Like the first European immigrants to Australia, New South Wales is the first port of call for many travellers to Australia and the attractions of this state are legion.
I’ve also experienced the Red Centre in ‘The Territory’; I’ve swum in warm blue water and walked on white quartzite sand; I’ve got up close and personal with the wildlife; I’ve toured the wineries and been to Outback pubs.
The next state on my hit list was New South Wales. So I looked at the map and found the best things to do in New South Wales.
Sydney is one of the world’s most iconic cities and a symbol of Australia for many. Of course there is the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay but don’t miss the Taronga Zoo and walking through the Botanic Gardens. Perhaps the biggest appeal is in the small city neighbourhoods like Surry Hills and Newtown, where you can find great cafes, funky shops and loads of character.
Beautiful Blue Mountains
Only a few hours’ drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains make a wonderful weekend trip and reward further exploration. The views of the Three Sisters and beyond will not disappoint and the quaint town of Katoomba is a perfect base. I’d love to go back to the Blue Mountains for some hiking and rock climbing adventures.
Basking in Byron Bay
One of the best places to enjoy Australia’s vibrant alternative holiday scene is around the sheltered beaches of Byron Bay. There are a number of simply ‘perfect’ beaches and a hinterland that’s ripe for relaxation.
Heritage and beaches in Kiama
South of Sydney (and Wollongong), there is a lot to do around the area of Kiama. From the famous blowhole to a colonial history and relaxed family beaches, this is an unheralded gem in New South Wales.
Australia’s Alpine Country
Then there’s the mountains, and you know I love mountains. New South Wales has Australia’s best alpine country, including the skifields of Thredbo and Jindabyne in the Snowy River area. Apart from the skiing in winter there is fabulous hiking all year around.
So there are my favourite things to do in New South Wales, useful for when you are planning your Australia travel itinerary!
By Natasha von Geldern
What can you recommend to see and do in New South Wales?