It’s no secret that the first few months of 2020 have been pretty crazy here in Australia. While we’ve all witnessed tragedy like never before, we’ve also seen communities join forces and work together to rise up and overcome adversity. That being said, there’s still more we can do to help support those continuing to suffer the effects these recent events have had on tourism.
We reckon that there’s no better time than now to get out and explore your own backyard to help support the affected communities, which is why we wanted to share our top 10 things to do in New South Wales!
#1 – See the Illawarra Escarpment and parts of the NSW South Coast from the skies
You didn’t think we’d start a blog post on the top 10 things to do in NSW without mentioning a skydive, did you? Luckily, skydiving really is one of the top things to do in NSW, especially in the beautiful coastal city of Wollongong.
Home to our flagship drop zone, the best way to see Wollongong is from the skies, specifically, from under canopy as you float back to the ground after an exhilarating freefall. As you exit the plane, enjoy sensational views of the coastline, from the southern suburbs of Sydney all the way down to the Illawarra Escarpment and parts of the South Coast!
From above, you might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins swimming in the ocean, or if you’re jumping at the right time of year, you might even spot some whales during their migration!
#2 – Get lost in the Blue Mountains
Located just a short 90 minutes from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a favourite spot for those wanting to reconnect with nature. This region is also one of NSW’s World Heritage sites!
There’s also plenty to do in the Blue Mountains, from hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing some of the most popular activities. You also can’t miss the incredible Wentworth Falls, the world’s oldest known open cave system Jenolan Caves, or the Three Sisters, which is a group of huge sandstone rock formations!
#3- Explore the sleepy NSW South Coast
There’s plenty to explore on the sleepy NSW South Coast, from the surf beaches in Kiama to the famous Narooma, home of some of the state’s best oysters. The best way to see the South Coast is by car, where you can stop into all the little towns along the way.
A visit to the South Coast isn’t complete without getting in the water, and luckily you’ve got plenty of opportunities to get wet! Stop by Hyams beach in Jervis Bay, which has the whitest sand in the world, or go diving for mussels and abalone as far south as Eden, the last coastal town on the NSW border. The best part? You won’t have to share the beaches of the NSW South Coast with many others!
#4- Taste some of Australia’s finest wines in the Hunter Valley
Popular for a weekend escape from Sydney or Newcastle, the Hunter Valley is home to some of Australia’s best wineries. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be in heaven in the Hunter Valley, with countless gourmet restaurants and farm-fresh produce to sample as you make your way through the vines.
If you’d like a unique angle of the Hunter Valley, you’ll be pleased to know that we can show you the grape-growing region from above with Skydive Hunter Valley! You haven’t seen this iconic region until you’ve seen it from up to 15,000ft above, and once your parachute opens, you’ll be able to soak up the beautiful widespread views over rural NSW, from rolling pastures to the world famous vineyards.
#5- Spend a weekend in the NSW’s capital city
While you should definitely aim to spend more than just a weekend in the bustling capital city of NSW, there’s still plenty to see and do in Sydney over a couple of days. Start with a cocktail by the steps of the Opera House, complete with unrivalled views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, before heading into Darling Harbour to visit one of the many incredible restaurants for a world-class meal.
You can also jump on the ferry and shoot across the harbour to beautiful Manly, where bars, cafes and more fantastic dining options await you. Or, if you want to explore the eastern suburbs, the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk covers most of it, with plenty of opportunities to stop along the way for a coffee or swim!
#6- Visit the famous Big Banana in Coffs Harbour
A drive up the mid-northern NSW coast isn’t complete without a visit to the Big Banana, which is quite literally a big banana and Australia first iconic ‘big thing’. The Big Banana plays homage to the local banana-growing industry, with Coffs Harbour being one of the pioneer growing regions in NSW.
After your obligatory photo next to the banana itself, you’d be silly not to head into the Big Banana Fun Park, where toboggan rides, water slides, mini golf, laser tag, 4D ride simulator and an ice skating rink await you for hours of fun!
#7- Do the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk
If you go to Byron Bay on the north coast of NSW and don’t do the Lighthouse Walk, have you really visited Byron Bay at all? A very popular choice among visitors and locals alike, the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk gives you the very best of Byron Bay in the 4km loop track. You can admire the incredible views of the Pacific Ocean from atop Cape Byron, and don’t forget to snap a selfie with the lighthouse in the background!
If you’re looking for a different perspective of Byron Bay, we know one way you can get it – by jumping out of one of our places. That’s right, you can tandem skydive with our team at Skydive Byron Bay over one of NSW’s most spectacular sceneries, taking in beach and hinterland views all the way to Brisbane, the Gold Coast & beyond!
#8- Hike up Tomaree Head in Shoal Bay
There’s plenty to see and do in the stunning Port Stephens region, however, the hike up Tomaree Head in Shoal Bay is one of the best! Offering panoramic views of the Port Stephens coastline, this 2.2km loop walk is a steep one, although the views you’re rewarded with at the summit are well worth the trek.
Once you’ve conquered the walking track, you can’t go past the mouth-watering pizza at the nearby Shoal Bay Country Club, which sits opposite the bay itself, so you can enjoy your well earned slice with gorgeous ocean views!
#9- Go skiing in the Snowy Mountains
With the NSW coastline the main attraction for visitors, many forget that just a few hours inland lies the formidable Snowy Mountains. Home to Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, the Snowy Mountains are a popular skiing destination in winter.
Hit the slopes and explore the countless ski runs at Perisher Valley, Mount Blue Cow, Charlotte Pass and Thredbo, before heading back to the nearby Jindabyne for apres-ski. Don’t forget to stop at the wonderful Wildbrumby Distillery on the way, where you can sample a number of award-winning schnapps, vodka and gin!
#10- Enjoy coastal views on the Newcastle Memorial Walk
While only a short 450m stretch of bridge and boardwalk, the Newcastle Memorial Walk is a great way to see Newcastle, with views of the city, beaches and Tasman sea. The walk itself is dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers from World War 1, and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC’s landing at Gallipoli as well as the commencement of the steel industry in Newcastle.
Newcastle is also home to our fourth drop zone in NSW, and possibly the most picturesque. When you jump with Skydive Sydney-Newcastle, you’ll experience an exhilarating freefall before soaking up the views of the beach and Lake Macquarie as you float back to the ground under canopy!
So, there you have it, the top 10 things to do in the beautiful state of New South Wales. If you’re a local resident in this great state, click here to check out the awesome local perks we have available at Skydive Australia!