The state of New South Wales (809.444 km², 8 million inhabitants (2020)) is located in the southeastern part of Australia and is the most populous state in the country. In fact, a third of the Australian population lives there. This state is bordered to the south with the state of Victoria, to the north with that of Queensland, and to the west with South Australia (South Australia). The island of Lord Howe (56 km²) located 600 km offshore is also part of the state.
Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is the largest and most populated city in Australia, it is a lively and cosmopolitan city overlooking a lively bay. However, New South Wales is not only its capital. In fact, this Australian state offers a varied landscape full of natural beauty, ranging from the beautiful coast along the Pacific Ocean with its golden beaches, to the sub-tropical rain forests. From the desert interior, to the hills planted with vineyards and to the snow-capped mountains. From the crystal clear waters of Port Stephens to Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. To finish with the heights of the Barrington Tops National Park to the north, with the historic atmosphere of Maitland, up to the vineyards of the Hunter Valley Wine Country.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
Located 50 km west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are an extraordinary mountain range dotted with small villages and protected by seven national parks and a reserve. Formed largely by a sandstone plateau, the Blue Mountains are traversed by gorges up to 760 meters deep. Its highest peaks are just over 1,000 meters (1,190 meters). UNESCO has included them among the natural places of world heritage (Greater Blue Mountains Area).
Just 120 km southwest of Sydney are the Southern Highlands, an area famous for parks and gardens. The main centers of this historic region are the towns of Mittagong, Moss Vale, Berrima, Bundanoon, Bowral, and Robertson.
THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS
In the southern part of the state rise the Snowy Mountains, a chain that is part of the Australian Alps. Here are the highest mountains of Australia, in particular five peaks exceed 2,100 meters in height. Among these is also the highest mountain in continental Australia, Mount Kosciuszko, which reaches 2,228 meters. The region, famous for winter sports, offers a wide choice of attractions and activities. They range from bush walks on foot or by bicycle in summer to the discovery of beautiful wild flowers in spring. The territory of the Snowy Mountains includes alpine areas, mountain streams and glacial lakes that slope down into hills and agricultural plains.
THE COASTAL ROAD BETWEEN SYDNEY AND BRISBANE
The Pacific Coast Touring Route along the Pacific Ocean offers travelers nearly 1,000 km of magnificent coastline and beautiful inland views. About 150 km north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley Wine Country is the oldest Australian wine area, where fine wines are produced and some of the most famous wineries in the country are found.
Newcastle, a historic seaside town, is the gateway to this region of vineyards. From here it is also possible to visit the suggestive coast of Port Stephens with pristine beaches, and the possibility of practicing water activities and fishing. The bay is home to puffy-nosed dolphins and a koala colony. Barrington Tops National Park is also located in Hunter Valley, an area characterized by jagged peaks, gorges and cliffs that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site (Gondwana Rainforests of Australia).
North of Port Stephens, along the Pacific Highway you reach the Great Lakes area, famous for fishing, pleasure boating and windsurfing. Port Macquarie is a well-known seaside resort with large sandy beaches. Coffs Harbor, 550 km north of Sydney, is also a popular seaside resort for swimming, fishing and sailing. Byron Bay is a surfers and nature lovers paradise. Here you can watch dolphins all year round, and whales can be seen between May and December.
THE INTERIOR OF THE NEW SOUTH WALES
The main center for those who want to explore the desert area of New South Wales is the town of Broken Hill, located more than 1,200 km west of Sydney. This is one of the main cities of the Australian Outback, built on the wealth of the silver mines. The town today is home to a colony of artists who draw inspiration from the landscape.
If you pass through here, visit Kinchega National Park where you can admire Aboriginal art and rich wildlife. Further inland is Mootwingee National Park, with the nearby town of White Cliffs. This town is famous for its white opal deposits and underground dwellings, built to escape the suffocating summer heat. Here, to understand the lifestyle of the Australian Outback, you can try to stay in an underground hotel.