Regions in NSW

Northern Rivers - Tropical NSW
The Northern Rivers area lies on the most northerly stretch of coast in New South Wales. It offers good surfing beaches as well as the wilderness of the World Heritage-listed Border Ranges, Nightcap and Mount Warning National Parks. Mount Warning offers a steep walk to its peak, which catches the first rays of sunlight in Australia. Byron Bay, at the eastern tip of Australia, has been Australia's 'alternative lifestyle' capital for decades.

Holiday Coast
From the Great Lakes region in the south, past Kempsey and the Macleay Valley to Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour in the north, the Holiday Coast's many beaches, rivers, waterways and forests make it one of Australia's most popular coastal retreats. The area includes World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park.

The Hunter Region

Two hours' drive north of Sydney, this area was home to some of Australia's earliest settlers and offers visitors fascinating colonial townships, rich farming country, rugged national parks and Australia's oldest wine-producing area in the Hunter Valley. It is renowned for its outstanding surf beaches, lakes and rivers, including Australia's largest coastal lake, Lake Macquarie. The area includes World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops National Park.

Central Coast

One hour north of Sydney, the Central Coast has beaches, national parks such as Bouddi, Brisbane Water, Yengo and Wyrrabalong as well as state forests, making it a popular weekend retreat area.

Blue Mountains

Named for their distinctive blue haze, a result of eucalyptus oil evaporating from millions of gum trees, the Blue Mountains area encompass a string of 26 mountain townships in the Blue Mountains National Park. Katoomba's Scenic Railway and Skyway, the Three Sisters rock formation and the Jenolan Caves are highlights of the area.

Illawarra & Southern Highlands

The Illawarra region takes in the coastline from Stanwell Park in the north to the Shoalhaven River in the south and includes the Southern Highlands to the west. Wollongong is the region's commercial heart. The Southern Highlands region offers English-style rolling green countryside, a pleasantly cool climate and a collection of quaint villages including Bowral, Moss Vale, Berrima and Mittagong, which are noted for their fine early colonial buildings and spring gardens.

South Coast

From Berry to Eden, the South Coast encompasses about 10 National Parks. Jervis Bay Marine National Park reportedly has the whitest sand beaches in the world and abundant wildlife. Murramarang National Park, near Batemans Bay, is known for its pristine coastline, rugged headlands and rock stands, as well as the friendly kangaroos on Pebbly Beach. In the south, the fishing township of Eden is a window to Australia's whaling past.

Big Sky Country

Big Sky Country refers to the cloudless skies and starry nights that come with the region's vast plains. It includes Australia's Country Music Capital of Tamworth and the New England Ranges. Fishing is excellent in the region's rivers and dams.

Explorer Country

Located beyond the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney, this region is dotted with country townships whose architecture, from humble slab huts to the lavish hotels and mansions built during gold and farming booms, tell the region's history. Dubbo is the site of the Western Plains Zoo, sister to the famous Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Bathurst hosts Australia's most famous motor race, the Primus 1000, on Mount Panorama every October. The region is also a major food and wine centre, particularly in and around Mudgee, Orange and Cowra.

Capital Country

Capital Country surrounds Canberra - the nation's capital. It has some of Australia's richest farming land and oldest towns. There are orchards, wineries, famous wool and cattle properties, as well as more unusual produce such as asparagus, deer, emu and alpacas.

Snowy Mountains
Six hours drive south of Sydney, the Snowy Mountains are the home of the Man from Snowy River. There are popular ski resorts at Kosciuszko-Thredbo, Perisher Blue and Mount Selwyn. This area includes Australia's highest national park, the Kosciuszko National Park, which has wildflowers and alpine meadows for walking, cycling and horse riding during summer.

The Living Outback

This region's main town, Broken Hill, is home to the School of the Air, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and more than 50 professional artists, including names as celebrated as Pro Hart and Jack Absalom. Silverton, just 30km from Broken Hill, is regarded as the film capital of the Outback for its classic images of red earth, scarlet sunsets and camels in the main street. World Heritage-listed Mungo National Park is in this region.

Riverina

The Riverina is famous for producing citrus and stone fruits, vegetables, wines, rice, wheat, sheep and cattle. The fertile farmlands have, over many years, attracted migrants from many nations, creating an eclectic mix of cuisines and culture which visitors can experience in restaurants, wineries and food stores throughout the region.

The Murray

The banks of the Murray River mark the border between New South Wales and Victoria. The ecosystem of the Murray River is still home to ancient forests of river red gums, extensive wetlands and untouched semi-arid areas.

Lord Howe Island

This small island offers rainforests, coral reefs, beaches and towering volcanic peaks. It was placed on the World Heritage List in 1982, which means any new development is strictly controlled and the number of tourist beds is pegged at 400. As well, residents are banned from owning cats and about two thirds of the island is defined as permanent park reserve.