Get out and about in NSW this Summer with a nature-inspired escape, be it relaxing in a bush cottage, a high country hiking trip or a camping and kayaking eco-escape.
From the coast to the country, NSW is one of the most unique places in the world for nature experiences. NSW offers travellers almost 2,000 km of golden sand beaches, hundreds of pristine National Parks, reserves and state forests, and some of Australia’s most treasured world heritage-listed sites to discover and explore.
Here are some of Destination NSW suggestions for a nature filled holidays this Summer.
Escape the heat: Escape to the hinterlands and mountains of NSW to enjoy cool breezes surrounded by lush bushland. The Coffs Coast hinterland provides a reprieve from the heat, but is still only a 30 minute drive to the ocean. Book a bush cottage near the hinterland town of Bellingen and spend time kayaking and swimming in secluded waterholes along the beautiful Bellingen River and the nearby World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park. At more than 1500 metres above sea level enjoy the cool sub-alpine environment of Mount Kaputar near Narrabri. Not to be missed is the panoramic view from the summit, the towering wall of basalt pipes at Sawn Rocks and hiking amongst this pristine wilderness.
High country hikes: Tackle Australia’s highest peak, the famous Mount Kosciuszko National Park Summit Walk. Camp or enjoy a bush stay at Lyre Bird Cottage or Wolgal Hut in the national park and escape it all with a tech-free break. In the Blue Mountains, the National Pass is a challenging five and half kilometres hike through native eucalypt forest along pathways cut into cliff face and past waterfalls. For a coastal trek try the three day Light to Light walk which hugs the coastline between Boyds Tower and Green Cape Lightstation in Ben Boyd National Park on the Sapphire Coast.
River adventures: Inland rivers* offer spectacular water adventures. Consider hiring a houseboat on the Murray River and explore it at your own pace. Moama on Murray has houseboats to suit most budgets, from a basic camping boat to a luxury river cruiser. Explore the majestic Hawkesbury River fishing, picnicking and cruising the waterway with a hire boat from Brooklyn or Wisemans Ferry. Hire a canoe and explore the beautiful, serene Dunns Swamp in Wollemi National Park near Mudgee, or book in a two day overnight kayak trip through the spectacular Shoalhaven Gorge in Kangaroo Valley camping along the river.
Hidden beaches and coves: There are hundreds of quiet and secluded beaches along NSW’s coastline just waiting to be explored. On the South Coast Jervis Bay’s north end is home to a few lesser known gems, such as Honeymoon Bay and Abrahams Bosom Beach. Further south take a dip* at Mystery Bay near Narooma and Moon Bay in Mimosa Rocks National Park near Tathra. On the North Coast you’ll be sure to miss the crowds at Jimmy’s Beach on the Great Lakes, Elizabeth Beach near Forster, Bonny Hills near Port Macquarie and Corindi Beach above Coffs Harbour.
Get festive: Make your holiday truly festive at one of these Summer festivals – Parkes Elvis Festival from the 11-15 January or Tamworth Country Music Festival from the 20-29 January. Accommodation fills up fast at these popular events, so why not book a campervan and make it into a camping country roadtrip adventure. On the way to Parkes, stop in at Bathurst and Orange to sample some of the state’s best regional produce and wines. While for the trip to Tamworth take the scenic route along Thunderbolts Way and the Barrington Tops.
Outdoor art trails: Get art and about along the Murray River in Albury with the impressive Wagirra Trail and the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk. This 15km trail can be enjoyed by foot or bicycle. While in town don’t miss the new bold and vibrant MAMA, Murray Art Museum Albury. Take the cliff top walkway that links Newcastle’s Strzelecki Lookout to Bar Beach and discover the Newcastle Memorial Walk. Adorned with steel silhouettes of soldiers the walkway winds around the cliff edge and offers unsurpassed views of the coastline, Newcastle and up into the Hunter Valley.