With its vivid histories and mesmerising scenery, NSW sparkles.
It all makes for fascinating experiences, some undeservingly unheralded.
Concentrating on inland areas, we’ve unearthed a diverse mix of rewarding activities for your next NSW getaway.
Enjoy a seriously underrated attraction, dedicated to Tamworth’s standing as the first Australian city to be lit by municipal electric street lighting. While that might not sound overly fascinating, the museum has genuine spark. There’s all manner of intriguing items to gaze at and a feast of fun facts to delve into. And the friendly staff are totally switched on. Don’t miss it!
This is the tallest waterfall in NSW, and it creates a magical sight. Waters tumble furiously over craggy cliffs, dropping 220m to a gorge floor below – most notably after heavy rain. The falls are in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. Witness the wonder with ease from a designated picnic area, 40km east of Armidale.
Stay at: BIG4 Armidale Highlander.
The 8.5km-long Wagirra Trail richly rewards the eyes, slicing through various riverside parks and incorporating the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk. This section spotlights a cluster of striking designs created by local Aboriginal artists, which details the area’s deep cultural significance. The trail’s end point is Wonga Wetlands, a delightful space home to 150-plus bird species and a network of walking paths of its own.
Flat, open, and smog-free landscapes are ideal for soaking up a stunning sunset. So, the good folk of Hay created a dedicated viewing area on the outskirts of town to wave off the sun at day’s end. Bring a beverage, plant yourself on the sculptural furniture, and sit back and relax as the colour show unfolds uninterrupted before you. Sometimes, the simple experiences are the best.
Stay at: BIG4 Hay Plains.
A setting among extreme darkness, 20km west of Mudgee, is ideal for viewing the captivating night sky. Giant telescopes and binoculars deliver a powerful perspective of the glittering, ever-changing canvas. A theatre and flatscreen planetarium add to the experience; so too does the proprietor’s immense and impressive astronomic knowledge. Bookings encouraged.
Stay at: BIG4 Mudgee.
An initiative of Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, the trail reveals dozens of eye-catching creations scattered around the city. Among them are funky sculptures, bold street art, and light installations that all liven the surrounds. Take a wander aided by an interactive online map and enjoy a fun and free experience.
Stay at: BIG4 Governor's Hill.
The secret is already out regarding this sandy stretch. In 2020, Tourism Australia ranked the beauty at no.9 in its annual ‘top 10 best beaches’ list – the first time an inland beach had made the coveted roll call. This golden turf lines the Murrumbidgee River and is backed by a grassy expanse: hello, perfect picnic spot. Not surprisingly, abundant aquatic activity features prominently here.
Stay at: BIG4 Wagga Wagga.
Forbes and its surrounds were once home to some of Australia’s most notorious outlaws, notably Ben Hall and the Gardiner Gang. The bushrangers thrived during the area’s gold-rush days in the 1860s and unearthing their exploits is truly gripping. Dedicated driving maps capture various sites of interest, including Ben Hall’s grave as well as the setting where it all ended for the infamous character.
Stay at: BIG4 Forbes.
Sandwiched between the Murray River and Lake Mulwala on the NSW-VIC border is Australia's largest public access golf resort. Two 18-hole and one nine-hole course amount to 45 fairways of golfing greatness for club carriers. It’s all found among classic countryside.
Stay at: NRMA Yarrawonga Mulwala.
Linking popular riverside beaches, McLean and Willoughby’s, the crowd-favourite path embraces splendid scenery. Flora and fauna-rich Island Sanctuary and the iconic Ute on a Pole are two notable highlights, while striking red gums and the snaking Edward River are ever-present. The trail blends both boardwalk and bitumen for roughly 3.5km.
Stay at: BIG4 Deniliquin.
Leveraging the mineral-rich waters of the ancient Great Artesian Basin, these iconic community baths are a must-visit attraction. Here, the water temperature consistently sits around 41.5 degrees Celsius, making the baths the ideal place for a soothing soak. It’s best enjoyed at night under a star-filled sky. Better yet, the whole experience is free!
Stay at: BIG4 Opal.