The most populated state in Australia, New South Wales is home to one of the world’s most exciting cities – Sydney. However, there’s far more to NSW than that. It’s awash with natural attractions in its national parks, white open sandy beaches, and welcoming coastal towns.
In this post, we’ll help you to design your trip to New South Wales by showing you some of the best activities to tick off your bucket list. Let’s check it out!
Enjoy city life in one of the world’s most iconic metropolises
You can spend your whole NSW trip in Sydney and still not see everything. Obviously, the place to start is the iconic harbour. The unique Sydney Opera House is primed for a photo, and adventure seekers could have a crack at the death-defying Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb.
Sydney is a city which perfectly blends urban and outdoor – so that very same day you can catch the ferry out to Manly and enjoy some surfing or go on a coastal walk to Spit Bridge. World-famous Bondi is another top surf spot, and you can try its cousin stand up paddle boarding, too.
As well as having plenty to do during the day, Sydney has an awesome culinary and nightlife scene. You’ll be hard pushed to find a better destination for a city break not only in Australia but the entire world!
Go stand up paddle boarding on the calm waters of Jervis Bay
Now, stand up paddle boarding can be done in several locations in New South Wales. This chilled out board sport is a great way for beginners to get out onto the water. As well as being relaxing, it is great for both physical and mental health according to gilisports.com.
It’s best done on calm waters (though you can do SUP surfing on swells) and the clear turquoise expanse of Jervis Bay is perfect for that. Look for SUP equipment rental near the most popular beaches – Huskisson Beach, White Sand Beach, and Hyams Beach.
It is possible to find sunset and night SUP tours in Jervis Bay, as well as snorkelling and kayaking.
Get off the beaten track in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the closest national parks to Sydney. While it can be visited as part of a day trip, it’s much better to spend a few days here to take in the magnificent surroundings.
A handy base to use for your trip is Katoomba, the chief town in the Blue Mountains. As well as having a smattering of places to stay, eat, and drink, popular viewpoints like the Three Sisters are easily accessible.
Other cool activities include guided tours of the Wombeyan Caves, tackling a walking trail in the Jamison Valley, or taking a relaxing dip in the Jellybean Pool.
Hike to the most easterly point in Australia at Byron Bay
Right up in the very north of New South Wales, Byron Bay is one of Australia’s most popular surf destinations. While you should definitely give surfing a go here, there are several places in NSW you can indulge in that.
What you can do ONLY in NSW is visit the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Take the Cape Byron Track all the way along the coastline, ending up at the lighthouse of the same name.
If you’re hiking in summer, be sure to slather on the sunscreen and bring plenty of water with you.
On hiking back into town, catch a bite to eat at one of Byron’s famous eateries.
Fly out to UNESCO listed Lord Howe Island
It may seem that New South Wales never runs out of UNESCO World Heritage sites, but Lord Howe is arguably the most impressive. It takes a lot of planning to get out here – as the island only allows on 400 tourists at a time. This is to protect the biodiversity and nature present here.
The volcanic island is home to much flora and fauna, with more than 200 species of bird. Diving and snorkelling at the offshore coral reefs here is some of the best in the Southern hemisphere.
Lord Howe Island is 600km off the Australian mainland and it’s a two-hour flight from Sydney to get here.
Satisfy your taste buds in the Hunter Valley
Back on the mainland, head to the town of Newcastle which is the gateway to the Hutner Valley. Australia is famous for its wines, and the vineyards here yield some of the finest in the country. There are more than 120 wineries here and it’s a popular weekend trip from Sydney.
It’s not just wine that attracts visitors to the Hunter Valley – it’s the food too. The valley has many famous farms, producing ingredients which make up degustation menus across the region. It may be expensive eating here, but it’s worth every dollar!
Learn about Australia’s history and culture in the capital Canberra
Okay, Canberra technically isn’t in New South Wales. It’s actually in a region known as Australian Capital Territory (ACT) but it’s surrounded by NSW and has a whole lot going on. Set around the man-made Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra is home to the National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, Australian National Botanic Gardens, and both its Old and New Parliament Houses.
As well as fascinating political and historical buildings, there are several spots around the lake where you can go for a jog or stop off for a picnic – and there are a lot of play areas if you’re travelling with kids too!