Things to do in New South Wales
As travel resumes, Singaporeans are met with a happy dilemma: where to? Besides the issue of not knowing where to visit, we also have limited leave days to go frolicking on vacation. Hence, it makes sense to go somewhere with as many varied vibes and experiences as possible. Well, New South Wales hears that and would like to step up to the plate.
Look beyond New South Wales’ well-known icons like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and try alpine skiing, coastal cycling expeditions and gourmet picnic treasure hunts on for size. There are adventures of all kinds for nature buffs and thrillseekers, as well as plenty of next-level food and shopping options for those who fancy a more nua holiday.
1. Swim & abseil at the Empress Canyon waterfall
Jump into the creek, swim around and abseil out of this majestic canyon.
Image credit: @rachmartee
A major bucket list item for nature buffs and adrenaline chasers, Klook’s Empress Canyon Experience (S$251.69) is packed with thrills and spills. The site of the action is within the famous Blue Mountains region – a UNESCO World Heritage Site located a 90-minute drive from Sydney.
Keep in mind that this activity is recommended for those with an intermediate swimming ability, as there’ll be jumps, waterslides and rock-pool swimming involved. Experienced instructors will lead the way and guide you through the abseiling process, so you’ll feel assured as you savour the breathtaking sights and refreshing waterfall mists.
Book the Empress Abseiling & Canyoning Experience.
2. Ski & snowboard at an alpine village in the Snowy Mountains
Image credit: @ashgill___
At the mention of Sydney, most Singaporeans envision a twinkling cityscape and glorious beaches with endless sun, sand and surf. Further afield from Sydney, in a less traversed part of New South Wales, a wintery wonderland by the name of Snowy Mountains can be found. Slot a road trip to Snowy Mountains into your itinerary for an alpine escape from bustling city life.
Image credit: @boalilodge
To make planning and transportation an easy breezy affair, those strapped for time can opt for Klook’s Thredbo Snow Trip From Sydney tour (S$116.65). The overnight transfer shuttles you to the Snowy Mountains ski resort with an early morning arrival, so you can ski and snowboard the day away.
When it’s time for a bit of a breather, board the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift and ride to the highest point. You can then take in a bird’s-eye view of the entire alpine village and enjoy a meal at the highest restaurant in all of Australia – Eagles Nest restaurant – warming up with a hot bev in hand.
3. Indulge in a buffet 82 storeys high in the sky at Sydney Tower
Image credit: @skyfeastsydneytower
Especially if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion, there’s no better way to level-up your vacay than with a feast which takes place a whopping 82 storeys high in the sky.
Over at SkyFeast (from S$72.89 for lunch, S$87.49 for dinner), a buffet within Sydney Tower, you’ll get to sample the best of the state’s uber fresh produce and multicultural cuisine. In this 360-degree revolving restaurant, your eyes will be in for as much of a feast as your stomach.
Image credit: @skyfeastsydneytower
While the nature and outdoor activities in New South Wales are tough to beat, the food scene isn’t going to take a backseat. Dig into a smorgasbord of fresh seafood, hearty meats, international fare and sweet treats as you get an unrestricted view of the city and harbour beyond.
Book SkyFeast at Sydney Tower.
4. Go on a 21km coastal cycling route from Narooma to Dalmeny
Image credit: Klook
One thing’s for sure, Singaporeans love to cycle. What better way to take in the gorgeous sights and fresh sea breeze along New South Wales’ coastal regions than with a scenic coastal cycling route? The 21km long trail spans Narooma to Dalmeny, both picturesque towns situated on the south coast.
Klook has a nifty e-bike rental (S$38.89 for 2 hours) which allows you to cycle as per normal whenever you’re feeling up for it. And when you need a break, just switch on the power to glide along as you rest those gams.
Notable stops along this cycling route include the Australia Rock lookout where there’s a seal colony, and the natural wonders of Glasshouse Rocks over on Surf Beach.
5. Experience the famous Grand Pacific Drive & its coastal villages
Image credit: Grand Pacific Drive
There’s a reason why the Grand Pacific Drive always springs to mind when epic road trips are in question. The iconic coastal road traverses through some of the most breathtaking sights, granting magnificent views along the Pacific Ocean.
Tip: Sift through Sydney car rentals on Klook to live out your road trippin’ fantasies from S$47.45/day.
There are plenty of notable pit stops along the way for every interest, whether you’re into nature and outdoor activities, wildlife spotting, or just awe-inspiring sights and aesthetic photo backdrops.
Animal lovers can swing by the Symbio Wildlife Park to see native Australian species, as well as animals like cheetahs, meerkats and red pandas. Or, if you’re road tripping between the months of May and November – AKA whale migration season, pack some binoculars for whale watching at the various beach stops.
A scenic coastal walking trail spanning Kiama to Minnamurra.
Image credit: @tesscali_images
Prep your best athleisure wear, as outdoor activities such as water sports and hiking await you at Minnamurra Rainforest, Royal National Park and Budderoo National Park. Talk about getting your heart rate up while gorgeous scenery distracts you from the burn!
Coalcliff Rock Pools, a 35-min drive down south from Royal National Park.
Image credit: @lindabecerrap
To rejuvenate yourself before getting behind the wheel once more, cool off with a dip in an ocean pool or two. They’re dotted along the road trip route, with Coalcliff Rock Pools, the Kiama Rock Pool and Austinmer Ocean Pools just to name a few.
6. Have a treasure hunt picnic in the Southern Highlands countryside
Image credit: Klook
The picnics Singaporeans are familiar with are probably held at neighbourhood parks or atop Marina Barrage. Klook has a Southern Highlands Mystery Picnic (from S$68.05 for 2 pax) that ups the ante in terms of location, views, food, and the uniqueness of the experience itself.
Instead of getting a standard ready-assembled picnic basket, you and your companions will be collecting food along the way based on clues.
The clues will guide you to local businesses where you’ll pick up delectable fruits, spreads, artisanal meats, cheeses and crackers. This is an immersive way to take in the sights of the Southern Highlands while tasting local produce.
Image credit: @visitsouthernhighlands
The region is known for its quaint country towns such as Berrima and Bowral, set against rolling hills. Come March to May, the trees and falling leaves sport gorgeous reddish-orange Autumn hues.
You can also look forward to the Tulip Time floral festival during springtime in September to November, giving plenty of reason to return to the Southern Highlands in different seasons.
7. Race through Hunter Valley & Nelson Bay in high-speed go-karts
While we may not be able to live out our Initial D fantasies in a completely safe and legal manner, high-speed go-karting comes pretty close.
Besides Junior and Senior Kart sizes so kids as young as 8 can join in on the fun, there are also Double Karts so you and a partner can race the rest of the group.
Image credit: @gateway.to.the.hunter
Go Karts Go offers state-of-the-art kart racing (from S$35 for a 13-min session) in a safe and controlled environment, so you can feel that rush without any worry. Better yet, their tracks can be found in Hunter Valley and Nelson Bay, both of which are highly recommended stops for any New South Wales itinerary.
The 850m-long Hunter Valley track is the longest in the region, featuring a good mix of sharp exhilarating corners as well as straight roads for serious acceleration. Meanwhile, the Nelson Bay track has longer turns and a nice length of straight driving so you can really take in the surrounding Port Stephens view.
Tip: While you’re in the vicinity, make sure to allocate time in your itinerary for some must-try activities like a Wine And Chocolate Tasting Tour in the Hunter Valley – Australia’s oldest wine-growing region – and a Dolphin Watching Cruise Tour in Port Stephens – the “dolphin capital” of the country.
Book a high-speed go-karting session.
8. Score bargains & fresh produce at weekend markets
Weekend markets are a big part of Aussie culture, and New South Wales is teeming with notable ones that you won’t want to miss.
The Carriageworks Farmers Market is where the cool kids hang every Saturday. After fetching a wide variety of fresh produce and artisanal foods here, you can tune into digital classes filmed onsite and whip up a dish or two with your market loot.
The Rocks Market, open 10am-5pm every weekend.
Image credit: Harbour Rocks
Other notable markets where you can scour the stalls for both food and retail offerings include Bondi Markets, The Rocks Markets, and the Rozelle Collectors Market – all of which open every Saturday and Sunday.
Bondi Markets, held on school grounds on Saturdays and Sundays.
Image credit: Tai Shaham
We’re talking handmade goods, secondhand treasures you can nab for a steal, unique accessories and jewellery, and items that would make perfect souvenirs.
Image credit: @sydneyfishmarket
If you’re serious about seafood, head to the Sydney Fish Market where you can buy the freshest fish and crustaceans. You can even ask to have it cooked immediately the way you like it, be it grilled, fried, or steamed.
You can also indulge at the various on-site eateries, including cafes, restaurants, a sushi bar, and even a bubble tea shop. Best part? You don’t have to wait till the weekend, as the market is open daily.
Experience a myriad of sights & activities all within New South Wales
Vacations can be hard to come by. So if you’re dusting the ol’ suitcase and passport off, you’d better make sure the destination will be worth the plane tickets and annual leave days. Sydney and New South Wales have much to offer, in terms of activity variety and even the kind of vibe each region gives.
Whether you’re travelling as a couple, with friends, family or even heading on a solo adventure, there are plenty of options to suit every interest. We’re talking nature experiences, thrill–seeking activities, loads of glorious food made with fresh produce and of course, retail therapy.
Better yet, keep your itinerary balanced with a mix of thrills as well as slower-paced, pure shiok factor experiences. Dining 82 storeys high in Sydney and soaking in a plethora of ocean pools, anyone?
Image credit: @vividsydney
For those eyeing a New South Wales trip soon, make sure to mark your calendars for 27th May to 18th June 2022. That’s when the highly-anticipated Vivid Sydney festival takes place, where the Sydney Harbour comes to life with lighting installations and music performances when the sun goes down.
You can also make your holiday planning that much easier and fuss-free by making use of the Klook app. It lets you book activities and tours, accommodation, airport transfers and car rental, and even SIM cards. Gotta post those enviable IG stories while they’re fresh, just sayin’.
Bonus: To snag some sweet savings for your vacay, make use of the promo code <RENEWYOURSELF> for S$30 off all New South Wales activities (min. spend S$150), and <SGCARAU00> for 10% off all car rentals in Australia (min. spend S$200).