From windswept beaches and lofty mountain ranges, to Australia’s most iconic city, New South Wales is one state that really packs a punch. With a sun-kissed coast, award-winning wineries and Australia’s highest peaks, its natural splendour knows no bounds. Cosmopolitan cities and seaside towns combine with legendary landmarks to form one destination that truly caters for all.
Sydney forever beckons with its world-renowned attractions, celebrity chef restaurants and enviable harbourside location. This bustling big city boasts endless entertainment, with lively festivals and events on almost every other weekend. Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, and sees many of the city’s urban spaces and prominent landmarks transform into a spectacular kaleidoscope of colours.
Tick the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge off your bucket list before strolling the lush surrounds of Hyde Park. Kids will love meeting the furry residents of Taronga Zoo, just a short ferry ride away from Sydney Harbour. Join the bronzed bodies on Bondi Beach or take in the sights along the popular coastal Bondi to Coogee Walk.
If you are envisaging a tropical beach getaway, you can make yourself at home in Coffs Harbour. Roughly halfway between Brisbane and Sydney, this idyllic coastal hub is known for its stunning beaches and verdant hinterland. There are national parks aplenty or if you have the kids in tow, make a stop at the famous Big Banana. Of course, most of your time will be spent in the water, with sheltered bays perfect for swimming alongside renowned surf breaks.
A little further north you’ll stumble on Byron Bay, a scenic beachside town known for its laid-back attitude. Revel in the serious surf culture with some of the best waves on the east coast or swim in the striking turquoise waters of Main Beach. The walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse is well worth the effort as you are rewarded with sprawling coastal views. Always keep an eye out for a pod of dolphins or even whales frolicking below.
For a romantic getaway, there’s Australia’s oldest and most-visited wine region, Hunter Valley. Just two hours north of Sydney, you will find picturesque vineyards, gourmet restaurants and beautiful accommodation all offering an ideal country escape. The region is often touted as a food lover’s paradise with award-winning boutique breweries and fine dining experiences offering sensational local fare. Outside of the wineries, you could also ride a hot air balloon over the patchwork land below or even clop along in a horse-drawn carriage.
You could also discover the remarkable Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Bushwalking is a popular pastime, with countless natural wonders to explore on foot. Take the time to visit the Jenolan Caves, these limestone gems inspire with their underground rivers and complex sandstone formations. Visit Scenic World to ride the glass-floored Skyway, suspended 270 metres in the air or hop on the world’s steepest incline railway.