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New South Wales is Australia's most populous state and has great appeal to travellers worldwide. Landmarks like the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, to the Blue Mountains in the west, the Hunter Region and its wineries, the coast and its countless beaches, the Snowy Mountains and Mt Kosciusko as well as over 600 national parks and reserves to explore.
About two-thirds of New South Wales mostly consists of plains that stretch west and northwest behind the Great Dividing Range which is about 100 kilometers inland from the coast. It's generally called the Outback, although this is quite a broad term actually. The coastline is where most people live and which is also the most fertile area with soils suitable for vineyards and agriculture. In the west you will also find quite mountainous regions like the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and the Snowy Mountains in the south of the state. Here you will also find the highest mountain of Australia: Mount Kosciuszko at 2228 metres above sea level. The Murray and Darling are the most important rivers meandering westwards across the plains.
There are 126 National Parks in New South Wales and several hundred additional parks and reserves, covering 7% of the total state area. Some of the most popular include Kosciuszko National Park, Blue Mountains National Park, and Sydney Harbour National Park.
Read more about it in the National Parks in New South Wales article.
The Blue Mountains and the Snowy Mountains are one of the more popular areas for outdoor activities, including skiing from June to August.
The climate in New South Wales ranges from subtropical in the northeastern coastal area to a more varied climate (at least regarding temperatures) towards the southwestern inland parts. Generally, the summermonths are from November to March and winter is from June to August. Temperatures range from 25 °C to 30 °C during the day in summer to average nightly temperatures of just a few degrees above zero more to the south, especially at somewhat higher elevations. That said, in summer, temperatures can rise to more than 45 °C during the day in the northern and northeastern Outback. The northeastern border area with Queensland has a distinct wet season from November to March, but not as pronounced as more to the north of Australia. Sydney is somewhat average for the whole of New South Wales, with average daytime temperatures between 17 (July) and 27 (January) degrees Celsius, and between 9 (July) and 19 (February) degrees at night. The first half of the year is wetter than the second half of the year, but differences are not that big.
Sydney Airport (SYD) is the main gateway to New South Wales, with flights from Europe, Asia, North America, South America, South Africa, and other parts of Oceania.
From Sydney, you can also fly domestically to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Canberra and other airports across Australia.
Domestic airlines include:
- Qantas with flights to 62 airports across Australia.
- Virgin Australia services 27 airports across Australia.
- Jetstar is a budget airline servicing 21 airports across Australia.
Well maintained roads lead into New South Wales from neighbouring states as well as from the ACT (Canberra). There are many crossings from Victoria and several good ones to and from Queensland. To and from South Australia, the main crossing is east of Broken Hill.
Many other outback roads that lead into New South Wales require a 4wd vehicle.
Cruiseships, cargoships or yachts are the way to go.
Sydney Airport (SYD) is where most flight across New South Wales originate and terminate. Airlines serving destinations within the state include:
CountryLink Explorer provides services within New South Wales to various destination, mainly to and from Sydney. Other cities served include Wagga Wagga and Broken Hill.
The XPT has services between cities and towns in New South Wales as well, and also the famous Indian Pacific stops in various places within New South Wales.
New South Wales is well served with many good tarmac roads and renting a car is a good way to see a lot of the state. Most dirt roads are in the outback, which can require a 4wd. There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.
Greyhound has buses throughout New South Wales.
Mostly yachts if you want to travel along the coastline.
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I'm the ex-General Manager of Oz Experience. I know the coast and all the acitivity suppliers very well. I am NOT biased towards Oz Experience at all. I have 17-years experience in the Australian Backpacking industry. I'm based in Sydney
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