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This guest post is contributed by Destination NSW. Sharing tips on some of the best places to visit in New South Wales, Australia.
Chances are that when you fly into Australia for the first time, you’ll be landing in Sydney, New South Wales. There is no denying that Sydney is a stunning city, but there really is so much more to this state! Whether you’re visiting just for the day or for a month there is always something to do. Sydney is also an excellent starting point for many great Australia tours, so make sure you check those out as well.
Places to visit in Sydney
You definitely can’t leave Sydney off a must visits list of NSW, yes it’s travelled by millions a year, but it’s definitely worth the hype! First things first, you’ll want to get yourself down to Circular Quay. From here, you’ll be able to take in the postcard-worthy views of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the harbour waters. When visiting at night, you’ll be able to catch these icons light up, and against the lit up city skyline.
In terms of having a drink, the iconic Opera Bar is the perfect choice for those looking to take in the sunset with a fancy cocktail, or catch a pre-show drink. Why just stop at looking at the Opera House when you can check out the various shows on offer, or dine at Bennelong, a fine dining experience INSIDE the Opera House!
Once you’ve had enough of the views, make your way around the Opera House to the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Domain. This spot makes for the perfect pit stop so grab bite from the cafe, or better yet, plan ahead and pack a picnic.
For those who are feeling cultured, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is approximately a 10 minute walk from the gardens! Even for those of you that don’t love art, the architecture of the AGNSW will definitely entice you to enter! The gallery is one of Australia’s largest, and features a wide range of art from contemporary, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. In addition to a permanent collection of works, the gallery also hosts events, and temporary exhibitions.
Of course, you will also have to visit the iconic Bondi Beach. For truly unbelievable views of the turquoise waters intertwined with the white wave breaks, head up towards Bondi Icebergs on North Bondi. If you feel like exercising and really taking in the coastal sites, try the Bondi to Coogee walk which takes you through Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, and Coogee Beach. If you visit Bondi during the weekend, you’ll be treated to Bondi Farmers market on Saturday, and Bondi Markets on Sunday.
Other activities: climb the Harbour Bridge, walk along the Rocks, Watsons Bay, catch the ferry to Manly, shop in the QVB, brunch in Surry Hills, and wander Newtown
Byron Bay Attractions
If you’re looking for a real escape away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Byron is the place for you! Here, you’ll find people walking bare-footed, sand in their hair, and fresh out from the surf. Time seems to stand still, and as you watch the sunset on the beach you’ll be sure to feel as stress and worry-free as possible! It is Byron’s carefree spirit that keeps visitors and festivals such as Bluesfest coming back for more every year.
Byron is the perfect place to learn to surf as the beaches are just as pretty as Bondi’s but minus the massive crowds. If surfing isn’t your thing Byron also offers paddle boarding, dolphin kayak tours, and whale watching tours. The only downside to Byron is it’s about a 9 hour drive from Sydney, so unless you love a road trip, best bet will be to fly into Ballina airport.
Must visit attractions of Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay is the perfect spot for a beach weekend getaway. Only a three hour drive from Sydney, Jervis Bay provides the Byron Bay vibes without the 9 hour drive. The white sands are such a stand out of the area that the White Sands Walk is dedicated to taking you to the best spots, and why not stop by the crystal clear waters for a dip!
Unlike Bondi, Jervis Bay is relatively unknown and as such, is unspoiled and has a treasure chest filled with secret coves, beaches, and bays. You’ll find plenty of local produce, boutique shops, and art galleries. In terms of where to stay, Jervis Bay offers camping grounds that love the great outdoors, luxury hotels for those feeling luxe, to glamping for those that love luxury AND the outdoors.
My advice is to come to Jervis Bay without a planned itinerary, and to just go with the flow when you get there. You’ll be taken away by the beauty of the area, and find that all your plans being thrown out the window and you’ll lose the day lounging on the beach with a book in hand.
Some notable beaches: Hyams beach, Chinamans beach, Murrays beach, and Greenpatch beach.
Hunter Valley region attractions
The Hunter Valley and the greater Hunter Region is the go to place for those that want luxury experiences, who appreciate gourmet foods, and fine wine, and want to relax. Only a two hour drive from Sydney, the Hunter Region is Australia’s oldest wine region, equally stunning and delicious. When in the region, I would recommend leaving the cars back at the hotel and hiring bicycles to get around. This way you’ll be able to really take in the views, and there is something oddly relaxing about riding a bike when you’re so used to driving everywhere.
After a day of wine tastings, you’ll be sure to wake up with a headache, so this is the perfect time to take a trip to the day spa. Ubika Day Spa in Crowne Plaza, and Golden Door, are two day spas that offer luxurious treatment options. For those of you that would rather spend this time at the tee off, the Vintage Golf Resort and Spa is the place for you. The golf course is designed by none other than Greg Norman, and is situated with views of local vineyards, and natural scenery.
For those of you can muster up the strength to wake up at the crack of dawn after a day of wine tasting, it’s definitely worth checking out the sunrise hot air balloon tours. From there you’ll be able to catch the sun rising over the vineyards. They also come with packages including breakfast and champagne! (Talk about breakfast with a view…)
Just some of the places to visit in NSW
Now this is in no way a comprehensive list of things to do in NSW, there really is so much more to this beautiful state and country. If you’ve got a few more days on your hands be sure to check out the Blue Mountains, visit the outback, and if you’re visiting during winter the Snowy Mountains are really a sight! Or maybe even check out some of what the rest of Australia has to offer. One thing is for sure when you visit Australia, you won’t want to leave!
Bio: Hi I’m Alex! I am a true blue Aussie with a love for discovering new places all around Australia, and a passion for making every day better and more memorable than the day before.