Lookout, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW © Tourism Australia

Easy ways to explore New South Wales

Pulpit Rock Lookout, Blue Mountains, NSW © Destination NSW / The Travel Intern

Visit Pulpit Rock in 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, yellow and red. For a truly magical experience, spend a night in a mountain resort or romantic cottage and wake up early to see the Three Sisters rock formation engulfed in the beautiful morning mist.

Discover the Blue Mountains in 3 days

Sand Dune Adventures, Port Stephens, NSW © Destination NSW

Find adventure in Port Stephens

Located a 2.5-hour drive north of Sydney, Port Stephens has the longest moving 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 through the awe-inspiring landscape. Beyond the dunes, you can spot dolphins frolicking off the coast 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.

Find adventure in Port Stephens

Sea Cliff Bridge, Clifton, NSW © Kramer Photography 2015

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 famous 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.

Check out 5 reasons to roadtrip from Sydney to Wollongong

Perisher Blue, Snowy Mountains, NSW © Perisher Blue

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.

Read more about the best snowy slopes