NEW SOUTH WALES (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Sydney is one of the most famous capital cities around the globe. The Harbour City is home to some of the world’s most iconic structures, such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. What is more, the city is peppered with sophisticated dining establishments, galleries and museums. Away from the buzz of its central business district, you can always take the ferry to Taronga Zoo and Manly Island.
Of course, Sydney represents just the tip of an abundance of experiences that New South Wales (NSW) has to offer. Drive out of the city and rugged cliffs, picturesque vineyards and stunning beaches will wow you.
Strap on those seat belts as we bring you on a road trip to experience NSW.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
Sweeping unobstructed views of eucalyptus forests alone is worth the journey to the Blue Mountains. However, there is more in store. You can see the world-famous Three Sisters from Echo Point. Alternatively, take a short hike down to Honeymoon Bridge, where you can cross over to the “First Sister”.
Stay the night and catch the sunrise at various amazing lookouts the next day. The mountain range lights up as the sun casts a beautiful golden hue over the magnificent limestone cliffs at places such as Sublime Point and Govetts Leap.
Be sure to get the Unlimited Discovery Pass to explore the magical Scenic World. Or you can always take the world’s steepest Scenic Railway right into Jamison Valley.
It is also quite an adrenaline rush gliding above lush canopies in a Scenic Skyway glass-floored cable car. You will find that Australia’s highest cable car is strung across steep limestone cliffs.
Best of all, the Blue Mountains are only a 90-minute drive west of Sydney.
This is Australia’s “dolphin capital”. In other words, you can expect plenty of interaction with the friendly animals here. One option is to board a dolphin-watch cruise to spot some of the 150 resident bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the water. During the whale migration season from May to November, you may even see playful humpback whales breaching the water.
Port Stephens also has the largest coastal sand dunes in the southern hemisphere. Those looking to fill their time with more adventure can spend hours sandboarding or quad biking through the golden sands. Visitors can also treat themselves to a 360-degree panoramic view of the landscape and fresh water lagoons, from the top of the sand dunes.
Two hours’ drive north of Sydney will lead you to one of Australia’s oldest wine regions – Hunter Valley – that is also home to charming towns and quaint villages.
The region’s rich history of Australian wine includes the famous Audrey Wilkinson wines. The Wilkinson winery is named by Gourmet Traveller magazine to be among the top 10 wineries to visit in the country.
There is nothing quite like strolling through the vineyards, followed by an afternoon picnic with a bottle of the region’s well-known Semillon or Shiraz. If you would like to take your experience to the next level, go on a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the rolling vineyards of the valley.
GRAND PACIFIC DRIVE
Looking for one of Australia’s best coastal routes? Well, the Grand Pacific Drive is it, whenever you are in NSW. Hop into a car and drive through national parks and past the beautiful seaside towns of Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven.
The route also weaves through dramatic cliffs on the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge. It is a great viewing platform to spot migrating whales heading north/south during the migration season.
Once you are out of the car, prepare yourself for plenty of amazing activities. Skydiving, surfing and apple picking are just a few of the experiences you can enjoy. Do not forget to check out Kiama’s Blowhole, the world’s biggest blowhole. Your Instagram feed might just “blow up” as it is a spectacular spot for a photo opportunity.
This article is brought to you by Tourism Australia, Destination New South Wales and Malaysia Airlines.
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