New South Wales has plenty to offer visitors looking for a few days of R&R and whilst Sydney has sufficient attractions to keep sightseers coming back again and again, it is far from being the only destination for a weekend getaway.
Sydney – Clearly a major tourist hotspot in its own right, 2 or 3-day break are ideal for getting a taste of this stunning city. Many Sydney hotels offer weekend packages and deals and, to be honest, life doesn’t get much better than waking up in a swish hotel room over looking Circular Quay with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge laid out before you. However, the sights of the city are not the only reason to visit Sydney with her many beaches – Bondi, Manly and Palm Beach as just a few – enticing day trippers and short break travellers alike with their differing sand, surf, cafes, bars, hotels and beach house rentals.
The Blue Mountains – Away from Sydney itself, the Blue Mountains are a popular NSW beauty spot with some incredible scenery and bush walks for all levels of hiker. Sights like the Three Sisters rock formation, Scenic World, with its famous cliff-hugging railway and extensive boardwalk through the rainforest, and charming, chocolate box pretty towns such as Leura and Blackheath enchant visitors from all over the world.
The Blue Mountains are a great place for weekends away in the colder months as they make the most of their chilly winter temperatures with cozy cottages and cabins warmed by romantic open fires. Indeed, one of the busiest times of year is ‘Yuletide’ when many of the superb bed and breakfast homesteads and restaurants in the area recreate the magic of a northern hemisphere Christmas with ‘Christmas in July’. The region also has a number of outstanding spa hotels and day spas, if you want to pamper yourself after hiking through the bushland.
NSW South Coast – The NSW South Coast has endless, golden sands and beach houses, holiday homes and beach shacks to suit all tastes and budgets. One little seaside town that is now well and truly on the short break map is Mollymook, due mainly to the opening of ‘Rick Stein at Bannister’s’ in 2009. The world-renowned seafood chef’s first Australian restaurant is already winning awards and offers accommodation, as well as great food and a luxurious day spa, making is a great choice for a romantic getaway or a special occasion.
NSW Central Coast – The NSW Central Coast is equally attractive, with towns like Avoca and Terrigal welcoming tourists to their lovely beaches and great cafes all year round. Other slightly quieter beachside communities include Ettalong, Copacabana and Bateau Bay, where you’ll find beach houses and campsites that are perfect for everything from a family holiday, to a girls’ weekend or a sand and surf based trip with a group of mates.
The Hunter Valley – a couple of hours north of Sydney is the Hunter Valley – the NSW wine growing region. Sprinkled with resorts, day spas, hotels, B&Bs and picturesque cottages, the Hunter Valley is ideal for a food and wine themed weekend break where you can eat and wine taste your way from cellar door to cellar door.
Byron Bay – Byron Bay may be busier now than it was when the hippies first claimed it all those (full) moons ago, but it is still a wonderful mix of laidback beach lifestyle and groovy cafes, restaurants and bars. Given that Byron Bay and its hinterland are such a magnet for people wishing to pursue an alternative lifestyle, the town is an excellent place to stay if you feel like dabbling in alternative therapies such as spa treatments and massage, making it ideal for an indulgent romantic escape.
Orange – West of the Great Dividing Range sits Orange, which is a gem of a rural city. The birthplace of Banjo Patterson, Orange has made its mark in more recent time due to its thriving culinary scene with restaurants like Lolli Redini and Bistro Ceello (previously Selkirks) bringing in travellers seeking a weekend away to somewhere new, but with the promise of a superb meal or 2.
NSW has many different kinds of getaway – be it a family weekend away, a short break with friends or a romantic escape to mark an important anniversary. If you wish to find out more about exploring NSW, please visit: