5 Things You Didn't Know About Australia's Most Visited State

UnDiscover New South Wales: 5 Things You Didn’t Know about Australia’s Most Visited State

Think you’re all too familiar with this popular Australian state? These are some of its best kept secrets that’ll change your mind!

There’s no use denying that at the mention of New South Wales (NSW), its capital Sydney is the first thing that comes to mind. Truth is, the state of NSW offers so much more than what most are already familiar with.

To go beyond merely scratching its surface, check out this list of little-known things you didn’t know about NSW that’ll inspire you to explore more of the state!

These are all locations can be achieved by heading on quick day trips (via self-drive or public transport) or easy overnight trips from Sydney, so embarking on an exploration around NSW is simpler than you think. Start your adventure by booking a flight to Sydney on CheapTickets.sg before 17 Sep 2019, and enjoy S$20 OFF your Qantas Airways flight!

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1. Blue Mountains: An easier day trip than you’d think

blue mountains

Image credit: Chris Hearne

The wonder and beauty of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is hardly a secret, but most people are under the perception that you’d need to make a whole road trip to explore it. 

With approximately 140km of walking tracks to explore in the area, you’ll get to experience some of the most spectacular rock formations. Therefore, even if self-driving is not part of your itinerary, the Blue Mountains is a scenic spot you wouldn’t want to miss.

Take a train ride down to Katoomba

KATOOMBA

Image credit: Destination NSW

Did you know that exploring the Blue Mountains on a day trip is completely possible with public transport? From the Sydney city centre, hop on a 2-hour long train ride to Katoomba, a culturally rich town surrounded by scenic views of the famous Blue Mountains. 

Tip: Make use of Transport for NSW’s Trip Planner to plan your day trip more efficiently!

Get around using the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus

WENTWORTH FALLS

Image credit: Alex Proimos

Hop on and off the Explorer Bus as and when you like, enjoying live commentary from the driver-guides along the way! There’s so much to explore at all the 29 stops across Katoomba, Leura and Wentworth Falls, including stops at Echo Point and the Three Sisters.

There are plenty of opportunities for immersing yourself in nature, but you may also want to hop off at stops like ‘Katoomba Street’ and ‘Leura Village’ to fulfill your other senses — shopping and eating!

Experience the wow factor at Scenic World 

SCENIC WORLD AT BLUE MOUNTAINS

Image credit: Scenic World

Despite there being many walking and trekking trails that you can conquer in the Blue Mountains, you can opt for an easier (and possibly more thrilling) route at Scenic World

Not only is the journey up the mountains much easier, you’ll also get to experience the world’s steepest passenger railway. Alternatively, head onboard the glass-bottomed Scenic Skyway for a majestic 360 degree view of Jamison Valley.

You won’t regret dedicating a day trip or an overnight stay — even if you’re not about to attempt a self-drive — to discover more of what the mountains has to offer; venture from Wentworth Falls in the east to Medlow Bath in the west.

As you can see, a trip up to the Blue Mountains is simpler to than you’d think! In fact, it’s just a train ride away from Sydney. Don’t miss out on the action any longer and book a flight to Sydney now!

Fly to Sydney from S$403

2. There’s more to Port Stephens than dolphins and sand dunes

PORT STEPHENS

Image credit: Bernard Spragg

When most venture out to Port Stephens, they’ll typically head on a day trip with certain activities in mind. The most popular options are whale and dolphin watching, or sandboarding down the vast dunes.

But did you know that you can get so much more out of a trip to this harbour north-east of Sydney? Home to a total of 26 beaches, Port Stephens is one area in NSW that deserves at least an overnight trip dedicated to exploring it.

Getting around the harbour is best done by car; you can compare the best rates on rental cars here.

By renting a car, you’d also be able to make the most out of your journey from Sydney to Port Stephens by making stops at some unbelievable scenic attractions along the way.

Made for the ‘gram’: Caves Beach

CAVES BEACH

Image credit: Visit NSW

Instead of driving the whole way from Sydney to Port Stephens, be sure to stop by Caves Beach, one of the most pristine beaches in NSW! Boasting a network of charming sea caves at its southern end, there’s no doubt that it’s a location that belongs on your Instagram feed. The best time to explore the caves is during low tide.

However that’s not all there is to it — it’s also the perfect spot to enjoy a meal with a view, as there is a picnic area and BBQ facilities to make use of!

Visit Lake Macquarie, a vast saltwater lake

LAKE MACQUARIE

Image credit: Mrjohns

Just a 45-minute drive from Caves Beach is Lake Macquarie, the largest permanent coastal saltwater lake that’s connected to the Tasman Sea by a channel.

A great spot for picnics or sunset-watching, you can even kayak or stand-up paddle at the lake if you’re up for some adventure before heading up to Port Stephens.

Go camel riding on the beach

camel riding in port stephens

Image credit: Port Stephens

You may think this is an experience you’d only get in somewhere like the Middle East, but you can enjoy this activity right here in NSW. Besides the marine animals that you’d expect to catch, you’d also have the chance to ride a camel on Birubi Beach with Oakfield Ranch Camel Rides!

This experience will surely make your visit to Port Stephens all the more memorable.

Tomaree Head Summit Walk

For the most panoramic views of the Port Stephens coastline, head on the Tomaree Head Summit Walk. This 2 kilometre-long round walk isn’t too challenging, and you’ll also be rewarded with an amazing view. Some would tell you that even if you find yourself short of time at Port Stephens, you must do this walk!

3. Embrace your adventurous side in the Hunter Valley

hunter valley

Image credit: Visit NSW

A prominent wine region in Australia, you may think that there isn’t much else to Hunter Valley than tasting the finest wines and touring the vineyards. However, one train ride from Sydney, and you’ll be transported to a whole new world.

For starters, you can indulge in delicious cheese or chocolate, be pampered at a spa, or immerse yourself in galleries all in the region, and that’s not all!

To fully enjoy your time in the Hunter Valley, check yourself into a resort (pick-ups can be arranged) and rest up for all the activities you’ll be enjoying during your stay!

Breweries and distilleries

hunter valley vineyards

Image credit: Hunter Valley

As it’s what the region is most famous for, you can’t miss out on the Hunter Valley’s amazing breweries and distilleries. With over 150 wineries in its midst, Hunter Valley is the place to enjoy some of NSW’s finest wines. 

Whether you’re up for a glass of Sémillon or Shiraz, you’re sure to have a good time indulging in drinks with such picturesque views as your backdrop. Far from being just a place to enjoy wine, you get the whole experience in this region — delicious local produce prepared in acclaimed restaurants, and the chance to wind down in luxurious hideaways await!

Feel the excitement of cycling through the valley

cycling through the hunter valley

Image credit: Visit NSW

Take away some fond memories of the Hunter Valley as you cycle around the valley — explore this magnificent region of New South Wales at your own pace as you cycle along scenic paths from New England Highway to Broke Road.

Visit numerous cellar doors, galleries and antique boutiques along the way. For all wine purchases, there’s no need to worry about lugging it on your bike ride as it can be delivered to your accommodation or back to your bike hire venue. You can rent an electric bike here.

Ride in a hot air balloon over Hunter Valley

Head on to infinity and beyond by taking flight on a hot air balloon! What better way is there to enjoy extensive views of the vineyards and the natural landscape of the Hunter Valley region? Ascend to heights of at least 2,000 feet (around 610 metres) or more and celebrate with champagne afterwards.

With so many fun escapades to have in Australia’s oldest and one of the finest wine regions, there’s surely something in store for everyone whether you’re a wine connoisseur or not!

There’s way more to the Hunter Valley than your staple wine-tasting tours — get started on your adventure and soar to greater heights in the Hunter Valley by booking your flight to Sydney now!

  Fly to Sydney from S$403

4. The South Coast’s answer to Byron Bay

jervis bay

Image credit: Charliekay

While the North Coast of NSW often takes the spotlight, the South Coast has its fair share of amazing destinations too!

In fact, Jervis Bay, with its white sands and glistening waters is a good alternative to the famous Byron Bay! 

Just a 3-hour drive from Sydney, this quaint beach town is packed with activities and endless stretches of sand that make the journey absolutely worthwhile. Rent a car and head on an overnight trip to fully explore the area and experience the relaxed beach lifestyle that’s quintessential of NSW.

Head on the iconic White Sands walk

Head on the ‘White Sands’ walk along the chain of pristine beaches along Jervis Bay, where you can expect to feast your eyes on beautiful and fine white sand, rock pools and bush tracks. 

This fairly easy walk for all ages begins at Greenfield Beach.

Kayak in the Currambene Creek

kayak

Image credit: Jervis Bay Kayak Hire

For a splashing good time in Jervis Bay, head on a kayaking adventure in the Currambene Creek. Meandering through mangroves and waterside villages, you’ll discover some of the best sights in the area that can’t be reached by foot!

Sink your teeth into a Husky pie

Huskisson Bakery

Image credit: Visit Huskisson

While having nothing to do with the widely adored dog breed, the pies from Huskisson Bakery & Cafe dubbed as ‘Husky pies’ are not famous for no reason. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the wide variety of delicious pie flavours that they have, and they offer other types of baked goods too!

5. A unique day trip destination: Bundeena

For a shorter day trip from Sydney that’s still not well known among travellers, head to Bundeena, a village in the outskirts of Southern Sydney.

Take a train from Central Station to Cronulla Station, before hopping on the ferry for a short scenic trip from Cronulla to Bundeena. The best part is that the entire journey only takes under two hours usually, and it’s also inexpensive!

A unique day trip destination: Bundeena

Bundeena and Maianbar Art Trail

Image credit: Destination NSW

Embark on a journey discovering work from local artists on the Bundeena and Maianbar Art Trail. Perfect for art enthusiasts, you’ll have the opportunity to visit artists’ studios, interact with them, and view their galleries and studios. You can even purchase art pieces directly from the artists if you like!

The trail is open on the first Sunday of each month.

If your time in Bundeena happens to coincide with the first Sunday of each month, the Bundeena Saltwater Market is also worth checking out!

Take the scenic route at the Royal National Park

Bundeena sits on the edge of the Royal National Park, the perfect location for scenic drives and walks. With amazing coastal lookouts and opportunities for whale-spotting, explore this national park to immerse yourself fully in nature!

For the super fit, you may even want to attempt The Coast track located in the Royal National Park that spans a total of 26 kilometres from Bundeena to Otford.

As you can see, the state offers so much more than landmarks in Sydney that aren’t new to any of us. Step out of the conventional and discover these little-known gems on a trip to NSW!

All that’s left to do is to plan out your NSW itinerary — start by booking a flight to Sydney! Moreover, there’s no better time to visit NSW from now until November; it’s the best period if you’d like to watch the whales along the coasts of NSW! For the cheapest fares, book your flights on CheapTickets.sg before 17 Sep 2019 for S$20 OFF your Qantas Airways flight.

Fly to Sydney from S$403


Brought to you by CheapTickets.sg, Qantas Airways and Destination New South Wales.

About Authors

Cheryl Tan
Cheryl Tan

The best memories are created through spontaneous adventures, hence Cheryl is always on-the-go to try new things and see where it takes her from there. On stay-home days, she enjoys reading lifestyle articles on topics such as skincare and travel itineraries with a hot cup of tea. Otherwise, she likes to visit museums, dance, and spend time with family and friends.

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Sharifah Nur Afiqah
Sharifah Nur Afiqah

Always going from one extreme to the next, Sharifah’s constantly agonising over what to order off the menu, yet she tends to jump head-first into the major things, on the basis of intuition. Catch her at her loudest when she’s on a roller-coaster, cable car, or any other thrill-inducing contraption.

CLICK TO SEE MORE ARTICLES BY Sharifah Nur Afiqah



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