Regional travel is coming back to New South Wales and we thought we’d take a look where we can run to as soon as the gates are open. Here are some of the best places to visit in NSW.
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is a tiny piece of land east of Port Macquarie, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty and activities.
For starters, there are multiple tours of the unique natural landscape and wildlife on the island. There’s a naturalist tour with renowned naturalist, Ian Hutton OAM, who has written several books on the island. A historical tour that takes you through the island’s history from early settlement to the present day. And there’s a guided hike up Mt Gower with naturalist Dean Hiscox.
The land isn’t the only thing that will keep your attention. The ocean provides a unique ecosystem that you can visit through cruises, dives, or kayak. You can go scuba diving, birdwatching, snorkelling, surfing, and fishing.
Lord Howe is absolutely legendary for fishing. The waters surrounding the island are a dedicated Marine Park. It’s a virtually untouched fishery where you can catch Yellowfin Tuna, Lord Howe Kingfish, and Wahoo. There are plenty of charters available if going for the big game fish excites you, but you can just throw a line off the jetty.
In terms of accommodation, there is everything from budget guesthouses to exclusive luxury lodges. During peak season the cheapest accommodation is $190 per person, or you can rent out Lord Howe’s premier beach house for $1,200 per night. There are a bunch of prices within that range so that you can find what fits your needs best.
Coonabarabran is the stargazing capital of Australia. It’s been widely recognised as an ideal place for stargazing thanks to its clean air, high altitude, and low humidity. This small town is just on the edge of Wurrumbungle National Park that was officially recognised as an International Dark Sky Park in 2016.
Coonabarabran is a perfect getaway for couples looking to get lost for a couple of days. Go camping or find accomodation, whatever works for you.
If the Hunter Valley is too popular for you, then consider visiting Mudgee. There are beautiful wineries there as well as a brilliant assortment of dining options. There’s everything from culinary experiences, kayaking, local markets, art galleries and museums, and bike hires to explore the region. This is a great experience for couples and families alike.
The Waterfall Way Drive
This is 185km of road that goes through seven national parks, three of which are UNESCO heritage listed, from Coffs Harbour to Armidale. You can do the whole drive in just 2.5 hours but there’s so much natural beauty to see that you will likely find yourself stopping every 15 minutes. The drive takes you through rainforests, open woodlands, and farmland, giving you something of everything.
Kiama is a beautiful place to visit. It has similar activities to what you might find in Mudgee including wineries and hikes, but it’s on the coast! There are so many beautiful walks and hikes that you could spend your entire trip just doing those. But if you did that you might miss all the markets and boutique shopping available.