Must-see places to visit in New South Wales.
The modern seaside resort of Batemans Bay commands peerless views of both the hinterland mountains and across the ocean to islands dotting the horizon. With its headwaters located in the pristine high country behind the NSW South Coast, the nearby Clyde River is acknowledged as the purest river in Australia, and its flow is integral to a flourishing oyster industry. The lure of succulent oysters and crayfish apart, Batemans Bay is a prized destination of both fisherfolk and holiday-makers drawn by the combination of river cruises, great golf courses, bush walks, superb beaches to the north and south of the town and a vigorous club and restaurant scene.
The Batemans Bay area boasts about a dozen clean beaches, several of which offer some of the most testing surf on the east coast of Australia, while others with gentle shallow waters are ideal for young children. Children will also be enthralled by the tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, bears and the cute meerkats which have earned the Mogo Zoo an international reputation.
To the south is Tomakin, set on a prime location on the coast between Batemans Bay and Moruya. The views along this stretch of coastline are magnificent, the beaches pristine, the fishing is a religion and the weather mutable. There are scenic approaches from both south and north along a winding road that hugs the coastline and provides some great views. Pack your fishing gear to head to the beach, river, estuary and the big stuff out to sea because there's plenty of action off this coastline. This is the centre for some of the best deep sea and big game fishing to be had outside Far North Queensland, and local catches have produced many national and international records.
On the cuisine front, the oysters and lobsters are not to be missed. In other words, this is simply a seafood lover and catcher’s paradise.
Outside this area, it’s a little-known fact that much of the sandstone used in Sydney’s magnificent old buildings and the Sydney Harbour Bridge pillars came from down this way. Scottish stonemasons supervised most of the quarrying and cutting of the Sydney-bound stone.
Be captivated by the breathtaking scenery of the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains, less than two hours drive from Sydney.
There are many natural attractions to explore, including the legendary Three Sisters at spectacular Echo Point. The views extend into the Megalong Valley and across to the Ruined Castle. Take a bushwalk from Echo Point right down to the Three Sisters and the Giant Stairway.
For an adrenalin rush visit Scenic World and ride the scenic railway on a 415-metre descent into the ancient rainforest. Enjoy a walk through the forest to the Scenic Cableway platform before boarding the cable car for a 545-metre ride out of the Jamison Valley rainforest – a truly amazing experience. For more inspirational beauty take a day trip to the Jenolan Caves located in the Oberon area.
Discover an intriguing blend of natural attractions, fresh produce, and historic townships in the Hawkesbury Valley, just a one-hour drive northwest of Sydney. Sample the regions produced along the Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Gate Trail, cruise along the majestic Hawkesbury River, and explore the historic buildings, including Roughly House at Dural and Rouse Hill Estate.
From humble beginnings, Byron Bay underwent many transitions from dairy farming to major meat exporters, followed by sand mining and whaling. In the last 40 years, Byron Bay has transformed into a popular beach resort and alternative lifestyle. Renowned for its surfing beaches and beautiful rainforests, Byron Bay today enjoys a relaxed and informal lifestyle that has become a favourite for many travellers.
Various adventure sports, fine dining and live entertainment are also available. The Cape Byron Lighthouse dominates Australia's most easterly point and is a popular place to visit for its spectacular views.
Most famous for the giant man-made banana at the northern end of town, Coffs Harbour is one of the largest regional cities in New South Wales. Sprawling for miles up and down the coast, the area's many beaches make for perfect holidaying territory with surfing, fishing, sand-side picnics and barbecues amongst the favourite pastimes of visitors and locals alike.
The banana plantations that fill the hills around the area make the landscape richly green and unusual. The town centre is great for city-standard shopping and is home to many recreational clubs and nightspots.
After the perfect short break? Looking for a range of experiences - from golden surfing beaches and tranquil lake cruising to untouched mountain wilderness and quaint waterfront towns? Then look no further than Lake Macquarie where you are invited to relax and indulge.
Located in the Hunter Region and only a little over an hour's drive north from Sydney is where you will discover the natural beauty of Lake Macquarie. This vast blue saltwater expanse is one of the largest lakes in the Southern Hemisphere and at four times the size of Sydney Harbour is perfect for sailing, fishing, swimming, cruising, and scuba diving.
Enjoy peaceful strolls around the lake foreshore or take a swim at one of the many sun-drenched beaches that dot the coastline. From sheltered sandy coves to rock pools and sea caves, the beaches of Lake Macquarie are there to discover and explore.
Chasing the perfect wave? Escape to the coast, where the water is crystal clear, the sand is golden, and the beaches are endless. The coastline of Lake Macquarie is a hotspot for surfers and swimmers alike. Favourite spots for board riders and body surfers include Blacksmiths, Caves, Catherine Hill Bay and Dudley.
Alternatively, if lapping waters and gentle shorelines are more your style, relax at the beaches dotted around the lake itself. Sandy inlets, secluded bays, and protected foreshores feature around the lake, perfect for swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing. Wangi Point, Pelican, Cam's Wharf and Shingle Splitter's Point come highly recommended.
The Watagan Mountains are a stunning backdrop to the Lake and well worth visiting for the panoramic views. Take one of the many hiking tracks, or traverse the mountains by bike, horseback, or four-wheel drive.
With a picture-postcard setting, vibrant nightlife and plenty of things to see and do, Australia’s largest city is also one of the world’s great destinations.
Sydney is blessed with a temperate climate, beautiful harbour and natural attractions that surround the city.
Sydney has a lively events calendar that ensures there is always plenty to see and do. Visit Darling Harbour to explore its exciting attractions and stylish harbourside dining or take a trip to the historic Rocks district and soak in the atmosphere from a bygone era at one of the quaint heritage pubs.
If you love shopping head for fashionable Oxford Street or take in the bustling atmosphere at one of Sydney’s weekend markets.
Whether you are a first-time visitor or returning to see more, you'll discover that Sydney always has something new to uncover. Take a sunset climb to the summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge, go sailing on a leisurely cruise or find a walking trail in Sydney Harbour National Park and enjoy some peace and quiet with stunning views. Take a surf lesson at Manly or Bondi beach and enjoy Sydney's famed outdoor lifestyle like a local.
The world-famous icons are not to be missed - Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House.
Don't Miss... New South Wales
Aldbury & Lake Hume
Albury offers many experiences to soothe the spirit and delight the eye. Situated on the banks of one of the world's great rivers, The Murray, and surrounded by enormous beauty and diversity, the Albury Wodonga region is wonderful to explore - there is something here to suit everyone.
Straddling the Murray River 115 kilometres from Wagga Wagga, 300 kilometres from Melbourne, 350 kilometres from Canberra, 575 kilometres from Sydney, Albury has broad tree-lined streets, interconnecting walking and cycling tracks plus many areas of parkland to provide peace and relaxation. The Botanical Gardens are world-class, there are three penguin parades every day and nearby Lake Hume, with a capacity six times that of Sydney Harbour, boasts a kilometre of shoreline for every day of the year.
Located in the fertile Murray Valley, Albury Wodonga is the hub of one of the richest and most diverse areas of primary production in Australia. Foods are varied, unique and abundant. Whether your taste in dining is haute cuisine, contemporary café, club, or pub, you will be delighted by the range of eating experiences available, using a range of fresh local produce, and complemented by the internationally renowned wines of the region.
Whether you need to unwind or unplug, the Kiama area has everything you need for an unforgettable experience. Famous blowholes, unspoilt beaches, lush rolling hills, world-class waves, ancient rainforests, picturesque towns, vibrant villages and a warm welcome.
Taking it easy in Merimbula is not a privilege, it's the only way there is. The resort in the middle of the Sapphire Coast is one of the prime places to engage in activities such as a day picnic, a long walk or an afternoon at one of the town's clean, clear blue beaches. Take a dolphin cruise or a charter boat on tour, or opt for a joy flight over the magnificent coastline. Join a whale-watching cruise in season from October to November each year.
With the mouth of the wide, lazy Hastings River on one side and the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean on the other, Port Macquarie is a water lover's paradise where surfing, water skiing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, dolphin and whale watching, scuba diving and great fishing are all available. Away from the beach, there are plenty of activities for all interests and ages. Action and adventure in a high-speed boat, 4WD tours, scenic river cruises and family attractions, or explore the galleries, arts and crafts centres and museums. Combine this with great shopping, good food and wine for your ideal holiday or short break, you have just what you need.
To ensure a great stay, take a stroll along the riverside break-wall, watch the pelicans drift by and chat to the anglers; pack a picnic or grab some local fish and chips and find yourself a shady spot beside the river; climb up to historic Tacking Point Lighthouse and sip champagne at sunset; keep an eye out for pods of dolphins as you stroll along the coastal walking tracks; take a scenic flight in a seaplane, historic tiger moth, jet fighter or microlight; visit the patients of the Koala Hospital and last but not least dine out on some fresh Hasting River Oysters and freshly prepared at one of the riverside cafes.