7 Unexpected Things to do in New South Wales

By Elie - 9:33 PM

Mention the words “New South Wales” and the first things in mind that pop-up are the endless glistening beaches, its natural landscapes, and perhaps one of Australia’s most popular capitals - Sydney. Or at least that was how it worked for me. What a lot of people probably didn’t know, however, is that New South Wales is way more than just that.

Like, how freaking gorgeous can one capital be? 
Photo by Jamie Davies

With its warm (not scorching!) summers and brisk winters, New South Wales is surprisingly great to visit whenever you plan to take a holiday. But how do you move away from the typical touristy fare because you deserve something a little more special? Well, I got you so here are 7 unexpected things to do when you’re in New South Wales. 

Enjoy a sleepover with the animals at Taronga Zoo

If you’re an animal lover and you’ve ever wanted to wake up to the very sight of giraffes watching you snore, then enjoying a zoo sleepover should definitely be at the top of your list of things to do in New South Wales. Home to over 5,000 animals of 350 different species, a sleepover at Taronga Zoo, Sydney would be your very opportunity to truly become “one of them”. 

Say hello to your new roommates! 
Photo by Rick Stevens for Taronga Zoo

But if a sleepover is too much for your heart to take, then do consider picking up a travel package from Sedunia Travel so you can tick “itinerary travel” off your list of to-dos. With all your activities pre-planned for, all you’ll need to do is pack your bags and get ready to jet set into meeting the red kangaroos, koalas, oh and my personal favourite - the meerkat! 

Soak in the natural thermal baths of Lightning Ridge

Tucked away near the north-western areas of New South Wales, the little town of Lightning Ridge is best known for its opal mining activities. That said - you could obviously also go opal mining while you’re here but what should truly grab your attention if you want a relaxing escapade is to soak away your stresses and pains at one of their naturally heated thermal baths.

And say goodbye to all your fatigue! 
Photo by visitnsw 

Open 7 days a week - the natural thermal baths of Lightning Ridge is a local favourite. The water temperatures maintain at a constant 41.5 degrees and hail from the Great artesian Basin that’s said to be approximately two million years old. And what makes this stop an unexpected one is that the baths are open nearly 24-hours a day, so you could be watching the stars as you soak and melt your fatigue away.

Say goodbye to the day on a sunset hike up Blue Mountains

Now, this activity probably needs a little workout and a lot of patience (or the other way around) but the views from the gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Blue Mountains range does make up for all your efforts. So pack a pair of comfortable shoes, charge up your power banks and ready your cameras, because taking a sunset hike up Blue Mountains is such an unforgettable experience that everyone should enjoy at least once in their lifetime.

If you’re lucky, maybe you could even see a hot air balloon taking flight 
Photo by Noah Hill 

And while you’re there, don’t forget to pop across to Wentworth Falls where you’ll get a majestic view of the Jamison Valley. To end your day, you’ll want to take in the views of the Three Sisters rock formation and the picturesque landscapes that await. 

Capture a panoramic view of Sydney from the Pylon Lookout

So, if you’re not a fan of climbing the range - don’t worry because I still have you covered with a different kind of panoramic view. We’ve all heard of the gorgeous views that welcome you with the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, but most people overlook the thought of visiting the Pylon Lookout.

Pylon Lookout on your left
Photo by Bridgeclimb Sydney 

And this is what you’ll see from the Pylon Lookout!
Photo by
Alexa Soh

Offering an equally stunning panoramic view of Sydney, stopping by the Pylon Lookout will allow you to take in the capital AND watch the people climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge instead. It’s an interesting take if you're traveling on a budget or if the heights of climbing over the bridge simply isn't your cup of tea.

Sip your way through the wineries and vineyards of Hunter Valley 

Hunter Valley is one of the most visited wine regions in Australia - and it’s easy to see why. Over 150 vineyards call this area of New South Wales home, and many top name wines today are also produced here. Despite its mass popularity, however, it’s still nice to know that there are a number of family-owned wineries and vineyards hidden across the region. And that’s exactly where you should be headed.

Every sip a new discovery 
Photo by Hermitage Lodge 

Boasting an “open doors” hospitality experience, some of these hidden wineries require you to go off the beaten track but you’ll soon be rewarded with the best wines you’ll ever taste. Pair this with a variety of limited edition wines that you may not find in cellars outside the region, and you’ll see exactly why this is an unexpected yet must-do activity in New South Wales. Oh and if you’re in doubt on which winery would be best, then maybe a chat with the Aussie specialists at Sedunia Travel will perk you right up! 

Ride the sands at the Stockton Sand Dunes of Port Stephens

So you may have heard of snowboarding but what if I told you that if you pop over to Port Stephens, then you can be sandboarding? Well you best believe it because the Stockton Sand Dunes at New South Wales is where you can experience sandboarding like no other. The unique location where sand dunes reach almost 30 metres in height is a sight to behold - marking itself as one of the largest moving coastal dune in the Southern Hemisphere.

They say you can’t hear pictures, but all I hear in this is “wheee!”
Photo by Ellaslist 

P/S: Movie buffs would also be familiar to the Stockton Sand Dunes as it was one of the locations in which the original 1979 Mad Max movie was filmed.

See Sydney from the seaplane!

Being the crazed Animal Crossing: New Horizons fan I am, I’d only realised since the release of the popular Nintendo video game that seaplanes were a real thing! Like, could you imagine my fascination? And luckily for you - if you happen to visit New South Wales then it’s quite possible for you to hitch a seaplane ride and take in the views of Sydney in a unique way. 

We’ll be making a water landing, but that’s okay because this is a seaplane!
Photo by Sydney Seaplanes 

True to its name, seaplanes are aircrafts that allow you to board and deplane while it’s on water. It’s an unexpected ride and experience but it’s something you should definitely try if you’re looking for something different to do in New South Wales. I mean, I don’t know about you but hitching a ride on the seaplane and living my truest Animal Crossing: New Horizons fantasy sounds perfect to me! 

Well hang on, why are you still reading? Why haven’t you already gone to book a trip to Australia? And remember, if you need fuss-free travel then the folks at Sedunia Travel are always happy to hook you up with holiday plans that fit your every ask. Enjoy your trip to New South Wales! 

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