Things to do, places to visit, holiday destinations and attractions in New South Wales

If you are wondering what to do in New South Wales, look no further. Here I have compiled a list of the very best tourist attractions, things to see and do, sights, landmarks and places to visit in New South Wales.

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Considering that NSW is the most populated of all the states and territories in Australia, you would expect that it has some great attractions. And it doesn't fail to deliver.

With several weather classification ranging from snowy alpine areas to arid deserts, gorgeous coast lines, islands, 780 protected areas and reserves including 189 national parks and a whole host of natural wonders, NSW has something for everyone.

It doesn't matter if you are looking for a holiday destination or simply some interesting landmarks, places to see or things to do, you will find it.

As such I had a bit of trouble condensing all the possible things you can do in New South Wales onto one list, but I believe I got in the end. I hope you enjoy my list!


The Blue Mountains / 3 Sisters

Located less than two hours from Sydney by road or train, the Greater Blue Mountains, which is a World Heritage area, is one of the Australia's most spectacular destinations.

It is best known for the 3 Sisters (majestic rock outcrops steed in aboriginal dream time legends), but there are lots of other attractions and places to see, including: Echo Point lookout, Wentworth Falls, Scenic World Blue Mountains, Govetts Leap Lookout, Jenolan Caves, and the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens (at Mt Tomah), just to name a few.

For more information you can visit the official website at


The Hunter Region / Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley (also known as the Hunter Region), is a region of New South Wales extending approximately 120 km to 310 km north of Sydney.

It is best known for being a wine growing district, full of wineries and open cellars. That said, it is a beautiful area full of other activities. Just a small selection of what you can do includes art galleries, breweries and distilleries, cycling, day spas and wellness retreats, open gardens, golfing, visiting historic villages, sites and museums, horse riding, hot air ballooning, local markets, adventure activities and much more.

For more information you can visit the official website at


Lake Macquarie

Located in the Hunter Region, it is also known by its aboriginal name of Awaba. It is Australia's largest coastal salt water lagoon, covering an area of 110 km² and is 21.8 kilometres long.

Lake Macquarie and its excellent ocean beaches, as well as nearby Watagan Mountains National Park, provide plenty of opportunities for an action and adventure holiday.

Just some of the activities available include bush walking, horse riding, 4 wheel driving, cycling, snorkelling, diving and surfing and swimming.

For more information you can visit the official website at


Port Stevens

Port Stephens is the perfect holiday destination. Only 2.5 hours drive from Sydney, it has 26 beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, gourmet restaurants serving fresh sea food (amongst other things) shopping, whale and dolphin watching and much more.

It is a beautiful place surrounded by nations parks and reserves. Make sure to check out Karuah, Wallaroo and Tomaree National Parks while you are there.

For more information you can visit the official website at


Avoca Beach / Ettalong Beach / Shelly Beach

Located near Gosford, around 85 km's north of Sydney, you will find a whole range of beautiful beaches. Three of the best best include Avoca Beach, Ettalong Beach and Shelly Beach.

So pack your bathers and prepare for a day of swimming and sun bathing. Pack a picnic or bring some meat and barbecue it on one of the local BBQ places or head to a local cafe or restaurant for lunch.

While there make sure you also check out Bouddi National Park (the next listing below). It's a great experience for nature lovers of all kinds.

For more information you can visit the official websites at and and


Bouddi National Park

Located near Gosford and the popular Avoca, Ettalong and Shelly beaches (see the above listing) north of Sydney, Bouddi National Park offers a range of spectacular and diverse landscapes, including: beaches, steep cliffs, rainforest and heathland.

It makes for a great weekend getaway (you can camp or stay in accommodation) and is home countless attractions such as one of Australia’s first marine protected areas, significant Aboriginal sites, unique animals and plant life and even an old paddle steamer wreck.

You can also experience the annual whale migration from the park between June and November. More details here:

For more information about Bouddi National Park you can visit the official website at


Dorrigo National Park

Dorrigo National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, offers stunning scenery that contains a range of forest types that protect an enormous variety of animals and birds.

It is jam packed with things to do and amazing hikes. Just a few to consider include: Blackbutt walking track, Casuarina Falls circuit, Crystal Shower Falls, the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, Lyrebird Link track and the Bangalore Falls walking track.

For more information you can visit the official website at


Lord Howe Island

Located 600 kilometres directly east of mainland Port Macquarie, Lord Howe Island is located between Australia and New Zealand. It is a World Heritage-listed paradise and is less than a 2 hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane.

This gorgeous wonderland is full of things for you to do including some of the worlds best day hikes, snorkelling and scuba diving on the coral reef, hand-feeding fish, bird watching, fishing, cycling, surfing, kite boarding, sailing and much more.

For more information please visit


Mount Warning

Mount Warning is a volcanic plug of the now-gone Tweed Volcano, located near Byron Bay (see the listing below) and Tweed Heads, near the border of New South Wales and Queensland.

It is full of camping grounds, gorgeous mountain hikes and is the perfect base to explore the cosy mountain villages, lush rainforests, towering waterfalls, golden beaches, funky craft markets, and hidden art galleries.

There are also a range of events and festivals throughout the year - much to much to list here. For more information you can visit the official website at


Byron Bay

Byron Bay is popular with not just international tourists, but is also a favourite holiday destination of Australians. The lighthouse is amazing at sunset (and it is the most easterly part of mainland Australia).

There are a range of music festivals over the year that attract international and local musicians alike (see the link below for more details). There are kilometres of pristine beach to explore, surfing, scuba diving, beautiful hikes, dolphins and whale watching and a host of other attractions.

However, the price you pay for all of this is that it is tourist central - home to thousands of backpackers at any one time. Despite this fact the natural beauty of the area will ensure that Byron Bay remains one of Australia's top tourist destinations for years to come.

For more information you can visit the official website at


Montague Island

Montague Island Nature Reserve, just off the NSW coast near Narooma, offers you the chance to experience a spectacular wildlife wonderland - bird watching, penguins, seals, whale watching and much more.

You can pop over to the island for a day trip or stay longer in the historic lighthouse accommodation.

If you like to get active you can become a conservation volunteer and assist in such things as the penguin survey program.

For more information you can visit the official website at


Springbrook National Park

The Springbrook National Park is a protected national park that is located in the Gold Coast hinterland, right on the border of New South Wales and Queensland.

Like most national parks, there is a whole host of things you can do, including camping, picnicking, hiking, guided tours, viewing the local unique wildlife, horse riding, and much more.

The area is gorgeous and boasts some impressive locations such as Canyon lookout, Goomoolahra Falls, Purling Brook Falls and Mount Cougal.

For more information you can visit the official website at


Alpine New South Wales

Unbeknown to international tourists, Australia has snowy alpine areas - visit in summer and explore the wilderness, or come in winter for the snow season.

Just a few things you can do include climbing Mount Kosciuszko (Australia's tallest peak), bush walking and mountain biking in Namadgi National Park (near Canberra), or walk the alps end-to-end on the epic Australian Alps Walking Track.

For more detailed information you can visit the official website at


Jervis Bay

The beaches of Jervis Bay are amongst the safest and most beautiful in the world with fine sand and pristine clear waters. In fact, Hyams Beach officially has the world's whitest sand!

At the southern end, Jervis Bay is enclosed by the beautiful wilderness of Booderee National Park. The many beaches, lagoons, secret coves and hidden creeks make it a wonderland to explore, which is easily done via a walking trail the circles the peninsula from Wreck Bay village in the south to St Georges Head in the north.

Throw in a large range of other activities such as swimming, scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, dolphin and whale watching, fishing, surfing and boating, just to name a few, there is something for everyone in Jervis Bay.

For more information you can visit the official website at and


Mungo National Park

You won't see many landscapes as starkly prehistoric as Mungo National Park, part of the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area.

It has been more than 14,000 years since Lake Mungo contained water, but the 33-kilometre chain of white dunes along one of its shores, known as the Walls of China, will impress, especially at sunset when they turn vibrant yellows, oranges and deep wine reds.

Other activities include learning about bush tucker, bush medicine and the Barkindji people on an Aboriginal tour, bush walking, bike riding, and in the evening, relax with songs and stories under the stars, at the campfire of nearby Mungo Lodge.

For more information you can visit the official website at



If you are a food/wine lover, or just like to takes things at a slow place, Orange is perfect for you. Visit some of the 40+ the cool-climate wineries, dine at acclaimed restaurants, or take a casual walk along the City Heritage Trail, which connects 40 historic sites in Orange.

Other attractions in and around Orange include the Orange Botanical Gardens, seven walking trails to the summit of the ancient volcanic peak of Mt Canobolas, Federal Falls, swim, sail or fish in the artificial lake of Lake Canobolas.

Just a few other exciting local attraction include panning for gold at Ophir Reserve (the site of Australia's first gold rush), Gosling Creek Reserve, Carcoar Dam or taking a tour the limestone world of Tunnel Cave in Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve.

For more information you can visit the official website at


Coffs Harbour

Located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, the subtropical climate, tranquil rainforests and clean beaches of Coffs Harbour make it a perfect holiday destination.

The area is jammed packed full of things to do. Apart from the regular beach activities like swimming, diving, fishing, kayaking, boating, etc, make sure you check out the complete list of 101 things to do in and around Coffs Harbour at

You can also find more great information at the official website


Even more...

This is just some of the things you can do in New South Wales. There really is so much more.

I have hardly touched on outback NSW, which is full of beautiful deserts, drives and remote townships like Broken Hill and Lightning Ridge. For more information you can visit and

Then there is the Murray River, a very popular holidaying, camping and outdoor activities destinations. More information can be found at There is too much to list on this website, but just some of the activities you can find along the Murray River include fishing, camping, biking, hiking, kayaking and canoeing, water skiing, golfing, river cruises, wine tours and paddle-steamers and paddle-boats (in fact, Australia boasts the largest collection of active paddle steamers and boats in the world).

There are over 780 national parks and reserves which includes 189 national parks, which cover 66,370 km² or about 8.3% of the state. As such, there are many free camping spots and hiking trails and unique destinations all over the state. To discover more information try these two great websites: and

The food and wine lovers are not left wanting either. There is a large range of distinct wine districts across the state all boasting fine dining, open cellars, markets, and much more. More information can be found here:

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my list of things to see and do in New South Wales. Feel free to share this page with your friends via the social media buttons.

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