The coastline of New South Wales, stretching
for over 2000 kilometres (1250 miles) to the north and south of
Sydney, has brilliant conditions for all kinds of water sports
including windsurfing, surfing, sea kayaking and scuba diving.
In the Sydney area, the surf beaches of Bronte
and Coogee to the south and Collaroy and Palm Beach to the north
are predominantly popular. Byron Bay, 800 kilometres (496 miles)
north of Sydney, has excellent surf conditions.
Sydney Harbour has facilities for all kinds of
maritime sports and there is a yearly yacht race from Sydney to
Hobart in Tasmania, starting on 26 December each year, covering
over 2000 kilometres (1250 miles).
The finest beaches within easy reach of Sydney are at Bondi
and Manly. Along the coast on the Pacific Highway,
Port Stephens, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Sydney,
offers safe swimming beaches and a range of water based activities.
Further north still, the Great Lakes district and
its most popular resort, Port Macquarie, is particularly well known
for windsurfing, fishing and houseboat holidays (exploring the Great
Lakes). A further 250 kilometres (150 miles) along the coastline
is Coffs Harbour, a tropical resort town, famous
for its fishing, sailing and swimming facilities, and adventure
sports like sky diving and scuba diving.
Kayaking and whitewater rafting
enthusiasts may head to the Gwydir and Nymbodia rivers in the
north west region or the streams of the Kosciuszko National Park
in the Snowy Mountains. Several companies offer scuba
diving or snorkeling trips on
purpose built boats to a choice of destinations along the New
South Wales coast and as far as the renowned Great Barrier Reef
in the neighboring State of Queensland.
Good dive sites can be found at Byron Bay, Jervis
Bay, Lord Howe Islands and Coffs Harbour. Specialist charters also
offer whale and dolphin watching trips as well as great white shark
encounters and reef education tours. The best time to watch dolphins
and whales is from May to December.
Port Stephens is well known for the bottlenose
dolphins which live and play in the bay all year round. Most dolphin
cruises depart from the region’s biggest township, Nelson
Bay. Migrating whales can be seen from Cape Byron
between May and October.
It is possible to climb the Harbor Bridge in Sydney
using a network of archways, catwalks and ladders. The resulting
view of the harbor is amazing. The whole climb takes around 3 hours
and is open to those over 12 years old.
Climbs necessitate special clothing and are in guided groups of
10 climbers. Further information is available from Bridgeclimb
or the tourist board (see Addresses - Contacts section).
South of Sydney are the mountains of the Great
Dividing Range, home to Australia’s
highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko (which is 2230 metres / 7314
The Snowy Mountains, 526 kilometres (329 miles)
south west of Sydney, are a popular destination for skiing, cross
country skiing and snow boarding, the season generally runs from
June to October.
The summer offers activities such as riding,
mountain biking, fishing and canoeing are available. About 104
kilometres (65 miles) west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains consist
of a landscape of forests, valleys, waterfalls, canyons and cliffs.
Popular activities in this region include abseiling, canyoning,
scenic flights, climbing as well as bush walking, with many hidden
trails for walkers to explore.
The state has many international standard courses,
including 2 of Australia’s best known golf courses, Riverside
Oaks and The Lakes are situated in New South Wales.
Tour operators can organise golfing trips to the province’s
finest courses. For further information, contact Tourism New South
Wales (see Contact section).