Do you know what we need right now? A reset button. To reset our mindset, reset our sense of adventure, and reset our travel mojo. “Hey, Siri: know a destination that offers a sense of renewal?” “Yes.” (Imagine robot-y female Siri voice), “New South Wales.”
Yup, with the NSW borders opening on 1 November, it’s finally time to flex those travel muscles.
Much like you wouldn’t deadlift a 40kg weight after months consuming Doritos in lockdown, you’ll want to ease yourself back into travelling.
Thankfully, New South Wales is the perfect place to start. It’s a destination as diverse and enthralling as any international hot spot, and it’s a destination that’s been missing you!
Whether you’re looking to get lost in the regional natural wonders, refuel your culture tank, or awaken your travel spirit via your tastebuds, New South Wales – and Sydney – has the ability to energise you like nowhere else, thanks to its collision of diverse natural wonders and vibrant culture that leave you supercharged and feeling like new long after you leave.
We’ve selected our top eight fave ways to Feel New in New South Wales.
1. Feel New Through the Familiar
Sometimes to gain a sense of recalibration, you need the familiar as a way to ground yourself from the chaos. So, what could be more familiar in New South Wales than the Sydney Harbour? Whether you’re taking in the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, shopping in the Rocks or wandering Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour provides the reassurance that life not only can go back to normal but that it will.
2. Feel New Through the Old
Nothing gets you feeling like new than looking at something super, super old. Visiting the millions-of-years-old Warrumbungle National Park puts the timeframe of the past 18 months into perspective (for us, anyway). By day, the jagged rocks and windy bush walks are spectacular to explore; by night, the beauty increases as the night sky awakens. The Warrumbungles is Australia’s first designated Dark Sky Park.
Mount Oxley offers a different kind of old, taking visitors back to 1829 when explorers Sturt and Hume first climbed it. Expect soaring wedge-tail eagles and curious wallabies to accompany the expansive panoramic views and unbelievable sunsets.
3. Feel New Through the Unusual
Located three hours out of Sydney, Bubbletent Australia offers three incredible accommodation offerings looking across the expansive Capertree Valley at Virgo. Private, secluded, and away from almost every living soul, these transparent glamping tents are the antithesis to any city lockdown, hands down.
4. Feel New with a Cleanse
Everyone knows water is cleansing. Instead of a bath or a trip to the local pool, why not get wet and get cleansed somewhere new? In New South Wales, you can! It’s not only the 2000-kilometre+ coastline that allows for a travel baptism through water: it’s also the cool places.
Like Canoe Pool in Newcastle, where the kids can splash safely in shallow water. Or why not head to Avoca Beach on the Central Coast, only 90-minutes north of Sydney. Learn to surf, splash in the rock pools, or try a water sport on Avoca Lake.
5. Feel New by Connecting to Culture
Connect to Sydney’s Aboriginal heritage with a cultural tour at Barangaroo. This hands-on experience offers insight into the site’s rich Aboriginal history and cultural significance for the clans of the Eora Nation. You’ll hear First Nation’s stories, as well as learn about the 75,000 exclusive native plants that grow here.
If you’re travelling to Broken Hill, explore the Living Desert and Sculptures. The 180-acres of flora, fauna and Aboriginal culture of western New South Wales is enriching. Particularly the 1.6-kilometre cultural trail, weaving past Aboriginal attractions and contemporary story pole artwork.
6. Feel New Through Expression
While Sydney and New South Wales can be humble, peaceful, and reflective… it can also be expressive, flashy, and loud. There are many places to connect with Sydney’s proud LBQT+ community, but The Imperial in Erskineville is an institution you don’t want to miss. Drag and drink, opt for bingo, or party on at the late-night disco. There’s, of course, the world-famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, too.
A little further afield, a visit to the Broken Heel Festival is all set to rock two dates in 2022, celebrating Priscilla Queen of the Desert across three glitter-fuelled days in outback Broken Hill.
7. Feel New Through your Tastebuds
Sick of the same ol’ Uber Eats order? Smashed through Nat’s What I Reckon YouTube cooking tutorials? When you visit New South Wales, it’s not just your soul that gets the reset; your tastebuds do, too.
Head to Merrylands to sample authentic Afghani cuisine at the Avasana Afghan street bazaar, followed by delectable Iranian treats at Asal Sweet. If you’re in the mood for the taste of Asia, Spice Alley offers a veritable feast from South East Asia across its buzzy, high-vibing hawker centre in Chippendale.
Feeling fancy? Head to the Hunter Valley to sample the fares (read: drink loads of lush wines with lots of yummy food) at Brokenwood Wines in Pokolbin.
8. Feel New Through Something New
Nothing says fresh like a new experience. Why not soar across the stunning Canowindra countryside in a hot air balloon (Canowindra is the hot air balloon capital of Australia)? Or race your buddies down a dune at the Stockton Sand Dunes at the Worimi Conservation Land in Port Stephens? Something new and New South Wales are practically synonyms.
Ready to plan and book a trip to feel new? Head here for travel inspiration, itineraries, and countless ways to #FeelNSW this November.
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