Best of Country New South Wales
This page may contain compensated links. For more information read our disclaimer.
Chances are you’ve heard of Sydney, with the beautiful Harbour Bridge and Opera House, and the infamous sands of Bondi Beach. However, there is so much more to New South Wales! Beyond the east coast city, you’re going to find stunning scenery of the Australian landscape, delicious local produce, and fine wines! Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’re going to really get an idea of what the Australian way of life is like!
Berry is located only a two and a half hour drive from Sydney, making it the perfect weekend escape to the country. Berry is a quaint, small town; the main street is home to boutique shops, cutesy cafés, and delightful restaurants. Part of Berry’s charm is its homely vibe, settled in the lush environment with tree-lined streets; the town doesn’t look out of place in the natural environment. The early colonial architecture of the town still maintains its history but have been well maintained and restored to allow them to continue their heritage.
If you’re a fan of cricket or flowers, Bowral is the right pick for you. Seems like an odd combination; cricket and flowers, but their commonality lies in Bowral being home to both the Tulip Time Festival and famous cricketer Sir Donald Bradman. For cricket fans, take a walk through the Bradman Centre, walk the International Cricket Hall of Fame, and tour the grounds dedicated to Sir Donald Bradman. During the Tulip Time Festival, you’ll be delighted to see the sea of thousands of tulips blossoming in every colour imaginable! In Bowral, you’ll find golf courses, gourmet foods and wine, galleries, and day spas!
If you’ve got family in both Canberra and Sydney, Kangaroo Valley is the perfect place to meet at only two hours’ drive from either city. One of Australia’s most beautiful valleys, Kangaroo Valley features a crystal clear, tranquil river, and a town that looks like it was taken straight out of a fairy tale. And to complete this fairy tale, Kangaroo Valley is ‘guarded’ by the Hampden Bridge, the last surviving wooden suspension bridge featuring four majestic sandstone turrets. Kangaroo Valley is also known for its adventure with activities like kayaking, canoeing, bushwalking, and camping grounds to stay at.
Chances are you’ve heard of Australia’s premier wine region, the Hunter Valley but not many know that Australia’s true wine region lies in Mudgee. Away from the tourist buses of the Hunter Valley, you’re going to get a less commercialised tourist-like experience and feel more of the authentic homely Australian culture. The tree-lined streets of Mudgee make the area perfect for renting out bikes to ride around town with or to visit the wineries with. Not only famous for their wines, the Mudgee region also produces honey, local produce, and olive oils, which makes the standard of restaurant foods worth a mention!
In the beautiful Armidale, you’ll get a deep appreciation of Australia’s colonial history with grand cathedrals and heritage colonial buildings, with tree-lined streets in the foreground and luscious greenery in the background. About a six-hour drive from Sydney; my recommendation would be to stay the night in one of many bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, or cottages for an authentic experience. During the day, take in the beautiful natural surroundings by taking on the Wollomombi walking track where you’ll see magnificent waterfalls in the midst of the ancient, heritage Gondwana Rainforests.
Although these places don’t feature the most eccentric architecture or the most over-the-top events like in the big cities, these country towns offer their own unique charms. I can guarantee you that once you’ve stepped foot into country New South Wales, you’ll wonder why the air is so much clearer, the skies are clearer, and the grass is greener. It truly is another world out there beyond the city lights and the hustle and bustle!
READ: The Local’s List: Things to do in Sydney
Where is your top country NSW destination?