New South Wales provides a diverse mix of experiences from Sydney’s city lights to the incredible rugged landscape of the Blue Mountains, wine tasting in the Hunter Valley region to taking the slopes in the Snowy Mountains.
After you’ve experienced the famous Bondi Beach and enjoyed a harbour cruise past Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, it’s time to discover beyond the city and explore what the region has to offer.
Start with Byron Bay and take the Cape Byron Track to experience views from above up to the iconic lighthouse. Next, go inland to explore the trails of the World Heritage Wollumbin National Park. As you continue south, make your way to the stunning Blue Mountains, a must visit for adventure travellers wanting to experience dramatic gorges, cascading waterfalls and rock formations like the Three Sisters. Next, make your way to the Hunter Valley for a change of scene with rolling hills and vineyards as far as the eye can see, a culinary adventure with wine tasting and cellar doors to explore. For diving lovers, another World Heritage site to add to your list is Lord Howe Island, a serene escape off New South Wales coast. The island is made up of native forest and is surrounded by colourful reef. Finally, finish your trip on the South Coast of NSW, with incredibly pristine beaches, lakes and native forest. Stop by Hyams beach to see if its reputation for the world’s whitest sand lives up to it. Make the most of New South Wales’ incredible attractions and discover the diverse landscape the region has to offer.
The Blue Mountains National Park is made up of lush waterfalls and historic walking tracks. Experience the Three Sisters in Katoomba or spend the night camping under the stars. The park is made up of six different areas; Katoomba, Blackheath, Glenbrook, Lower Grose Valley, Mt Wilson and Southern Blue Mountains. In Katoomba, you’ll find sweeping views and the famous Three Sisters. The Blackheath area is excellent for mountain biking and the incredible Govetts Leap, the Glenbrook area, is made up of beautiful swimming holes and Aboriginal rock art. While the Lower Grose Valley area is a much more remote and quiet experience with mountain bike trails and tranquil lookouts. The Mount Wilson area is perfect for hikes and to experience dramatic canyons and the Southern Blue Mountains area with 4WD routes and remote campgrounds.
The Blue Mountains National Park is home to a vast range of fauna flora and is an immersive experience amongst Australia’s ancient plants and reptiles. Aboriginal history is present throughout the park with Aboriginal rock art along many of the walks. Choose from a variety of ways to explore the area such as 4WD, horse riding, canyoning, mountain biking, rock climbing and more. The park has designated picnic and BBQ areas throughout, which act as a great rest stop or day trip alternative.
Plan your trip accordingly and opt to spend the night at one of the camping grounds in the national park. The closest campgrounds to the Three Sisters are the Ingar campground or Kedumba River Crossing campground. Take a hike before sunrise to watch the pastel sky come to life looking onto the rock formations. Echo Point is an excellent vantage point, just a 1km return walk taking around 30 minutes. Or to experience the Three Sisters up close, take the steps to Lady Game lookout, which connects on to the first sister. If you intend to spend some time in the Blue Mountains National Park, it is recommended to complete a trip intention form and carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) for safety.
For a unique adventure, starting on the ground in Katoomba town, the Scenic Railway takes you up a 52-degree incline; the world’s steepest passenger railway across the Jamison Valley. Each carriage brings flexibility with the option to adjust your seated position up to 20 degrees. For a wild ride, you can experience a 64-degree incline. The journey is 310 metres long past cliff side and ancient rainforest. The train departs every ten minutes, so you can jump on as you wish. After you disembark off the train, jump onto the Scenic Cableway and experience the 545-metre journey passing by the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Katoomba Falls and Mt Solitary. Carrying up to 84 passengers the train also departs every ten minutes and takes you up to the Scenic Walkway; 2.4 kilometres of lush rainforest.
The Blue Mountains is well connected to Sydney and can be easily reached by car. Between six different areas in the park to explore, first decide which area you’d like to visit and then plan your trip from there.
As the Sydney Opera House stands tall on Sydney Harbour, its unique fusion of traditional and modern design comes to life. It now stands as a symbol of contemporary architecture and is quite possibly one of the most recognisable buildings in Australia.
The Sydney Opera House is Sydney’s home of the arts and a place where creativity can be explored in all forms. Between events, music, activities, tours, food and drink, the Sydney Opera House features over 40 shows a week. As millions of visitors each year flock to witness the elegance of the building, along with world-class performers in theatre, music, opera, ballet and more.
The distinct white peaks of the opera house stand tall on Bennelong Point. If you're looking for the best vantage point available, encounter views of the Sydney Opera House from the Manly Ferry on water, or walk along Darling Harbour to meet it up close.
The Sydney Opera House was built as a solution by a resident conductor, Eugene Goossens in 1947 identifying Australia's lack of music facilities for symphony orchestra and music groups. Following on from that, the New South Wales Government approved it, and Bennelong Point was chosen as the official location. Once the site was determined, the state government sponsored a competition across the globe to custom design a building with two halls. The brief was that one hall needed to be for concerts and the other for presentations and smaller events. Across 30 different countries, 233 architects submitted their work, and in 1957 the winner, Danish architect Jørn Utzon was crowned. His concept showcases two main halls facing out to the harbour with each covered in a row of sail-shaped panels. This design now stands as the Sydney Opera House. The construction took 14 years, and over 10,000 construction workers were involved. One of the beautiful details of this structure is that the roof is made up of over 1 million tiles covering 1.62 hectares. Get up close to the Opera House, and you'll notice this incredible detail.
On any given day, experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the building available in many languages. Learn about stories of the performing arts centre and see why it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage listed building. Beyond the shows hosted in the Sydney Opera House, the white canvas-like exterior of the building creates an incredible platform to feature digital light shows for passers-by to see during Vivid Sydney Festival of Light.
Once you've experienced all the wonders of the opera house, stop by the Opera Bar for sweeping views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Taste your way through the cocktail list or dine alfresco at the Opera Kitchen to soak up Sydney's incredible atmosphere. For a more formal affair, make a reservation at Bennelong, with a variety of menu options to begin your night at the opera. The Sydney Opera House is an iconic part of Sydney's identity as a city and is a must-visit when exploring Sydney.
Bondi Beach is an essential part of Sydney's identity home to pristine waves and soft golden sand.
On any given day you will find locals and tourists making the most of the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, taking in stunning views across the water. The walk is six kilometres and takes you through Tamarama and Coogee beach, overall about one hour each way. As you pass by the many different beaches embrace the beauty of each one stopping at the many cafes, parks and picnic spots surrounding, along with the stunning salt-water pools dotted along the trail. At the end of the walk lies the Coogee Pavilion, a beautiful seaside eatery for you to satiate your appetite after your adventure. Views from the rooftop terrace are second to none, and the fresh seafood will leave you content.
What makes Bondi so popular is its beauty at any time of the year. When it is too cold to swim, the area provides a mix of other activities along the headlands like walking, whale watching and golf.
As the sun begins to go down, enjoy the many beach front restaurants and cafes like Icebergs or Bucketlist Bondi to sip on cocktails and watch the day fade away.
Bondi Beach is just out of Sydney's CBD, 30 minutes from Town Hall Station. It can be reached easily by train or bus and is well connected by public transport. Campbell Parade is the main street along the beach and provides a mix of cafes and bars. Shopping in the area showcases a combination of Australian and international designers.
If you truly want to get your beach fix, stay at one of the many hotels, apartments or even hostels in the area, so you can wake up to the smell of the salty air and the sound of waves crashing. Millions of surfers visit Sydney each year to experience the world-class waves, and if learning to surf is something you've been raring to tick off your bucket list then you've come to the right place.
On Saturday, the area is filled with locals stopping by to pick up their weekly produce at the Bondi Farmers Market. Spend some time discovering the many trinkets and gifts available on a Sunday at the Bondi Markets bringing a mix of clothing, jewellery, homewares and art ranging new from to vintage.
If you're visiting in the winter months, make the most of the many whale watching vantage points. The Bondi to Watsons Bay, Federation Cliff Walk takes about an hour and a half each way and will lead you to The Gap. Here you'll access sweeping views across the Pacific Ocean making an excellent observation point for whale watching from May to November.
During your stay in Sydney, take the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk or have a drink on the water, and experience a true taste of Sydney's incredible lifestyle.