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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.