10 UNMISSABLE NSW EXPERIENCES

From Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Blue Mountains, iconic landmarks abound in New South Wales. Treat your tastebuds to a trail through the Hunter Valley or relax upon world-famous Byron or Bondi Beach. Marvel at the Sydney Opera House, witness in real life the outback captured on silver screens and stop in at charming country towns along the way. Whether you’re after a rural retreat, a coastal holiday or a city sojourn, a visit to New South Wales is a must

Byron Bay

 

Let’s start up the top shall we? Where Queenslanders mosey down to and celebrities zoom in from the States. Byron Bay’s relaxed vibe is synonymous with bare feet, bongos and booch (kombucha for those less familiar). In contrast, luxury resorts mix with grass roots cafes, and boho designers rival international labels. Byron’s a place to breathe, if not to catch a glimpse of a Hemsworth or one Zack Efron.

Bondi Beach

 

If Thirsty Merc’s ‘In The Summertime’ song doesn’t get you excited about world-famous Bondi Beach, the soft sands, lively atmosphere and the lifeguards sure will. Coogee Coastal Walk and Icebergs are a must to get a true sense of both traditional Indigenous heritage and modern, stylish dining.

Sydney City

 

Hit up the attractions Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour and even Taronga Zoo. These iconic experiences will lend well in family photos and surprise and delight even the locals and well-travelled. With activities and events changing constantly, there is no shortage of weekend sights, eats and excitement.

Jervis Bay

 

There is no way this one was not going to make it into the top 10. Jervis Bay is one of the few places in our beautiful country where the sea can magically light up at night. Millions of tiny sparkles appear as if from a fairy-tale. With the right timing, temperature and wind, an algae bloom of plankton will produce a spectacle you’d hardly believe could come from the word ‘algae’.

Dark Sky Park

 

You may have heard of Coonabarabran, but did you know its neighbour, Warrumbungle National Park, is home to one of the world’s starriest of skies? A camping trip to this Dark Sky Park will amaze. With its high altitude and low humidity, the conditions are perfect for dreamy, starry nights… and a bubbly or two.

Australian Alps

 

Pack your mittens and plan your trip to the Australian Alps in July and August through ‘til October. Powdery white snow and white-knuckle adrenaline awaits from the slopes at Perisher and Thredbo. Head to the Snowy Mountains and visit Mount Kosciuszko for breath-taking views and natural geological formations that will stick with you long after the snow melts.

Blue Mountains

 

While we’re on a mountain high, be sure to put the Blue Mountains on your itinerary, with a big asterisk next to the Three Sisters. Rising up almost one kilometre above sea level, the views of these unique sandstone turrets span rainforest, mountains and valleys through which an array of trails await. See valleys over a million years old, explore the Jenolan Caves and make a stop at Scenic World – the name is an understatement at best.

Hunter Valley

 

Wine time, anyone?! Vineyards, rainforest and gold rush history make for an experience that is equal parts relaxing and adventurous. Taste the iconic Hunter Valley Semillon and visit the Barrington Tops National Park walk it. You’ll need that healthy appetite to make the most of the endless culinary delights at local restaurants.

Broken Hill

 

The mining town made famous from the film Pricilla Queen of the Desert is now an eclectic arts mecca heavily decorated with pubs and festivals on and around almost every corner. The classic Aussie outback experience still ensues, so be sure to hop a camel for a stroll in the desert, take to the skies with the revered flying doctors and hang to you bush tucker as you visit the Pro Hart Studio.

Lord Howe Island 

 

If exclusivity equals prestige, then this island is your celebrity after-party. Only 400 people are allowed on Lorde Howe at one time, so you know those pristine beaches are going to be top notch for your next vacay. Stroll into the crystal-clear blue to snorkel, hand-feed fish and float about in the protected marine waters of the place that National Geographic has called ‘a last paradise in the Tasman Sea’.

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