Now’s the time to love NSW, and as travel restrictions ease, it’s time to explore our own backyard and reboot 2020. From 1 June to 31 December, there are exactly 213 days to make the most of this year. To help you out, we’ve created a list of NSW’s most memorable travel adventures across Only in NSW, Animal Encounters, Food & Wine, Outdoor Adventures, Art & Culture and Aboriginal Experiences.
Four-legged, sea creatures, birds and marsupials, whatever your animal instinct, NSW has an animal encounter for you.
- From August to November, swim with the whales along the ‘Humpback Highway’ off the South Coast with Dive Jervis Bay.
- Port Macquarie is lucky to have one of the highest koala populations on the east coast of Australia and is home to the famous Koala Hospital, which offers daily tours to see koalas in their care.
- Swim with sea turtles just off Tweed Heads at Cook Island, a tiny volcanic outcrop that is home to a permanent population of Green, Hawksbill and Loggerhead turtles.
- Swim, snorkel and dive with seals in the crystal-clear waters off Montague Island.
- Visit Aussie Ark, in Barrington Tops, a unique conservation project that serves as a breeding sanctuary for critically endangered wildlife.
- In Port Stephens, Australia’s dolphin capital, swim in the open ocean with dolphins with Dolphin Swim Australia.
- There are only a handful of dugongs in care in the world and one of these gentle creatures, Pig, calls Dugong Island at Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium home. Diving with sharks at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is another exhilarating experience.
- The Solitary Islands Marine Park is one of the largest marine protected areas in NSW and covers a total area of 71,000 hectares, extending along 75km of coast, from Coffs Harbour north to the Sandon River mouth.
- Due to open later in 2020, the Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens will give visitors the chance to see koalas in their natural habitat, spend a night onsite sleeping in luxury glamping tents, all while supporting koala rehabilitation and preservation.
- Wade into the sparkling water at Ned’s Beach on Lord Howe Island and hand feed the fish. You will instantly be surrounded by a feeding frenzy of Mullet, Wrasse, Garfish, Silver-drummer, Spangled Emperor and Kingfish.
- Head south for some whale watching in Eden. This historic town, on the NSW Sapphire Coast, is a beautiful destination and whale watching excursions depart here on a daily basis beginning in late May.
- Julian Rocks in Byron Bay is one of the best diving spots in Australia, rivalling the Great Barrier Reef with its underwater experiences.
- Take a twilight camel ride along the sands of Birubi Beach, with Oakfield Ranch, in Port Stephens or Lighthouse Beach with Port Macquarie Camels.
- Fishing in the pristine waters of the Snowy Mountains is an unforgettable experience. With Australia’s highest peaks creating a beautiful backdrop, the lakes, rivers and water catchments are great fishing spots for recreational anglers.
- Play with meerkats at Mogo Wildlife Park, go behind the scenes at the Australian Reptile Park, be a zookeeper for the day at Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park, feed the koalas at Oakvale Wildlife Park, or meet the animals at Port Macquarie’s Billabong Zoo – including tong-feeding their world famous snow leopards.
- Visit Symbio Wildlife Park; its Kangaroo Walk-Through is one of the few places in Sydney where you can feed, pet and snap the ultimate selfie photo with a kangaroo.
- The recently opened Sydney Zoo is a one-of-a-kind destination with more than 2,000 animals. Located in Western Sydney, the zoo is made up of four iconic precincts – Australia, Primates, South-East Asia and Africa.
- Go platypus spotting in the pools located at Bombala Platypus Reserve near Bombala in the Snowy Mountains.
- Zoofari at Taronga Western Plains is an unforgettable safari experience here in NSW. Spend the night in an Animal View Lodge, situated on the edge of a vast savannah where giraffes, zebras and rhinos roam.
- Find some of the largest species of bass in Australia in NSW’s Clarence River, which just happens to be the largest river on the eastern seaboard.
- The Kangaroo Valley is home to not only its namesake marsupials, but also wallabies at Tallowa Dam. The Bendeela Camping and Picnic Area is also one of the best spots to see wombats in the wild.
- For the ultimate Aussie farm stay experience, camp under the NSW night skies at an outback station, options include: Eldee Station, Bindara on the Darling and Trilby Station.
- Spot koalas in their natural habitat at Narrandera Nature Reserve, known to locals as Koala Reserve. This wildlife haven is situated on the shores of the Murrumbidgee River and home to over 200 koalas.
Part 1 of this series: www.clarencevalleynews.com.au/reboot-2020-one-nsw-adventure-at-a-time-part-1
Stay tuned for parts 3 & 4!