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!


10. BICYCLE

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 to do it? 

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.

Hardcore Rating: 2/5     Cost Rating: 2/5     Puncture Risk: 4/5
Bicycle

Bicycle touring is well worth the sore arse

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.

Where to do it? 

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.

Hardcore Rating: 3/5     Cost Rating: 2/5     Trench foot risk: 2/5
Kangaroo Valley Canoeing

Grab your mates and explore NSW’s vast network or waterways

12. 4X4

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?

Where to do it? 

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.

Hardcore Rating: 4/5     Cost Rating: 4/5     Flat Tire Risk: 4/5
bear rentals land rover defender

Asphalt roads just don’t quite cut the mustard. Call Bear Rentals and rent yourself a Defender!

13. SURFBOARD

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.

Where to do it? 

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.

Hardcore Rating: 4/5     Cost Rating: 1/5     Shark Risk: 1/5
Surf

Which ever end of the talent spectrum, there’s a wave out there for everyone in NSW

14. PARAGLIDER

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.

Where to do it? 

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.

Hardcore Rating: 5/5     Cost Rating: 4/5     Wedgie Risk: 4/5
paragliding

No motors, no engine noise, no metal cage. Paragliding is as close to flying as you can get

15. QUAD-BIKE

If 4x4ing doesn’t get enough wind in your face, then quad-biking is probably the adrenaline fuelled experience you’ve been looking for.

Where to do it? 

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.

Hardcore Rating: 3/5     Cost Rating: 3/5     Sand Fly Eating Risk: 2/5
quadbiking

Quad biking in Stockton Dunes gets the wind in your face and maybe some sand flies in your mouth

16. HELICOPTER

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.

Where to do it? 

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

helicopter

Shift over Mr T, this ride’s mine

17. HOUSEBOAT

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.

Where to do it? 

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.

Hardcore Rating: 2/5     Cost Rating: 2/5     Becoming a Pirate Risk: 5/5
HouseBoat_nsw1356653-398-c-650x380

Catch your own fish for dinner and go night swimming without another soul in sight

18. SUP

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.

Where to do it? 

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.

Hardcore Rating: 2/5     Cost Rating: 2/5      6 Pack Risk: 4/5
SUP paddleboard

Explore the water in an intimate and unique way, whilst chiseling themselves an enviable six pack in the process

So which one will you go for?

If you do head on one of these weekend adventures, let us know how you go! Better still, you can submit it as an Explorer Challenge, a grass-roots competition that enters you to win awesome adventure prizes, having an amazing time in the process.