverse culture. The Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour are just several of the city’s highlights, with the list of city attractions almost never ending. Just an hour away you will discover incredible national parks, beautiful beaches and scenic tourist drives. Sydney simply has to be at the top of your list for travelling in NSW.
Newcastle is the much-deserving second largest city in New South Wales, nestled on the banks of the Hunter River. Home to miles of sandy beaches and coastline, historic buildings and fantastic drives inland it is highly regarded as the gateway to the Hunter Region. While in town, take a ride on the famous tram that takes you on a quick tour in and around the city. A visit to the Maritime Museum will also entertain and assure you that there is always something interesting to do in this coastal city.
3. Blue Mountains
Located on over one million hectares of vast wilderness just a short hour’s drive from Sydney you will find the majestic Blue Mountains. This amazing natural wonderland is home to attractions such as the Gardens of Stone, the famous Jenolan Caves and majestic Katoomba Falls. Echo Point would have to be one of the most famous lookouts to view the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley, which are amazing wonders of Mother Nature. With dense rainforest, waterfalls, deep gorges and world class bushwalking trails, the Blue Mountains truly are a world class destination.
4. Byron Bay
Pristine blue beaches and rolling countryside are what places Byron Bay so high on every tourist’s wish list. Byron is also known for its art, entertainment and locals, with a steady stream of international travellers, especially backpackers, attracted by the laidback atmosphere and the beauty of the location. With opportunities to participate in every type of water sport imaginable, including scuba diving at Julian Rocks, there is honestly something here for everyone. One of the most popular highlights of the area would have to be the famous lighthouse, where you may spot some of the migrating whales famous in the area. An easy walk to the Cape will allow you to experience the coastal scenery at its best.
5. Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour is a tourist mecca because it has everything a holiday maker could want: golden beaches, deep sea fishing, bushwalking, excellent shopping, restaurants and cafes all within close distance from each other. Family attractions such as the Big Banana and the Pet Porpoise Pool will keep the kids begging for more and the adults will enjoy them too. Located almost halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, you will need to base yourself here for a while to make the most of this ideal holiday destination.
6. Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie is perfect for the water lover, with the Hastings River flowing alongside the city into the Pacific Ocean. Home to plenty of patrolled beaches with scenic walks, fishing and every type of water sport available as well as camel riding, the possibilities for family fun are endless here. There are also many family attractions including the Billabong Koala and Aussie Wildlife Park and Kids Crazy Maze. This is an ideal destination for a relaxing holiday for so many reasons, including the pleasant climate, location and natural beauty.
Located in northern NSW on the banks of the Clarence River, Yamba promises beautiful scenery and plenty of water all year round. This tourist mecca features several caravan parks and places to stay with a lot of natural attractions and panoramic scenery, so you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay. There are also a number of beaches to choose from, with whale watching a popular event many times of the year. The Yuraygir National Park is a few minutes drive away, and Maclean offers great restaurants, lookouts and amazing rock formations. This is a relaxing destination for anyone looking for a place to unwind, relax and soak up a seaside atmosphere.
8. Hawkesbury Valley
The Hawkesbury valley is not too far from Sydney and features winding rivers, pristine wilderness and historic towns such as St Albans, Richmond, Kurrajong and Windsor. This valley is the ideal destination for a couple’s getaway with art galleries and antique shops dotted throughout making for a romantic experience. Alternatively you can go for a canoe ride or river cruise, because the waterways here are just stunning. The Wollemi National Park is another amazing place and offers bushwalking and amazing scenery. Head in this direction and you will return feeling renewed after visiting this peaceful environment of beauty and tranquillity.
9. Dorrigo National Park
Dorrigo can be found in the New England area of New South Wales, nestled in the mountains. This peaceful country town enjoys amazing surrounding natural beauty, with spectacular views every way you look. As well as the art galleries and shops within the town and the Dorrigo Steam Railway Museum, tourists travel from far and wide to visit the National Parks Rainforest centre. Home to a skywalk overlooking the treetops and many unique walking tracks, this is a must-see while in the region. The Bellinger Valley has captivating lookouts and a short walk to the Dangar Falls. With its scenery and attractions, you simply can’t miss Dorrigo.
10. Jervis Bay
Worth visiting for its natural beauty alone, Jervis Bay is locatedjust over 170km from Sydney. It is most famous for its pure white sand beaches and the aqua-blue waters of the coast. The scenic hinterland is a must to explore, especially the Booderee National Park which adjoins the bay. As one of the deepest sheltered harbours in the country, Jervis Bay will also entice you with its enormous cliffs, rock formations and unique landscapes. It is the forgotten jewel in the south east of New South Wales.
11. Kosciusko National Park
As the largest national park in New South Wales, Kosciusko National Park is known for its Snowy River and the highest mountain in Australia. There are a variety of walks that are suitable for all fitness levels that will allow you to explore cave systems, gorges, lookouts and some incredible scenery. The drive to and around here is simply incredible, as is the camping and bush walking. This is a unique and captivating part of Australia that simply must be visited at least once.
Highly regarded as the Country Music capital of Australia, Tamworth is located on the west side of the Great Dividing Range, just off the New England Highway. However, the Country Music Festival is not all this city has to offer; there are plenty of attractions that will keep you coming back for more. The Peel River offers plenty of fantastic fishing and boating opportunities, and the Moonbi Range, which is located next to the city is a great place to explore and hike. There is also horse riding for every age group, some great shopping centres and some goof old fashioned rodeos.
Bega is most famous for its cheese and wine and is located on the beautiful Sapphire Coast. This quaint town is perfect for the traveller searching for a rolling country town that is close to everything. The Bega Cheese Heritage Centre is a must-see and the Grevillea Winery and Spiral Gallery is also an essential to visit. Bega is also central to natural attractions such as the Ben Boyd and Mimosa National Parks, and the Wallaga and Merimbula Lakes. Take a drive out to Tathra on the coast as this will present the perfect opportunity to enjoy the sapphire blue waters that make the coast so popular.
Home of the Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo is located on the banks of the Macquarie River just off the Mitchell Highway. The zoo isn’t the only attraction here, as the Dundullimal Homestead, Dubbo Military Museum, Old Dubbo Gaol and Courthouse are also popular with tourists. The zoo is home to over 800 animal species with creatures for different continents across the world. There is so much to see within the city and surrounds, or alternatively you can just choose to laze about by the river and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Only a two hour enjoyable drive from Sydney on the Mitchell Highway, lies the famous town of Bathurst. Everyone knows that this town is most famous for its annual motor race on Mount Panorama and this is essentially why people come to visit it. However, there is something for everyone, with gold fossicking, wineries, sheep shearing and festivals to keep tourists entertained all year round. There are also plenty of historic buildings, such as the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. Just a short drive away you will find the Abercrombie Caves which is a unique limestone cave system popular with locals and tourists alike. Bathurst has atmosphere, history and is a must on your list of places to see.
16. Broken Hill
In the far west of New South Wales you will discover Broken Hill, a pleasant town that is not so broken. This well known and large mining town is known for its silver, lead and zinc, and is also home to an expansive sheep industry. One of the attractions is the dry outback that surrounds this town in comparison to the leafy gardens and parks. Embark on a drive North of Broken Hill and you will come across the Mundi Mundi Plain which stretches right out to the beautiful coastline of Western Australia. There are plenty of walks to take to that will allow you to explore this historical town. Alternatively, you can pay a visit to the Keenan lookout to see the city from a distance. Expect long roads, dusty plains and an experience you will never forget.
17. Lightning Ridge
As one of the most famous opal mining towns in Australia, Lightning Ridge has a lot to offer, apart from opals. It is home to the prized black opal, which draws people from far and wide to try some fossicking for themselves. There are a number of old mines and mineral bathing pools that are popular to unwind in, making this an ideal place for couples to escape to. The best thing to do here is wander through the souvenir shops or watch an opal cutting demonstration because this is essentially what this town is all about.
Located right on the Queensland border, Tweed Heads is a popular town that is known for its clubs, restaurants, resorts and fantastic beaches. Close to Mt Warning in the hinterland, this is a fantastic base for a relaxing coastal holiday. It also has a great proximity to the Queensland beaches and is also close to attractions such as Tropical Fruit World, the Melaleuca Tea Tree Plantation and the Condong Sugar Mill. With its neighbour Coolangatta so close they are known as Twin Towns and this is ultimately what makes this a top holiday destination.
Located in the heart of the Hunter Valley just two hours from Sydney, Polkolbin draws visitors from near and far for its wineries, climate and stunning scenery. Many of the wineries are open to the public and offer unique tours, balloon rides and wine tasting and cheese making. The Brokenback mountains are also an incredible backdrop that can easily be enjoyed as you drive through this picturesque town. With Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Barrington Tops and Newcastle all within driving distance, it is one of our top places to stay to enjoy nature at its best.
Thousands of tourists flock from all over the world to visit Jindabyne, not only because it is at the heart of the magnificent snowy mountains, but also because it is located only thirty minutes from the famous Perisher and the stunning Thredbo ski fields. It is a fantastic base for visitation of this area, with plenty of caravan parks and accommodation available. During the warmer months there are plenty of scenic drives that wind through the mountains, and pleasant horse riding for all ages. The Eucumbene Trout Farm is a great place for some fishing, ensuring there is something here for everyone.
21. Lord Howe Island
World heritage listed Lord Howe Island is one of the most beautiful and untouched islands you will find in all of Australia. With incredible diving, fishing, bushwalking, cycling (no driving here!) and unique wildlife and landscapes, your trip here will bring memories that will last forever, so be sure to bring your camera. Climb the impressionable Mt Gower, feed the fish at Neds Beach or swim to Mutton Island, all in the name of fun and adventure. There is something to do here for everyone and you will be guaranteed the time of your life.