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10 Things To Do In New South Wales For Snowy Adventures, Scenic Nature & Urban City Vibes In A Single Trip

Things to do in New South Wales

If you’re planning to cash in your vacation days somewhere down south, beyond Sentosa, you may be planning to head to Dundee lands of Australia. But instead of hitting up the usual Melbourne and Brisbane, why not try sledding to Ozzie’s winter haven, New South Wales?

There are tons of things to do in New South Wales beyond its icons like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, like alpine skiing, coastal cycling expeditions and gourmet picnic treasure hunts. Here’s what you can add to your itinerary for your next trip to New South Wales.

Note: The promotions featured at the end of this article may no longer be available.

When is the best time to travel to New South Wales?

You may have heard that Australian seasons go in the opposite route as seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. This means their summers happen from December to February and their winters happen from June to August.

New South Wales is known for its winter and snowy activities and is one of the closest places we can go to experience a true winter. Therefore the best time to visit would be during the Australian winter from June to August. You can finally get out your woolly coats and puffer jackets when you’re skiing down frosty slopes.

On the other hand, if you’re on a budget, the off-peak seasons of September to November and March to May will feature the cool crisp air of spring and autumn.

What major cities are in New South Wales?

New South Wales has plenty of iconic cities with thrilling activities and gorgeous sights. Head over to the Blue Mountains for waterfalls and canyons. For snowy mountains, head on over to Perisher Valley, Thredbo, or Kasoomba. On the contrary, Byron Bay and Wollongong are the places to check off for some sunny beaches. Of course, NSW is also home to its capital, Sydney, which has sights like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

1. Swim & abseil at the Empress Canyon waterfall

Things to do in New South Wales - Empress Canyon Experience
Jump into the creek, swim around and abseil out of this majestic canyon.
Image credit: @rachmartee via Instagram

A major bucket list item for nature buffs and adrenaline chasers, Klook’s Empress Canyon Experience (S$279.60) 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

Things to do in New South Wales - Snowy Mountains
Image credit: @ashgill___ via Instagram

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.

 Things to do in New South Wales - Kosciuszko Express Chairlift
Image credit: @boalilodge via Instagram

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$130.80). 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.

Book Thredbo Snow Trip From Sydney.

3. Indulge in a buffet 82 storeys high in the sky at Sydney Tower

 Things to do in New South Wales - Sydney Tower
Image credit: @skyfeastsydneytower via Instagram

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$81.19 for lunch, S$94.69 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.

Things to do in New South Wales - Sydney Tower SkyFeast
Image credit: @skyfeastsydneytower via Instagram

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. Experience the famous Grand Pacific Drive & its coastal villages

Things to do in New South Wales - Grand Pacific Drive
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$23.38/day.

Things to do in New South Wales - Symbio Wildlife Park
Get up close and personal with various cuddly critters at Symbio Wildlife Park, where you can book a “Keeper For A Day” experience.
Image adapted from: @drdebwong and @vinuthamsr via Instagram

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.

Things to do in New South Wales - Minnamurra walking trail
A scenic coastal walking trail spanning Kiama to Minnamurra.
Image credit: @tesscali_images via Instagram

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!

Things to do in New South Wales - Coalcliff Rock pools
Coalcliff Rock Pools, a 35-min drive down south from Royal National Park.
Image credit: @lindabecerrap via Instagram

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.

5. Have a treasure hunt picnic in the Southern Highlands countryside

Things to do in New South Wales - Southern Highlands picnic
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$135.30 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.

Things to do in New South Wales - berrima and bowral
Image credit: @visitsouthernhighlands via Instagram

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 you plenty of reasons to return to the Southern Highlands in different seasons.

Book Southern Highlands Mystery Picnic.

6. 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.

Things to do in New South Wales - gokarting
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: via Instagram

Go Karts Go offers state-of-the-art kart racing (from S$37.50 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 (S$27.05) in the Hunter Valley – Australia’s oldest wine-growing region – and a Dolphin Watching Cruise Tour (S$36.09) in Port Stephens – the “dolphin capital” of the country.

Book a high-speed go-karting session.

7. 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.

Things to do in New South Wales - Carriageworks Farmer's Market
Image adapted from: @carriageworksfarmersmarket via Instagram

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.

Things to do in New South Wales - The Rocks Market
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.

Things to do in New South Wales - Bondi Markets
Bondi Markets, held on school grounds on Saturdays and Sundays.
Image credit: Tai Shaham via Instagram

We’re talking handmade goods, secondhand treasures you can nab for a steal, unique accessories and jewellery, and items that would make perfect souvenirs.

Things to do in New South Wales - Sydney Fish Market
Image credit: @sydneyfishmarket via Instagram

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.

8. Get a bird’s-eye view of Wollongong Beach by skydiving

Things to do in New South Wales - Wollongong beach skydivingImage adapted from @jowin.tan, @stephano.jang via Instagram

The best view of a new place is from 15,000 feet in the sky – just ask the birds. If you’re still unconvinced, then try the Tandem Skydiving Experience Wollongong from Sydney (from S$366.85). For about 6-7 minutes you’ll be gliding at speeds of up to 200km/hour, where you’ll get views of Sydney’s beaches as far as the eye can see.

Things to do in New South Wales - hot air balloon camden valleyImage credit: @sam.ambegaonkar via Instagram

For a less heart-racing sky activity, you can take a serene flight on a hot air balloon over Camden Valley from S$332.35. Don’t just think you’re in for a cushy ride though – this excursion even comes with a lesson on how to set up and take down a hot air balloon. The early call time calls for breakfast, which guests will be treated to at the Camden Valley Inn.

Book the Tandem Skydiving Experience Wollongong from Sydney.

9. Discover Australian Wildlife at Taronga Zoo

Things to do in New South Wales - Taronga ZooImage credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

No trip to Down Under is complete without experiencing the nation’s unique wildlife. Don’t worry though, you won’t have to face the scary ones like black widow spiders in your shower.

Book the Taronga Zoo Express (from S$67.55/adult, $37.85/child), which is inclusive of entry to Taronga Zoo as well as the ferry ride to get you there from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. The zoo has a wide variety of native marsupials like wallabies and koalas, as well as a myriad of animals from Africa and Asia like giraffes and tigers.

If you’ve always wanted to be on the other side of the fence with the animals, then get the add-ons that’ll get you encounters with capybaras and meerkats. For the kiddos, they can even try their hand at caring for the creatures through their keeper-for-a-day programme.

Things to do in New South Wales - Sydney Harbour BridgeImage adapted from: @josh_empowers via Instagram 

The excitement starts before you reach the zoo, as the Captain Cook Cruise ferry will take you around Sydney Harbour, where you can admire the city’s skyline as well as the famed Sydney Opera House.

Book the Taronga Zoo Express.

10. Go on a 21km coastal cycling route from Narooma to Dalmeny

Things to do in New South Wales - Narooma Cycling
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.

Things to do in New South Wales - Australia rock and glasshouse rock
A seal chillin’ on Australia Rock (left), Glasshouse Rocks rock formations (right).
Image adapted from: Valerie Jacquard via Google Maps, @rowybennett via Instagram

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.

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?

Things to do in New South Wales - Sydney Opera House
Image credit: @vividsydney via Instagram

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).

Start planning your New South Wales holiday with Klook

This post was brought to you by Destination New South Wales & Klook.
Cover image adapted from: @jowin.tan, @sydneyfishmarket and @ashgill___ via Instagram
Originally published on 17th June 2022. Last updated by Ezekiel Sen on 21st June 2024.