Stunning coastline, breathtaking landscapes and captivating cities
New South Wales is found on the east coast of Australia, boasting the beautiful city of Sydney at its heart. Called the Premier State, it is also the oldest, having been colonised in 1788 when Britain first established the area as a penal colony.
- Go wine tasting in Hunter Valley
- Wander around the museums and art galleries
- Surf the waves in Byron Bay
- Explore Coffs Harbour
- Visit the national parks
- Sample the region’s delicious wine
It has since blossomed to become one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the country. Some of the best surf beaches in the world and coral reefs border a chain of dramatic mountains, such as the famous Blue Mountains and appropriately named ‘Snowies’, which in turn give way to an agricultural expanse that dries out into the sun-baked sand dunes of the outback.
There’s also the lush vineyards of Hunter Valley, home to some of the oldest and most celebrated wine producers in Australia, a coastline dotted with laid back towns such as Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour, and a range of national parks encompassing rainforests, ski slopes, desert islands, Aboriginal cultural sites, deserts and islands.
New South Wales is a must visit when in Australia. Step away from its vibrant capital, Sydney, and you will be greeted by incredible areas, including the laid-back beaches of Jervis Bay and Bouddi National Park, or further bliss if you journey north to Byron Bay and Cabarita. Spend your time in the wilderness exploring the Blue Mountains or Southern Highlands, or try some wine in Hunter Valley - all easily accessible from Sydney. Or for a more exclusive experience, head to remote Lord Howe Island, home to the southernmost coral reef. With only 400 tourists allowed on the island at one time, Lord Howe Island serves as the perfect retreat.
Our top New South Wales example trips
Whatever you want your luxury tour or safari itinerary to include, we’ll create something fully bespoke for you… and only you.
Our favourite places to stay in New South Wales
- Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley$$$$$Only two and a half hours drive from Sydney, enter a world away from it all at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. There is a strong focus here on reducing waste and recycling, as well as finding increasingly environmentally sustainable ways to operate. This seriously luxurious lodge is one special place. It sits in a 7,000-acre pristine nature reserve in the middle of two of Australia’s most prominent national parks. Luxury is in every detail, with opulent styling, all the creature comforts, cosy lounges with open fireplaces, and idyllic private swimming pools. The 40 villas invoke a sense of total seclusion and privacy, with uninterrupted views into the wilderness that are frequented by hundreds of friendly kangaroos, wallaroos and wombats. Each villa has a temperature controlled inside-outside pool, a lounge with inviting, large sofas and double-fronted fireplaces. The site of the hotel was originally a homestead in 1832 and the original farm buildings have been preserved and are now home to a museum. The restaurant offers panoramic views and serves up modern Australian cuisine using seasonal, local and organic produce. The star attraction of the property has to be its stunning surroundings, which you can explore by foot, bicycle, horseback or go on guided hikes and bird watching excursions. Return to the homestead at the end of the day and sink into the plush armchairs in front of the fire with a gin and tonic, soak up more of the scenery at the beautifully designed outdoor pool or head to the excellent spa for treatments which uses the hotel’s own range of organic products.
- Pretty Beach House$$$$$With just four luxurious pavilions, Pretty Beach House is an intimate and private sanctuary in the Bouddi National Park for a maximum of only eight guests. The exclusive guesthouse is an epicure-enticing getaway just 90 minutes north of Sydney, or 20 minutes by seaplane. Set in a quintessential Australian bush and with access to a stunning coastline, guests can relax in the tranquil surroundings in effortless luxury with a personalised butler service, an infinity pool and a serene spa. Designed to connect with its surroundings, local artists and cratftspeople contributed to the look and feel of Pretty Beach House to create a timeless and charming property. Each of the four lodges offers a different immersion in the environment, from the Treetops to Bayview or the Hideaway lodge. The décor is simple and sophisticated and each has a luxurious ensuite, open-plan sitting area and views through the ancient angophoras down to the enticing waters below. Every element of the property has been thought out to ensure guests feel they are at a home away from home, from the open bar stocked with premium wines, beers and spirits to the double outdoor day bed. During their stay guests savour seasonal, modern Italian cuisine prepared by one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs – Stefano Manfredi, served in the spectacular dining room or on the property’s private boat. Bouddi National Park is a culturally significant place to explore and guests can head out on guided bush walks or visit one of the 100 Aboriginal sites that have been recorded in the park and learn the history of the local Darkingjung culture – the traditional owners of the land.
- Spicers Vineyards Estate$$$$$Escape the rush of city life and take some time to relax surrounded by acres of private vineyards and bushland at the luxurious Spicers Vineyards Estate in Hunter Valley. Ideal for intimate getaways, the estate boasts 12 exquisitely appointed rooms and suites. Ground floor rooms open out onto a spacious veranda, while first floor suites offer views of the vineyards and mountains. Enjoy the tranquility of the mornings in a private courtyard, and spend the evenings relaxing in front of an open fireplace in your room. Fresh and seasonal ingredients take centre stage at Restaurant Botanica, as does the award-winning wine list. Guest can also dine out on the terrace, in the private Harvest Room, or outdoors. The estate also offers access to private wine tours, beer and local produce tasting experiences and hot air ballooning. Active guests can explore the region on mountain bikes or horse back, while those looking to revitalize can book an indulgent treatment or two at Spa Anise.
- Byron at Byron$$$$$Immerse yourself in luxury surrounded by lush rainforest at this resort and spa, just a short distance from Byron town. Each of the 91 suites is beautifully styled, luxurious and comfortable. Wake in the morning to the sounds of the forest canopy, hear the birds calling to each other, and smell the fresh ocean air. At the restaurant, you can explore the seasonal menus which are based on a farm-to-plate philosophy, and pair your meals with a wide selection of local and international wines. All of this while gazing out at the verdant forest. Indulge in a rejuvenating treatment or two at the multi-award winning day spa, join in a yoga class or take a guided walk through the rainforest with the resort’s ranger and learn about the area’s history and unique ecosystem. Or simply unwind at the pool with one of the resort’s signature cocktails.
- Blackbird$$$$$Taking outdoor living to another level, this homely synthesis of trinkets, mismatched furnishings, and rustic décor radiates a folksy feel. Open-plan design is central to the creation of the airy communal spaces, drawing the immediate natural scenes of Byron Hinterland within. The magnesium mineral pool is the pivotal focus of this salubrious spot, encircled by vintage umbrellas, shading velvet-cushioned loungers, and facing an endless stretch of treetops, with a hint of the ocean in the background. A trio of wooden and glass pavilions share this vista, with white-walled interiors, cosy features, and elements of greenery. Considerate touches like in-room binoculars for bird spotting from your patio, and complimentary wine and cheese boards to pair with your sunset viewing, are what make this place so special. The lack of a spa or fitness centre encourages you to immerse yourself in the spectacular surroundings, and yoga and Pilates sessions, as well as beauty treatments, can be arranged upon request. Although there’s no on-site restaurant or bar, home-made pizzas can be whipped up by the owners, and a breakfast spread, inspired by fresh ingredients from the hotel’s garden, sets the tone for another perfect day in paradise.
- Bendooley Estate$$$$$This pastoral haven, set within the Southern Highlands, entices those looking to press pause on life, and eschew cityscapes for golden vineyards, expansive lakes, and lawns peppered with flowerbeds. Six cottages, each featuring a distinct design, prettily balance luxurious décor, with countryside chic. White wood-panelled bathrooms with heated handmade tiled floors encompass deep freestanding baths, and views of the delightful gardens through open shutters. Airy studios include seating areas and glass doors, leading to private patios. Two and three bedroom-cottages have fully-equipped kitchens and spacious living rooms, with fireplaces. The Book Barn, the heart of the estate, is an enchanting, low-lit space of exposed beams, chandeliers, and timber shelves, supporting rare works, and a vast collection of paperbacks. A stone fireplace aids in creating a cosy atmosphere, encouraging guests to linger longer, and dine at the restaurant or nurse a tipple by the bar, both of which are housed in the barn. A seasonal menu, drawing inspiration from the nearby farmlands, can be enjoyed outside on the terrace, with panoramic vineyard vistas. To taste the wine produced from these vines, the Cellar Door allows you to sample an array of labels in a beautiful setting, with century-old pine, glass, and locally-sourced stone enhancing the interior. Apart from presenting ample opportunities to indulge, the estate’s surrounding landscape calls for exploration on foot or by bicycle.
- Halcyon House$$$$$Enjoying a blissful location just steps from the golden sand and blue seas of Cabarita Beach, along an idyllic stretch of the Australian coastline, Halcyon House is a stylish, glamorous boutique hotel blessed by a tranquil atmosphere. Evolving from an original surfer motel into one of the most picturesque and sought-after design hotels on Australia’s east coast, the striking interior and serene exterior amount to a memorable beachside escape, anchored further by friendly service and sprinklings of luxury. Consisting of 19 rooms and two luxurious two-bedroom suites, each guestroom at Halcyon House was individually designed by a renowned interior designer, showcasing a distinctive, eclectic style. Features include antique furniture, fabric upholstered walls, and luxurious king-size beds, while the bathrooms are particularly striking, adorned with hand-made blue and white tiles, gilt mirrors, and antique-inspired tapware. This attention to design is present throughout the rest of the hotel, with a dominant blue and white colour scheme. The on-site restaurant, Paper Daisy, is an extra nod to this theme, characterised by soft furnishings, blue and white wicker chairs, ornate wallpaper and attractive artwork hanging on the walls. Guests can also enjoy some fantastic culinary treats here, with a range of delicious dishes and refreshing cocktails ensuring that Paper Daisy has become an admired setting for food and drink. At the heart of the hotel’s exterior is an inviting and attractive outdoor swimming pool and sunny terrace, proving the perfect spot for soaking up the sunshine of New South Wales, while others may prefer to retire to the sands of the nearby beach for their dose of sun-worshipping. Extra rejuvenation can be had in the shape of the hotel’s on-site spa, offering personalised spa treatments ranging from soul-soothing rituals to restorative facial therapy.
- Paperbark Camp$$$$$It’s not surprising that the idea for this luxury tented bush camp was first dreamt up over sundowners on safari in Africa a few decades ago. Close to the clear waters and bright sand of Jervis Bay’s beaches, the camp offers guests the best in canvas accommodation surrounded by a nature-lover’s paradise. The 12 canvas tents are positioned carefully above ground, between the eucalypts and paperbarks. Each one offers not only privacy, but also wrap-around decking, full insect screening, solar lighting and luxurious linen. Private open-air bathrooms mean you can watch the birds and spot kangaroos while in the shower. Enjoy your meals in the treetops in the fresh sea air at The Gunyah. The name is aboriginal for “meeting place” and it’s where you’ll find your fellow guests relaxing and regaling one another with tales of their day’s exploring. In the warmer weather, dine out on the verandah and watch the possums, sugar gliders and birds in the surrounding bush. And when it gets colder snuggle up in front of a fire with an evening drink.
- Spicers Sangoma Retreat$$$$$One the edge of the spectacular Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Spicers Sangoma Retreat is a stylish eco hideaway surrounded by a forest of eucalyptus and gum trees. There are just six unique open plan suites, all spacious with warming fireplaces, wonderful baths and fabulous views from private decks. Inspired by organic seasonal produce sourced locally from farmers and producers within the community, the the ever changing menu champions hearty, modern cuisine. Guests are invited to dine under the stars to make the most of the locale and, in winter, you can enjoy an aperitif or roast marshmallows on the outdoor open-pit fire. With nature on all sides, the best way to explore the area is on foot or bicycle with a range of tracks leading out from the lodge. There’s also an infinity lap pool, bar, lounge and a tented spa offering boutique treatments for those that want to relax.