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Why Sydney and New South Wales should be your next holiday destination: The traveller’s guide

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Sun rising over Sydney Harbour in Sydney.

DESTINATION NSW / SUPPLIED

Sun rising over Sydney Harbour in Sydney.

As the prospect of easing travel restrictions grows closer, excitement is building for those Kiwis who can’t wait to take to the skies again for an overseas adventure.

New South Wales (NSW) is rightly at the top of the wishlist for many because of its glamorous capital, Sydney, but the diversity of the Outback and coastal regions is an irresistible pull too.

Think big, and start dreaming of these must-see destinations for your NSW ultimate travel checklist.

Morning sun rising over Bondi Icebergs, at Sydney's Bondi Beach.

DESTINATION NSW / SUPPLIED

Morning sun rising over Bondi Icebergs, at Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

SYDNEY

Make sure you keep aside a couple of days at the start or end of your NSW journey to explore Sydney. Even if you’ve been here before, there’s always a new exhibition to visit at the Museum of Contemporary Art or The Art Gallery of NSW, or a hot new eatery or bar to check out such as Ragazzi Wine and Pasta in the CBD.

Then there are all the bucket list activities to tick off, like climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and seeing the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Where to stay: Hotels with views of that famous harbour are always in high demand, such as the Park Hyatt Sydney in The Rocks. To experience Sydney like a local, try the hip Paramount House Hotel.

What to eat: For exquisite views of the Sydney Opera House, you can’t beat the contemporary fine dining at Aria; if crashing surf is more your style, head for North Bondi Fish overlooking famous Bondi Beach.

Watch the sun set over sculptures in the Living Desert and Sculptures attraction, Broken Hill.

DESTINATION NSW / SUPPLIED

Watch the sun set over sculptures in the Living Desert and Sculptures attraction, Broken Hill.

BROKEN HILL & SURROUNDS

This famous mining city, a 3hr 15min flight west from Sydney, is an ideal base from which to explore the ruggedly handsome NSW Outback. Broken Hill, in far west NSW, has an interesting history that dates back to the 1880s, and you can learn all about it during a fascinating two-hour Broken Hill Heritage Walk Tour through its CBD.

Australia’s first heritage-listed city is also known for its vibrant arts scene for being the spectacular desert backdrop for movies such as Mad Max and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. In the wider Broken Hill area, you’ll find spectacular national parks including Mutawintji, where you can find one of the best collections of Aboriginal art in NSW at Mutawintji Historic Site.

Where to stay: It would be remiss not to pay homage to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, with a night or two at The Palace Hotel which starred in the iconic Australian film.

Where to eat: The Silly Goat Cafe is a local institution for a casual brekkie or brunch while 1950s-themed Bell’s Milk Bar serves up delicious milkshakes and spiders.

Humpback whale spotted breaching the waters in Jervis Bay during a swimming with whales tour with Dive Jervis Bay.

DESTINATION NSW / SUPPLIED

Humpback whale spotted breaching the waters in Jervis Bay during a swimming with whales tour with Dive Jervis Bay.

SOUTH COAST

Hit the road south of Sydney on Grand Pacific Drive for a scenic meander 140km down the NSW coastline. The route officially starts in the Royal National Park, less than an hour south of Sydney’s CBD, and goes to the Shoalhaven region, passing through the pretty coastal cities and towns of Wollongong, Kiama (don’t miss the famous blowhole) and Shellharbour.

Enjoy delicious food and wine, wildlife spotting and some of the country’s most spectacular beaches. At the end of the driving route, continue to the picturesque far South Coast regions of Eurobodalla and the Sapphire Coast, , or head back to Sydney via the charming Southern Highlands.

Where to stay: For something different, Paperbark Camp is a bush retreat offering premium glamping at beautiful Jervis Bay.

Where to eat: If you’re in Wollongong for the night, head to the stylish rooftop terrace and bar at Humber for cocktails and dinner.

Scenic views over Shoal Bay Beach, Zenith Beach, Wreck Beach and Box Beach in Port Stephens from Tomaree Head Summit.

DESTINATION NSW / SUPPLIED

Scenic views over Shoal Bay Beach, Zenith Beach, Wreck Beach and Box Beach in Port Stephens from Tomaree Head Summit.

PORT STEPHENS

A 2.5hr drive north of Sydney is Port Stephens, where you’ll find wildlife, fishing and surfing hotspots, an incredible 26 beaches and world-class food and wine. Known as the dolphin capital of Australia, set aside time to swim with wild dolphins, spot humpback whales, hoon around the giant Stockton Sand Dunes on 4WDs or sandboards, experience Aboriginal culture, or spy a koala amongst the eucalyptus trees in Tomaree National Park.

Where to stay: You’ll keep everyone in the family happy at Oaks Pacific Blue Salamander Bay, an apartment resort with a huge lagoon pool. For a luxury experience head to Bannisters Port Stephens or the Anchorage.

Where to eat: Watch the seabirds and marine life of Port Stephens at play during a long lunch at the Little Beach Boathouse.

Go to Sydney.com/nz to get inspired and start planning your trip to Sydney and New South Wales.

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