Look at any map of New South Wales and one place name immediately stands out: Sydney. It may be a cradle of global icons, from the Sydney Opera House to the ‘coathanger’ Sydney Harbour Bridge, but there’s more to the state than this gleaming cosmopolis.
After around a 90-minute drive, you could be in the Blue Mountains. Delve into this wilderness of eucalypts, wollemi pines, and waterfalls in a day, or linger longer, waking up to wallabies hopping outside your window at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. Take a drive to the Aboriginal heartlands of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, only 12-18 miles from the center of Sydney, where the scarlet-painted handprints of the Garrigal people still adorn the sandstone. And, to reach New South Wales’ Outback, take The Indian Pacific train to Broken Hill, a frontier town rich in mining history where sculptures dot the burnt-orange desert.
Gastronomists rightly venerate the Hunter Valley, a two-hour drive from the city, for its vineyards and fine dining. But, you’ll find a host of gourmet experiences elsewhere in the state. Watch ink gin turn your drink a rich purple at Husk Distillers up in the Tweed (the lush countryside region around Byron Bay) or take a tasting tour of Byron’s many artisan producers.
Yearning for a snorkeling experience? You can snorkel among tropical fish and a kaleidoscope of corals at Lord Howe Island, a subtropical UNESCO World Heritage listed island, a short plane hop from Sydney. And when it comes to beaches, you’re spoiled for choice, from the white sands and clear waters of Jervis Bay to the south of Sydney, to the Pacific rollers of Coffs Coast — and not forgetting the celebrated surf of Byron Bay.
Taking inspiration from their own visits to the state, our specialists are ready to craft a trip that takes in the best of New South Wales, shaped around you.
Our ideas for exploring New South Wales
New South Wales lends itself to road trips, but the exact ingredients of your journey are yours alone to decide. Our suggested itineraries take you through a cross-section of the region’s finest landscapes, from chalky sands to lush vineyards and mountain wildernesses.
Things to do in New South Wales
Take your pick from our collection of experiences in New South Wales, from cultural to food-themed tours and outdoor activities — you might be surprised at the variety.
Visit an ancient Aboriginal site, admire the views from outstanding lookout points, examine rock formations, and learn about the unusual plants and wildlife that abound the area.
As the name implies, The Indian Pacific links two oceans in one of the world’s longest and greatest train journeys. Traveling from Sydney to Perth, or vice versa, it covers a distance of 2,720 miles over three nights.
Jump aboard a 16 m (52 ft) motor yacht and embark on a four-hour cruise taking in the famous sights as well as the lesser known coves and beaches of the harbor in Sydney.
Where to stay in New South Wales
From tented safari-style camps to contemporary rainforest resorts and boutique lodges overlooking the ocean, New South Wales is full of standout stays — we share our best-loved, tried-and-tested options.
Set within 45 acres of lush rainforest and only five minutes south of Byron Bay and Tallow Beach the contemporary, modern designed buildings of Crystalbrook Byron blend comfortably into their forest surroundings.
Perched above the spectacular Lover's Bay, Capella Lodge commands stunning ocean and mountain views, and offers a stylish and sophisticated escape.
Just two hours south of Sydney, Paperback Camp preserves the essential elements of the bush whilst illustrating that style and sophistication can also be part of the equation.
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New South Wales and beyond
New South Wales: discover a world beyond Sydney.
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