15 Best Places to Visit in New South Wales (Australia)

New South Wales is Australia’s most populous state and home to its largest city, Sydney. When you think of New South Wales or even Australia, the iconic Sydney Opera House may be the first thing that comes to mind, but visitors to NSW can enjoy more city and regional cuisine.

From leisurely drinking tea in a Chinese garden, to over-limit shopping at Paddington Market, enjoying the magnificent view of the Blue Mountains, to chatting with hippies in Byron Bay, you will definitely leave many fond memories and meet many interesting people during your trip across the state. .

Let’s explore the best places to visit in NSW:

1. Byron Bay

lighthouse

Byron Bay is a true Australian icon: this cute town was a major hippie and alternative hub in the 60s, but the culture still leaves its mark (you’ll even see hippies roaming around!) and it has become popular A popular place for Australian tourists Sydney and further afield to relax with the family and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the small town.

There are beautiful beaches and cute and quirky boutiques.

You can also visit Australia’s most powerful lighthouse, which is still active and perfect for postcard views of the town (and lighthouse selfies!)

You can also take a detour to Tropical Fruit World, where you can try a variety of exotic delicacies and jungle fruits.

The finger limes are especially delicious, with dark jam (commonly known as chocolate pudding fruit!)

2. Snow Mountain

snow mountain

Colloquially known as the “Snow Mountain”, this mountain range is Australia’s highest mountain and includes Mount Kosciusko, which rises 2,228 metres above sea level.

The mountains experience heavy snow every winter and are perfect for skiing and snow sports, but they are equally enjoyable in summer: you can enjoy salmon or trout fishing, hiking through pristine mountain wilderness or caving.

(Also, enjoy a local beer and feel the vibe of a real blue Australian pub!) The local flora and fauna is also a treat; many rare species can be found in the mountains, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a pygmy possum or a dim antechinus.

3. Mungo National Park

Mungo National Park

Mungo National Park is a true Australian outback experience.

The barren landscape is very beautiful, formed on dry riverbeds and chains of dunes.

It is also known for its insights into the origin of human life, as it is one of the oldest places outside of Africa and has been inhabited for 50,000 years.

Australia’s oldest skeleton (Mongo man) has been found here, as well as the earliest example of ritual cremation (Mongo woman). You can join an Aboriginal ranger-led tour to gain a special understanding of the area’s importance to the local Aboriginal culture, and even spend the night at an old coal miner’s residence.

4. Nimbin

Nimbin

Just over an hour’s drive from Byron Bay, Nimbin is arguably Byron’s little-known (and therefore less commercialized!) soulmate: when housing in Byron Bay became more expensive, most of the hippie community moved got here.

Due to its inland there are no beaches to enjoy, but the alternative lifestyle is more evident here, and many Byron Bay visitors also make short trips here to experience the Byron Bay of yesteryear.

With its colorful streetscape and annual carnival (yes, it’s grass, not grass!), Nimbin has become the capital of Australia’s alternative lifestyle, hippie movement and environmentalism.

Chat with some locals – the best thing about Nimbin is its people! – Enjoy this truly unique town.

5. Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay is famous for having the whitest sand in the world (according to Guinness World Records!) Seamass Beach.

This charming and quaint collection of small towns is perfect for nature lovers, surfers, divers and vacationers.

The Aboriginal history of this town dates back thousands of years, and since the area is not very touristy, you can indulge in this unspoiled Australian natural treasure experience, mostly for yourself.

6. Port Stephens

port Stephens

With over 140 bottlenose dolphins, it’s a great place to watch and even swim with dolphins! It’s also a popular spot for surfing, bushwalking, horse riding (and camel!) and cycling.

Port Stephens is home to the Great Lakes Marine Park, where you can encounter a wide variety of marine species: from humpback whales to sponge gardens!

7. Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie

new castle

The three locations are within a stone’s throw of each other, which is enough to keep you busy for a few days.

The Hunter Valley is known in Australia and beyond for its superb wineries, delicious cheeses, olives and olive oils.

Newcastle is also known for its gourmet food and vibrant handcrafted bespoke shopping culture reminiscent of real life Etsy! Newcastle also has beautiful beaches, as well as a great café and bar culture.

At nearby Lake Macquarie, you can stroll through the clear blue, stunning lake of the same name, or enjoy a coastal bush walk or mountain hike.

It is also known for its sailing, cruising and kayaking, and its vibrant arts scene.

8. Taronga Zoo or Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Taronga Zoo

These sister zoos are among the most popular in Australia.

Taronga Zoo is a short distance from central Sydney and a pleasant ferry ride.

The Western Plains Zoo, also known as the Dubbo Zoo, is also worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Taronga Zoo has stunning views of the river and 2,600 animals of 340 species.

The Western Plains Zoo is home to free-ranging peacocks, pelicans and black swans, as well as many native Australian animals (this is a great place to see Tasmanian devils, wallabies or kangaroos!) and further afield species.

The grounds of both zoos are spotless, the animals are well cared for, and if you have the time, they are different enough to make you love both!

9. Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

This iconic Sydney beach is probably Australia’s best known internationally.

It’s always busy, but the vibrant vibe is part of the fun, and it’s also the place to discover celebrities – local and international! It is one of Australia’s most popular tourist attractions and has been added to the Australian National Heritage List.

(Another Australian world record: it’s also the location for the largest swimsuit photo shoot, with 1,010 participants in bikinis!) The surrounding suburb, also known as Bondi Beach, has many popular restaurants and boutiques, as well as Bondi Museum, a community cultural center.

10. Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is probably Sydney’s most famous tourist attraction and is home to the Sydney Opera House.

There’s a lot to see, do and shop here, and Paddington Market and Chinatown are just a short walk away, making the area a great place to spend the day.

Some of Darling Harbour’s highlights are the peaceful Chinese Friendship Garden (with a lovely tea house), the nightlife of King Street Quay, the Sydney Aquarium and Zoo, and the world’s largest cinema.

There’s always a lot going on, so check DarlingHarbour.com for the latest.

11. Powerhouse Museum

Powerhouse Museum

Considered one of the best museums in Australia, this has a large collection of interesting exhibits that are fun for all ages.

The museum building is a converted power station, and exhibits focus on technology-related topics such as science, communications, and space technology.

The museum’s collection consists of more than 400,000 artefacts, and exhibits change regularly, making it worth visiting again if you’re in Sydney for a second time.

12. Manly Beach and Northern Beaches

northern beaches

Manly is a quaint beach holiday suburb just a short ferry ride from central Sydney.

You can enjoy ice cream or fish and chips on the beach, or go on a nature or heritage walk – there are 100 kilometers of trails in the area.

Stretching from Manly to Palm Beach (less than 40km north), the northern beaches are known for their breathtaking natural beauty and charming coastal towns.

The area attracts 8 million visitors a year and is a must-see for Sydney visitors.

13. Southwest Rock

Southwest Rock

South West Rocks is a beautiful town surrounded by lush greenery on the NSW mid-north coast. Beautiful beaches are nestled among towering pines, and the town is not far from Fish Cave, one of the best cave diving in the world, or the Smoky Cape Lighthouse, which is a great spot for whale watching.

The nearby rainforest is home to wallabies and swallowtail butterflies, and the ruins of Trail Bay Gaol (opened in 1886) are a heritage site that provides insight into Australia’s criminal history.

14. Blue Mountains

Blue Mountain

Named for the blue smog often visible on the horizon, the Blue Mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see on the itinerary of international and local tourists.

The stunning views of rugged mountains and deep canyons (up to 760m!) make it a fascinating example of Australia’s geology and nature.

The Three Sisters sandstone formations are probably the most famous attraction in the Blue Mountains.

It’s also an interesting example of Aboriginal habitation throughout history: the Kings Plateau Aboriginal site dates back 22,000 years.

The area is also great for spotting exotic Australian animals: 400 different species can be found here, some of which are rare.

There are many tourist attractions, both man-made and natural, but one particularly beautiful is Jenolan Caves, a fossil-rich limestone cave network with beautiful calcite formations.

15. Budru National Park

budru national park

Located on the south coast of New South Wales, this national park has beautiful lush landscapes and stunning waterfalls.

Just over 100km from Sydney, Budderoo is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

The park is perfect for bushwalking, bird watching and even picnics.

The award-winning Minnamura Rainforest Centre, Jamberoo Lookout and Nellies Glen picnic areas are especially charming, and there are plenty of photo opportunities to keep your Snapchat busy.

Where to stay: The best hotels in New South Wales, Australia
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