DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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11 rewarding regional NSW experiences

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.

This beach hit the headlines in 2020. More at no.7. Credit: Jack of Hearts Photography/Visit Wagga Wagga.

1. Tamworth Powerstation Museum

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!

Stay at: BIG4 Paradise Tamworth.

Charge in: Add spark to your Tamworth getaway with a visit to the underrated powerstation museum.

2. Wollomombi Falls, near Armidale

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.

Wollomombi Falls and its surrounding landscapes are brilliantly breathtaking.

3. Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, Albury

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.

Stay at: BIG4 Albury.

Eye candy aplenty: Wagirra Trail. Credit: Albury City Council/Destination Riverina Murray.

4. Hay Sunset Viewing Area

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.

Settle in and watch the free sky show. Credit: Hay Shire Council.

5. Mudgee Observatory

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.

Marvel at the wondrous night sky from Mudgee Observatory.

6. Public Art trail, Goulburn

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 Public Art trail injects a huge dose of colour into the city. Credit: Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

7. Wagga Beach

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.

A secret no more: Wagga Beach. Credit: Jack of Hearts Photography/Visit Wagga Wagga.

8. Bushranger history, Forbes

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.

We love a good ol' bushranger monument in this country. Credit: Forbes Shire Council.

9. Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club

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: BIG4 NRMA Yarrawonga Mulwala.

A feast of fairways awaits. Credit: Destination NSW.

10. Beach to Beach Walk, Deniliquin

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.

The Edward River is a constant companion when strolling around Deni. 

11. Artesian Bore Baths, Lightning Ridge, NSW

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.

Sunset soak. Credit: Destination NSW.

Regional NSW accommodation

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