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6 road trips you’ll never forget

Sea Cliff Bridge, CliftonCREDIT: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking cars driving along Sea Cliff Bridge, Clifton.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

6 road trips
you’ll never forget

Sea Cliff Bridge, Clifton CREDIT: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking cars driving along Sea Cliff Bridge, Clifton.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Going on a road trip is a great way to uncover parts of New South Wales you never knew existed, as well as find new experiences in the more well-known corners of the state. From the outback to the coast, here are six ways to renew your wanderlust and explore the state’s best beaches, small towns, natural wonders and delicious food and wine.

Looking for dolphins and white sand? 
Take the Grand Pacific Drive to Jervis Bay 

The Grand Pacific Drive begins in the Royal National Park, less than an hour’s drive south of the centre of Sydney. From there, you’ll traverse the dramatic 665m Sea Cliff Bridge and continue on to the coastal city of Wollongong, where you can stop for a coffee or a bite to eat by the beach at Diggies. Don’t miss the famous Kiama Blowhole, a natural formation that blasts sea water 30m into the air, before heading onwards to the clear blue waters of Jervis Bay, just three hours’ drive south of Sydney. Swim, take a dolphin- or whale-watching tour with the likes of Jervis Bay Wild, and walk on some of the whitest sand in the world on the glorious White Sands Walk.

Looking for big sky country? 
Head from Sydney to Lightning Ridge 

The historic mining town of Lightning Ridge is almost nine hours’ drive north-west of Sydney, in Outback NSW, and there are plenty of great stops to make along the way. First, pull into Katoomba, where you can check out antique stores and amazing Blue Mountains views. Discover the food and wine of the charming country town of Mudgee, call in on historic Gilgandra, birthplace of the World War I Coo-ee March, and the outback town of Walgett, for a coffee at Stone’s Throw. From here, it’s only an hour to Lightning Ridge, where you can tour an opal mine, try your hand at fossicking, and unwind in naturally heated artesian bore baths. 

Looking to drift? 
You’ll love the Mighty Murray River Drive 

The Murray River is at the heart of Australia’s history, and starting on the banks of the Murray in Albury, the Mighty Murray River Drive is a four-day exploration of this remarkable part of NSW. Call in on quaint heritage towns such as Corowa and Howlong, before heading out on a Murray River Paddlesteamers cruise in the twin towns of Echuca Moama, throwing in a line at Balranald, where five rivers meet, and discovering Aboriginal culture and an otherworldly landscape in Mungo National Park. Your final stop is Wentworth, where you can admire views of the Murray and the Darling, and call in on the cellar door and restaurant at Trentham Estate Winery. It’s around a 5.5-hour drive from Sydney to Albury, or you can fly there in just over an hour and rent a car.

Kiama Blowhole CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple watching the water plume from the Kiama blowhole.

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Kiama Blowhole CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple watching the water plume from the Kiama blowhole.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Paddle Steamer, Murray River CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy a ride on a paddle steamer along the Murray River.

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Paddle Steamer, Murray River CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy a ride on a paddle steamer along the Murray River.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Looking for a quick gourmet getaway? 
Head from Sydney to Newcastle 

Heading north from Sydney, pass through the picturesque Hawkesbury region, and stop at Broken Bay Pearl Farm in Mooney Mooney, just 45 minutes from the city centre. Its ‘shellar door’ opened in 2019, so guests can taste local Sydney Rock Oysters while learning how they harvest some of the world’s finest pearls. Next stop, Lake Macquarie, the largest coastal saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere, for some kayaking or a rainforest walk. Once you reach the city of Newcastle (two hours from Sydney) stroll down to the Art Deco Ocean Baths to cool off before checking out one of the city’s great restaurants. Mereweather Surfhouse is the perfect spot for a long lunch with ocean views, or enjoy a delicious five-course tasting menu at contemporary bistro Subo.

Looking for cool mountain air? 
Drive from Sydney to Jindabyne  

You could drive from Sydney to Jindabyne, in the Snowy Mountains, in five hours. But there’s no need to rush. Two hours southwest of Sydney is the historic town of Goulburn, where you can take a selfie with the Big Merino. Another two hours down the road, the town of Cooma is home to the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre, where you can do a virtual fly-over of the Snowy Mountains. Near Jindabyne, the ski resorts of Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass offer on-snow activities for the whole family. No snow? Try rock climbing or mountain biking with K7 Adventures and discover Wildbrumby Distillery, which bottles schnapps, gin and vodka in alpine surrounds. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a walk to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest point. And two hours north of Jindabyne, explore Yarrangobilly Caves, where you’ll find stalagmites, stalactites and cave corals, and an above-ground river walk to a thermal pool.

Looking for nature? Check out the Rainforest Way  

In the far north of NSW, spend a weekend following the Rainforest Way through some gorgeous landscapes. Starting in the iconic beach town of Byron Bay (an eight-hour drive or one hour flight north of Sydney) you’ll meander through the hinterland, calling in on pretty villages such as Uki, and taking walks through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforest and national parks of the Lismore region. Head to Murwillumbah, where Mt Warning dominates the views, soak up the hippie vibe in colourful Nimbin, and stop in the country town of Kyogle to visit Clay Corner, which sells handmade products by local artists and artisans. The town of Casino boasts Art Deco buildings such as the heritage-listed post office, and hosts the Casino Beef Week festival each May.

Merewether Surfhouse, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying food and drink with ocean views at Merewether Surfhouse in Newcastle.

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Merewether Surfhouse, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying food and drink with ocean views at Merewether Surfhouse in Newcastle.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Thredbo, Snowy Mountains CREDIT: Alexandra Adoncello

Scenic road trip along Alpine Way, Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains.

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Thredbo, Snowy Mountains CREDIT: Alexandra Adoncello

Scenic road trip along Alpine Way, Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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