5 Unique Ways To Spend Your Long Weekend In Regional NSW

Australia’s cities are great place to spend a long weekend but, when it comes to Australia Day, NSW’s regional centres boast celebrations you won’t find anywhere else.

Here are five unique ways to spend Australia Day if you’re planning on escaping the city.

­#1 Boot Scoot At The Tamworth Country Music Festival

Tamworth Country Music Festival on Australia Day

Image: Tao Jones / Destination NSW

Did you know the Tamworth Country Music Festival is Australia’s largest music festival? Boasting the who’s who of country music from across the globe, along with a slew of emerging local artists, visitors have been treated to more than 2800 events across 120 venues in the NSW town since January 19.

But the Australia Day long weekend is, by far, the festival’s biggest and best, with free and ticketed events every day. Make sure you take a stroll down Peel Street, which is anecdotally known as the “Boulevard of Dreams” for the duration of the festival thanks to the 400 buskers hoping to be discovered there. You might just spot the next Keith Urban.

#2 Take The 100 Beaches Challenge

Greenfield Beach, Vincentia

Image: Dee Kramer / Destination NSW

The Shoalhaven area is home to more than 100 beautiful beaches, and while you can explore the spectacular coastline at any time (it is only two hours from Sydney and Canberra, after all), a long weekend gives you ample opportunity to tick a bunch of sandy stretches off the list.

Register for the 100 Beaches Challenge online and download the guide, then start sharing snaps of your sandy discoveries on Instagram and Facebook. The week’s best pictures are featured on the @VisitShoalhaven Instagram account, and you’ll have discovered a beautiful new corner of the world.

#3 BBQ Atop Mt Kosciuszko

Kosciuszko National Park

Image: Kristen Greaves / Destination NSW

Thousands of Aussies will no doubt be firing up the barbie over the long weekend, but few will be able to top a sausage sanga on the nation’s highest peak. Yep, hundreds of keen hikers are headed up Mt Kosciuszko on Australia Day, where they’ll be treated to a BBQ lunch a poetry reading of The Man From Snowy River.

Those keen to climb to the 2228m summit are invited to get underway from 9am, with the BBQ serving up the goods at Rawson Pass from 10am to 2pm. There’ll also be tunes by local bands from 2pm to 6pm.

There’s a gold coin donation to participate, with all proceeds to be donated to children’s’ hospital foundations around the country.

#4 Get A Taste Of The Hunter Valley Harvest

Tyrrell's Wines, Hunter Valley

Image: Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association via Destination NSW

If you’ve ever wondered where your wine comes from (and how it disappears so quickly…), make your way to the beautiful Hunter Valley, just over two hours north of Sydney. Producing some of the country’s best wines, the annual Hunter Valley harvest is in full swing, with grape-picking galore going on.

The experts recommend hiring an e-bike from Sutton Estate in Pokolbin and peddling aroun some of the area’s picturesque wineries, grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurants, and sample drops from some of the region’s boutique winemakers.

It’s also your last chance to take in the glittering Christmas display at the Hunter Valley Gardens, so we suggest you pop in while you’re there.

#5 Road Trip Waterfall Way

Ebor Falls, Waterfall Way

Image: Kate Nutt / Destination NSW

There are five national parks boasting 13 picturesque waterfalls on the 190km drive between Coffs Harbour and Armidale, including World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park and Wollomombi Falls, Australia’s second-tallest falls. For this reason, it’s been appropriately dubbed Waterfall Way.

On your drive, stop in at Dorrigo National Park to stroll across the stunning Skywalk, or take the suspension bridge behind Crystal Shower Falls. West of Dorrigo, you can see the Guy Fawkes River tumble 100m over the Ebor Falls, or, closer to Armidale, marvel at the 220m Wollomombi Falls. Magic.

(Lead image: Destination Tamworth via Destination NSW)

Check out Qantas flights and begin your next adventure.