New South Wales is like a mini Australia with snowfields, beaches, outback, reef, rainforest, and more. Visitors can enjoy a wide-ranging cultural life in Sydney, a dynamic food scene, and vibrant cityscape of outstanding contemporary and colonial architecture. Iconic beaches, including the celebrated surfing beaches of Bondi and Manly, and five major national parks on the city’s doorstep deliver unforgettable outdoor experiences.
Sydney is the capital city of the state of New South Wales and with its near-perfect climate, world-famous architecture, and beautiful harbor, Sydney is one of the world’s top cities to visit and live in. Sydney’s famous harbor provides a dramatic backdrop for the city’s icons, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Sydney is Australia’s largest city, home to beautiful beaches, famous buildings, historic landmarks, and award-winning restaurants. From the amazing views of Sydney Harbour to the tranquility of Hyde Park, there is something here for everyone. Whether visitors are looking for a high-energy adventure holiday or planning a honeymoon, Sydney is the perfect destination.
Sydney Harbour is one of the most photographed locations in the world, with the twin landmarks of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House taking pride of place. Take a stroll along Circular Quay, or catch a ferry to Cockatoo Island, Manly, or Watsons Bay and enjoy the beauty of the harbor and its surroundings. Taronga Zoo is also easy to get to by ferry from the city.
In the heart of Sydney’s city center is the Queen Victoria Building (QVB). Dating back to the 1890s, the QVB is now one of the city’s major shopping destinations. Other shopping highlights include Pitt Street Mall, home to the up-market shopping plaza, Westfield Sydney and the historic Strand Arcade, as well as department stores, David Jones and Myer.
Darling Harbour is the perfect place to entertain the whole family. Enjoy a delicious harbourside meal and visit one of the fantastic attractions such as the Chinese Garden of Friendship, the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, and Madame Tussauds Sydney. Nearby, take a walk around Barangaroo and enjoy one of the many delicious restaurants or join an Aboriginal cultural tour in the beautiful Barangaroo Reserve.
Explore Sydney’s past in The Rocks’ cobbled laneways, cozy cafes, and the oldest pubs in the country. Throughout this historic area, there are great places to stay, eat, drink, and shop. Visit Sydney’s newest precinct Barangaroo, and discover world-class dining, harbourfront parklands, vibrant shopping, innovative design, and fascinating Aboriginal cultural tours. On the edge of Sydney Harbour, this area is named after a powerful 18th-century Aboriginal woman.
Located between the city and the coast, Sydney’s eastern suburbs are home to some of the city’s most famous attractions, including Bondi Beach, Coogee Beach, and Watsons Bay. The 3.7 mile Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is the perfect way to enjoy the fresh sea air and views of white sandy beaches. Located at the southern end of Bondi Beach, is Bondi Icebergs Club, an iconic swimming pool and waterfront restaurant.
A short trip from the beaches are Bondi Junction and Double Bay, offering some of Sydney’s best shopping, with a mix of high-street boutiques and stylish malls. Centennial Parklands is an 889-acre green space, where visitors can go horse riding, cycling, or walking.
Just across the harbor from the city center are Sydney’s leafy northern suburbs, known for their bushwalks, markets, and family entertainment. Visitors can enjoy views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House from North Sydney’s foreshore or Taronga Zoo. Shoppers will enjoy visiting Mosman and Chatswood for their fashionable boutiques and bustling café lifestyle. Famous Manly and Palm beach are at either end of a beautiful stretch of coastline that offers great surf beaches, cliff-top walks, and alfresco restaurants. Catch the ferry to Manly from Circular Quay to hire a bike and take in the scenery or walk the Manly to Spit Bridge Scenic Walkway or dine at one of the waterfront restaurants.
Take a stroll along one of the many beautiful beaches in Sydney’s south. Beachside suburbs include Cronulla and Maroubra and have great cafes and eateries. Follow walking trails along the rugged coastline of Kamay Botany Bay National Park or in the beautiful Royal National Park, Australia’s first national park. Along the way, enjoy looking at the native flora and fauna on rock platforms, in sand dunes and freshwater streams.
Western Sydney is an action-packed adventure destination, with a range of activities for all ages. Just an hour from the center of Sydney, adventure seekers can enjoy activities including iFLY Downunder, white-water rafting, Jetpack Adventures, TreeTop Adventure Park, and mountain bike trails.
Featherdale Wildlife Park, 45-minutes from central Sydney is one of the country’s premier wildlife parks and home to the world’s largest collection of Australian animals. Parramatta is home to Old Government House and Parramatta Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Art lovers will enjoy Penrith Regional Gallery.
This World Heritage-listed area, only 90 minutes west of Sydney, has ancient rock formations, the spectacular Jenolan Caves, thundering waterfalls, eucalypt-filled valleys, and canyons that are just some of this area’s stunning natural wonders.
Experience the wonders at Scenic World, where the glass-topped carriages of the Scenic Railway take visitors on a ride into the depths of the Jamison Valley. Enjoy one of the many bushwalks and hikes in the area, with options to suit all fitness levels. Jump in a 4WD for an eco-tour, and learn about the unique flora and fauna of the region. Take a Hop-on Hop-off bus to see many of the attractions in this World Heritage-listed area.
The Blue Mountains is the perfect place to indulge, with plenty of food, wine, shopping, and spa experiences. Browse specialty stores for work by local artists, antiques, books, regional food, and wines. Unwinding after a long day of bushwalking is easy at one of the award-winning day spas.
Bridging the area between Sydney and Newcastle, the Central Coast stretches along the coast north of Sydney all the way to the southern end of Lake Macquarie. With a number of lovely villages, as well as a great mix of bays, beaches, inlets, lakes, and hinterland, there’s plenty to see and do on the NSW Central Coast.
Only 2.5 hours drive north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley features over 150 wineries, vineyards, and cellar doors and is the oldest winegrowing region in Australia. With a range of restaurants and accommodation options, the Hunter Valley is perfect for fabulous food and wine short break. Local signature wines including Semillon and shiraz can be sampled alongside dishes and menus championing local and sustainable produce, including smokehouse goods, cheeses, chocolates, and coffee. There are plenty of things to do — winery tours, farmers markets, championship golf courses, cooking schools, and for a birds-eye view of the vineyards gently soar in a hot-air balloon.
Just three hours’ drive north of Sydney, Barrington Tops National Park is an unspoiled wilderness accessible from Gloucester and Dungog. Lake Macquarie, with its ocean beaches and nearby Watagans National Park, provides plenty of action-packed activities.
Discover uncrowded beaches, tranquil rivers and lakes, World Heritage-listed rainforests, and dramatic volcanic hinterland on the North Coast of NSW. Newcastle is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, a two-hour drive north of Sydney. It has a rich maritime history and is a world-famous surfing destination. NSW’s second-biggest city has a mix of cool bars, great restaurants, and a lively arts and music scene.
Port Stephens is a mecca for beach and nature lovers. The resident wild dolphins can be spotted from a dolphin-watching cruise. The towering Stockton Bight Sand Dunes in the Worimi Conservation Lands are great for quad-biking, sand-boarding, and 4WD tours. Continue further north and discover Byron Bay on the far North Coast of NSW which is full of natural wonders. The area is famous for its surf culture, alternative philosophies, organic food, great shopping, outdoor adventures, and a fantastic range of accommodation.
The South Coast stretches from Stanwell Park, south of Sydney, along the coast to Eden. Discover pristine beaches, marine, and national parks, and the famous Kiama blowhole, which spouts seawater 65 feet into the air. The area’s rugged coastline offers opportunities for adventure including swimming with seals, fishing, coastal walks, and surfing.
Traveling by car is a great way to explore the South Coast along the Grand Pacific Drive, over the dramatic Sea Cliff Bridge to Wollongong, NSW’s third-largest city, and south to Shellharbour and Kiama, passing some of Australia’s best surf beaches. Enjoy pristine nature experiences and indulge on fresh produce and elegant wines. Discover the dolphins in Jervis Bay and visit pretty Kangaroo Valley. Taste cool climate wines in Shoalhaven. Get up close to kangaroos in the wild at Pebbly Beach and meet a colony of fur seals while snorkeling or diving at Montague Island. Savor freshly shucked oysters on Australia’s Oyster Coast.
Home to an exhilarating alpine wilderness and Australia’s highest peak, Mt Kosciuszko, the Snowy Mountains presents a stunning vista of rivers, mountains, and glacial lakes. Enjoy great skiing and snowboarding in the ski season, or bushwalk, mountain bike, and horse ride through wildflowers during the warmer months.
There are three resorts in the Kosciuszko National Park which are popular during the ski season. In the warmer months, the mountains offer trails to suit walkers of all abilities, trout fishing in lakes and rivers, horse riding, and mountain biking along mountain tracks. Travel from Sydney by car or bus to the Snowy Mountains, or fly from Sydney to Canberra and rent a car or board a bus.
COUNTRY NEW SOUTH WHALES
Explore Central New South Wales and enjoy some of the great The beautiful Southern Highlands has snug bed and breakfasts. regional food and wine experiences that the state has to offer. farm stays, cozy hotels, and many eateries that use quality local From Cowra and Orange to Mudgee, Dubbo, and the Southern produce. Experience the ultimate ‘zoofari’ at Taronga Western Plains Z00 in Dubbo, approximately five hours’ drive from Sydney. Home to hundreds of rare and endangered animals including giraffes, rhinos, elephants, and big cats, you can walk or ride around the zoo’s 4.7-mile circuit on rented bikes or carts.
OUTBACK NEW SOUTH WHALES
Outback New South Wales features a remarkable landscape shaped by the elements over millions of years. Some of the finest examples of this can be seen at Mungo National Park, where the ancient lake bed revealed the remains of Mungo Man and Mungo Lady, rare archaeological finds. The area is now protected by a World Heritage listing.
Take a guided tour to the beautiful Walls of China, an extraordinary rock formation, or visit Mutawintji Historic Site and uncover the secrets of ancient rock art. Some of the most beautiful opals in the world are also found here with townships such as Lightning Ridge, home to the black opal. Opals are a precious gemstone, 95 percent of which are found in Australia. Enjoy a night in underground accommodation at the former opal-mining town of White Cliffs. The Living Desert Sculptures near Broken Hill are a local highlight, reflecting the vibrant arts community in the area.
LORD HOWE ISLAND
This World Heritage-listed island off the North Coast of New South Wales measures less than 7 miles end to end and 1 mile across. With only 400 visitors allowed on Lord Howe Island at a time, guests will find their very own piece of paradise. Swim in the clear ocean surrounded by the world’s southern-most coral reef or explore the island by bike and see unique flora and fauna. Other popular activities include snorkeling and diving, fishing, canoeing, bushwalking, mountain climbing, and bird watching. Lord Howe Island is accessible by regular flights from Sydney, which takes approximately two hours.