New South Wales

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For many travelers Sydney is New South Wales, and they look to the other, less-populous states for Australia's famous wilderness experiences. However, New South Wales contains many of Australia's natural wonders. High on the list are the subtropical rain forests of the North Coast, lush river valleys, warm seas, golden beaches, the World Heritage areas of Lord Howe Island, and some of Australia's finest vineyards. Many travelers overlook Canberra, but history buffs and art aficionados love its selection of galleries and museums, which rank among the nation's finest.

Today, with approximately 7.3 million people, New South Wales is Australia's most populous state—it’s home to about one-third of the nation’s population. Although it’s crowded by Australian standards, keep in mind that New South Wales is larger than every U.S. state except Alaska. In the state's east, a coastal plain reaching north to Queensland varies in width from less than a mile to almost 160 km (100 miles). This plain is bordered on the west by a chain of low mountains known as the Great Dividing Range, which tops off at about 7,300 feet in the Snowy Mountains in the state's far south. On this range's western slopes is a belt of pasture and farmland. Beyond that are the western plains and Outback, an arid, sparsely populated region that takes up two-thirds of the state.

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Sydney

Sydney belongs to the exclusive club of cities that generate excitement. At the end of a marathon flight there's renewed vitality in the cabin...

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is the easternmost point on the Australian mainland, and perhaps earns Australia its nickname the "Lucky Country." Fabulous beaches...

Katoomba

The largest and busiest town in the Blue Mountains, Katoomba developed in the early 1840s as a coal-mining settlement, turning its attention...

Newcastle

Once known as the Steel City, today Newcastle is one of Australia’s hippest cities. It’s flanked by the Pacific Ocean and six beaches on its...

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie was founded as a convict settlement in 1821 and is the third-oldest settlement in Australia. Set at the mouth of the Hastings...

Lord Howe Island

Fringed by the world’s southernmost coral reef as well as gorgeous, sheltered beaches, dominated by two dramatic peaks, and inhabited by just...

Blackheath

Magnificent easterly views over the Grose Valley—which has outstanding hiking trails—delightful gardens, good restaurants, and antiques shops...

Bellingen

In a river valley a few miles off the Pacific Highway, artsy Bellingen is one of the prettiest towns along the coast. Many of Bellingen's buildings...

Leura

Leura, the prettiest and chicest of the mountain towns, is bordered by bush and lined with excellent cafés, restaurants, and gift shops. From...

Mount Victoria

The settlement of Mount Victoria is the highest point in the Blue Mountains, and there's a Rip Van Winkle air about it—drowsy and only just...

Wentworth Falls

This attractive township is home to the Blue Mountains' most stunning natural waterfalls and bush walking trails. The Falls themselves straddle...

Thredbo Village

...

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Jindabyne

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Sydney

Sydney belongs to the exclusive club of cities that generate excitement. At the end of a marathon flight there's renewed vitality in the cabin...

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is the easternmost point on the Australian mainland, and perhaps earns Australia its nickname the "Lucky Country." Fabulous beaches...

Katoomba

The largest and busiest town in the Blue Mountains, Katoomba developed in the early 1840s as a coal-mining settlement, turning its attention...

Newcastle

Once known as the Steel City, today Newcastle is one of Australia’s hippest cities. It’s flanked by the Pacific Ocean and six beaches on its...

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie was founded as a convict settlement in 1821 and is the third-oldest settlement in Australia. Set at the mouth of the Hastings...

Blackheath

Magnificent easterly views over the Grose Valley—which has outstanding hiking trails—delightful gardens, good restaurants, and antiques shops...

Bellingen

In a river valley a few miles off the Pacific Highway, artsy Bellingen is one of the prettiest towns along the coast. Many of Bellingen's buildings...

Leura

Leura, the prettiest and chicest of the mountain towns, is bordered by bush and lined with excellent cafés, restaurants, and gift shops. From...

Mount Victoria

The settlement of Mount Victoria is the highest point in the Blue Mountains, and there's a Rip Van Winkle air about it—drowsy and only just...

Wentworth Falls

This attractive township is home to the Blue Mountains' most stunning natural waterfalls and bush walking trails. The Falls themselves straddle...

Thredbo Village

...

Perisher

...

Jindabyne

...

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