With a climate that ranges from snow in the mountainous areas in winter through to perfect sun-baking weather on its eastern beaches in summer and absolutely roasting in the desert regions far inland, NSW has a wide range of getaways for both weekend travellers and short break enthusiasts. Over the next few months we plan to add information about individual places of interest in NSW, but first, here is an overview of this wonderful state and some of the attractions that might be worth a few days stay.
Sydney – the NSW capital is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world and with its natural harbour, many stunning bays and famous sights like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, as well as superb restaurants and night life, the city centre has plenty of reasons to plan a weekend away.
Head towards the coast and you are spoilt by a huge selection of beaches and seaside suburbs, all with their own unique feel and attractions. To the east, Bondi, Coogee and Bronte are places to be seen whilst getting a tan and to the south Cronulla is a major surf and sand hub. Balmoral is a swish harbour beach, popular with families, whilst Manly is big with surfers. Drive north from Sydney and you’ll hit Dee Why and Curl Curl and then it’s the luxurious beach houses of wealthy Whale and Palm Beach. With so many beaches, its no surprise that a few days by the sea is one of the most common weekend getaways for both holidaying families and couples seeking a romantic escape.
Blue Mountains – the Blue Mountains are a gorgeous expanse of eucalyptus forest, bush walks and stunning natural features like the Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls. The picturesque towns of Katoomba, Leura and Blackheath offer plenty of short break accommodation including tranquil bush cabins, glorious Bed & Breakfast hotels and cozy cottages, which are particularly inviting at Yulefest.
Hunter Valley – north of Sydney lays the Hunter Valley – the main wine-growing region of NSW. With great wineries, some fantastic cafes and restaurants and local artisans making everything from cheese to chocolate, the Hunter Valley is extremely popular for a weekend break or romantic getaway and has loads of accommodation such as spa hotels, Bed & Breakfast homesteads, attractive cottages, resorts and pubs.
NSW Central Coast – Avoca and Terrigal are the main hubs of this stretch of golden, sandy beaches, but there are plenty of other seaside communities to choose from such as Killcare, MacMaster’s Beach and Copacabana and dozens of holiday rentals, beach houses and hotels to stay at.
NSW South Coast – spots like Bateman’s Bay and Jervis Bay have been well-loved for short break holidays and long weekends at the beach for years. However, now the quiet town of Mollymook is attracting lots of attention with ‘Rick Stein at Bannister’s’ pulling in a new breed of weekender looking for sun, sea and great food.
Byron Bay – famed as the Eastern-most point of the Australian mainland and blessed with astounding beaches and a sublime rolling hinterland, Byron Bay is a magical destination for a getaway of any kind.
NSW Country Towns –destinations such as Orange, with its great restaurants including Lolli Redini and Bistro Ceello (formerly Selkirks), Broken Hill with its cultural history and wonderful art galleries, Tamworth, the home of country music in Australia and Bathurst which has the Mount Panorama Racing Circuit all have unique attractions which make them well worth a weekend away, or even longer.