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Going solo: Recharging in New South Wales

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Going solo: Recharging in New South Wales

story by: Contiki

...Is it just me, or is 2018 just sliding out from under us? Summer’s a distant memory, the temperature has dropped and motivation is lacking. It’s time to escape the daily grind and recharge those batteries. Just a three hour(ish) flight from New Zealand - the perfect distance for that much needed weekend away - Sydney awaits. Great for foodies, shopaholics and culture buffs, this buzzy, beachside city has everything you could want from an urban escape. But have you considered what else New South Wales has to offer? Possibly not. So sit back, put your feet up and let me convince you why it’s time to venture out past suburbia and into Sydney’s playground. 

 

Up past the Northern Beaches you’ll be able to see the true natural beauty of this state. Pit stop at the Australian Reptile Park and encounter the amazing creatures that call Australia home. Stroke the fluffiest koalas, have a staring contest with Elvis the croc and hand feed the friendliest kangaroos.

The Hunter Valley, a diverse and rich wine region best known for its exquisite wining, dining and indulging, offers so much more than a fine glass of Shiraz. This striking valley boasts breath-taking views and is not to be missed - whether you choose to experience it by bicycle, helicopter, hot air balloon, Segway, or simply by foot. And if you’re really keen to walk your way to revitalisation, explore the countless bushwalking trails set amongst the dramatic scenery of the Blue Mountains.

Feel more at home on the coast? Spanning over 2,000km along the south east, New South Wales is far from short of picturesque beaches. Port Stephens harbour is twice the size of Sydney’s and is best observed from Gan Gan Lookout. Head here for panoramic views as far north as Hawks Nest and then spend a few idles hours at Shoal Bay. Renowned for its sheltered bays, crystal clear water and golden sands; take a book, close yourself off from the world and spend a few selfish hours soaking up the serenity. If you’re an activ­ity-seeker, expose yourself to Australia’s marine life and embark on a dolphin and whale spotting cruise from Nelson Bay. When they put the ‘boom net’ out, grab your togs and climb on in, you’ll thank me for recommending such a rush!

If wave worshipping is more your thing, then head up to Byron Bay and unleash your inner hippie. With every­thing you’d expect from a surfer town, set amidst elegant beaches and lush green hinterland (plus the added bonus of a potential Chris Hemsworth sighting) it’s a must visit. Set your alarm for an hour or two earlier than usual and catch the sun rise over the horizon. It’s the tranquil expe­rience guaranteed to make you feel like you’ve had that much needed break. 


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