Amazing experiences beyond the beach
76% of Singaporeans / 68% of Indonesians think Australia is all about amazing beaches.
New South Wales is famed around the world for its beautiful beaches. You may have heard of Bondi and Manly, but did you know that New South Wales is also home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest moving coastal sand dunes, dramatic national parks and natural ocean pools carved by nature? Float high above a valley of vineyards, cruise the coastline on the Grand Pacific Drive and discover your sense of adventure in a state that’s sure to surprise you.
Discover the Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains on the southern tip of New South Wales is an adventure wonderland. In the warmer months (September to February) you can explore the mountains on horseback and fish in pristine mountain waters, but winter (June to October) is when you can find heart-pumping adventures for families and friends alike. Head to Perisher or Thredbo, two mountain resorts where you can play to your heart’s content in the winter snow area, trek through the powder with your snowshoe guide and hit the slopes on a snowboard. No matter which thrilling experience you choose, you’ll enjoy night entertainment and sunset skiing as well as the magnificent scenery that surrounds you, including Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko. Whether you want to test your adventurous side or relax among the still snow, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Snowy Mountains.
Float above the vineyards in a hot air balloon
Home to more than 120 wineries as well as gourmet restaurants, superior golf courses and spa retreats, the Hunter Valley wine region is the ideal romantic or relaxing escape. To see one of the most incredible views of the charming Hunter Valley, set your alarm clock early for a sunrise hot air balloon ride with Balloon Aloft. On this one hour flight, you'll ascend above the Hunter Valley vineyards to heights of more than 600 metres (2000 feet). Afterwards, a decadent champagne breakfast is served on the deck of Restaurant Cuvee at Peterson House Winery. Choose from a mouth-watering menu teamed with chocolates and Peterson House sparkling wines.
Embark on the Grand Pacific Drive
Starting in Sydney’s Royal National Park and extending to the charming holiday town of Jervis Bay, taking your time along the Grand Pacific Drive will allow you to soak in some of the South Coast’s coolest experiences. Wildlife lovers should make a stop at Symbio Wildlife Park to meet native Australian animals and hand-feed kangaroos, while the brave of heart can skydive in Wollongong. Cross the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge and head for the Scarborough Hotel to take in the sweeping views from the cliff’s edge while enjoying a delicious lunch. Don’t forget to stop for the Kiama Blowhole, which sprays seawater into the air, and Glenbernie Fruit Orchard, where you can pick your own fruit from November to April and taste crisp, refreshing apple cider year-round.
Explore the Blue Mountains
Made up of one million hectares (3861 square miles) of tall forests, sandstone cliffs, canyons and waterfalls, the magnificent Blue Mountains National Park is a nature lover’s dream. There are many well-known hikes available for all fitness levels, but if you’re looking for something far from the tourist spots, head to the lesser known Pulpit Rock lookout near Blackheath. You’ll get a thrill on the multi-tiered lookouts that offer almost 360˚ panorama across the dramatic mountain range. In Autumn, you’ll witness a majestic mix of orange, red and gold as the leaves change their colour. For a truly magical experience, spend a night in a mountain resort or romantic cottage and wak up early to see the Three Sisters rock formation engulfed in the beautiful morning mist.
Find adventure in Port Stephens
Located a 2.5-hour drive north of Sydney, Port Stephens has the largest moving coastal sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. The dunes reach heights of over 40 metres, creating an otherworldly landscape that is an adventure lover’s playground. Go on a quad biking adventure with Aboriginal guides who will share their history and show you a few of the extraordinary number of significant Aboriginal sites in the area. You can also try sliding down the dunes on a sandboard, as well as horseback and camel riding across the awe-inspiring landscape. Beyond the dunes, you can spot dolphins from a dolphin watching cruise or get up close with sharks and rays at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters. Those visiting between late May and November can see migrating whales from the coast or a whale watching tour.