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New South Wales’ major attraction is its impressive coastline that includes the white sands of Jervis Bay, the rolling waves of Sydney’s Bondi Beach, the popular Central Coast and the endless golden beaches of the far north. The hinterlands are marked by majestic mountains, rivers and waterfalls in vast forests, while the Outback desert has its own surprises in store.
Dubbed “The First State,” this is where Australia’s colonial history began in 1788. In the state capital Sydney, climb the Harbour Bridge, tour the Opera House and visit the Royal Botanic Gardens. Swim or watch the surfers at famous Bondi Beach or Manly, which you reach by taking a scenic ferry ride from bustling Circular Quay.
In the Blue Mountains, see the peaks of the Three Sisters jutting out from a dense rainforest. Australia’s highest peak is Mount Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains. Ski the slopes around the resort town of Thredbo in winter.
In summer, tour the Hunter Valley to sample eclectic food paired with fine wines. Just to the north of Newcastle, the state’s second-largest city, snorkel or dive with the marine creatures of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park.
Nature also abounds in scenic Port Macquarie. Spot sleepy koalas in the eucalyptus trees that line the city’s tranquil bays or visit the Billabong Zoo.
Cross the Great Dividing Range to see another side of New South Wales. Tamworth is a farming hub and Australia’s “Country Music Capital.” All the way west, look out over the mining area of Broken Hill from the sculpture trail in the Living Desert Reserve then camp out in the desert in Mutawintji National Park.
Back at the coast, join the partying youth in trendy Byron Bay or visit the mellow seaside town of Yamba to experience a real surfer’s paradise.
Explore the state’s many national parks, with abundant rainforests, scenic rivers and waterfalls. Spot kangaroos, cockatoos and other precious wildlife in the New England Tableland, Northern Rivers and Tweed Valley regions.
All the way north, climb Mount Warning just before dawn to see the sun rise over the azure Pacific Ocean for a lasting memory of your New South Wales vacation.