Continuing on from Part 1, here are 9-18 of the most Amazing Ways to Explore NSW. From SUP to helicopter, bicycle to houseboat; you should really think about adding these to your Bucket List immediately!
When walking’s just a little too slow, but an engine is way too fast, bicycle touring is the irrefutable answer. I firmly believe there is no better way to explore the wonderful landscapes of the world than from the saddle of a push bike. And anyway, who can argue with Mark Twain, who said ‘Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live’.
Where ever there’s a quiet road, trail or path…there are plenty in NSW! Just pack up your panniers and stare dreamily into a map to plan your overnight route. Some recommendations include the Hunter Valley (train to Maitland, then cycle to Newcastle via Dungog), Wombeyan Caves in the Blue Mountains, Naas Valley near Canberra and Narooma down on the South Coast.
11. CANOE OR KAYAK
Rivers weave their way through NSW like seductive serpents, with tranquil backwaters, picturesque gorges and serene lakes lying hidden across the state. Canoeing and kayaking is really easy and cost-effective way to access this wilderness, with suppliers everywhere more than willing to rent you a vessel for a weekend of exploring.
Our recent blog post will give you a few awesome ideas for places really near to Sydney, but some of our other favourite canoe spots include the Kangaroo Valley with Kangaroo Valley Safari’s and the gum-lined Edward River near Deniliquin in the centre of NSW. Kayakers should also put Nelson Bay, Ben Boyd NP and Kosciuzsko NP on their latest to-do list.
Sometimes asphalt roads just don’t quite cut the mustard. Switching up the cruising for a session on dirt trails is always going to be the more adventurous way to road trip. We’re lucky that New South Wales has some of the most adventurous off-roading trails in the world, so what are you waiting for?
Explore Oz is a brilliant resource for planning your next 4×4 adventure. Our highlights are Stockton Dunes if you fancy tear-arsing it through Australia’s biggest sand dune system, as well as the variety of trails in the Blue Mountains. No 4×4? Call Brendan at Bear Rentals – he’ll kit you out with a Land Rover Defender so you can roam and look the bee’s knees doing it.
With 2,137km of coastline to explore, the trickiest part to surfing in NSW is deciding which beach, reef or point break you want to ride. Which ever end of the talent spectrum you lie, there’s a wave out there for everyone to drop into.
Escaping the congested mayhem of Bondi is always a welcome relief. Load up your trucks and discover the many breaks around Byron Bay, Seal Rocks, Crescent Head on the North Coast, or the hidden spots around Ulladulla on the South Coast. As an alternative option for beginners, check out Surf Camp Australia, an amazing all inclusive set up that offer 2-10 day surf adventures that promise to change your life.
Paragliding is about as close as human beings will ever come to flying. No motors, no engine noise, no metal cage. Paragliding offers an inexpensive form of aviation making it one of the most accessible ways to get your feet off the ground.
Stanwell Tops just south of the Royal National Park is a popular destination for this growing sport due to it’s close proximity to Sydney. Alternatively, if you want to become a true bird then get in touch with David at High Adventure who runs one of the countries best flying schools out of Port Macquarie.
If 4x4ing doesn’t get enough wind in your face, then quad-biking is probably the adrenaline fuelled experience you’ve been looking for.
Hands down the best area for this adventure activity is around Port Stephens. With 3o metre high sand-dunes and the mysterious Tin City to investigate, Quad Bike King are the go-to suppliers for quad biking in and around Stockton Dunes.
Unless you’re part of the Packer family this probably isn’t one you’ll be doing on a regular basis, although you really haven’t seen Australia until you’ve seen it from the air. Scenic flight’s offer the chance to see NSW’s diverse landscapes from an entirely new perspective, and you’ll feel like the newest member of the A-Team in the process.
Sydney HeliTours will take you on a thrilling and fully tailored flight above the iconic landmarks of Sydney, and further afield to the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley.
Hardcore Rating: 2/5 Cost Rating: 5/5 Risk of Buying One: 1/5
If you’ve ever wanted to become El Capitan, but think bow and stern are body and facial expressions, then now’s your chance. Houseboats are fun, easy to manoeuvre and as long as you’re over 18 you can motor off into the sunset in one. Autumn and early winter are the ideal time to cruise – fish for your dinner and go night-swimming with not another soul in sight.
From expansive rivers to tranquil backwaters, we’re spoilt for choice actually. The Murray River is the most popular (with it’s main hub for rental in Mildura). The Hawkesbury is the most convenient to reach for Sydney Siders, but those wishing to venture further should check out Lake Macquarie, Myall Lakes, the Nambucca and Tweed Rivers. The Clyde River on the South Coast is yet another option.
Over the last couple of years Stand Up Paddle boarding has become an extremely popular activity for anyone looking to explore the water in an intimate and unique way, whilst chiseling themselves an enviable six pack in the process.
Outside of Sydney, the Byron Bay Marine Park is the perfect place to tour, although for something a little closer Jervis Bay will get you up close and personal with dolphins, sting rays and penguins! Total Eco Adventures further south in Batemans Bay are another great choice for an exploratory SUP tour.