State of New South Wales Things to Do Tips by TheWanderingCamel Top 5 Page for this destination
State of New South Wales Things to Do: 80 reviews and 181 photos
Penthouse with city views
....spend time in Sydney, the Emerald City. There's so much to see and do here, and everyone who knows the city will tell you,"You must see ....." and " you must go ...." . There are so many good pages here on VT with all the information you could ever want or need. For what it's worth - here are just a few of my favourites:
Taronga Park Zoo - what a package! All the Australian animals and birds you've ever read or heard about, and a whole lot more besides (exotics too, of course) in a stunning setting. Great views of the city across the Harbour and a a ferry ride there and back. Top spot.
Sydney Opera House - iconic image of Sydney - and Australia. Whether you buy a ticket for a performance, take a tour or just sit on the steps and gawp, it's another not-to-be-missed spot.
The Bridge - ditto, and the Harbour itself - take a harbour cruise if you like that sort of thing, otherwise just hop on a ferry or two and chug across. Pick up a pie and sauce and a bottle of Passiona to take with you for a real Aussie lunch..
The Rocks - historic old quarter right by the city-side pylon of the bridge. Lively mix of pubs, restaurants and shops with some history thrown in. Convict-architect, Francis Greenway's Hyde Park Barracks and St James's Church are more elegant reminders of Sydney's early days whilst the National Library stages interesting historical exhibitions.
The Art Galley - check out some of Australia's major artists from the 18th-21st C. Fred McCubbin, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton are some of the 19th C greats. Sydney Nolan, Arthur Boyd followed on and Brett Whitely's later 20th C works capture the light and vigour of Sydney to perfection.
Darling Harbour - serious retail therapy region but don't miss the historic ships at the Maritime Museum and the Chinese Garden is a beautiful oasis of calm and tranquillity.
Directions: Bring a guide book or check out the tourist information centres at Circular Quay (where all the ferries leave from), The Rocks and Darling Harbour
Destination: Scotts Head
Which way to go? My sister lives on the coast about 500km north of Sydney so I usually turn left and head that way. Flying as a rule, either to Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour, but I've travelled the Pacific Highway route a few times. It's a very busy road, lots of heavy haulage, you need to keep your eyes open and your wits about you. There are lots of lovely tangents you can head off on though - the watery beauty of the Hawkesbury; Newcastle - an industrial city reborn and the Hunter Valley - good wine and good food in all directions - before you get to Port Macquarie.
Now the road will take you through lush green paddocks - this is traditionally dairying country - and some wonderful forests - tall gum trees and angophoras whose trunk glows bright orange as they shed their old bark, native clematis festooning the trees and pools thick with blue water lilies. Kempsey - home of a great Australian icon - the Akubra hat - sitting on the Macleay River (check out tapis_volant's Frederickton page for a tip about another great Australian speciality) makes a good base for exploring both the coast and the hinterland on the Macleay Valley, but I have a few more kilometres to go yet before I reach my destination - Scott's Head - a sleepy little fishing and holiday village some 12 kms off the highway. Views of forest, sea and mountains spread out before you from every vantage point. Down at the beach the surfing and swimming are excellent, the fishing's great, there's a popular campsite and shops and a cafe to take care of the inner man.
The village is growing but it is still essentially a very laid-back little place - long may that continue.
Nambucca Heads has it all. No wonder it's such a popular holiday destination. The river and the sea come together here in a magic combination of beaches of pristine white sands, safe swimming and good surf on the ocean side and a watery playground for boats of all sorts on the river as well as lots of lovely walks. The fishing is good and the oysters farmed here are fantastic! All this is backed by a majestic vista of mountains and green, green forest. The whole panorama can be seen to its best effect from Captain Cook's lookout, high on the headland at the end of town. If you're lucky there may be whales offshore, passing by on their spring or autumn migration.
The town itself is a pleasant little place (shame about the hideous supermarket sitting slap-bang on the main approach - what were the city fathers thinking of when they gave planning permission to that!) with plenty of options for places to eat and to stay. Take time to walk along the mosaic that stretches around the corner of Bowra and Ridge Streets in the centre of town, it's full of quirky detail and is great fun. The Vee Wall down by the Harbour features more ad hoc local "art", there's a local museum, and if you're in town when the orchid show is on, do drop in to see some stunning native orchids .
Directions: Nambucca Heads is on the Pacific Highway, about 500km north of Sydney.
Phone: Tourism office; (02) 6568 6954.
The bullocky and his team
The dense forests that once covered the region led to any number of small towns growing up in the river valleys of northern New South Wales. It's a way of life that's largely gone now - along with the valuable cedar that stood in great stands within the broader forest. The recreated pioneer village at Wauchope's Timbertown is a great place to relive those days. Dozens of timber workers' cottages have been rebuilt and furnished; the blacksmith's forge is in working order; the baker's busy at his ovens, the old steam locos that hauled the logs are put to use now taking visitors deep into the forest and the sound of the bullwhip cracks out through the trees as the bullocky shows how the huge logs were hauled out of the forest by the teams of bullocks. For lovers of steam, the steam driven sawmill is back at work, and for those who just love to shop there are plenty of opportunities to do that too.
Entry is free, there are charges for different rides such as the steam train, paddle boats and a genuine Cobb&Co coach. There are barbecues in the picnic area, or you can eat at the pub - the Maul & Wedge - or grab a bite at the tearooms.
The village is open every day from 9.30 -3.30
Click photo for panorama
Wauchope itself sits on the Hastings River 406 km north of Sydney via the Pacific Highway, to the west of Port Macquarie.
Address: Oxley Highway, 2km west of Wauchope
Phone: + 02 6586 1940
Looking for a place to spend a few days relaxing, with good beaches for swimming and surfing , a bit of fishing, nice walks, a nearby National Park, some interesting places to go off sight-seeing .... South West Rocks could be just the place for you. Lawns shaded by tall Norfolk Island pines stretch down to a wide sandy beach right in front of the town - across the road the Sea Breeze pub serves great counter lunches. This really is a picture-perfect little (though growing fast) holiday town.
Nearby places of interest include Smoky Cape Lighthouse, the long-deserted Trial Bay Gaol (the Kiosk near the gaol is another good place to eat - the fish and chips are excellent, booking is most advisable during holiday periods), while Hat Head National Park is a bird-watchers paradise. Autumn and Spring are good times to keep an eye out for migrating whales - the many high vantage points make great lookouts - and dolphins are to be seen all year round.
There are loads of accommodation options in the town and the surrounding area - the campsite at Trial Bay is particularly nice.
On the way, stop for a wander through the pretty little riverside hamlet of Gladstone - once an important timber shipping port, now a sleepy little village with some nice old houses and a couple of antique-cum-junk and craft shops. The big timber house by the riverside park was once the town's bank. Once the port captain's house stood facing it from the other end of the park. Both houses, like many old places in the district, were built from, and lined with, cedar..... the Macleay Valley's gold.
Directions: South West Rocks is about 35 km north of Kempsey, at the mouth of the Macleay River. Look for the road on the east side of the Kempsey Bridge.
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