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New South Wales Travel & Holiday Guide

orange bulletNew South Wales Highlights

bullet wideSydney - pulsating, harbour city with it's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House
bullet wideSydney Surrounds - some of Australia's earliest history
bullet wideCentral Coast - great beach holiday attractions
bullet wideNorth Coast - coastal holiday playground
bullet wideNew England - the country music scene
bullet wideBlue Mountains - cosy retreats and rugged countryside
bullet wideHunter Valley - vineyards and cellar door visits
bullet wideSouthern Highlands - elevated plateaus & ski fields
bullet wideSouth Coast - beautiful holiday retreats
bullet wideThe Riverina - Australia's food bowl & Murray River cruises
bullet wideTropical North Coast - another coastal holiday playground
bullet wideFar West & Outback - open spaces & big night skies

orange bulletNew South Wales At A Glance

The state capital is Sydney, Australia's most populous city with a current population 4.4 million. The most popular year-round holiday destinations are the beachside towns along the coast to the north and south of Sydney. Inland from Sydney lies the majestic Blue Mountains and the southern plateaus rising to the high ski country of the Snowy Mountains. For a country renowned for its dry climate and heat, Australia has a very well developed ski industry that spans the border between New South Wales and Victoria.

To most people New South Wales embodies all that is truly Australian. As well as the vibrant young cities, you will find golden beaches, incomparable Sydney Harbour, the world class vineyards of the Hunter Valley and tropical rainforests. The Great Dividing Range runs north to south about 100km inland from the coast and it is this coastal belt that is home to most of the more popular tourist centres, larger cities and major towns.

The inland areas of the state are dotted with an assortment of mining towns, rural support centres, the rich farming areas of the Riverina and miles of rolling sheep and cattle pastures. As you travel further west, the grassland plains gradually become the dry, arid outback of central Australia. As is the case with all the states, New South Wales is big - it is 1200 kilometres (750 miles) east-west and 1000 kilometres (625 miles) north-south. Those are straight line map distances, actual road distances are much further.

orange bulletWhat Will I Be Able To Do?

New South Wales is one of Australia's most diverse states. With warm subtropics in the northern rivers district to the ski fields of the southern highlands, the arid red outback, sparkling blue oceans and golden beaches.... New South Wales has it all. Sydney Harbour, the famous bridge and the Opera House are iconic Australian landmarks. Combine that with the beautiful Hunter Valley vineyards, the never-ending expanse of an outback night sky, the Aboriginal history in the Mungo National Park... the list goes on and on.

Here are just some of the things to do in New South Wales. Book your adventures from the ExperienceOZ ad block in the left column.

  • Cruises on Sydney harbour
  • Enjoy the Sydney city nightlife
  • Enjoy some of Australia's best beaches
  • Cellar door tours of the Hunter Valley
  • Scuba diving and snorkelling
  • Try your hand at sailing
  • Eco tours of the rainforests
  • Bushwalking/hiking in National Parks
  • Off-shore sport fishing
  • Snow skiing the high country
  • Adrenalin rush jet boating
  • Whale watching charters
  • Hot air ballooning
  • White water rafting
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Murray River cruises
  • 4WD outback safaris
  • Family farm holidays
  • Visit historic NSW pubs
  • Gem fossicking
  • Wildlife parks
  • World class golf courses

orange bulletWhat Are My Accommodation Options?

The coastline of New South Wales is dotted with excellent beaches that are very popular holiday destinations. Beach resorts and self contained holiday apartments (condominiums) are common at beach locations. These generally consist of 1 to 4 bedrooms with fully equipped kitchens for self catering, all linen supplied and guests only need to consider personal effects and food. 

There is usually a minimum stay requirement of 2 or 3 nights with longer stay in holiday seasons. For single night stays, hotels are recommended. Cities like Sydney and the other major towns offer traditional and boutique hotels, self catering apartments, motels and motor inns. The number of hotels declines in the country regions where motels and motor inns are more prevalent. 

New South Wales has an excellent range of bed and breakfast establishments covering most of the state, but especially in the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and South Coast regions. Areas such as the Blue Mountains and the beautiful Southern Highlands also offer several famous guest houses which are very popular with Sydney residents seeking the relaxation of a week-end break.

Guests should always consider their airport transfer needs as distances to some of the accommodation properties can involve a lengthy trip and incur significant costs.  New South Wales has many very popular holiday destinations and there is always an increased demand for bookings during the the school holiday seasons.

orange bulletHow Do I Get Around?

Travel in New South Wales is a breeze. There is a very comprehensive train network linking to all major coastal and inland towns. Transport Infoline provides comprehensive details and timetables for all the transport services covering the Sydney metropolitan and surrounding areas. Don't forget you will need to arrange for Sydney airport transfers.

Daily air services operate to all major towns throughout New South Wales. The Pacific Highway is a coastal route that links Sydney and Brisbane and all intermediate coastal towns. The New England Highway is an inland route between the same two cities. The coastal route south to Melbourne is the Princes Highway and the more direct inland route through the southern part of the state is the Hume Highway. The Mitchell Highway services the central and north-western regions of New South Wales and the Sturt Highway is a major route through the south west. Overall the state is well served by a comprehensive network of major arterial and linking roads.

Several bus transport companies travel throughout New South Wales. The major car rental companies are all represented in the major cities and towns throughout the state.  Some unsealed roads in remote areas will need 4 wheel drive vehicles, especially if travelling in the wet season.

Australian camper and motorhome rentals are a great way to see the real Australia, with pick-up and return usually in the capital cities or major towns. Advance bookings are recommended. Tour operators provide itineraries that cover all the popular tourism sites.

If you have a self drive NSW holiday in mind, you will find plenty of opportunities for car hire. If you are arriving at Sydney, then it makes good sense to check out the available Sydney car rentals for all the available suppliers, makes, models and best available prices. Driver information and maps are available from the NRMA which has offices throughout the state.

Some typical road distances are:

  • Sydney to Broken Hill= 1160km (725 miles)
  • Sydney to Dubbo = 405km (253 miles)
  • Sydney to Bourke = 775km (485 miles)

orange bulletWhen Is The Best Time?

New South Wales, like most of Australia, is a year-round destination. The best time time of year will be that which matches the activities you have planned. If personal comfort is important then the June - August winter period may suit you best because the Australian summer can be oppressive to those who have not experienced it before.

The heat levels in the far west and Outback during summer are extreme and winter is the best time to visit those areas. The high alpine country in the south is subject to extended periods of winter snow so planned activities in that area need to take that into account. New South Wales has many very popular holiday destinations and there is always an increased demand for Sydney accommodation bookings during the the school holiday periods.

Winter is June - August. Coastal temperatures typically range from 15°C max. on the south coast, 18°C max. on the central coast and 20°C max.on the tropical north coastal regions. Minimums are seldom below 5°C for the coastal areas.  Away from the coastal influence, the remainder of the state will typically have a winters day between 3°C min and 15°C max. although 0°C is common in the outback. The exception is the Snowy Mountains area with temperatures falling to -6°C.

Summer is December - February. Temperatures typically range from 25°C - 28°C max. on the entire coastal strip. Summer minimums are seldom below 14°C - 16°C for the coastal areas although the far south coast is often cooler. Away from the coastal influence, the remainder of the state will typically have a summers day between 16°C min and 30°C max. although 35°C is common in the far west and 40°C. is often recorded in the central north.