Australia might very well be one of the most exciting travel destinations in the world, and the reasons why that is are too numerous to count in one go. From its vast natural landscapes to its sprawling urban hotspots, to the unforgettable vistas it offers atop mountains, and all the way to the sandy beaches of its magnificent islands, there is no denying that Australia is the place to travel and fall in love with.
If you have to decide between Australia and New Zealand for your holiday escapade, rest assured that both countries have something truly unique to offer to every traveller, but today, we’ll be focusing solely on the breathtaking region of NSW and all its natural glory. Yes, you should visit and stay in Sydney while you're here and you should explore this magnificent urban gem, but you should also venture into the region's expansive natural parks to experience some of the most beautiful scenery the land has to offer. Here's where you should go in NSW.
Jenolan Caves - Blue Mountains National Park
In the Blue Mountains region, there is the Kanangra-Boyd National Park, home to the Jenolan limestone caves and many other natural gems that make for a truly unique trekking experience. Carved by Mother Nature and the passage of time, the Jenolan caves represent a truly magnificent and vast calcite formation that will take you deep underground and through expansive caves. These caves are home to some of the first fossil discoveries and dig sites in Australia, and you can revel in the beauty of intricate geological formations and passageways, and calcite surfaces that look as if they were crafted by hand instead of natural occurrence.
Of course, the nature surrounding the Jenolan caves is magnificent and inviting as well, as you can enjoy the neighbouring six-foot walking track and the Blue Lake, home of the platypus. Be sure to dress accordingly (wear comfy shoes and light clothing), and don't forget to book your tour well in advance.
Cycling and trekking - Mount Kaputar National Park
Travelling north-west you will find yourself at Mount Kaputar, a place that rivals the best and most spectacular sunset spots in New Zealand, with numerous fun and engaging activities for all adventurers. This mountain range sits on the remains of an extinct ancient volcano that adds to the spectacular view from its observatories and lookouts. It's a nature-lover's favourite, but you can expect to encounter fewer people here now that the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging strong.
You can enjoy lengthy scenic walks and otherworldly vistas as you trek across Mount Kaputar, but you can also enjoy cycling and numerous other activities like camping and picnics. You can also book a stay here and enjoy several days of pure peace and tranquillity far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
The Sawn Rocks walking track - Mount Kaputar National Park
After a couple of days of Mount Kaputar, you can travel further up north towards the beautiful Sawn Rocks formation and its walking trails to revel in the organ-like rock formation moulded throughout history from basalt lava. If there is any destination you should add to your Australia travel guide, then the Sawn Rocks is definitely one of them, as the natural surroundings and the many family-friendly activities are just perfect for a lengthy escapade with your loved ones.
When you get tired of walking the trails and through the rainforest, feel free to revel in the beauty of the natural surroundings at the picnic park. You can easily make the trip to Sawn Rock from your lodging at Mount Kaputar, and it's a trip you shouldn't miss.
Exploring the Wellington Caves - near Lake Burrendong State Park
Located 27km west of Lake Burrendong State Park the Wellington Caves are another limestone cave formation worth a visit, comprised of two main caves called the Cathedral Cave and Garden Cave. Inside, you will be able to revel in the glistening beauty of the calcite crystals hanging from the cave ceiling, and walk the wide and narrow passageways with rock formations so detailed, you’d think they were made by hand.
Be sure to check out the phosphate mine where you'll be able to learn about its history while taking a guided tour. Don't forget to be mindful of your surroundings, and stick to these green travel tips to help preserve the natural world around you as you explore the region.
Visit the Walls of China - Mungo National Park
Last but definitely not least, way out west at Mungo National Park you will find the popular Walls of China. These are unique rock formations stretching all along the Lake Mungo cycling trail, which you can explore at your leisure, but you will need to take a guided tour if you want to climb the dunes. While there, you can explore Lake Leaghur and Garnpung Lake, and be sure to spend a night at a local campsite to witness one of the most spectacular views of the night sky the outback has to offer.
New South Wales is filled to the brim with some of the most spectacular natural scenery in all of Australia, and even though many travellers book their stays in Sydney for the bustling urban scene, you really shouldn't miss a trip into the magnificent outback. Be sure to visit these natural gems to witness Australia's pristine nature in all its glory.
If you're basing yourself in central Sydney while you explore the National Parks near Sydney stay at Nomads Sydney.
Author: Sophia Smith is a freelance graphic designer by day and a lifestyle and health blogger by night. She is very passionate about traveling, yoga, wellness rituals, natural skincare, and living in balance with nature. She loves sharing meaningful content that educates and inspires people. Sophia has covered topics ranging from organic beauty products and sustainability to conscious traveling. She has contributed to a number of publications including Sivana Spirit, Mother Earth Living, Life Beyond Numbers, Carousel, Harness Magazine, Cause Artist, Naughty Nutrition, Your Zen Mama, Bliss Therapy, Yoga Trade and many others.