We all #LoveNSW. That’s why we’ve seen so many super-cool tourism campaigns encouraging families to support bushfire-affected communities by visiting their favourite NSW destinations on a #RecoveryWeekend getaway. Head out with your empty esky and adventurous spirit to make the most of these top activities in NSW.
Read more here about ideas to support bushfire affected communities.
There’s no better time to do your bit and have an outdoor adventure close to home! So jump on board, test out these activities in NSW and share your stories with #LoveNSW and #RecoveryWeekend.
Treetop Adventures in the Illawarra
Follow the 1.5 kilometre Illawarra Fly walkway from the forest floor to the treetops. In fact, the trail reaches heights of 30 metres above ground. As you can imagine, you’ll get some pretty great bird’s-eye views across the Royal National Park, Lake Illawarra and South Pacific Ocean. Want to take things up a notch? Zoom along on the zipline instead.
Nearby: Jamberoo Action Park
Stay: The Illawarra Fly is about 25 minutes’ drive from Kiama. Stay at BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park or Kendalls On The Beach Holiday Park, or choose from the range of self-catered apartments.
SUP in Jervis Bay
The enclosed and sheltered Jervis Bay contains some amazing bird and marine life. In fact, when the season is right, it is a pit stop for passing dolphin pods, seals and whales. Get out on the ocean with a paddle in hand and try out Stand Up Paddleboarding. You can hire gear from Jervis Bay Stand Up Paddle, which offers delivery and pick-up in the region. Costs range from $35 for 2-hours to $75 for the full day. You can also add a quick tutorial at extra cost.
Nearby: Hyams Beach – famous for having some of the whitest sands in the world. Read more about the region with this ultimate guide to Jervis Bay.
Stay: Unpowered camping at sites in the Booderee National Park, including Green Patch. Booderee re-opened to visitors in mid-January. Huskisson Beach is another great home base.
Learn to surf in Byron Bay
Surfing has got to be one of the top go-to activities in NSW, especially in beachy hubs like Byron Bay. This northerly destination offers up more than ten beaches to choose from. The smaller waves of Clarkes Beach are good for learners, as are the clean breaks at Main Beach and Wategos. Travel a little further to Lennox Head and Brunswick Heads. For daily lessons, try out Surf Camp Byron Bay.
Stay: Discovery Parks – Byron Bay, Byron Bay Hotel and Apartments or Beach Suites.
Abseil in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is one of the most jam-packed destinations when it comes to adventure activities in NSW. Even the recent fires could not mute its spectacular natural beauty, best explored up close with a hard hat and rope. Go abseiling, canyoning and rock-climbing with awesome tour companies such as Eagle Rock Adventures, Blue Mountains Adventure Company and High and Wild Australian Adventures. Tours can generally by tailored to the participants, so you can go as high or as stress-free as you like.
Nearby: Scenic World, including Scenic Railway, Skyway, boardwalks and cable car.
Stay: Range of accommodation options available through Blue Mountains Accommodation listings.
Ski in Perisher Valley
The largest ski resort in Australia, Perisher offers up to 25 ski runs for beginners alone. Nestled in the Kosciuszko National Park, it is a great spot for ski lessons, cross-country trails and snowboarding.
Nearby: Go snow-tubing at Tube Town.
Stay: Kids stay and eat for free on certain dates at The Station, which offers motel rooms and apartments. You can also try Perisher Hotel.
Kayak the Hawkesbury River
Hire your own kayak or canoe and map out your route along the Hawkesbury River or embark on a guided tour. Intrepid older families can attempt the multi-day trip from Windsor to Brooklyn, which is the route followed for the Hawkesbury Classic race. The Hawkesbury is also ideal for other water sports such as wakeboarding, tubing and water-skiing.
Nearby: Take a short ferry ride to Dangar Island, from Brooklyn.
Stay: The Hawkesbury River website recommends Allawah, Mackys, The Loft and The Milson as family-friendly accommodation options.
Hike through Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
A multi-day hike is one of the best outdoor activities in NSW for teens. In fact, we wrote a whole story about why! The 65-kilometre Green Gully Track in this Northern Tablelands national park will take you four or five days. The trail is set to reopen on March 30th, so keep an eye on alerts by checking the National Park page.
Nearby: Swim at Blue Holes picnic area or picnic at Budds Mare lookout.
Stay: If you book the Green Gully track, you stay in 5 huts across the 4-day walk. Otherwise, try riverside camping at Apsley River.
Skydive in Wollongong
This Skydiving adventure is only for the brave (and crazy?). Teens partial to an adrenaline rush can freefall a whopping 200 kilometres for a whole 60 seconds. Then float by parachute for another 5 or so minutes over North Wollongong Beach.
Nearby: Symbio Wildlife Park lies half an hour north of Wollongong, back up towards Sydney. Why not follow the Grand Pacific Drive scenic route, which crosses Sea Cliff Bridge.
Stay: Pick anywhere along the NSW South Coast for top-notch holiday parks and self-catered apartments, including Gerroa, Culburra, Currarong and Ulladulla. Or try Novotel Wollongong.
Mountain bike in Thredbo
This Snowy Mountains ski resort is famous for its year-round activity schedule. Right now, before the winter snowfall, you can head to Thredbo to hurtle down all 1930 metres of the Kosciuszko Flow Trail. Beginners and daredevils alike can let loose on a range of mountain bike trails. You can hire bikes and all protective gear.
Nearby: Catch your own meal at Eucumbene Trout Farm. Travel further afield to Yarrangobilly Caves.
Stay: Pick from lofts, lodges, hotels and more in Thredbo Village.
Sophie is a die-hard pasta lover, beach-goer and theatre fanatic hit hard with the travel bug. When exploring new places, Sophie loves straying from the beaten path and chatting with locals about the best places to grab a bite to eat.