New South Wales is Australia’s most populated and diverse state. Located in the southeast corner of the country, it has something to offer every traveller, from the rugged national parks and cities to the beautiful beaches and resort towns. A trip to New South Wales would not be complete without a visit to its capital city, Sydney. The city is a beautiful, bustling, cosmopolitan delight and one could easily spend a week here and never run out of things to do.
Here are some of the highlights of Sydney:
o The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia’s most recognized and most visited tourist spots. Designed by Jorn Utzon, it is situated on Sydney Harbour at Bennelong Point and was completed in 1973. Approximately 300 events run here annually, including Opera Australia, Australian Chamber Orchestra and The Australian Ballet. Guided backstage tours are offered year-round and it’s a wonderful place to relax on the steps near the water.
o The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a favourite of tourists and locals alike. After 9 years of construction, it opened to traffic in 1932. The bridge is used by cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and trains with pedestrian walkways on both sides of the bridge making it safe to cross and enjoy the view. For a more rewarding view and an amazing experience, try the guided BridgeClimb Sydney. This 3 ½ hour adventure brings you to the top of the bridge at 134 meters where you will be rewarded with 360-degree fantastic views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. Choose to take a tour at dawn, day, twilight or night. Definitely, a tour of a lifetime and must-do if you are comfortable with being on top of the world.
o Darling Harbour is a huge waterfront precinct that is just a 10-minute walk from the city centre. It is one of Sydney’s largest shopping, dining and entertainment areas. You will find many delicious waterfront dining options and bars for night entertainment at Cockle Bay Wharf and King St. Wharf.
o Also located in Darling Harbour is the Sydney Aquarium. This aquarium showcases the world’s largest collection of Australian marine life, such as sharks, eels, stingrays and crocodiles. Some other attractions worth visiting in Darling Harbour include the Chinese Garden of Friendship, the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Fish Market.
o The historical precinct of The Rocks was the first settlement in Australia in 1788. Today the beautifully restored buildings are homes to shops, restaurants, boutique hotels and galleries making it a great place to spend the day shopping, eating and browsing local art.
o The Museum of Contemporary Art is also located in The Rocks, featuring modern art and exhibitions from around the world.
o To find one-of-a-kind art, ceramics, souvenirs and crafts visit The Rocks Market open only on weekends. To see it all, consider embarking on The Rocks Walking Tour as it’s a great way to see what this colourful neighbourhood has to offer.
New South Wales is well known for the miles and miles of beautiful beaches. Whether you’re into surfing, diving, swimming or just relaxing in the sun, there is a beach for you. Many of the best beaches in New South Wales are near Sydney and easily accessed.
o Located just 7 miles from the city centre, Bondi Beach is Australia’s most popular beach. Bondi is a great place for surfing, diving, enjoying the sunshine, rollerblading, cycling and people watching. Surfing lessons are available as well as boogie board rentals. Campbell Parade, which runs along the beach, offers an abundance of shops, restaurants and bars. Some other great beaches in this area include Coogee, Manly, Palm Beach and Whale Beach.
Sydney attracts a large population of outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. Within a couple of hours, you can be surrounded by the majestic Blue Mountains and the doorway to days of exploring, hiking and fresh air.
Here are some highlights of The Blue Mountains:
o The Blue Mountains is a great choice for anyone looking for an incredible wilderness getaway. The name comes from the “blue haze” that hangs over the region caused by a fine mist of the eucalyptus forests. The area is well known for its forests, gorges, canyons, limestone caves, beautiful bush-walks, Aboriginal engravings and luxurious resorts, fine dining and day spas.
o Greater Blue Mountains National Park offers breath-taking scenery, Aboriginal engravings, extensive marked trails and several cliffs, including Evan’s Lookout.
o Jenolan Caves are Australia’s most spectacular limestone caves.
o Echo Point offers some of the best views of Jamison Valley, including the Three Sisters rock formation.
o Wooli Wooli River, NSW
Wooli is practically an island – a three-kilometre-long finger of land surrounded by the Pacific on one side and the glorious Wooli Wooli River on the other. And so naturally this is a beach town with saltwater in its veins. Incidentally, this section of coastline forms the northern sector of the Solitary Islands Marine Park which protects the estuaries, beaches and islands (from Sandon River to Coffs Harbour), so the ecosystem here is particularly healthy.
The Wooli Beach stretches north to Wilson’s Head and is 4WD accessible.
The beach ends abruptly at the break wall that herds the Wooli Wooli River out to sea, and this southern corner is where a lot of the action happens: Fishing off the wall, surfing the beach breaks, 4WD access, Marine Rescue HQ, wooli holiday house rentals and fishing boats crossing the bar.