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The Blue Mountains

New South Wales: Sydney, the Hunter Valley & the Blue Mountains

Adventures in Australia's First State


New South Wales is home to Australia's global city, Sydney, and attracts most first-time visitors to the country, but it's out of the city where the state really shines. Within several hours of Sydney you can find the dramatic cliffs and forests of the Blue Mountains, the coastal bays, inlets and lakes of the Central Coast and the romantic vineyards of the Hunter Valley.

The North Coast region is an area of outstanding natural beauty where laidback Aussie surf culture and Australia's natural lifestyle is waiting to be discovered. The world-famous Byron Bay and any number of cosy coastal communities should be on any itinerary.

Sydney & surrounds

Confident, cosmopolitan Sydney is Australia’s oldest and largest settlement, renowned for its fine weather, fashionable nightspots, excellent eateries and iconic attractions. It’s a buzzing backdrop for the icons of its world-famous harbour, home, of course, to the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are some excellent beaches to enjoy here, too, including those well-known favourites - Bondi and Coogee.

Blue Mountains

For a complete contrast, the Blue Mountains are a swathe of gum trees, gorges and gullies home to an abundance of wildlife; expect to see everything from kangaroos and koalas to rare brush-tailed wallabies and long-nosed bandicoots. Take it all in on bushwalking trails and from scenic lookout points that make the most of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Amid its natural splendour, you'll find a delightful range of luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants. And, it’s all just a 65-kilometre hop from central Sydney. 

Hunter Valley

Australia’s oldest wine region is home to more than 140 estates, with cellar doors and tastings abound. Delve into the avant-garde with verdelho or chambourcin, or savour Hunter Valley classics – semillon and chardonnay. Whichever you choose, it's all set to a backdrop of pretty hills and verdant valleys that invite rambling hikes and bike rides, the perfect preamble to gourmet dining at a collection of outstanding boutique hotels.

New South Wales Coast

The north coast of New South Wales sets the scene for one of Australia’s great road trips. Pretty seaside towns dot a coastline of fabulous beaches, while even the larger tourist centres, such as Byron Bay, exude character and charm. Alternatively, head south from the city to find endless, empty roads connecting enticing destinations such as Jervis Bay and Marimbula.

Lord Howe Island

This tranquil, volcanic island is widely considered to be among the most beautiful in the Pacific. You’ll enjoy plenty of solitude, coupled with the chance to spot rare species, including the endemic Lord Howe woodhen. The beaches here are an absolute delight - all sweeping curves of gold sand. It's an idyllic setting for days of unadulterated relaxation and a full range of activities from scuba diving and snorkelling to fishing and birdwatching.


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Top itineraries in New South Wales: Sydney, the Hunter Valley & the Blue Mountains

Tomaree Head Lookout, Port Stephens, New South Wales

Highlights of New South Wales

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,370 pp incl. flights

New South Wales offers a plethora of attractions. Explore them all on this self-drive that visits Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, Port Stephens and Killcare.

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Australia’s East Coast: Sydney to Byron Bay

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,510 pp incl. flights

Be charmed by the sights of Sydney before discovering golden beaches, characterful towns and lush hinterland on a drive north along New South Wales' glorious coast.

Sydney Opera House and Skyline, Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Beaches & The Blue Mountains

15-day tailor-made self-drive from £4,860 pp incl. flights

Take to the open road as you explore the Idyllic New South Wales coast and the spectacular Blue Mountains, between luxury stays in central Sydney and ultra-trendy Double Bay.

Uluru / Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, Australia

Sydney, Uluru & the Great Barrier Reef

15-day tailor-made holiday from £3,805 pp incl. flights

Discover the sophistication of Sydney, the monolithic beauty and Aboriginal culture of Uluru and the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. This is Australia at its iconic best.

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Top places to stay in New South Wales: Sydney, the Hunter Valley & the Blue Mountains


Shangri-La, Sydney

Contemporary hotel

Shangri-La, Sydney offers fine facilities and finer dining set back from Sydney harbour. Its location gives it superb access to both the waterfront and the city centre.

 The Nelson

The Nelson Resort, Port Stephens

Small & intimate hotel

The Nelson is a modern, intimate hotel that gives guests the perfect opportunity to experience coastal New South Wales and its stunning beaches and landscape.

1888 Hotel Bar/Lounge

Ovolo 1888, Darling Harbour

Contemporary hotel

Ovolo 1888 is one of Sydney’s most unique hotels. The modern rooms are stylishly decorated in bold colours that belie the hotel’s friendly, boutique atmosphere.

Peppers Convent exterior

The Convent Hunter Valley

Small & intimate hotel

A true sensory experience, The Convent combines fine wine and fine dining in beautiful surroundings. There’s something idyllic about this heritage hotel and its part of the Australian countryside.

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Where to go in New South Wales: Sydney, the Hunter Valley & the Blue Mountains

Sydney, Australia


Sydney is blessed with the one of the world’s most iconic harbours. But, look beyond its historic Rocks District, city icons and foodie scene and you’ll find the Australian outdoors obsession in harbourfront parklands, mountain day trips and countless inviting beaches.

Brisbane, Australia

Australia's East Coast: Sydney, Brisbane & Cairns

Driving from Sydney to the reefs and rainforests of north Queensland is one of the most popular ways to discover Australia. The section from Sydney to Brisbane, known as ‘The Legendary Pacific Coast Touring Route’, is the country’s favourite drive.

The Three Sisters, Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is a stunning wilderness area of dramatic cliffs, sandstone plateaus and deep canyons, around an hour west of Sydney.

Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest and most famous wine region. Visitors can enjoy relaxed cellar door wine tours, superb world-class cuisine and stylish boutique hideaways, as well as luxury day spas and even championship golf courses.

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When to go to New South Wales: Sydney, the Hunter Valley & the Blue Mountains

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Fine weather year-round makes New South Wales an excellent place to visit whatever the season. Autumn, from March to May, is a time of fine days and mild nights. Sydney averages a pleasant 25ºc during summer, from December to February, and though there’s a chance of rain between September and November, it usually clears quickly.

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