The Nsw Hot Spots
Sydney is a mecca of Australia's finest restaurants, shopping, attractions and diverse culture, as you would expect from a metropolitan and modern city. Most tourists know about the Opera House, the Bridge and Darling Harbour, but there is a long list of attractions in the city and the suburbs beyond. Within the city limits you will discover incredible parks, grand buildings, beautiful beaches and scenic drives to take in your campervan. If you would like to base yourself in Sydney, there is an amazing holiday park located on the northern beaches of Sydney, called BIG4 Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park. For travellers from Australia and all over the world, Sydney has to be at the top of the list of places to visit.
North of Sydney
Newcastle is known as the gateway to the Hunter River region, but that description sells this city short. It is a historic city, with one of the oldest theatre districts in Australia, and has so much to recommend in the way of heritage-listed sites and miles of glorious coastline. The Newcastle East Heritage Walk links spectacular coastal views and industrial heritage that is the essence of this exciting city. A ‘must-see' is a visit to the Maritime Museum, as it documents Newcastle's history as a working port. There are few cities in the world beyond Newcastle that can say their city centre is surrounded by eight beaches, and the best way to see the beaches is the Bathers Way Coastal Walk.
This former NSW whaling station turned new-age and artist mecca is still strongly influenced by its recent bohemian sea-change. Along with its beaches and picturesque countryside, Byron Bay is also known for its arts & crafts, live entertainment, and colourful locals. There are a steady stream of international travellers, especially backpackers, attracted by the laidback atmosphere and beautiful location. The area is known for its famous lighthouse, where you may spot some of the migrating whales. Give in to the casual vibe and stroll between beaches and bars for a low-key and relaxing day.
You could say Coffs Harbour has everything for a holiday maker. For the family, there are a number of attractions like the Big Banana, Pet Porpoise Pool and the Solitary Islands aquarium at the National Marine Science Centre. The town has everything to delight the visitor, with golden beaches, deep sea fishing, bushwalking, excellent shopping, restaurants and cafes, but the real heart of the town is the harbour, with the Coffs Harbour International Marina, the jetty and the Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve. Located almost halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, you could plan to base yourself here for a while to make the most of an East Coast of Australia campervan holiday. Just north of Coffs Harbour, about 20 minutes, is another beautiful place you could make a base, Arrawarra. Located amongst national park and right on the beach, NRMA Darlington Beach Holiday Park has a really unique and private camping area for a Holiday Park with so many great facilities, including pools, a jumping pillow, a café' and even its own bmx track, archery range, lawn bowls and 9 hole golf course by the beach!
Situated on the north coast of NSW, Port Macquarie is perfect for the water lover, with the Hastings River flowing alongside the city. There are plenty of patrolled beaches with scenic walks, fishing and every type of water sport available. There are also family attractions such as the Billabong Koala and Aussie Wildlife Park, which is an outstanding koala breeding centre. The award-winning Port Macquarie Museum, operated by the Port Macquarie Historical Society, is conveniently located in the Port Macquarie CBD. This city is a popular destination for a relaxing holiday for so many reasons, including the ideal climate, location and natural beauty.
Located in northern NSW at the top of the Clarence River, Yamba promises beautiful scenery and plenty of water-based activities. This area has developed into a tourist mecca, with a large number of caravan parks and places to stay with a lot of natural attractions and panoramic scenery. There are a number of beaches to choose from, and whale watching is a popular event many times of the year. The Yuraygir National Park is a short drive away. Maclean, ‘The Scottish Town in Australia', offers the unique Highland experience in an Aussie coastal town.
Not far from Sydney, the Hawkesbury valley features winding rivers, pristine wilderness and historic towns such as St Albans, Richmond, Kurrajong and Windsor. Perfect for a quiet country retreat, there are art galleries and antique shops dotted throughout, and the Hawkesbury River is perfect for a canoe ride or river cruise. The Wollemi National Park also offers bushwalking and amazing scenery. Head in this direction and you will return feeling renewed after visiting this peaceful environment.
Located in the heart of the Hunter Valley, just a short drive from Sydney, Pokolbin draws visitors from near and far for its wineries and magical scenery. Many of the wineries are open to the public and offer tours. The village also offers the opportunity for balloon rides and cheese making & tasting. With Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Barrington Tops and Newcastle all within driving distance, it is one of our top places to stay whilst on a campervan hire holiday.
Dorrigo National Park
Dorrigo can be found in the New England area of New South Wales and is a charming town with an abundance of surrounding natural beauty. There are the art galleries and shops within the town, but the town's real drawcard is the Dorrigo Steam Railway Museum. Nature lovers travel from far and wide to visit the National Parks Rainforest Centre with its skywalk overlooking the treetops. The Bellinger Valley has captivating lookouts and it is a short walk to the Dangar Falls. With its scenery and attractions, you can't miss Dorrigo.
Tweed Heads is part of the Twin Towns, paired with Coolangatta over the Queensland border. Tweed Heads is known for its clubs, restaurants, resorts and fantastic beaches, while still being the gateway to the Northern Beaches region of NSW with its more laidback lifestyle. This is a fantastic city to base your campervan for a coastal holiday, with its proximity to the glittering mecca of the Gold Coast, and yet also close to attractions such as the Lamington National Park, Tropical Fruit World, the Melaleuca Tea Tree Plantation and the Condong Sugar Mill.
West of Sydney
Just over an hour's drive from Sydney and located on over one million hectares of vast wilderness, the Blue Mountains feature attractions such as the Gardens of Stone, the famous Jenolan Caves and majestic Katoomba Falls. Echo Point is one of the most famous lookouts to view the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley. The main town in the region is Katoomba, home to the Scenic Railway, which is the steepest railway incline in the world and is now one of the most popular man-made tourist attractions in Australia. The ride takes you down the steep descent past Orphan Rock, through a tunnel and the beautiful fern-damp cliff face. With dense rainforest, waterfalls, deep gorges and world class bushwalking trails, contrasting with historic townships and cosy hamlets, the Blue Mountains are a world class destination.
Kosciusko National Park
The largest national park in NSW, Kosciusko National Park is named after the highest peak in Australia, Mount Kosciusko. The area is known for the Snowy River, alpine tundra, alpine flowers, and ski fields. There are a variety of walks for all fitness levels. If you feel like adventure, you can delve into cave systems and gorges. As Kosciusko National Park has the highest mountains in Australia, a drive or a walk through the area provides breathtaking panoramas. This is a unique and captivating part of Australia, particularly if you grew up reading ‘The Silver Brumby' series of books.
Jindabyne overlooks the shining waters of Lake Jindabyne, perched in the heart of the magnificent Snowy Mountains. It is one of the highest settlements of its size in Australia, at over 900m above sea level. Light snowfalls sometimes occur during winter. Winter is a popular time to visit Jindabyne, because it is only thirty minutes from the famous Perisher and Thredbo ski fields in the Kosciusko National Park. During the warmer months, Lake Jindabyne is a popular sailing, walking and fishing destination. This makes the town a fantastic base to visit the area, with plenty of caravan parks and accommodation available. Jindabyne Holiday Park is located right on the lake and you can enjoy a beautiful view from your campervan.
Dubbo is located on the Macquarie River just off the Mitchell Highway. It is linked by national highways north to Brisbane, south to Melbourne, east to Sydney and Newcastle, and west to Broken Hill and Adelaide, which makes it a great place to base yourself for exploring eastern Australia. The city boasts plenty of heritage-listed buildings and other attractions, such as the Dundullimal Homestead, Dubbo Military Museum, Old Dubbo Gaol, and the Courthouse. The Western Plains Cultural Centre includes four gallery exhibition spaces, two Museum exhibition spaces and a Community Arts Centre. However, Dubbo is best known for the famous Western Plains Zoo, which features over 800 animal species. Dubbo City Holiday Park is the place to stay. There is so much to see within the city and surrounds, or you can just laze about by the river and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Bathurst is most famous for its annual motor race on Mount Panorama, which is celebrated by the National Motor Racing Museum. The city is also home to the Australian Mineral and Fossil Museum, housed in the 1876 Public School building. There are plenty of other historic buildings in the city, such as Bathurst's Courthouse, completed in 1860, and the Gaol built in 1886. Bathurst is one of Australia's oldest inland cities. There is something for everyone, with gold fossicking, art galleries, wineries, sheep shearing and festivals. Let Bathurst surprise you.
In the far west of NSW you will discover Broken Hill, also known as the Silver City, the Oasis of the West and the Capital of the Outback. The main industry of the town is mining silver, lead and zinc, and it is also the centre of an expansive sheep industry. One of the attractions is the dry outback that surrounds this town in contrast to the town's verdant gardens and parks. Just 12km for the town is the Living Desert State Park, with twelve sandstone sculptures sitting in the midst of a starkly beautiful outback setting. West of Broken Hill is also the Mundi Mundi Lookout and the Mundi Mundi Plains, which provided some of the settings for the movies ‘Mad Max' and ‘Pricilla, Queen of the Desert'; this is the kind of scenery that gives real meaning to the word ‘panorama' as you can actually see the curvature of the Earth. This is an unforgettable region, waiting for you to explore its wide open spaces.
The most famous opal mining town in Australia, Lightning Ridge has a lot to offer. It is home to the prized black opal, which tempts people from far and wide to give fossicking a go. There are a number of old mines and mineral bathing pools that are popular to unwind in. Wander through the souvenir shops or watch an opal cutting demonstration. To see a truly unique attraction with unmistakable Australian charm, you have to visit the Bottle House Museum, made out of bottles, and its collection of fossils, opals, indigenous tools, and settlers' items. The Chambers of the Black Hand is also a must-see, with cave walls chiselled into 3D relief sculpture's to create a gallery of stone carvings.
Mostly known as the Country Music Capital of Australia, Tamworth is also known as the first City of Lights, being the first place in Australia to use electric street lights in 1888. As well, the city is recognised as the National Equine Capital of Australia, because of the high volume of equine events held in the city and the construction of the world class Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre, the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Apart from the famous Country Music Festival, there are plenty of attractions that will keep you coming back. The Peel River offers plenty of fantastic fishing and boating spots and the Moonbi Range, located next to the city is a great place to explore and hike. If it's a native animal experience you're after, Tamworth's Marsupial Park offers plenty of fun for the family. Tamworth is located on the west side of the Great Dividing Range, on the New England Highway.
South of Sydney
Jervis Bay has been recorded as having the whitest sand in the world. Worth visiting for the beauty of its beaches alone, there is also the scenic hinterland to explore in Booderee National Park. Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay National Park and the Jervis Bay Marine Park protect the unique environment of the area. The bay is one of the deepest sheltered harbours in the country and popular diving sites include The Labyrinths, Gorgonian Wall, Point Perpendicular, a submerged Fairey Firefly aeroplane, scallop beds, Middle Ground, Ten Fathom Reef, and Bowen Island. Jervis Bay will also entice you with its man-made attractions, like the Lady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson, or the See Change Winter Arts Festival, which has been hosted by Jervis Bay and Basin Arts group.
Famous for its cheese and wine, Bega is located on the Sapphire Coast and is perfect for the traveller searching to experience the classic country town. The Bega Cheese Heritage Centre is a must, as are the Grevillea Winery and the Spiral Gallery Cooperative. Bega is also central to natural attractions such as the Ben Boyd and Mimosa National Parks, and the Wallaga and Merimbula Lakes. Notable local landmarks are Bega Court House and Rosevear Jeweller's shopfront, which are both listed on the Register of the National Estate.
East of Sydney
Lord Howe Island
World heritage-listed Lord Howe Island is one of the most beautiful and untouched islands you will find as it is 600km directly east of mainland Port Macquarie. The island is reached by plane from Sydney or Brisbane in less than two hours. Popular tourist activities include scuba diving, bird watching, cycling, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, and fishing. To relieve pressure on the small island environment only 400 tourists are permitted at any one time. One of the experiences unique to the island is feeding kingfish and large wrasse at Ned's Beach. There is no driving on the island.