Situated on the east coast, New South Wales is the most populous state in Australia. New South Wales has just about something for everyone, whether it’s the beautiful beaches, countless natural wonders, or taking in one of the worlds most iconic and vibrant cities. Home to many distinct regions you can go wine tasting in the Hunter Valley vineyards, or go walking the romantic Blue Mountains. If you’re looking for a more traditional beach holiday there is Byron Bay with many unspoilt beaches, or you could visit Jervis Bay and go swimming to catch a glimpse of some dolphins. If you need to cool off head to the Snowy Mountains and you can horse ride, trek or if you come at the right time even hit the slopes.
Weather & Climate
The climate in New South Wales is temperate and mostly free from extremes of hot and cold, meaning there is rarely a bad time to visit. The coast experiences humidity during the summer months (December to February), with an average maximum temperature of 26°C. The hottest area in the state is the northwest, while the coldest region is the Snowy Mountains where snow and frost persist for long periods during the winter months (June to August). Average coastal temperatures during the winter are still quite temperate, with an average maximum of 16°C.
History & Culture
Prior to the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1770, New South Wales was inhabited by Indigenous Australians for at least 40,000 years. Cook became the first European to map the coast in 1770, but it wasn’t until 1788 that the ‘First Fleet’ arrived and established the first colony, making its capital city Sydney the oldest European settlement in Australia. This day is celebrated as ‘Australia Day’ and is a public holiday. Nowadays New South Wales is a diverse place, filled with examples of varied immigration (with ethnic communities from more than 100 countries!) making it a fascinating modern state.
- New South Wales is home to the highest hill on the Australian mainland, Mt Kosciuszko, which stands at an impressive 2,228 metres.
- Of its 6.2 million inhabitants, more than 60% live in the greater Sydney area.
- 13% of the known species of eucalyptus around the world are found in the Blue Mountains, which is now an UNESO World Heritage Site.
A trip to New South Wales would not be complete without a visit to the spectacular Blue Mountains. Only a short drive from Sydney it is an area of un-spoilt natural beauty. There are walks for any experience level, from 1-hour strolls to 10-hour hikes, along which you will take in some of the most beautiful vistas in the world. See the iconic Three Sisters from the Echo Point lookout, take a treetop walk at Scenic World and then finally rest your weary legs with an afternoon tea in sleepy Katoomba.