Australia: Outdoor adventures in New South Wales

Breath-taking views are just the beginning when exploring New South Wales’ natural attractions, writes Nina Karnikowski

Whether you prefer bushwalking through otherworldly landscapes or hot-air ballooning over winelands at sunrise; kayaking or houseboating down majestic rivers or hiking along rugged coastlines, New South Wales provides an abundance of outdoor adventure options. Here’s why you should put it on your must-visit list as we look forward to borders opening again.

Warrumbungle National Park

Crafted from intense volcanic activity more than 13 million years ago, the Warrumbungle National Park in central-west New South Wales offers incredible walks through dense bushland punctuated by soaring rock spires. Follow the 14km Breadknife and Grand High Tops trail to see the park’s most famous formations, or the Belougery Split Rock track, which snakes up an ancient lava dome. Keep an eye out for rare flora, including brilliant orange pea flowers and nodding blue lilies, and Aboriginal artefacts along the way. Australia’s only Dark Sky Park, this region is also perfect for stargazing and is home to Siding Spring Observatory, which has Australia’s largest optical telescopes.

Royal National Park

Less than an hour’s drive south of Sydney’s CBD, the Royal National Park is the world’s second-oldest national park after Yellowstone in the US, and is home to one of Australia’s most stunning coastal walks. The two-day Coast Track walk between Bundeena and Otford weaves along the sculptured sandstone coastline, passing secluded inlets and beaches including Wattamolla, Burning Palms and Garie, and with panoramic views over the Pacific. Hire a boat to take out on the quiet waters of Hacking River, check out some of the fascinating Aboriginal rock carvings dotted throughout the park, and visit during migration season (May to November) to spot humpback whales breaching off the coast.

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