Edged with more than 1000km of Pacific coastline, New South Wales is one of Australia’s most diverse states, boasting everything from vast outback plains to alpine high country and glorious pockets of rainforest, not to mention one of the world’s most striking cities, Sydney.
Sydney sits amid extraordinary natural beauty, with a sparkling harbour, sun-kissed ocean pools and wildlife-rich national parks. It’s also got vibrant cultural diversity and has a fascinating Indigenous and colonial history. Sydney is a global go-to destination, packed with iconic experiences such as surfing at Bondi Beach, dining under the sails of the Sydney Opera House and meeting the wildlife at Taronga Zoo. Whether you want shows, museums, shopping, coastal walks, sporting events, a beach lifestyle or inner city nightlife, Sydney has it all.
Explore Country NSW
Get a taste of authentic Aussie charm in Country NSW. Eat and drink your way around the wineries of Orange and Mudgee (both less than four hours’ drive from Sydney), marvel at the heavens in the Warrumbungle Dark Sky Park or join a lion safari at Taronga Western Plains Zoo (both within six hours of Sydney). Adventures include bushwalking, mountain biking, horse riding, fishing, rock climbing and more. Travel in autumn for rich colourful foliage or spring for fields of pastel blossoms. You’ll find warm country hospitality and welcoming locals everywhere you go.
Expand your horizons in Outback NSW
Rich red earth meets endless blue skies in Outback NSW. Get to know the unofficial capital of the outback, Broken Hill (a 13-hour drive or three-hour flight from Sydney), and explore the otherworldly landscapes of Mungo National Park (a 10-hour drive from Sydney). Discover ancient Aboriginal sites and rock art, and search for glittering black opals. The outback is a place for off-road adventures, camping under the stars and sharing a drink with the locals in a remote pub.
Read more: Great Aussie country pubs
Hit the surf on the North Coast
The North Coast traces the intricate NSW coastline from the Tweed in the north (an 8.5-hour drive from Sydney) down to Port Stephens (2.5 hours from Sydney). With artisan shopping, iconic surf breaks, rainforest trails, and secluded pools in which to swim and snorkel, the North Coast offers an enchanting and diverse holiday experience. Catch a wave at Angourie, explore the Waterfall Way, follow a food trail, eat at hatted restaurants or enjoy fish and chips by the beach.
Unwind on the South Coast
Head south from Sydney and unwind at your own pace on the beautiful South Coast, stretching from Wollongong (a 90-minute drive south of Sydney) all the way to Eden (a six-hour drive from Sydney). This beautiful region is home to charming towns, deserted beaches, spectacular wilderness, and a thriving food and wine scene. Relax on some of the whitest sands in the world, spot whales close to shore, savour freshly shucked oysters, and enjoy a range of water sports, cycling and bushwalking.
Eat and drink your way around the Riverina Murray
Discover the food bowl of NSW, a rich agricultural region near the mighty Murray River. Take a cruise along the river in a restored paddle steamer, see koalas in the wild, and walk in the footsteps of bushranger Ned Kelly. The region can be reached in about a four-hour drive from Sydney; visit in spring to follow the bright golden flowers of the Canola Trail and take some time out for a glass of wine – wineries here include big names such as De Bortoli and McWilliam’s.
Read more: 213 things to do in NSW
Go on an adventure in the Snowy Mountains
The magnificent alpine scenery of the Snowy Mountains – or the Snowies – is characterised by mountain peaks and snowâ¯gum woodlands, and much of the region is incorporated into Kosciuszko National Park. You can discover four distinct seasons here, with snow-covered slopes in winter and alpine lakes edged with wildflowers in summer. It’s home to Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, and attracts adventurers all year round, with hiking, mountain biking, and fly-fishing for trout in the warmer months, and skiing and snowboarding in winter.
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