New South Wales
New South Wales is Australia’s most diverse State, home to the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, Sydney. There are five World Heritage sites to explore including the famous Sydney Opera House. The State has a string of accessible, sparkling beaches stretching from north to south, a vast, colourful outback, Australia’s highest mountain offering every type of snow sport, and meandering waterways.
With its sublime natural setting, glamorous beaches and appetite for the fine things in life, Sydney is one of the world’s great destinations. Australia’s largest and oldest city is an essential stop on any traveller’s itinerary. It’s also a superb introduction to Australia and New South Wales, the country’s most diverse State.
Surrounding Sydney is a wonderland of national parks, forests, mountains, ancient river valleys and historic townships. New South Wales World Heritage sites include the Greater Blue Mountains Area, Lord Howe Island, Mungo National Park (Willandra Lakes), Gondwana Rainforests of Australia and, the most recent addition, the Sydney Opera House. Each offers visitors the chance to experience astonishing natural beauty as well as leisure activities that range from hiking and diving, to seeing ancient human burial sites or enjoying the talent of the world’s finest performers.
Australia’s oldest and biggest city and gateway to Australia, set on one of the world’s most stunning harbours, which extends either side in a golden chain of easy-to-reach, inner-city beaches.
Sydney’s laid-back outdoor lifestyle and physical allure make it one of the world’s easiest and most pleasant cities to visit. The people who live here are a friendly, energetic bunch with a tell-it-like-it-is approach to life as visitors to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games found out for themselves.
When it comes to which city is Australia’s true global city, there’s no argument. It’s Sydney – with its sense of style, its love of sport and exuberant celebrations including New Year’s Eve and Australia Day.
All of its attributes lie within easy reach of the city centre. Sydney’s harbour is its natural playground, the dominant factor in so much of what the city has to offer. The city has a wide-ranging cultural life, dynamic food scene and vibrant cityscape of outstanding contemporary and colonial architecture. Iconic beaches and five major national parks deliver unforgettable experiences.
With its golden beaches for surfing, swimming, diving or walking, the Central Coast is a great weekend escape or an ideal holiday destination.
One hour's drive north from Sydney, the Central Coast offers a chance to relax with friends and family and experience the vast waterways of Brisbane Waters and Tuggerah Lakes, the many national parks, state forests and beautiful sandy beaches.
Terrigal is a popular beachside resort offering good surfing beaches, boutique style accommodation, shops and fine restaurants. The Entrance, further north, is famous for relaxing family holidays.
The Central Coast has large areas of protected bushland to explore, or take a kayak tour on one of the many pristine waterways. For something unusual, hire a houseboat and cruise the Hawkesbury River enjoying the drama of sheer sandstone cliffs and tranquil rainforest.
The Central Coast offers a holiday with endless possibilities - whether you want to go horse riding, surfing, and scuba diving or just relax with a good book. Even if you only stay for the weekend, you won't be in a hurry to leave.
Endowed with rolling plains and rugged mountains, the Upper Hunter has an interesting rural history – and a taste for the good life. Boutique wineries in pretty valleys produce fine wines, while elegant restaurants and farmers’ markets showcase delicious local produce.
Barrington Tops National Park has World Heritage-listed subtropical rainforest, subalpine woodlands and vast stretches of wilderness. Adventure seekers can choose from hiking in national parks and fishing, waterskiing and kayaking in the area’s rivers and lakes.
There are plenty of accommodation options, from farmstays and B&Bs to scenic campsites throughout the region’s national parks.
When was the last time you explored the Blue Mountains; sampled an award winning restaurant; taken a rejuvenating beauty treatment in an intimate health spa; gaze out at a majestic landscape of waterfalls, rainforest and awe inspiring cliffs?
Spring is a magnificent time to explore the Blue Mountains. Take to the trails on the back of a mountain bike. Learn to abseil or rock climb with an experienced guide or take a yoga or meditation course in the beautiful mountain setting. Discover the Blue Mountains You Dont Know.
Located less than two hour's drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains offers a natural wonderland of untamed bush, spectacular rock formations and native wildlife. Vast views reach to the horizon, waterfalls plummet to the valleys below and there are numerous lookouts and other places where you can sit alone with nature. All this and more on Sydney's doorstep.
Whether it's a luxurious hotel or resort, a charming guesthouse or a cottage, you'll find it here, and there is a great range of restaurants, cafes and country pubs to match.
Highlights include picturesque towns and villages with shops, boutiques, art and antique galleries, and cafes. There are activities for all ages and fitness levels from high adventure abseiling, mountain biking or horseriding, to a gentle stroll through the pristine scenery.
Australia's high country is home to spectacular peaks, clear mountain streams and cool, crisp air, which make an interesting setting for any holiday.
Natural occurring features in the Snowy Region abound and are for the most part easily accessible by car. More than half of the alpine habitat in Australia falls inside the Snowy Mountains boundaries. Coupled with the abundance of unpolluted freshwater streams, the famous Murray and Snowy Rivers, magnificent valleys and undulating meadow, the region is proudly unique and abundant in its natural attractions.
National Parks cover a fairly large area of the Snowies, including Kosciuszko National Park, the largest National Park in NSW and home to Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mountain at 2228metres. Other parks in the area include, Wadbilliga, Deua, Namadgi and South East Forests National Parks.
Stretching from the mighty Clarence River up to Tweed Heads on the Queensland border and out to the foothills of the Great Divide, the Northern Rivers region of NSW offers a wealth of diverse holiday experiences.
In this one compact region, you’ll discover the endless stretch of Pacific Coast beaches that gave birth to the Australian surfing legend; lush rolling countryside dotted with quaint and quirky townships; rugged cattle country; mystical rainforests; and deep river gorges disappearing up into the mountains.
From its 300 kilometres of pristine beaches to the World Heritage-listed rainforests of the hinterland, it’s easy to see why Northern Rivers NSW was the birthplace of Australia’s environmental movement.
Some 20 million years ago, the Mt Warning volcano rose high above the coastal plains, trapping moisture-laden air and spreading its rich volcanic soil. In these perfect conditions, a vast rainforest grew in wild isolation until the first white settlers arrived just 200 years ago.
From the early days of white settlement when timber-getters logged out the great stands of red cedar, the Northern Rivers has attracted an eclectic mix of cultures. In Maclean on the banks of the Clarence River, the Scottish heritage of the town’s founding fathers is still alive and well. In Little Italy, a boatload of shipwrecked Italians established a unique European enclave in the bush. In Nimbin and Byron Bay, the counter-cultural revolutionaries have joined forces with environmentalists to create their own style of alternative communities.
In more recent years, the influx of city escapees seeking a more meaningful lifestyle has added a touch of sophistication. The region consist of a health spas, spiritual retreats and luxury hideaways are now nestled in the hills and valleys of the hinterland, offering five-star accommodation and your choice of masseurs, alternative therapists, naturopaths and pampering practitioners to soothe body and soul.
Whether your idea of the perfect holiday is lazing on a sun-drenched beach, bushwalking through pristine rainforests, tootling through picture-postcard scenery along winding country roads, hunting for antiques and quirky treasures at sleepy villages and country markets, or pampering the spirit with a relaxing regime of massages and therapies …
Central New South Wales
From the gold rush towns of Sofala and Hill End to remote sheep stations, Central NSW provides the visitor with an unforgettable bush experience - where history comes alive before your very eyes.
The region's history can be read in its architecture - from humble slab huts to the lavish hotels and mansions built during gold and farming booms. Places such as Gulgong, Ophir and Sofala are a window on our pioneering past.
But Central NSW doesn't stop there. After a day exploring the wide open spaces you can sample the superb food, wine and hospitality of the region particularly in the Cowra-Orange-Mudgee district.
Central NSW offers a diverse range of discovery-type experiences, a highlight of which is the famous Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
There are many National Parks and nature reserves to discover - including Wollemi National Park in the south to the Warrumbungles in the north - and many opportunities to explore underground at Abercrombie Caves and the Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mine.
For an experience of a different kind discover space and learn about astronomy at any of the observatories in the region - Siding Springs and Skywatch near Coonabarabran, Darby Falls near Cowra, Gilgandra, Dubbo and the Radio Telescope at Parkes.
Lord Howe Island
A tiny treasure rising out of the emptiness of the southern Pacific Ocean and part of the Australian state of New South Wales, Lord Howe Island is one of the world's last truly unspoiled Island destinations. Just 11 km long and 2 km wide, two thirds of its land mass is covered by Banyan, Pandanus and native Kentia Palm forests, its many perfect beaches are safe, pristine and tranquil.
Guided and self-guided bush treks, fish feeding at Ned's Beach, bicycling, bird watching tours, cruising around the Island, kayaking, reef walking, snorkelling and scuba diving, or just laying around in a world class world heritage environment, are some of the favourite things to do.
The crystal waters that abound in marine life comprises over 400 species of fish, 90 species of coral, 4% of which is unique to the Island. Perfect for snorkelling, scuba diving, and fishing.
There are 18 Accommodation properties - from budget to 5 stars. Cafes and restaurants for those who don't want to self-cater and general stores for those who do.
World Heritage listed in 1982 for its rare collection of flora, fauna and marine life and only one of four Island groups in the world to have this listing, Lord Howe is the perfect sanctuary for nature-lovers, adventure seekers (try the 8 hour rope-assisted climb up Mt. Gower), romantic getaways and 'stress-breaker' weekends.
Temperatures range from about 28 degrees Celsius in summer with lows of about 13 degrees in winter. The months of July, August and September can sometimes be windy.
Under a 2-hour flight with QantasLink direct from Sydney or Brisbane with national and international Qantas connections.