Introducing New South Wales
Brassy, bold, stately and old, New South Wales (NSW) hogs the lion’s share of Australia’s population, and it’s where the country’s modern society was birthed. It’s the most eclectic state and one of great contrasts; from the glitz of Sydney’s uberstyle bars and heart-breaking harbour, to the lunar landscapes of Mungo National Park. History echoes in the sandstone edifices and gracious old pubs speckled throughout small country towns, and alternative lifestyles lure New Age neophytes in the beguiling hinterland around Lismore. Ski bunnies hit the slopes in the Snowy Mountains and surfers carve up the shoreline from Byron Bay to Eden.
Mighty rivers quench the state’s dusty pockets and mighty mountains touch the sky. At the top of the Great Dividing Range, the misty rainforests of Washpool National Park are World Heritage listed. Gastronomes conquer appetites and vineyards in the Lower Hunter Valley (although the latter is sometimes the victor). For every traveller, the journey is easy; family road trips are an institution on NSW highways, couples lose themselves in romantic hiding spots like the Blackheath Area, backpackers do the coastal hop, and retirees tack caravans to their nether regions and take the slow route to wherever, or Broken Hill.
Naturally, with such a geographical playground to explore, NSW is ideal for mainlining adrenaline – take your pick from canyoning, skiing, surfing, bushwalking, cycling, whale watching and even goanna pulling (not what it seems). And beneath all of this majestic landscape and its smorgasbord of activities is a bite-you-on-the-bum cockiness tempered by larrikin smiles and warm hospitality.
Best places to stay in New South Wales
Sydney’s top speciality drinking spots
It’s hard to know where to start in a city that sparkles with entertainment options after dark. There’s no shortage of clubs, pubs, big bars and, these days, small bars in Sydney. But if you’re looking for something a little niche, here is our pick of the best. All are conveniently located in the inner city.
New South Wales destination guides
Book a window seat for your flight to Sydney: day or night, this city sure is good-lookin’.
Sydney by the sea
Sand, surf, sexy people...These are a few of Sydney's favourite things! And one of the best places to see them is along the staggeringly scenic Bondi-to-Coogee Clifftop Trail − a 5km, three-hour stroll that goes a long way towards explaining Sydney's love affair with the sea.
Sydney Tower Restaurant Buffet
If you'd like bird's-eye views with your meal out in Sydney, dine at the Sydney Tower Restaurant. Boasting panoramic views from Sydney Harbour Bridge all the way to the Blue Mountains, the all-you-can-eat buffet lunch or dinner is ideal for families looking for casual dining or larger groups on a tight time schedule.
Sydney and Bondi Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Explore Sydney and Bondi with this 24 or 48 hour ticket aboard an open-top double-decker bus. See all the main sights as you hop on and hop off 34 conveniently located stops around the city. Listen to the commentary and learn interesting facts.
Watching Australia's wildlife
Wildlife is one of Australia’s top selling points, and justifiably so. A network of national parks, state forests and reserves is home to unique and fascinating native fauna, and although many of the furry mammals are nocturnal, during the daylight the birdlife is vibrant, noisy and colourful.
Sights in New South Wales
Activities in New South Wales
Tours in New South Wales
Restaurants in New South Wales
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Byron Bay & Northern NSW
The NSW coast tumbles north of Sydney in a ribbon of rugged headlands, separated by vast expanses of buttery beach and flanked by the peaks and troughs of national parks.