New South Wales, the first colony, is home to a third of our population. 1000 kilometres of coastline is nestled between the Great Dividing Range and the Pacific Ocean. Summers are generally warm and humid, winters cool and dry. The North west of the state experiences extreme summer heat and the Alps receive regular snow falls.
The magnificent Sydney Harbour is dominated by Sydney Harbour Bridge and the white sails of the Sydney Opera House. There are great views from the tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere (Centrepoint) and a visit to Sydney is not complete without a ride on a Sydney Harbour Ferry over to Taronga Zoo or a trip up the river on the Parramatta Cat .. >> More>>
Founded on January 26 1788, NSW is the most populated state with over 7 million people scattered over 809,444 square kilometres, although most live in or near Sydney.
The landscape is varied from the opal mines in the west of the state to the productive tablelands west of the Great Dividing Range, lush rainforests and coastline of superb beaches from the Victorian border all the way north to the Queensland border.
Places to visit:
- The Rocks – a burrow of historic sandstone buildings and old paved laneways not far from the Opera House. It’s packed with markets, pubs and restaurants.
- Katoomba – west of the city in the Blue Mountains, spectacular views of a rock formation known as The Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, Scenic Skyway Cable Car. And you simply must visit the Paragon Cafe in the centre of town. This establishment has been well maintained for as long as I can remember – wonderful chocolates and at the rear, a spring dance floor.
- Jenolan Caves – also in the Blue Mountains, a vast network of caves with rock formations resembling a fantasy movie set
- Lake Macquarie – the largest coastal saltwater lake in Australia covering an area 4 times the size of Sydney Harbour. The towns and villages dotted around the lake form the City of Lake Macquarie The area is also home to Australia’s largest coal fired power station, Eraring.
- Hunter Valley – Australia’s most famous wine region is just a couple of hours from Sydney. Sandwiches, icecream and chocolates at Pokolbin Village. Wine sampling and photographic opportunity at Audrey Wilkinson Winery. A tour and more wine sampling at Tyrrells Winery are just some of the ways to enjoy the day.
- Tamworth, the country music capital north west from Sydney. The annual Country Music Festival is hugely popular every January.
- Dubbo – west of Sydney and home to the Western Plains Zoo.
- Kosciusko National Park – the location of Australia’s highest mountain. If you’re a keen skier then snow season starts mid June but it is also a fabulous place to visit after the snow has melted.
- Gundagai – around halfway between Sydney and Melbourne and now bypassed by the Hume Highway, the town is famous for its “Dog on the Tucker Box” and for its relatively recently discovered photographic history – the Gabriel Collection. Quiet and colourful town which makes an excellent overnight stop between the two capitals.
- Coffs Coast – just over halfway between Sydney and the Gold Coast is a sub tropical paradise. There is a Chilli Festival on the first weekend in July and The International Buskers Festival at the end of September. It’s also the destination for the first yacht race of the year (Pittwater to Coffs).
- Less than an hour from Canberra you will find the Valley of the Kangaroos – thousands of Eastern grey kangaroos. Take the 3km Birrigai Time Trail to Yankee Hat rock shelter, one of the best examples of Aboriginal rock art in the ACT.
The Eastern Grey is easy to recognise: its soft grey coat is distinctive, and it is usually found in moister, more fertile areas than the Red. Red Kangaroos, though sometimes grey-blue in colour, have a totally different face to Grey Kangaroos. Red Kangaroos have distinctive markings in black and white beside their muzzles and along the sides of their face. Grey Kangaroos do not have these markings, and their eyes seem large and wide open.
Eastern grey kangaroos are gregarious and form open-membership groups. The groups are made up of 2-3 females and their offspring with the same number of males of which one is dominant.
Nestled in the sub-tropical foothills of the eastern edge of an extinct volcano in Northern NSW lies Nimbin, commonly referred to as the Alternative Capital of Australia. This town is so wary of capitalism that it has a local currency called Nimlets, and even encourages its inhabitants to barter rather than buy local produce.
Many residents live in rural communes, grow their own food, build their own houses, use natural energy and the atmosphere is so laid back that you’d be mistaken for thinking you’ve wound up at a bizarre reincarnation of Woodstock. Groovy!
Coffs Coast – just over halfway between Sydney and the Gold Coast is a sub tropical paradise. There is a Chilli Festival on the first weekend in July and The International Buskers Festival at the end of September. It’s also the destination for the first yacht race of the year (Pittwater to Coffs).
Silverton is half an hour’s drive into barren outback from Broken Hill. Most people know Silverton as a set for scenes in Mad Max II, Mission Impossible II and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Out front of ‘the local’, aka the Silverton Hotel, there’s a replica of Mad Max’s classic black interceptor. Stop by for a schooner and check out the history on the walls – photos and signatures from all the actors and other interesting people who have stopped by here. >>discover it for yourself>>