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
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
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
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
then it cuts through Australia's oldest national park, the Royal, before
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
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.
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
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
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
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.