Guide to Australia

Your Tour, Travel & Vacation Guide to Adventures in Australia!


New South Wales encompasses everything from complete sophistication to remote serenity. You can enjoy a cafe'latte in Sydney's cosmopolitan Double Bay one morning and the next day, a billy tea on the banks of the Darling River, leaving civilisation light years behind. Home to Australia's largest city, Sydney, this State offers great diversity, ranging from the snow-covered peaks of the Snowy Mountains to tropical rainforests.


In addition the coast is strung with golden beaches. Then head inland from the coast to the magnificent Great Dividing Range, beyond which are vast wheat plains. Further out is semi-desert, with beacons like the Walls of China, in Mungo National Park, or the placid, tranquil Lake Cawndilla in Kinchega National Park where explorers Burke and Wills had their last taste of 'civilised' living.


New South Wales is over 800,000 sq. km in area, representing more than 10 per cent of the total landmass of Australia. This State has an excellent

The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains by Katoomba in New South Wales, Australia

 network of roads throughout that offer easy access to its myriad attractions.

The coastal highway (Highway 1) runs from Timbilica in the south to Tweed Heads in the north (it is the Pacific Highway north from Sydney and the Princes Highway south to Melbourne). From the south are places like Eden, famous as a whale-watching town; with Merimbula, Bega, Narooma and Moruya, they form the 'Sapphire Coast'. Further north is Batemans Bay -gateway to some terrific hinterland national parks and Ulladulla, the State's abalone fishing capital. Further on is Nowra, a jumping off point to picturesque Kangaroo Valley or to the sparkling blue waters and dazzling white sands of Jervis Bay. Towards Sydney, the road passes through historic Berry, the city of Wollongong then it cuts through Australia's oldest national park, the Royal, before hitting Sydney's outskirts. Crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Pacific Highway runs through the city's North Shore until it reaches Wahroonga. From here, the Newcastle Freeway heads north beyond Newcastle. Back on the Pacific Highway, the road goes past legendary holiday destinations: Myall Lakes, Bulahdelah Mountain, and on to the North Coast with its recreational meccas like Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Ballina, Byron Bay and, finally, Tweed Heads on the border. The other major route north from Sydney is the New England Highway. Starting just out of Newcastle, it runs through the wineries and pastoral areas of the Hunter Valley, then the mighty coal-producing districts around Muswellbrook and into the horse stud areas of Scone and Murrurundi. Further north is Tamworth, the country music capital of Australia, which hosts an enormous festival each year, then continue on to Uralla, where bushranger Captain Thunderbolt is buried, then Armidale. Heading further north you will come to Tenterfield, a town immortalised by songwriter Peter Allen.

The coast of Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, Australia

To circum navigate the State, head west, where the Bruxner Highway runs from Lismore to Tenterfield (encompassing some fabulous Great Dividing Range scenery). From Boggabilla the tar gives way to dirt to reach Mungindi and Collarenabri, Walgett and Brewarrina (where you can still see the rocks in the river which the Aboriginals fashioned into fish traps). From Bourke the real adventure of the Outback journey begins -to Wanaaring and through to Milparinka on the Silver City Highway -a distance of some 1330 km from coast to corner. The real Corner Country, however, is to the north of Milparinka in Sturt National Park and Cameron Corner, where a lonely general store sells fuel, drink and food.


The Silver City Highway runs from Warri Gate on the border, through Tibooburra and Milparinka almost due south through the mining giant of Broken Hill to Wentworth. Initially, the Sturt Highway more or less follows the course of the Murray River, which forms the border between Victoria and New South Wales, but soon peels away to the east to Hay and on through Narrandera to Wagga Wagga. If turning off at Hay, the Cobb Highway takes the traveller south to Deniliquin. From here, you can join the Riverina Highway through the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and the towns of Finley, Berrigan and finally Albury. To return to the coast, take the Snowy Mountains and Monaro highways through some spectacular alpine country, which lies thick with snow in winter.


Other highways crisscross the State. The Hume Highway has diversions to Gundagai, where the dog 'sat' on the tuckerbox, and runs through Holbrook. The Gwydir runs from Grafton (famous for its blaze of jacaranda trees) continuing through to the gem-fossickers' paradise of Glen Innes through Warialda, Moree and finally Collarenebri. The Oxley Highway begins on the coast at Wauchope and traverses the Great Divide to reach Walcha. It then runs through to Gunnedah on the Black Soil Plains, Coonabarabran (gateway to the Warrumbungles), Gilgandra and finally arriving in Warren, on the fringes of the Macquarie Marshes, a haven for waterfowl.


The old goldmining city of Bathurst spawns two major road arteries. The first is the Mitchell Highway, which runs north-west through Orange, Wellington (with its limestone caves), Dubbo (with its massive zoo), the citrus-growing centre of Narromine, Trangie, flood-beleaguered Nyngan, Bourke, Enngonia and finally Barringun, on the Queensland border -just a pub (but what a pub!). The second is the Mid-Western Highway, which spurs south-west through Blayney, historic Carcoar, Cowra, the goldmining town of Grenfell, West Wyalong and across the plain to Hay. Bathurst is also the terminus for the Great Western Highway, which crosses the Blue Mountains.


One of the longest highways is the Newell. It runs from Tocumwal in the south, through historic Jerilderie, Narrandera, West Wyalong, the bushranging district of Forbes, Parkes (with its huge astronomical telescope), Peak Hill, the hub of the West -Dubbo, Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Narrabri, Moree and, finally to Boggabilla, on the Queensland border.

The Castlereagh links the dry opal fields of New Angledool with Walgett and towns further south like Coonamble, Gulargambone, Gilgandra and Dubbo. The remote Barrier Highway stretches from Nyngan through the copper city of Cobar then Wilcannia to beyond Broken Hill. The Lachlan links the isolated outposts of Booligal, Hillston and Lake Cargellico with a road that is mainly dirt.


New South Wales has a never-ending diversity of natural and man-made wonders to enjoy. Its World Heritage-listed areas and national parks can be explored on foot, horseback or by 4WD. The beaches and waterways beckon anglers, swimmers, and all water-sports enthusiasts alike, while the towns and cities offer both history and a vitality and enthusiasm for the present. New South Wales has it all.