NSW is home to many famous attractions, including its capital city, Sydney.

Any state, province or county that has a city like that of Sydney with stunning bays and universally recognisable landmarks would often find the rest of that area overlooked for the sake of sticking close to the fantastic city.

However, while this can still be the case in New South Wales, the state as a whole provides a wide range of beautiful countryside, mountain ranges and fun beach towns.

Playing host to the Blue Mountains, Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Byron Bay and Mount Kosciuszko NSW will have any backpackers plate full of things to do and places to explore.

The state’s capital of Sydney is Australia’s most populated city and is likely to be at the top of any traveller’s wish list when they think of places to travel to Down Under.

For good reason too, Sydney Harbour is a truly magical place, jam-packed with incredible views from any point around the bay.

Circular Quay is the central point featuring great cafes and restaurants to enjoy as you watch the famed ferries roam the bay.

Only a short walk from the Quay is the Sydney Opera House, an astounding architectural monument, continue on that stroll, and you will find yourself surrounded by the natural beauty of the Botanic Gardens.  Just a short and fun ferry ride away is also the Taronga Zoo.

As day turns to dusk, do the bring climb at sunset or head to the Rocks and enjoy some great pubs and bars.
When the night gets a bit more serious check out some of Australia’s best nightlife at Potts Point and Kings Cross.

Offering some of the world’s best beaches

Another spot that is flocked to by backpackers year round is of course Byron Bay which rivals Cairns as the best backpackers spot in Australia. And it isn’t hard to see why.

With fantastic surf, a chilled out vibe and some of the friendliest locals you will meet, backpackers could easily get used to this.

From Main Beach to Watego’s Bay there are surf spots for all skills and with great weather in all parts of the year it won’t be hard to spend all your time lazy on the sand or catching breaks.

Also featuring nightlife seemingly catered for the backpacker variety, Byron Bay offers an excellent time for all travellers.

Ok, so you’re ready to venture out and see what the rest of NSW has to offer, deciding where to begin might be a problem, a very envious problem at that.

But what better place to start than the famed Bondi Beach an easy fifteen-minute drive from the city. A kilometre stretch of sand with fabulous surf for beginners to more experienced surfers and with its popularity also provides a great atmosphere in which to spend the afternoon under the sun.

Bondi is surrounded by nice bars and cafes if you ever need a break from the sand, or too watch the sunset with a drink in hand.
Another excellent beach spot nearby exists in Manly, a breathtaking ferry ride away from Circular Quay. (Manly is one of our favourites.)


In contrast to the heat swept beaches on Sydney’s coast, if you head inland just a little bit, you will find yourself a world away from sun and surf but instead surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Blue Mountains.

Just like the Victorian High Country, the Blue Mountains offer an array of bushwalking opportunities with some incredible landscape to explore.

Come here to see the amazing Three Sisters, three separate 900-metre rock formations that according to Aboriginal legend were three ladies turned to stone.
Nearby is the Jamison Valley and the Katoomba Falls. With cliff faces abound there won’t be a spot without a fantastic view.

A challenge but possible, surf in the morning & go skiing in the afternoon.

Further down south offers even more great forests and natural scenery, also Australia’s tallest mountain.
The Snowy Mountains, home to the Man from Snowy River is the location of Mt Kosciuszko.

Come here in the winter months to get in a bit of skiing and check out Thredbo Village an excellent base for your explorations of the National Park.

From the Main Range track, often considered being the best day walk in Australia to the Yarrangobilly Caves in the northern end of the park the Kosciuszko region is a fantastic place to get in touch with nature and take a break from the buzz of the city.

While you’re down south, you could do worse than take a visit to the southern coasts of the state.
Featuring great beaches in a slightly cooler climate and without the crowds that swarm to the popular beaches in the north the south-east coast is a perfect place to enjoy some beachside peace.

Merimbula is one of these towns and offers camping grounds, multiple beaches that are great in summer and lakes seemingly set up for water-skiing.
With some good bars and lovely scenery, it ought to be a stop somewhere in your NSW itinerary.

The Hunter Valley just outside of Newcastle on the Central Coast is home to Australia’s famous and oldest wine region.
Along with spending the day (or days) hopping from vineyard to vineyard enjoying the beautiful surroundings, the Hunter Valley is also developing into a gourmet mecca.
Hire bikes and explore or paddle down the Hunter River, the region is yours to discover.


New South Wales is home to Australia’s most recognisable city and monuments.
Beyond this, there are some incredible places to discover, national parks to take in and quiet beaches to find.

Get lost in NSW!