New South Wales

Sydney Harbour Bridge featuring a river or creek, a sunset and a bridge
See Sydney’s world-famous attractions, then discover the rich diversity of “the First State,” known for its attractive beaches and breathtaking national parks.

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.

Popular cities in New South Wales

Sydney featuring night scenes, a bridge and a river or creek
Known for Dining, Ports and Shopping
Blessed with more than 100 beaches and buzzing with youthful vitality, when it comes to the good life it’s hard to beat the Harbour City.

Reasons to visit

  • Star Casino
  • SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
  • Sydney Lyric Theatre
Wollongong which includes a sandy beach, boating and a city
Known for Beaches, Shopping and Ports
Wollongong awaits: its beaches, cafes, rainforest, and more!

Reasons to visit

  • Wollongong City Beach
  • Symbio Wildlife Park
  • Wollongong Harbor
Bar Beach showing a coastal town, general coastal views and landscape views
Known for Family-friendly, Sea and Hunting
Soak up the history of one of Australia’s oldest cities, hit the beach, or head out into the countryside to spot local wildlife or explore wineries.

Reasons to visit

  • Newcastle Beach
  • Merewether Ocean Baths
  • Newcastle Ocean Baths
Coffs Harbour which includes swimming, a beach and general coastal views
Coffs Harbour
Known for Beaches, Family-friendly and Marinas
Enjoy beautiful beaches, excellent surf breaks, and see whales or dolphins at one of the east coast's most popular towns.

Reasons to visit

  • Big Banana Fun Park
  • Jetty Beach
  • Coffs Harbour Marina
New South Wales featuring farmland and landscape views
Known for Wineries, Hunting and Relaxing
This rural village in the heart of the Hunter Valley offers wine tours, family-friendly gardens and farm visits against the backdrop of the Brokenback Mountains.

Reasons to visit

  • Hunter Valley Gardens
  • Brokenwood Wines
  • Audrey Wilkinson Winery
Tweed Heads showing a sandy beach
Tweed Heads
Known for Beaches, Dining and Relaxing
With family-friendly beaches, surf swells, riverside greenery, fascinating Aboriginal heritage and an exciting nightlife, this coastal town is the ideal beach getaway.

Reasons to visit

  • Fingal Lighthouse
  • Duranbah Beach
  • Fingal Head Beach