Destination New South Wales – Step Up Your Holidays

Picturesque and popular New South Wales is Australia’s most peopled state, with more than six million inhabitants and attractive cities brimming with entertainment and excitement – but don’t let that fool you! New South Wales is also a sprawling, wild and gorgeous state filled with natural beauty, and plenty of places to go off on your own adventure and get away from it all.

The Australian state is home to the country’s largest and probably most well known city; Sydney, featuring the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the iconic Sydney Opera House. Sydney is the place where over four and a half million New South Wales Australians call home. Spanning an area totaling eight hundred and two thousand square kilometres, it’s no wonder New South Wales has such diverse and wonderful scenic regions including western plains, mountains, beaches and coastal views, as well as large city life!


New South Wales – So Many Regions, So Much to Offer!

New South Wales is divided into many different regions. The coastal region runs from Queensland to Victoria, and features many beautiful beaches, shining coastal lakes and fantastic Australian National Parks. The Great Dividing range runs parallel to the coastal region, boasting natural wonders such as the Blue Mountains, the Snowy Mountains, as well as the award winning and very popular wineries of the Hunter Valley and the New England Tablelands. Farmlands and the dry western slopes continue on from here, which in total covers about two thirds of the entire state. These regions are also divided –  for example, there are five different regions along the coast including the South Coast which begins at the Victoria and New South Wales border and runs north to Sydney. The Central Coast, which starts at Sydney, continues north as far as Newcastle where it meets the Lower North Coast, which runs up to Port Macquarie.

You’re discover that there are two main highways leaving the popular and lively city of Sydney, New South Wales. If you’re taking the Princes Highway south, you’ll discover the quieter coastal regions of New South Wales, and you’ll also come across the region’s two main rivers: the Murray and the Darling. This area’s climate tends to get

River Murray - New South Wales

River Murray – New South Wales

hotter the further north you go, drier the further west, and colder the further south. Such diverse landscapes and climate make New South Wales ideal for a variety of different types of activities, be it surfing, skiing, or bushwalking.

The Pacific Highway will lead you north to many exceptionally beautiful beaches and quaint coastal towns. Traveling north from Sydney, you will encounter the picturesque Port Stephens. Port Stephens is just over a two hour drive north from Sydney, and it’s an absolutely fantastic site if you want to go fishing, explore the Hunter Valley region, and see dolphins!

Nelson Bay is truly a remarkable part of Port Stephens. This bay has something in store for every kind of New South Wales visitor, including wonderful fishing opportunities, a surf school, and dolphin watching tours. The trip to Nelson Bay is roughly two and a half hours from Sydney, and about sixty five kilometres North of Newcastle – it’s well worth the trip!


Port Stephens Dolphin Watching Cruises

Wharf 1, Victoria Parade, Nelson Bay

Tel: (02) 4981 1959
Tamboi Queen Cruises features a choice of four tour boats, with many different departure times to select for a remarkable dolphin watching cruise! MV Surprise and MV Tamboi Queen operate dolphin watching cruises throughout the year, for one and a half hours each, with fun boom net rides where riders are seated on top of a netting that skims through the water! MV Spirit and MV Spirit of Port Stephens operate two hour  Dolphin Watching cruises from November through May, featuring a thrilling water slide, a spa on the MV Spirit, and boom net rides. The tour’s experienced skippers will educate you about the dolphins as well as the New South Wales port in an entertaining and informative way. You can obtain free information sheets about the dolphins as well. The tour’s vessels are fully licensed, and unlimited tea and coffee is served up throughout the dolphin watching cruise. Clean restrooms facilities are provided, and it is recommended to bring your swimsuit and a towel.

Recommended Accommodations for the Nelson Bay Area:


Nelson Bay Breeze Holiday Apartments

1 Trafalgar Street | Cnr Trafalgar Street & Shoal Bay Road, Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2315

A great central location and modern suites.


Admiral Nelson Motor Inn

Cnr. Gowrie Avenue & Achilles Street, Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2315

Clean, friendly and well maintained, easy on the budget.


Mantra Aqua

1A Tomaree Street, Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2315
Nice pool, and friendly staff.



A Little bit of New South Wales History for the traveling history buff:

New South Wales is a state overflowing with interesting history, making the region a top destination for history buffs seeking to learn more about the country. A lot of the state’s history is tied in with the gold rush, as well as the brutality of the penal settlement. New South Wales is also the original landing of Captain Cook.

Sydney Harbour - New South Wales

Sydney Harbour – New South Wales

While the indigenous Australians or Aboriginal people of Australia had been living in what is now New South Wales for at least fifty thousand years or more, hunting, gathering and fishing, the first European settlement was established in 1788.  The settlement was built at Sydney Harbour where Captain Arthur Phillip arrived along with eleven sailing ships. Captain Cook had originally intended on establishing a colony at Botany Bay – named so for its abundant flora and fauna –  however Captain Arthur Phillip decided on the more suitable Port Jackson – better known today as the world famous Sydney Harbour. Tank Stream, or Circular Quay, was home to the first European settlement in Australia, and following this settlement further development stretched out around Sydney’s natural harbour. Circular Quay and The Rocks are popular holiday destinations for anyone interested in part of Australia’s history.


The Rocks History and Pub Walking Tour

Come and explore the historic Rocks district in New South Wales, and learn a lot about this part of Australia’s history as a knowledgeable local guide tells stories from this region’s interesting past. Walk through the old alleyways and visit the district’s heritage buildings, and see for yourself why The Rocks are one of Sydney’s most popular districts. The Rocks tour won’t be all alleyways and old buildings – this tour also includes visits to the district’s historic pubs to enjoy craft beers, dinner, followed by a fun wine tasting event featuring Australian wines, of course! You will even visit a well-preserved archaeological site, and see artifacts from the early days of the colony. The group’s small size of a maximum of 12 people ensures that the tour is a more personalized experience.


Recommended hotels near The Rocks:


Harbour Rocks Hotel Sydney
34 Harrington St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Industrial-chic building, walking distance from all the local historic sights!


The Australian Heritage Hotel
100 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

Conveniently located Edwardian pub with guestrooms.


The Russell Hotel

143a George St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

Classic 19th century hotel, terrific breakfast!



New South Wales – Wine Country!


Australia has been enjoying a golden age of winemaking and Australian wine appreciation over the recent years. Australian wines have become so popular and recommended, that many people looking to enjoy a good bottle of wine but aren’t sure of where to start, simply ask the store clerks if they have any of that wine “with the kangaroo on it!” The popular Australian Yellow Tail wine has been flying off shelves worldwide since the early 2000s. Regardless of what connoisseurs might actually think about the qualities of the wine itself, or whether Yellow Tail’s success has simply been due to clever marketing, you simply 0can’t deny that Yellow Tail is one of the world’s most popular wine brands. The company’s success has further bolstered the popularity of Australian wineries in general, and many of these wineries (including Yellow Tail) lie in the New South Wales, one of Australia’s wine regions.

New South Wales is Australia’s second-largest wine producing state, actually accounting for thirty percent of the booming A$5 billion Australian wine industry. A great majority of New South Wales wine production takes place in the state’s Big Rivers Zone: Perricoota, Riverina and the areas along the Darling and Murray Rivers. The wines coming out of the Big Rivers zone are mostly produced for box wines and mass-produced wine brands –  such as the popular Yellow Tail. Many varietals of grapes are grown in New South Wales, ultimately producing the smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, buttery Chardonnay, fruity Shiraz and full bodied Sémillon, among others.


Touring the Hunter Valley Vineyards

A tour of the New South Wales vineyards is the best way to explore and learn about what makes Australian wine unique. Not only will you be learning about the wine itself, but you’ll also gain an understanding of local history and livelihoods, New South Wales culture and even geography. Who would have thought a wine tour could teach you so much?

Hunter Valley Vineyards

Hunter Valley Vineyards

The tours the New South Wales Hunter Valley region are diverse and fascinating – featuring a multitude of unique experiences and perspectives on local life, wines and heritage. With tours ranging from boutique to large group bookings, horseback tours to classic car tours, every one of the  different tours offers its own flavour and particular insight. No matter your taste or preference, you are bound to find a Hunter Valley wine tour that fits your needs as well as your budget .

Winery tours can be booked directly with the winery, or through an organised tour representing many of the region’s different wineries. Many of the New South Wales wineries operate a cellar door policy, which is a tour based on visitors simply showing up to see the facilities and sample the wines. For vacationers who love the freedom of being able to do their own thing, the cellar door tours are a great way to see the region’s wineries. Arranging a tour directly with any of the local wineries means that you will have to also arrange your own transportation, but it makes up for it with the freedom of being able to decide for yourself when and where you want to visit, and moving about at your own pace.


Recommended Hotels in New South Wales Hunter Valley Region:

Splinters Guest House
617 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
A cheese plate and bottle of wine upon your arrival!


Spicers Vineyard Estate
555 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
A relaxing day spa, and a complimentary bottle of wine.


Junction Hotel
204 Corlette Street | The Junction, Newcastle, New South Wales 2291, Australia
A compact, quirky, and fun place to stay! Voucher for a free bottle of wine included upon arrival.

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