Things to do in New South Wales

Our most recommended things to do in New South Wales

Port Stephens: Dolphin Watching Cruise & Boom Net Experience

1. Port Stephens: Dolphin Watching Cruise & Boom Net Experience

Take a cruise around magnificent Port Stephens Harbour on the biggest boat in the bay. Keep an eye out for the resident Bottlenose Dolphins as you head out on the water. Take in the sights of Tomaree and Yacaaba Headlands, Shoal Bay, Nelson Bay, and the Northern Harbour. Sit back and relax on the deck area, or if you feel like getting a bit wet, join in the boom net action. Slide down the Twist, Twirl, and Splash Waterslide attached to the boat, which whirls you into the boom net. Enjoy entertaining and informative commentary on board. If you feel like indulging in something a little different, there is a licensed bar on board that you can choose to purchase from. 

Sydney Airport (SYD): Lounge Access with Food and Drinks

2. Sydney Airport (SYD): Lounge Access with Food and Drinks

Regardless of your airline, ticket class, or membership, refresh before your outgoing flight in the kitted-out Plaza Premium Lounge or SkyTeam Lounge at Sydney Airport (SYD). See the inspiration from the Australian landscape and way of life in the decor and atmosphere of these exclusive lounges. Kick back in Plaza Premium Lounge’s comfortable seating area with views of the runway and casual dining areas. Enjoy all-inclusive entry to the Aero Bar serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, barista coffee, made-to-order bar snacks, and freshly-prepared local and international dishes. Relax in 784 square meters of pure luxury at the SkyTeam Exclusive Lounge. Find everything you need to unwind with hot showers, snacks, and international news channels. Normally reserved for business-class travelers and SkyTeam Elite Plus members, now you can feel like a VIP too.

Port Stephens: Worimi Sand Dune Quad Bike Adventure

3. Port Stephens: Worimi Sand Dune Quad Bike Adventure

Experience the thrill of riding a high-quality ATV through the Worimi Sand Dunes on this tour from Port Stephens. Cruise at high speeds over seaside grasslands and feel the challenge of tackling towering sand dunes.  Meet your guide in Williamtown and listen as you are provided with a tutorial on how to confidently operate your bike. Follow your guide on a high-octane ride over maintained tracks through coastal grasslands to get to the dunes.  Travel over more and more challenging sand dunes. Enjoy privacy as your ride as the local tour provider has exclusive access to the highest sand dunes on Stockton Beach.  Climb large sand dunes that are 12-30 meters high. Take a tour that is tailored to meet your needs and experience level. Have the option to add sandboarding to your tour. 

Byron Bay: Sea Kayak Tour with Dolphins and Turtles

4. Byron Bay: Sea Kayak Tour with Dolphins and Turtles

Set out on a 2.5 hour kayaking adventure in Byron Bay. Receive instruction and equipment from your guide before you take in some of the best sights the East Coast has to offer. See the most Easterly Point of the Australian mainland and the Byron Bay Lighthouse from the sea. Learn about local history, aboriginal history, the lighthouse and the marine wildlife from your local guide while you paddle in your kayak around the famous Byron Bay marine reserve. If the opportunity arises, get up close and personal with friendly bottlenose dolphins and discover how inquisitive they can be. You can also look out for sea turtles as they come up for a breath of air and marvel at the size of the majestic humpback whales as they migrate through Byron Bay during June - October. Enjoy paddling your kayak out through the surf and later ride some of Australia's most famous waves. If you don't see a dolphin, turtle or whale you can paddle again with the tour operator free of charge.

Jervis Bay: 2-Hour Whale Watching Cruise

5. Jervis Bay: 2-Hour Whale Watching Cruise

Enjoy the rare opportunity to witness migrating humpback whales on this 2-hour whale watching cruise. Cruise across the immaculate Jervis Bay on a sunny winter’s day. Watch the migration of these incredible animals, set against rugged cliffs and ancient sea caves. On the northern migration, sport whales within a mile or so off the dramatic cliffs on Jervis Bay’s peninsula. During the southern migration, view mothers and their newborn calves coming to rest in Jervis Bay's sheltered waters. Enjoy historical commentary on Jervis Bay and learn about the migrating humpback whales. On the return journey, see the 100-meter cliffs of Point Perpendicular. See some of the whitest sand in the world and the crystal blue water.

Jervis Bay: 1.5-Hour Dolphin Cruise

6. Jervis Bay: 1.5-Hour Dolphin Cruise

Jervis Bay has been a Marine park for 18 years and is now one of the most unique and healthy ecosystems in Australia. That’s why the crystal clear waters of Jervis Bay and stunning unspoiled white sand beaches are home to over 100 bottlenose dolphins. Listen to the commentary about the history of Jervis Bay as you travel.  On this tour, you will have the privilege of watching these beautiful mammals. Discover pods of dolphins feeding around the reef systems, particularly Plantation Point and Callala. Sometimes they swim and race hundreds of meters to play on the bow. The Bottlenose dolphin is highly recognizable and known for its long snout and distinctive smile. Friendly and active, you will fall in love with them the moment that you lay eyes on them. 

Cockatoo Island: Carmen Opera Tickets on the Harbour

7. Cockatoo Island: Carmen Opera Tickets on the Harbour

The ultimate femme fatale is back, in a brand new island performance of Carmen in the middle of Sydney Harbour. Your Opera tickets will grant you access to Carmen as she tosses her hair, stamps her feet and the whole world falls under her spell. You’ll hear the flirty Habanera and famous Toreador song amid a spectacle that features fire-twirling, car crashes and fireworks. Your night begins with a ferry ride across the glittering water to the world-heritage listed sanctuary of Cockatoo Island. Step off the boat and you’re surrounded by layers of history. Once a meeting place for Indigenous Australians, the site is now dotted with the industrial relics of a century of ship-building and architectural marvels dating back to Sydney’s convict past. Today, the island is a world-class contemporary arts venue, hosting everything from the Biennale of Sydney to live concert performances. It’s the perfect backdrop for Bizet’s gritty tale of fate and freedom. Raise a glass with friends and grab a snack from an array of pop up bars and eateries on the foreshore before settling in under the stars for an unforgettable night out. You can even sail right up to the event and book a mooring to watch the show.

Huskisson: Jervis Bay Humpback Whale Watching Cruise

8. Huskisson: Jervis Bay Humpback Whale Watching Cruise

Experience the humpback whale migration along Australia's eastern coastline on a whale watching cruise in Jervis Bay. See the whales as they make their annual migratory journey along the coast and learn more about these beautiful creatures. Enjoy whale watching in Jervis Bay, an experience you cannot get anywhere else in the world. Explore the bay with a tour that has been running for over 30 years. Embark on this exciting tour between May and November, when Australia's eastern coastline comes alive with the spectacular acrobatic displays of humpback whales as they make their way from Antarctica north to sub-tropical waters where they mate and give birth. Get excited about the possibility of multiple sightings, as this is normal in Jervis Bay during these migrations. Watch the whales and other wildlife on this exciting and educational tour, where there has been a record of 102 individual whale sightings on one cruise in October 2020, all within the calm waters of Jervis Bay.

Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

9. Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

You have to experience sandboarding in Port Stephens. The thrill of sliding down the spectacular Stockton Sand Dunes is so much fun. From the meeting point at Birubi beach, you will board the custom-built off-road vehicle to start your adventure on the short, bouncy ride into the largest moving sand mass in the southern hemisphere. The dunes stretch 32 kilometers, the entire length of Stockton Beach, and can reach over 40 meters high, the same as a 10 storey building. The views alone are spectacular. Once you are in the dunes, the team will give you a rundown on sandboarding and how to use the handmade custom-designed boards for maximum safety and speed. Then you are off. Climb to the top of the dunes, jump on your board, then slide on down and repeat. Your ticket includes unlimited sandboarding so you can stay and play as long as you like. For most people that’s about 1 – 1.5 hours. When you're done just jump back aboard one of the 4WD buses, that leave every half an hour, and be taken back to the Birubi Beach starting point. It’s an amazing experience for everyone, no matter your age. The instructors are always on hand to help, answer any questions about sandboarding, Port Stephens or the dunes and to make sure you have maximum fun. Don’t forget to bring your camera along as you’ll have the chance to capture some amazing Port Stephens holiday snaps.

From Sydney: Blue Mountains Full-Day Trip with Cruise

10. From Sydney: Blue Mountains Full-Day Trip with Cruise

Enjoy an excursion from Sydney into the Blue Mountains. Visit Featherdale Wildlife Park and experience the amazing variety of Australian wildlife. Hand-feed kangaroos, see Koalas, and wombats, as well as many more native Australian birds and wildlife. Enjoy a visit to Leura Village, where you can buy your own lunch at a cafe or bakery. Your tour includes the 3 rides at Scenic World, Cableway, Skyway, and Railway. Stop at Echo Point to enjoy splendid views of the Jamison Valley and the 3 Sisters, a towering rock formation from the Dreamtime.  Bypass Sydney’s peak traffic on a Ferry cruise along Parramatta River into Circular Quay. From there you will make your own way back to your accommodation.

Frequently asked questions about New South Wales

What top attractions are a must-see in New South Wales?

Other Sightseeing Options in New South Wales

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What people are saying about New South Wales

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 21,418 reviews

Great activity! The staff was welcoming and helpful. Our guide, Ruth, was knowledgeable and nice. My son is autistic and he was a bit anxious. Both Nicola and Ruth made him feel more secure and answered our questions. They recommended that we share a kayak. We really enjoyed ourselves. I highly recommend this activity.

Fantastic. Thoroughly recommend it. Great for families. Worthwhile spending the extra $10 to hire a wet suit so you can walk into deeper water to feed and pat the rays and sharks.

Really friendly and happy guide, great tour Jess! Easy walking tour taking in the local sites.

Excellent food and drinks, great atmosphere and service. Plenty of good picture opportunities.

Awesome night. Great crew! Great food! Lovely Harbour cruise.