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50 NSW-Only Activities That The Rest Of Australia Is Missing Out On

It’s no secret that 2020 has been quite shit. I think we’ve all had just about enough of the indoors to last a lifetime, so luckily the weather is heading full pelt into Summer.

Not only for those of us desperate to get out an explore again, but also to help the tourism industry that was hit pretty hard by all the lockdown restrictions, Destination NSW has released a list of 213 things you can only do in New South Wales.

We’re talking world famous icons, animal encounters, unparalleled hikes, snow adventures, Indigenous experiences and obviously a lot more. You can check out the full list here, but we’ve picked our top 50.

50 Things You Can Only Do In New South Wales

#1 Sydney Harbour

Sail out on the water at sunset to really soak in the beauty of that water and international icons, the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

#2 White Sands Walk, Jervis Bay

No need to head overseas to enjoy some of the purest sands in the world thanks to this walk on the NSW South Coast.

#3 Lord Howe Island

 

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As one of the most unspoilt and sustainable paradises in the world, nature lovers must add this UNESCO World Heritage listed island to their bucket list.

#4 Cape Byron

Located on the NSW North Coast, Australia’s most easterly point is particularly stunning at sunrise, so wake up early. Trust us, it’s worth it.

#5 Jenolan Caves

This labyrinth of limestone chasms and underground rivers is one of the most beautiful cave systems in the world.

#6 Mount Kosciuszko

Australia’s highest peak, residing in the Snowy Mountains, gives you certain bragging rights after you’ve made it to the top.

#7 Capertee Valley

 

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It might surprise you, but this is the home of the second-largest canyon (by width) in the whole world. Yes, Grand Canyon is number one.

#8 Warrumbungles

This is Australia’s first Dark Sky Park, so a stargazing tour here is an absolute must. See the night sky the way it’s supposed to look.

#9 The Big Banana

Australian’s are really proud of their ‘big things’, and even as an adult I still maintain the Big Banana is 100 percent worth the trip. I mean, there are toboggans.

#10 Jervis Bay

From August to November you can head to the South Coast to swim with humpback whales. In fact, they’re so common here it’s known as the ‘Humpback Highway’.

#11 Cook Island

 

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Speaking of swimming with cute animals, this island just off Tweed Heads is a permanent home to Green, Hawksbill and Loggerhead turtles

#12 Port Stephens

This is Australia’s dolphin capital, with plenty of tours to take you out to swim with the ocean’s puppies in a safe way for both of you.

#13 Solitary Islands Marine Park

This is one of the largest marine protected areas in the state, extending along 75km of coast, from Coffs Harbour north to the Sandon River mouth.

#14 Bombala Platypus Reserve

 

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It’s almost impossible to spot a platypus in the wild, but if you’e super quiet and keep your distance, your best bet is at this reserve in the Snowy Mountains.

#15 Kangaroo Valley

You’d have to be incredibly unlucky not to spot kangaroos and wallabies on a trip here, but if you head to Bendeela Camping and Picnic Area, you’re also in one of the best spots to see a wombat in the wild.

#16 Farm Stay Experience

Escape city life and camp under that stars at Eldee Station, Bindara on the Darling or Trilby Station.

#17 Grand Pacific Drive

 

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Take a scenic road trip from Sydney to the NSW South Coast with views you won’t forget in a hurry, You’ll even drive across the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge.

#18 Waterfall Way

This drive between Coffs Harbour and Armidale features some of the highest waterfalls in Australia.

#19 Fossickers Way

This four-day drive from Barraba to Tamworth explores the stunning landscapes, historic country towns and local produce of the New England region.

#20 The Dish

 

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Yep, that Aussie movie was based on a true story, and the CSIRO Radio Telescope still resides in Parkes. Sounds like a weird trip, but it’s perfect in uniquely Australian way.

#21 Long Paddock Road Trip

This eight-hour drive follows the historic Cobb stock route, from Echuca-Moama on the Murray River to iconic outback towns like Deniliquin and Ivanhoe.

#22 Darling River Run

Imagine almost 950km of spectacular landscape and history through Outback NSW as you follow the course of the Darling river.

#23 Gondwana Rainforests

 

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Most people think of Queensland for rainforests, but the world-heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests actually start here, with epice walking tracks to explore starting from Newcastle and continuing further up.

#24 Blue Mountains

From the iconic Three Sister’s formation to seemingly endless walking tracks through rugged mountains and valleys, Blue Mountains lives up to its reputation.

#25 Royal National Park

This was actually the first National Park in Australia. Get to know it via The Coast Track, taking one or two days to walk between Bundeena and Otford.

#26 Bouddi Coastal Walk

There aren’t a lot of prettier places than the Central Coast, and the Bouddi coastal walk is considered one of the most beautiful in the area.

#27 Snowy River

 

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Get out on the famous river with a multiple day kayaking and rafting trip from providers like Alpine River Adventures.

#28 Moree Hot Springs

It’s hard not to relax in a hot spring. Take a time out in Moree’s famous hot springs, in the north west of NSW.

#29 Grafton

Visit Grafton during Jacaranda season to see the streets lined with the purple blooms. Seasons starts in the last weekend of October and ends the first weekend of November.

#30 Figure Eight Pool

Social distance from the beach crowds and take the trek through Royal National Park. It’s definitely one you have to prepare for though.

#31 Hunter Valley

 

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It might be one of the best wine regions in Australia, which is obviously enough reason to visit, but it’s also stunning from up high in a hot air balloon.

#32 Hawkesbury River

Rent a houseboat on the huge Hawkesbury River and take life at a totally different pace.

#33 Nimbo Fork Lodge

If you want to escape the grind and be surrounding by stunning views instead of buildings, head to the northern end of Kosciuszko National Park between Gundagai and Tumut.

#34 Morton National Park

 

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Climb Pigeon House Mountain for panoramic views of the Budawang Wilderness, walk to the 81m high Fitzroy Falls, or eat yourself silly at all the farm to table restaurants in the area.

#35 Truffle Hunting

Nothing is as delicious as a truffle, and you can go find your own in cold climate areas like Oberon, Braidwood and the Southern Highlands.

#36 Sydney Boutique Beer Trail

Then only thing better than a local brewery is being able to take short walks or trips between several. This beer trail includes the likes of 4 Pines, Batch Brewing Co, Young Henry’s and Yulli’s Brews.

#37 Southern Highlands Pie Trail

 

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The scenic Southern Highlands take their pie making very seriously, so much so that several bakeries in the area have won awards.

#38 Food & Wine Trail

Honestly, take your pick. New South Wales has 14 different food and wine regions, so be sure to explore further than the Hunter Valley.

#39 Museum of Contemporary Art

Get your culture on a tis vibrant art gallery with over 4,000 artworks by Australian artists right by the edge of the water at Circular Quay.

#40 The Living Desert And Sculptures

 

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The Australian desert landscape is incredibly unique, and Broken Hill has enhanced its natural beauty with an open door sculpture gallery. It’s especially striking at sunset.

#41 Broken Hill

Speaking of Broken Hill, there are plenty more reasons to visit, like visiting the iconic pub from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and the globally renowned Broken Heel Drag Festival.

#42 Art Gallery of NSW

Located in The Domain, this historic building now houses one of the largest art galleries in Australia.

#43 Monte Cristo House

 

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If you’re a fan of all things spooky, your desires will be quenched at Australia’s most haunted house.

#44 Murray River

Step back in time with a paddle steamer ride along this historic river. Oh, and there’s totally a Wharf To Winery tour too.

#45 Brett Whiteley Studio

Step into the life of one of our country’s most famous artists, Brett Whiteley, at this at Hills’ studio featuring a range of his unfinished works  and more.

#46 White Cliffs

 

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Coober Pedy isn’t the only underground town. This is Australia’s oldest commercial opal field and almost everything is located under the surface.

#47 Mungo National Park

The dramatic rock formations of the Walls of China in Mungo National Park were formed by years of wind and erosion. Relics of the ancient Aboriginal culture have also been found here, dated at 36,000years old.

#48 Stockton Sand Dunes

Pump up the adrenaline and the cultural understanding with a Sand Dune Adventures tour through the Stockton Sand Dunes, learning about the local the Worimi people as you go.

#49 Traditional Gumbaynggirr Country

Join a SUP board tour around traditional Gumbaynggirr country, led by expert Indigenous guides.

#50 Brewarrina Fish Traps

 

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The Brewarrina Fish Traps are estimated to be over 40,000 years old, making them one of the oldest man-made structures on earth.

(Lead Image: Destination NSW / Saeed Sourati)