An abundance of Australian sights and activities, this beautiful region combines iconic man-made icons with dramatic misty mountain ranges and renowned coastal drives.
An enchanting combination of fascinating history and natural splendour, New South Wales is Australia at its most vibrant and accessible. One of the country’s smaller states, it nevertheless offers an abundance of enchanting landscapes from glorious beaches to rugged mountains, nature-rich national parks to world-class vineyards, as well as an exhilarating range of things to do and see.
- The iconic sights of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House are not to be missed
- Enjoy Sydney's world-class dining and visit Darling Harbour and The Rocks district
- Head to the Blue Mountains on a day trip from Sydney, or stop over for two or three nights, for some bush walking trails and spectacular views
- Whale and dolphin spotting near Port Stephens and relax on the beaches near Coffs Harbour en route between Sydney and Brisbane
- If you're on a self-drive, we'd recommend stopping at Byron Bay to learn to surf and for the arts and cafe culture
Best time to visit Sydney & New South Wales
New South Wales is mainly warm and temperate with sunshine through much of the year, however the coast can experience humidity in the summer months (December to February) and the snowy mountains region has snow and frost in winter months (June to August). Peak season is June to August, as well as Christmas and New Year – when Sydney holds a huge-scale firework display over the harbour.
Sydney & New South Wales holiday highlights
Draped around a natural harbour, New South Wales’ capital city is a glittering gem on the country’s south-eastern coastline. In Sydney’s vibrant city centre you’ll find Circular Quay, home of the famous harbour, Royal Botanic Gardens and Opera House on the harbour at Bennelong Point. This is also where you’ll find the Sydney Tower, Queen Victoria Building and various shopping malls, museums and galleries. To the west, the quirky Rocks District enchants with its pretty lanes and boutique shops. And Darling Harbour is an area awash with activity, host to an array of attractions and lined with restaurants and al fresco bars.
Circular Quay is the city's cruise port, with many ships departing here for voyages along the Australian Coast, across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand or visiting as part of an epic round-world voyage with Cunard. There are plenty of options for a stay and cruise holiday, for example combining a cruise with a stay in Sydney, or even a Red Centre adventure.
While there’s no denying that Sydney is the major attraction of New South Wales, the surrounding region has so much else to offer. Travel just two hours north or west and it feels a world away, with sprawling fertile vineyards, dramatic hazy mountains and epic desert-like sand dunes. Spend an entire day exploring the Hunter Valley, sampling its fruits as you go; stop for abundant photo opportunities of unique rock formations in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains; and spot marine life in the glistening waters off the coast of Port Stephens. Then head further north along the Pacific Highway on a scenic road trip to discover laid-back costal towns and stunning secluded beaches.