The Best of New South Wales
Collected by Caroline Eubanks, AFAR Local Expert
New South Wales is much more than just Sydney. Venture out to the mountainous western side of the state and the stunning coastline north of the famous city.
1 Skinners Shoot Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
There is no place in the whole of Australia more laid back than Byron Bay, a once sleepy town on the New South Wales coast that now hosts yearly blues festivals. Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge is an extension of the vibe found throughout the town....
2600 Wolgan Rd, Newnes NSW 2790, Australia
Set on a 7,000-acre reserve between Wollemi National Park and the Gardens of Stone National Park, Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is a luxury ecolodge backed by the dramatic canyons of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. Roughly a...
Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
1199D Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach NSW 2108, Australia
If you need a break from lounging on the lovely northern beaches, cruising up to Barrenjoey in Palm Beach will bring you to this absolute gem. The hiking trails are plentiful and the view from the top is incredible. With sweeping views in all...
201 Booka Rd, Upper Crystal Creek NSW 2484, Australia
We spent three nights of our Australian honeymoon in a luxury cabin in the rainforest. After nervously hopping in our rental car (left-hand drive for the first time) and driving out of the Gold Coast airport, we made our way deep into the...
107 The Scenic Rd, Killcare Heights NSW 2257, Australia
A day trip from Sydney to Stefano Manfredi’s restaurant in the Central Coast national park, Manfredi at Bells, is worth the drive. The restaurant is sophisticated, with a casual coastal tilt. There's blue-and-white-striped awnings and starched...
Wagga Wagga NSW 2650, Australia
Australia has giant spiders. I have seen many since my arrival, including Wolf spiders and Huntsman spiders, which live on walls and, sometimes, book cases. But here is an unknown fellow who's made quite a web on a street sign in Wagga Wagga.
Mutawintji Rd, Mutawintji NSW 2880, Australia
While taking a course at La Trobe Univeristy, my group was given the opportunity to camp and hike through a sacred Aboriginal area called Mutawintji. Luckily enough the unusual rains had created small green patches across the Australian outback. I...
Goulburn NSW 2580, Australia
This volunteer run establishment serves beer and sausage rolls in a pleasant historic building. Take note, the building is historic by Australian standards, which means it is over 50 years old. Every year, it hosts part of the Blues Festival.
77-97 Broken Head Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
While resorts will pride themselves on anticipating your needs, The Byron at Byron miraculously does. Resorts are generally located in beautiful, serene places but there is something about Byron Bay that takes relaxation to a new level. There are...
571 Woollamia Rd, Woollamia NSW 2540, Australia
Featuring unique accommodations in luxury tents in Jervis Bay, Paperbark Camp is the epitome of the burgeoning trend of glamping. Set in the bush south of Sydney, this gorgeous place offers hot showers, good linen, and a near-solid roof over your...
Wollongong NSW, Australia
Wollongong lies just one hour south of Sydney. The name Wollongong means between the mountains and the sea, and that is precisely where it lies, on a long narrow strip. Wollongong is bounded by beaches on one side and the escarpment on the other....
4655 Jenolan Caves Rd, Jenolan NSW 2790, Australia
Jenolan Caves offers guided tours through 11 cave systems, with many more caves still to be explored. The well-developed tours include caves with secure walkways, railings, and ample mood lighting (when necessary). Lodging and a variety of dining...
Cape Byron Walking Track, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
I remember this being a quiet walk along the Australian coast. I was traveling alone, but never really alone on bus rides, in hostels, crowded markets and city centers. The quiet walk alone was a great time to really take in everything I'd done...
5050 Old Northern Rd, Maroota NSW 2756, Australia
I went to Australia a couple of years back on a conference, which meant that unfortunately I didn't get much free time. They did, however, organize a couple of getaways, one of which was to the Tobruk Sheep Station. This experience was one of the...
Nimbin NSW 2480, Australia
A small town in rural New South Wales was transformed into the country's answer to Woodstock in 1973 for their Aquarius Festival. Surrounded by national parks and areas significant to the local Aboriginal tribes, Nimbin has a "loose" policy on...
Newcastle NSW, Australia
Take the train less than two hours north of Sydney for a relaxing weekend in Newcastle, a town of historic pubs, welcoming cafes, and beautiful beaches. A visit to the oddly named Bogey Hole is a quintessential Newcastle experience, as you can...
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