NSW is Australia’s oldest state and a hub for hinterland wineries, coastal road trips and rugged national parks. Whether you are looking for things to do with kids, things to do on a budget or things to do in NSW during summer, autumn, winter and spring, we have laid down our best tips for it all in this guide of things to do in New South Wales.
Sydney is Australia’s most populated city - home to the iconic white sails of Sydney Opera House, Manly Beach, and the sweeping Sydney Harbour Bridge. But there is so much more to do in New South Wales beyond this popular city.
Before picking up your camper from the Mighty Sydney branch to explore this southeast corner of Australia, there are a few things to consider.
NSW, Australia is best known for its year-round sub-tropical climate and distinct four seasons. Enjoy comfortable, warm summers and cool winters with temperatures ranging between 19-26°C in summer and 7-16°C in winter. If you are planning a winter escape to go skiing in NSW, be prepared for cooler climates in the Snowy Mountains.
While there is no wrong time to visit NSW, November to March is a good time to visit for the perfect summer vacation. Whereas a winter adventure is best between June and September.
Regardless of if you are planning to drive along the beautiful coast, heading inland to enjoy wine trails, or retreating further into the outback, it’s important to know the road rules in NSW, including:
In New South Wales, Australia, the weather can vary greatly. So it's a good idea to plan your packing list around the areas you plan on visiting on your campervan holiday. Some general things to pack for your campervan trip to NSW include:
NSW has plenty of top Australian attractions and free activities to help extend your travel budget. Here are some of our favourite things to do on a budget in NSW.
Soak up Sydney's stunning views with the Bondi to Coogee walk. This 6km cliff-top coastal walk winds its way through the eastern Sydney suburbs past rockpools, eateries, and iconic beaches.
Royal Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city and is Australia’s oldest botanic garden. Spend a day wandering the grounds, seeing the exhibitions, taking an Aboriginal tour and relaxing at one of the on-site cafes and restaurants.
Sydney Harbour Bridge is easily one of the top things to do in Sydney, Australia. While many choose to do the paid bridge climb, if you want the scenic views without vertigo (and the price tag), then you can walk or bike along the designated walking path for equally stunning views of the harbour.
Wind your way through the beautifully refurbished spaces and collections on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Once you have soaked up the genius of these rotating exhibits, stop off at the gallery shop and grab a bite to eat at the restaurant.
Newcastle Memorial Walk was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing in Gallipoli. Celebrate their contributions with this stunning 6km walk from Nobby’s Beach to Merewether Beach. Take it all in as you wander the water’s edge side-by-side with steel soldiers representing the 11,000 men and women from the Hunter Valley who enlisted in WW1.
Nan Tien Temple is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Although this is not your typical tourist attraction, this temple is a great place to experience a different way of life through unique exhibitions, festivals, and retreats. Not to mention this temple features phenomenal architecture. Definitely worth a spot on your Australia road trip itinerary.
For more ideas on how to travel on a budget, check out our top tips for a cheap campervan trip in Australia.
Renting a travel van with family is such a fantastic opportunity to connect with the ones you love. What better way than with some kid-friendly activities. NSW is packed with family-friendly Australian attractions waiting to be explored.
Luna Park is the ultimate family fun day out. Ride the roller coaster, play carnival games, slip and slide on Coney Island, and treat yourself to a carnival feast. Don’t forget to snap a family picture standing under the iconic gaping wide mouth of the face at the entrance.
Step back in time to learn about the original settlement of Sydney at the Rocks Discovery Museum. Join a tour through ‘the Rocks’ in the western side of Sydney Cove, and discover the archaeological artefacts and stories of how Sydney became the great city it is today.
Ever dreamed of cuddling a koala? You can get up close with these sleepy animals at the Koala Hospital. Learn all about their environment and how we can take better care of it for our furry friends.
A day at the zoo is an incredible activity to enjoy with the kids. Taronga Zoo is the largest zoo in Australia, home to more than 2,600 animals. This is the perfect place in NSW to spend the day watching the animals, grabbing a bite to eat at the cafe and learning as a family.
New South Wales is home to over 889 national parks and reserves, making it one of the best locations to explore Australia’s rich natural beauty.
Royal National Park is located in Sydney’s south, and offers plenty of opportunities for barbecues, birdwatching, and bushwalking. If you plan your trip right, you may even spot a whale or two!
This is the perfect location to enjoy a hike, escape into the cool cover of the rainforest, and marvel at Fitzroy Falls as the water plunges 80 metres into the valley below.
Top tip: The Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre is an award-winning centre best known for its Aboriginal culture exhibits and traditional souvenirs. If you’re looking for more insight into the history of these lands - this is the place to go.
Hyde Park is not only Australia’s oldest park but easily one of the best known. Located in the heart of Sydney, this is the perfect nature-escape without having to leave the confines of the city.
Figure Eight Pools are a set of figure eight-shaped natural plunge pools located on a rock shelf in Sydney’s Royal National Park. Challenge yourself with this moderate walk along NSW’s scenic coastline, then take a dip in nature’s swimming pools.
Top tip: This area can be dangerous at high tide as the pools become submerged in the crashing waves. Avoid disappointment (and danger) by checking the tides first.
Take advantage of the summery days and cooler nights on a road trip through NSW in spring.
Drop by Broken Hill in September to enjoy a weekend of cabaret, live music, and activities at the Broken Heel Festival. Enjoy headline performances from the nation's best showgirls, Drag Kings and Queens, and DJs as they pay homage to the cult movie and musical Pricilla Queen of the Desert.
The Blue Mountains have it all. Scenic railways, bushwalking, limestone caves, historical towns, and even kangaroo and crocodile pizza from the local woodfire pizza joint. Whether you prefer an active adventure or want to unwind with a day spa, Blue Mountains will deliver.
Just a few hours north of Sydney is Australia’s oldest wine region. Tucked away in the scenic hinterlands, step into the inviting cellar doors of the Hunter Valley to enjoy a wine tasting, or treat yourself to a scenic hot air balloon ride to experience the beauty of this region from above.
Make the most of the Australian summer weather with a coastal road trip to explore some of New South Wales’ top attractions.
Byron Bay has become an emblem of NSW and is seldom missing from an Australian road trip itinerary. What was once a laid-back hippy surf town has since grown into a boho chic hub of boutique stores, great eateries, and beachside fun.
Do you have a love for the quirky and all things rock and roll? Then don’t miss the chance to celebrate Elvis at the Parkes Elvis Festival. What started as a small-town homage to the beloved rockstar has become an annual revival celebrated over two jam-packed days.
Watch the world change colour at some of the most beautiful locations and iconic events in NSW.
Byron Bay Bluesfest is a legendary event. Operating since 1990, it is the most highly awarded festival in the Australian entertainment industry. This family-friendly event is held annually on the Easter long weekend and is the perfect excuse to sit back, relax, and enjoy the lineup.
Watch the streets of Bathurst come alive with an explosion of colour that autumn brings. Explore the villages, visit Machattie Park and stop by the Abercrombie Caves to marvel at the largest natural arch in the Southern Hemisphere.
While the northern regions of Australia stay warm in the winter months, New South Wales is a perfect cosy winter destination. Pack your winter coats and explore all that's on offer.
Bathurst Winter Festival came to life in 2015 and has been a winter classic ever since. Running for 16 days over the winter NSW school holidays this festival features live entertainment, markets, ice skating, and classic winter-festival fun.
Broken Hill is a vibrant outback city buzzing with art, culture and colourful characters. While in town don’t miss the chance to take a heritage tour, visit the museums and, of course, stop by the Palace Hotel. This famous location is featured in the Australian cult classic Pricilla Queen of the Desert.
The Snowy Mountains are 5.5 hours from Sydney and a perfect destination to go skiing in New South Wales. Beginner skiers/boarders and seasoned pros alike can enjoy a day on the slopes at Perisher or Thredbo.