Fall in love with Country New South Wales (NSW), filled with historic towns, wine regions and wilderness, iconic to Australia. This region is home to a mix of rural communities with some of Australia’s oldest towns. The area has a significant indigenous history and some of Australia’s earliest winemaking ventures along with agriculture, livestock and mining.
Choose a base to start in between Wagga Wagga, Albury, Tamworth or Dubbo, each within close distance of each other. Each town offers a choice of activities like horse riding, hot air ballooning and art galleries, and be sure to take some time to visit the Moree Plains Gallery, filled with incredible Aboriginal collections. The region hosts a number of festivals well-known across Australia like the Tamworth Country Music Festival, a unique experience and worth visiting when it is on, the rodeo and the Bathurst 1000.
Starting with the Murray River, ride a paddle-steamer or why not explore one of the many museums like the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum or Temora Aviation Museum.
Get in touch with nature and discover the diverse selection of landscapes waiting for you to explore. You’ll find Australia’s first dark sky park in Coonabarabran which is the perfect place to learn a little about astronomy, star gaze or camp under a sky full of twinkling stars. Otherwise, in Parkes, you can learn more about the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, which received live, televised images of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It is continually updated which keeps it at the forefront of astronomical discovery and is still heavily used by astronomers across Australia and around the world.
The outdoors of Country NSW brings a mix of adventures and adrenaline-boosting activities like canyoning, mountain biking and skydiving along with natural attractions like the World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests. The Gondwana Rainforests are made up of primitive plants and animals that have been a core part of the Earth’s evolution. It is considered to be the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world. Here you'll find a range of bushwalking tracks just waiting for you to discover, otherwise navigate through the park on one of the many driving routes. For those who prefer more time to adventure and take it all in, spend a night or two at one of the accommodation options in the national park too.
If wine is on your radar, then make the most of tastings at cellar doors and delectable dining options like Zin House, Tonic and Lilli Redini. With over 21 different cellar doors in the region, picture your days surrounded by green rolling hills and introductions to acclaimed winemakers. Local produce is in abundance, along with postcard-perfect scenery all around you. A visit to this countryside is what some would consider a wine lovers dream.
Country NSW has all the elements for the perfect holiday; wine, history, adventure and stunning natural landscape. Make the most of Australia's rich history and diverse countryside and take some time out to visit Country NSW.
One of the greatest attractions you’ll find in Parkes is the CSIRO Parkes Observatory, a place of astronomical science, discovery, and history that lives on to this very day. Scientists from Australia and the rest of the world visit this observatory to take part in studies and research with the 64-metre tall radio telescope. Since 1961 the observatory has grown into a site dedicated to the study of astronomy, featuring a cafe, a museum, and a shop that attracts visitors throughout the year.
When you arrive at the observatory, visitors can take part in a 3D theatre produced by the Swinburne University’s Centre for Astrophysics and Super Computing. Admission to the theatre will incur a small fee, but goers can enjoy a film about the universe that changes regularly, all using an intense three-dimensional visual effect.
While the radio telescope is by far the largest part of the observatory, visitors can only view the telescope on open days, as not all days are open to the public. Before you go, check with the observatory centre to view what days you can actually view the telescope when it is not in use by scientists or is undergoing maintenance. Lovingly known as “The Dish”, the telescope has evolved with the times, currently used to this day for important research to finding pulsars and neutron stars in our galaxy.
The telescope operates 24 hours a day, every day, observing the atmosphere and providing research and data for both national and international scientists. Information discovered here has been contracted by agencies like NASA and other space agencies regarding space crafts and astronomy related data. At one point the telescope broadcasted the moon landing of Apollo 11 in 1969.
If you come for a visit, be sure to spend the afternoon learning about the history, impact, and use of the telescope in modern day times before heading to the Dish cafe for a nice breakfast or lunch. Complete your visit to Parkes at the observatory centre for a piece of history that lives on to the modern day, a treasure that you can take along with you wherever you head to next.
Waterfall Way is a scenic route between Coffs Harbour and Armidale that passes through pristine national parks, rainforests, valleys, and waterfalls, as well as World Heritage Areas leaving you with a taste of wanderlust. Although the drive is only two and a half hours, many travellers can spend a day or more stopping through the sites along the drive as the region is abundant with things to do and see.
Chase waterfalls like Ebor Falls, Dangar Falls, or Wollomombi Falls, drive to large granite faces like the Cathedral Rock, immerse yourself in vantage points of valleys and mountains in any number of national parks. Throughout the national parks, you’ll find plenty of areas to stop for a picnic and take in your surroundings. For World Heritage areas, ask for more information at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre where they will direct you to the Skywalk Lookout and other trails to explore.
The Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit has long held a place in Bathurst’s history. This circuit is an iconic place for the racing sport both in Australia and all over the world thanks to the support towards the development of motor racing throughout the years. As the track is open to the public during non-events, you can even become a bit of a daredevil yourself driving along the track to discover the hairpin turns that leave drivers on the seat of their pants.
Created during the 1930s, the mayor of Bathurst, Martin Griffin, wanted to use the town’s roads around the city to plan a course for racers as a man enthralled with the sport himself. Over time, the course eventually became open to the public and home to races during Easter, bringing in racing enthusiasts to the region. Initially, the first event held was a combination of bikes and cars, not solely motor vehicles.
Over time as racing has developed the circuit has remained as a place for racers to come and test their cars in annual events like the Bathurst 1000. Races began to be televised and slowly became a larger attraction year after year, bringing the best in racing to the region to test their skills and fear.
As a viewer, sit or stand atop the mountain with barriers from the racers to watch as cars whiz through with speed and endurance unlike any other. Facilities for pit racers now exist, and spaces have opened up for both racers and tourists to experience the circuit. If you do decide to visit outside racing events, you can drive the track at 60km/hour but keep in mind this speed is strictly enforced. There is also the National Motor Racing Museum where you can learn more about the history and influence of the sport on the town. Whether you come to experience the track as a spectator at a large racing event or as a passer-by, you’re bound to have a memorable time.