New South Wales

No worries, mate! is a good expression to use when you want to tell someone that everything’s OK. Don’t use this expression if you intend to explore the vast area of New South Wales overnight!

New South Wales Australia – at about 802,000 sq. km (309,654 sq. mi.) with about 1900 km (1180 mi.) of coastline – is a big place to explore. Sydney Australia is in New South Wales, but don’t forget about the interesting points to visit in New South Wales.

Most of the population live along the coast. Below are some key points to check out when you visit New South Wales.

The Blue Mountains were a barrier to European exploration from Syndey and this kept settlement close to the ocean. Nevertheless, the Blue Mountains are worth exploring as the Blue Mountains National Park provides, at a minimum, views of rugged sandstone outcrops and hazy blue forests – the blue haze provided by a fine oil mist from eucalyptus trees. For those more adventurous, bushwalking on trails created thousands of years ago is available.

Katoomba is about 110 km (68 mi.) from Sydney and is the nearest town to the Blue Mountains and is a tourist town for Sydney and is where people go to cool off in summer. The town has a new age feel to it with yoga studios and retreats.

South Coast New South Wales

As you proceed north along the coast from Sydney, you will find Newcastle, Australia’s 6th most populated city. Newcastle NSW started out as a penal colony for the worst of Sydney’s convicts, and later for its coal. Today Newcastle is more known for its beaches. For example, Newcastle Beach is a couple of minutes walk from the centre of town.

Hunter Valley is well known for wine, with wineries dating back to the 1860s. Hunter Valley web sites claim there are now over 100 wineries in the region. This makes it all the more fun when doing wine tasting to find that perfect Shiraz or Chardonnay.

Port Macquarie is a resort town with riverfront and oceanfront accommodations. It’s famous for the Koala Hospital that is operated by The Koala Preservation Society of NSW, which is a volunteer group preserving wild koalas. Note that koalas are often hit by cars so watch out when you drive!

Byron Bay is located in north corner of NSW, close to Queensland and on the eastern most point of Australia. Check out the Cape Byron Lighthouse, which is located on rocky outcrop with a steep cliff on the east side, and a sheer drop of about 100 m (328 ft.). It is the most eastern lighthouse in Australia. Byron Bay’s Whale watching season occurs during May to early October and humpback whales are a pleasure to see.

South Coast New South Wales

Wollongong is NSW’s 3rd largest city and is known for its beaches. Illawarra Museum has different displays of New South Wales history including a old school room and a World War II air raid shelter.

As you take the highway south, there are a number of parts to investigate. One is Wadbilliga National Park, which, due to the terrain, is fairly isolated. Animal populations (eastern grey kangaroos, echidnas, swamp wallabies, platypus, possums and wombats) here have remained comparatively undisturbed. The bird life is diverse with 122 recorded instances of native bird species.

Eden NSW is an example of the beauty and honest historical oddness that one can find in Australia. Possibly one of the most peculiar man/whale relationships occurred in Eden during the period of 1870 – 1930. Tom Mead in The Killers of Eden wrote a book that described a time where Killer Whales would herd whales (e.g. humpbacks) into Twofold Bay, whalers would kill the whale, let it sink, the killer whales would eat the parts of the whale they like, the dead whale would later float up and be hauled in for processing. Fact or fiction? Check out the bones of Old Tom at the Killer Whale Museum in Eden.

The Snowy Mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range and straddle the Victoria and NSW state borders. Made famous by the poem and movies, The Man from Snowy River, much of the region is encompassed by Kosciuszko National Park. Mount Kosciuszko is 2228 m high and the highest Australian mainland peak. The Monaro High Plain to the east is sheep country know for the Merino wool. The Snowy Mountains alpine climate has temperature ranges from -6 C in July, and 21 C in January. Skiing, snowboarding and showshoeing – not really associated with with Australia – occur from June into October with Thredbo, Perisher Blue, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snowfields as popular resorts.

Much attention is spent on the coastal regions and the Blue and Snowy mountains, but from a space perspective, the south and central west areas are enormous. Griffith is noted for being designed by architect Walter Burley Griffith – the designer of Canberra. Check out the Pioneer Park Museum which has about 40 original and recreated buildings with original furnishings. The museum also has a large collection of rural machinery.

The Outback is normally associated with Queensland and other states and territories, but New South Wales has its own. When travelling in the Outback, make sure to follow all the safety rules provided by the locals. Broken Hill is a mining town in the middle of nowhere, but has galleries, hotels to make it an oasis. A point of interest is the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) base. The Broken Hill base is the only working RFDS base in Australia open to the public each day.

24 km west of Broken Hill is Silverton, an almost ghost town with historic buildings and galleries and, oddly, you can take a camel trek from 15 minutes to 2 days!

Visit New South Wales and discover more about this vast state of Australia.