New South Wales (NSW)
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and is the largest as well as the oldest city in Australia. You can even visit Captain Cook’s landing place at Botany Bay, where the first European settlers arrived. Take one of the ferries across Sydney Harbour and enjoy the spectacular views, stopping to explore the many interesting places around the harbour. Manly is a popular beach suburb with a relaxed atmosphere, shops, cafés and accommodation.
As you would expect from Australia’s largest and oldest city, Sydney offers plenty of entertainment options. You will find markets to explore, along with museums, galleries, bars, clubs, restaurants, karaoke bars and many other exciting places. Sydney also hosts the world-famous Mardi Gras each year — this is a city that knows how to party! Stop and see the native Australian animals at Taronga Zoo, which is open every day of the year. The Opera House is famous for its unique architecture and beautiful location. The Sydney Harbour Bridge links the two sides of the city. You can walk across it, and if you’re really brave you can climb it and get an amazing view.
Once you leave Sydney, country New South Wales also has much to offer. The Blue Mountains is a popular day trip, offering spectacular mountain views, bushland and native wildlife. You will also find cafés, restaurants, art galleries, craft shops and many other stores, along with a wide range of outdoor activities such as horse riding, golf, bushwalking and fishing.
The Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s major wine producing regions, offers wonderful scenery, gourmet foods and distinctive wines. Close by is Newcastle, which is the state’s second largest city, and, like Sydney, is built around a large harbour. Newcastle is a popular destination for both visitors and students. It is close to Sydney and offers an attractive lifestyle with its large port, beautiful beaches, surfing, fishing, and entertainment opportunities.
A short drive south of Sydney is the thriving city of Wollongong, surrounded by lush green valleys and beautiful ocean beaches. Further south is prime dairy country such as the Bega Valley, with lots of opportunities for cheese tasting.