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Where to go in NSW? Driving!

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Dublin, Ireland
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Where to go in NSW? Driving!

Hi,

going to Sydney for 5/6 days and then have about 2 weeks to tour around NSW. Flying in and out of Sydney. I've looked up the NSW tourism website but kinda don't know where to start. Would love to go to a nice wine estate, see wildlife, forrests, stunning scenery and pretty lively places...where should we go, what route should we take? The choices are so vast!

Thanks,

Bee

Bridgwater, United...
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1. Re: Where to go in NSW? Driving!

I did a similar thing a few years back; rented a car in Sydney and just headed off for a couple of weeks with no more than the Rough Guide, a map and a vague plan to do an anti-clockwise loop through NSW. Some of the best bits for me were the less well-publicised places along the way. The iterniery, as I remember, was up the Pacific Highway for a way (best stop was at Seal Rocks) and then inland parallel to it through a small town called Gloucester and a National Park called Barrington Tops, which was a bit of a let down.

I carried on up through a town called Armidale - highlight there was a small national park called Cathedral Rock. From there back towards the coast is called the Waterfall Way - lots of famous falls but the nicest were called Dorrigo Falls and they were totally unmentioned - I just spotted a small sign in the centre of the town of Dorrigo! The main attraction of Dorrigo is the rainforest remnant at Dorrigo NP; the walkway above the canopy is good but the one or two hour walk through the forest floor was even better - lots of wildlife to see.

The highlight of the whole trip to me was on the inland southbound loop of my trip - an out-of-the-way national park called Warrumbungle near a town called Tamworth (which is unfortunately the Country&Western capital of Australia!); Warrumbungle is a long extinct volcanic crater with stunning rock formations and more wallabies and kangaroos than I'd seen on the rest of the trip put together! It was also the one place in NSW that felt like my pre-conceived idea of the Outback.

I headed back to Sydney via the Bue Mountains - which for me was a bit of a let down; I'm kind of used to mountains that go up! The Blue Mountains are a plateau and the roads, towns etc are on the top and you hike down into them - more of a canyon really. They do cater for the tourists well though - with a cable car and The Katoomba Scenic Railway, which is more of a fairground rollercoaster than a railway - it plummets down into the gorge at an incredible angle and claims to be the steepest incline railway in the world (if you're going to do it, try to get the front seat, and hold on to your camera/handbag/any other loose items!).

My aim for the trip was the wildlife, stunning scenary and some easy walking so I can't comment on the best wine estates to visit; as for lively places, I think it would be hard to beat Sydney.

Regrets? Yes - I wish I'd walked up to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge; I guess they still do the trips up there and its just not the sort of thing you normally get a chance to do.

Sydney
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2. Re: Where to go in NSW? Driving!

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255055-i120-k1410…

Have a look at my rrecent suggestion above, which was a rough itinerary in NSW.

I think southern NSW is more picturesque and has more variety than northern. You have the beautiful coastline, the Snowy Mountains, the flat plains of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (including the wine growing areas around Griffith). You could head down the coast (wonderful beaches and coastal scenery) across to the Snowy Mountains via the treeless Dalgety Plain, head further west to Griffith via Tumut, maybe Lake Mungo (getting pretty remote, but this is what Australia is about), then back to Sydney via the Hay Plain (or Broken Hill, time permittig, home to mining and artists attracted by the outback colours and isolation).

In NSW some of the main wine areas are the Hunter Valley, Griffith, Mudgee, Murrumbateman (near Canberra). The Hunter Valley tends to be a bit pretentious for me, but each to their own!

This is a lot of driving(3500-4000 klms) and you probably already realise that, unlike Europe, there are lots of stretches between towns, ie there are not attractions/villages etc everywhere. Having said that of course, just being 'out there' and watching the country and the big sky is attraction enough in itself.

Also, you haven't mentioned when you are coming. Close to summer/summer will mean 35+ in the west of the State. In winter you can't climb Kosciuskzo or do any walkig in the Snowys.

Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Where to go in NSW? Driving!

Thank you both for your replies...thats lots of food for thought! We're going in October. I'm thinking we're better off doing NSW over the three weeks and not attempting to cram too much in by going to Tazmania or flying over to NZ or up to the Whitsundays?

Thanks again,

Bee

Canberra, Australia
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4. Re: Where to go in NSW? Driving!

Just to offer some options - head south out of Sydney down the coast road thru Woolongong, then Kiama, then Jervis Bay/Greenpatch/Hyams Beach area. Backtrack slightly to Nowra then up through Kangaroo Valley to the Southern Highlands. Drop by Canberra on the way down to Snowy Mountains (alternatively, keep going down the coast, see Tathra, then back to Cooma) - depending on time you could take the scenic route through Khancoban to Kiandra to Tumut - up thru Junee or Cootamundra then back across to Cowra, Bathurst & Blue Mtns back into Sydney . Alternatively, north from Bathurst thru Mudgee (wineries) & across to Hunter region & Newcastle. Lots of variations possible, but a fair bit of diversity of scenery here.

5. Re: Where to go in NSW? Driving!

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