On the hunt for the best things to do in NSW and make the most of what New South Wales has to offer?
With so many awesome places to explore and heaps of activities to choose from, narrowing it down to our favourite 15 was a tough call – but here are our highlight for any NSW travel plans…
The Best Things to Do in NSW, Australia | Top 15 Activities & Attractions
1. Visit the Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. When planning your Sydney Itinerary, be sure not to miss out on the opportunity to visit this iconic performance theatre.
You could stand outside and take pictures by the Opera House’s steps. But, if you really want to experience the magic of this building, then taking a tour of it is the best option. The Sydney Opera House offers several daily tours that allow visitors to explore the impressive interior and exterior of the building.
Price: Tours for adults range between $43 AUD and $295 AUD per person. On the other hand, tours for children start at $21 AUD per person.
2. Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Seeking an adrenaline rush? Well, then climbing up the 134 meters (440ft) Sydney Harbour Bridge might just be the thing for you.
Since 1998, Bridge Climb has been taking visitors on tours of this marvellous bridge and has guided over four million visitors across its arches. Some of these include big-name celebrities like Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey.
There are various climbing tours available lasting between 2.5 to 3.5 hours and are available at various times of the day. Be prepared to experience 360-degree panoramic views of Sydney.
Price: Tours start at $304 AUD for adults and $149 AUD for children.
Locations: Byron Bay, Hunter Valley, New Castle, Sydney, Wollongong.
If you’ve ever wanted to conquer your fear of heights, then there’s no better way of doing it than by leaping out of a plane 15000ft in the air.
Skydive Australia offers some pretty exhilarating skydiving adventures across some of the best places in Australia. These include the likes of Sydney, New Castle, Wollongong, Hunter Valley, and Byron Bay.
From the lush vineyards of Hunter Valley to the incredible coastline of Byron Bay, the landscapes of NSW do not disappoint. So, gear up, take a deep breath and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime.
Price: Trips start at $269 AUD per person.
4.Blue Mountains Trip
Location: From Sydney
The Blue Mountains are a rugged region located 50km (31 miles) west of Sydney. This area is known for its dramatic scenery made up of canyons, waterfalls, rainforests, and valleys.
The region is home to the Blue Mountains National Park, near the town of Katoomba. The park has amazing panoramic views of Jamison Valley, an abundance of hiking trails, and the Three Sisters (a sacred Aboriginal site).
You can explore this area on your own with a self-drive tour and stop at the many lookout points and small towns to take in the breathtaking sceneries.
If you’re looking for a guided tour of the Blue Mountains, you can check out The Coast Warriors Tour. This tour visits some of the area’s top sites like Echo Point and Wentworth Falls.
Price: The Coast Warriors tour is $99 AUD per person.
5. Learn to Surf
Location: Bondi Beach, Byron Bay, Crescent Head, Seven Mile Beach, Yamba.
If you’ve ever dreamt of learning how to surf, then NSW is one of the most exciting places to learn. Some of the world’s best surfing spots can be found here, including the world-famous Bondi Beach.
Just one day is sufficient for you to learn the basics of surfing. But if you’re looking to perfect your wave riding skills, you can choose a multiday experience with Spot X Surf Camp that will take you from Sydney to Byron Bay.
Price: One Day surfing lessons start at $69 AUD, and longer surf camps start at $815 AUD.
6.Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk
Location: Byron Bay
On Australia’s most easterly point sits the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse, offering extensive views across the Pacific Ocean. While there are many activities that you can enjoy at the lighthouse, nothing beats the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk.
This 3.7km hike leads you through the lush rainforest and across clifftops and a pristine beach to reach the lighthouse. If you prefer a more leisurely walk, the hiking trail can be accessed at various points and walked in shorter sections.
Price: Free. However, an $8 AUD per hour parking fee has to be paid at the Cape Byron Conservation Area or Palm Valley car park.
Location: Nimbin, day trip from Byron Bay
Nimbin is a colourful village located in the northern areas of NSW, 70km (43 miles) west of Byron Bay. It is known around the world as Australia’s hippie and alternative lifestyle capital and has also been recognised for its environmental initiatives.
If you’re looking for a place to relax, then Nimbin is the perfect place to rejuvenate and become one with nature as it’s located near five national parks.
8. Visit a Koala Sanctuary
Location: One Mile, West Pennant Hills, Port Macquire, and more.
If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal with one of the cutest animals in the world, then be sure to head over to a koala sanctuary. There are several sanctuaries in NSW that provide a unique opportunity to see these indigenous Australian animals in their natural habitat.
One sanctuary you can visit is the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, which takes care of sick, injured, and orphaned koalas and supports their rehabilitation and conservation in the wild.
Price: $25 AUD for adults, $14 AUD for children (children under three enter for free), and $82 AUD for a family pass (two adults and two children).
9. Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk
One of the best things to do in Sydney is the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk, a 6km walk along the city’s eastern suburbs.
The walk features stunning views, beaches, parks, cliffs, rock pools, and much more. In total, there are 15 places of interest where you can stop to admire your surroundings or learn about Sydney’s history.
You can also stop for a swim at one of the beaches or grab a bite at one of the nearby cafes or restaurants.
Price: Free, but it will cost you $2.49 AUD to purchase the Bondi to Coogee Map and about $8 AUD per hour for parking.
10. Explore Lord Howe Island
Location: 700km northeast of Sydney
If you’ve ever dreamed of escaping to a beautiful private island, then consider taking a trip to Lord Howe Island, which sits just off the coast of NSW in the Tasman Sea.
The Island is every nature lover’s dream with an abundance of colourful marine life, lush rainforests, and tropical birds.
There’s plenty to do on the Island too, including snorkelling in the pristine waters of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, kayaking, and hiking.
Price: The only way to reach Lord Howe is by a two-hour flight from Sydney, which will cost you about $481 AUD for a one-way ticket with QantasLink.
11. Relax in Yamba
Location: Yamba, NSW
Yamba is a coastal town located at the mouth of the Clarence River on the north coast of NSW. It’s the ideal place for a family holiday at any time of the year, and there’s something to do for everyone.
From shopping at the farmer’s market to tanning on the beach shores and indulging in fresh seafood, there’s plenty of activities to do in Yamba.
Price: This Stay and Play in Yamba holiday package starts at $150 AUD.
12.Road Trip up the East Coast
A road trip up the east coast of NSW is always a firm favourite. With over 2000km of coastline, an abundance of national parks, and the coolest cities and towns, you’ll never be bored. Spend your days experiencing thrilling and adventurous activities like surfing, hiking, wine tasting, and even skydiving.
No matter what you’re into, you’ll most certainly find something to do in this friendly state.
Price: Check out this guide on how much to budget for Australia to get a good idea of how much you can expect to spend.
13. Scuba Diving
Location: Julian Rocks, Seal Rocks, Jervis Bay, and more.
NSW has several great diving locations such as the Solitary Islands Marine Park, where you can jump in and discover the area’s marine life. Be sure to keep an eye out for turtles, rays, leopard sharks, and Wobbegongs.
Price: Scuba diving tours usually start at around $215 AUD.
14.Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley
Location: 120km (75 miles) north of Sydney
If you’re looking to get a taste of some of the best Australian wine, then look no further than Hunter Valley. The valley is Australia’s oldest wine-growing region dating back to the early 1800s.
Hunter Valley is known for producing Semillon and Shiraz and boasts more than 150 cellars. Most of them have restaurants where you can enjoy exquisite cuisine expertly paired with local wines.
Price: This Hunter Valley wine tasting tour starts at $85 AUD per person.
15. Whale Watching
Location: Sydney and Byron Bay
Whale watching season in Australia lasts from June to November with tours running daily.
Along with spotting whales, you’ll also get to see dolphins and other marine life. On some tours, you’ll also get a hydrophone to listen to the whales. If you’re lucking enough, you might even catch a Humpback whale breaching.
There are 38 vantage points around Sydney where you can spot these majestic animals. The Cape Byron Lighthouse in Byron Bay is a popular spot to catch a glimpse of them.
Price: Whale-watching tours start at $69 AUD.
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