Five-Day Guide in New South Wales, Australia

When you have five days in New South Wales, don’t just stay in Sydney. The entire state has a variety of sites that suit all tourists. Here’s an itinerary to help you discover the best of what NSW has to offer.

Day 1: Sydney

Where to stay In Sydney:

Meriton Serviced Apartments Campbell Street (4 – 10 Campbell Street | corner of George Street), Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia)
Park Hyatt Sydney ( 7 Hickson Road | The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia)
Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour (61 Macquarie Street | East Circular Quay, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia)
1888 Hotel (139 Murray Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2009, Australia)
The Langham, Sydney (89 – 113 Kent Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia – Formerly The Observatory Hotel)

Of course, you don’t skip NSW’s capital, Sydney. Be at Sydney Tower (100 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia; tel:+61 1800 258 693) at 9:00 AM to see a panoramic view of the city. Proceed to the Art Gallery of NSW (Art Gallery Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia; tel: +61 2 9225 1700), which is one of Australia’s finest galleries. The Royal Botanic Gardens (Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia; tel: +61 2 9231 8111) is just a short walk away from the gallery.

Sydney Tower, Australia
Sydney Tower

Walk westward to reach Circular Quay, where you can have lunch after exploring the area and marveling at the magnificent views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Don’t forget to visit the Sydney Opera House (Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia; tel: +61 2 9250 7111), which is just in the northeast part of the Circular Quay.

Towards the end of your first day, board a ferry from  East Circular Quay for a picturesque view of the harbor and surrounding areas just like those in postcards.

Tips: Consider renting a car for the rest of your trip, especially if you are not travelling alone. This way you will be able to see more of New South Wales and spend your time in Australia without rushing for trains and buses. It will cost you around 120 USD for five days. Check current prices with Vroom.

Day 2: Blue Mountains

View from above of Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, Australia
View from above of Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, Australia

Travel west from Sydney to reach Blue Mountains and discover the region’s stunning wilderness and scenery (take the Blue Montain Line Train from Sydney Central Train Station to Katoomba Train Station. The trip is less than two hours and the price for a one-way ticket is a little bit less than 6 AUD or 5 USD). Head over to the popular Echo Point at Katoomba and witness the magnificence of the Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley.

Three sisters rock formation in Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia
Three sisters rock formation in Blue Mountains

Make sure to visit the information center here to learn more about the area should you decide to wander off (Echo Point Road, Katoomba NSW 2780; Other sites where you can see breathtaking views include Wentworth Falls, Gordon Falls, Kanangra Walls, Govett’s Leap and Cliff Drive.
Blue Mountains is vast with hiking and trekking paths or a place to camp out. If you want to experience Australia’s outdoors, this is a good starting step.

There are many accommodations if you wish to be closer to nature or spend the night at Blue Mountains.

Where to stay in the Blue Mountains Area:

Parklands Country Gardens and Lodges (132 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath, New South Wales 2785, Australia)

Black Gold Country Cabins (121 Main Street, Wallerawang, Lithgow, New South Wales 2845, Australia)

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (2600 Wolgan Road, Wolgan Valley, New South Wales 2790, Australia)

Highlands Motor Inn (77 – 79 Dart Street, Oberon, New South Wales 2787, Australia)

Day 3: Hunter Valley

A holiday in NSW is never complete without visiting Hunter Valley, where you can find quaint towns and the best vineyards in Australia. A great change from active outdoor fun at Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley is highly favored by locals who want a relaxing weekend over wine, great food, countryside, and scenic views.

Australian kangaroos, Hunter Valley, Australia
Hunter Valley – cannot get more Australian than this – kangaroos and vineyards

Grab the chance to book vineyards and wine tasting tours from local operators for a lovely experience while riding a horse-drawn cart. Alternatively, you can ride a bike to explore the 120 wineries in the area.

After that, visit the region’s capital, Newcastle, which is also the second largest city in the state. Enter the Christ Church Cathedral (46 Newcomen St, Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia; tel: +61 2 4929 2052) for the best view of the city and its beaches. There are also art galleries and museum in Newcastle, including Fort Scratchley, Newcastle Region Art Gallery and The Lock Up Cultural Centre.

Where to stay in Newcastle:

Junction Hotel (204 Corlette Street | The Junction, Newcastle, New South Wales 2291, Australia)
Merewether Motel (231 Glebe Road | Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales 2291, Australia – Formerly Aloha Motor Inn)
Crowne Plaza Newcastle (corner of Merewether St & Wharf Rd, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300, Australia)
Novotel Newcastle Beach (5 King Street | Newcastle Beach, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300, Australia – Formerly The Sebel Newcastle Beach)

Day 4: To the Coast

From sweeping vineyards, travel to the Mid-North Coast to discover why it’s called the “holiday coast”. Make sure to dine on the seafood dishes that this coastal region has to offer. Go to Coffs Harbour where you can find Dolphin Marine Magic, a marine park offering fantastic dolphin experiences and showcasing big live shows, among other events.

Where to stay in Coffs Harbour:

Smugglers on the Beach (36 Sandy Beach Rd | Korora, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales 2450, Australia)
Coffs Harbour Pacific Palms Motel (29 Grafton St, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales 2450, Australia)
Comfort Inn Big Windmill (168 Pacific Highway S, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales 2450, Australia)
Caribbean Motel (353 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales 2450, Australia)

If it’s between June and November, consider booking a whale watching cruise instead. Proceed to the Butterfly House, located on Strouds Road and  enjoy magical moments and photo opportunities with beautiful butterflies.

Day 5: Byron Bay

Be in the Northern Rivers on your last day and get to relax in one of the five bio-diverse and stunning World Heritage Listed National Parks. Visit the coastal town of Ballina and experience the local life at Shelley beach.

The lighthouse in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
The lighthouse at Cape Byron, Byron Bay

Alternatively, you can go directly to Byron Bay, a coastal town considered one of the major tourist destinations in Australia. Here, you can enjoy scuba diving, beach surfing and whale watching, among others. The lighthouse is one of the best in Australia.

Where to stay in Byron Bay:

The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa (77 – 97 Broken Head Road | Via Byron Bay, Suffolk Park, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia)
Atlantic Byron Bay (13 Marvell Street, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia)
Beach Suites (20 Bay Street, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia)
Hibiscus Motel (33 Lawson Street, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia)
The Oasis Resort & Treetop Houses (24 Scott St, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia)

New South Wales mirrors a big part of what Australian travel is all about. More than just surfing and enjoying Sydney’s famous beach, Bondi Beach, take some time to go out of the city and see the amazing natural beauty of Australia’s foremost region.

Tip: If you are based in the Americas or Europe you should consider adding other destinations to your trip since the cost of the airfare will be a big part of your budget for the trip. Consider flying with Cathay Pacific and spend a day or two in Hong Kong.

Have you been to New South Wales or Australia in general? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.

Australia, backpacking, City exploring

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