Local Escapes

7 Must-Do Activities Across NSW That Will Give You All The Feels

By Morgan Reardon
14th Jul 2022

Two people sanduning.

From sun-drenched hidden beaches and rugged coastlines to idyllic waterfalls and national parks awash with greenery—regional NSW is one seriously special place to explore. And it’s the perfect spot for your next getaway. 

Whether you’re looking to escape for the day or a long weekend, there’s never been a better time to seek out a new adventure in NSW’s most stunning pockets.

Not sure where to start? We’ve picked seven bucket-list-worthy experiences for you to check out below.  

Have The Adventure Of A Lifetime On A Cliffnic

For those who like to experience the unexpected, book yourself a cliffnic with Outdoor Raw. Not for the faint-hearted but absolutely one of the most epic things to do in regional NSW, a cliffnic will see you and your BFF/lover pull on a harness, climb on a platform and be lowered down the side of a cliff. Along with jaw-dropping views of Shoalhaven’s stunning parks (read: waterfalls and lush greenery) you’ll score a tasty spread. Think multiple courses delivered from a basket above, packed with local seasonal eats from premium South Coast producers, like cheeses, cured meats, fruit, veggies and sweet treats. Trust us, this is an experience not to be missed. 

Escape The Crowds With A Dip At ​​​​Killen Falls

There’s no better way to experience pure freedom than an off-the-beaten-track adventure. Should you find yourself up the northern tip of NSW, Killen Falls is where you’ll want to venture. Just a 20-minute drive from Ballina, the crashing waterfall and swimming basin is nestled amongst dense rainforests that will make you feel like you’re a world away from civilisation. Follow the winding rock-strewn path to the base of the falls (about 400 metres below) and feel the thunder of the water in your chest as you get closer. Perch yourself on one of the rocks that fringe the falls for a picnic or spot of meditation before taking a refreshing dip in the sparkling waters. Pro tip: the swimming hole is relatively shallow so don’t dive in, instead paddle to the centre for the deepest spot. And for something truly magical, seek out the hidden cave behind the waterfall for some serious fairytale vibes.

Go Rural With An Immersive Farm Stay Out West

Experience regional NSW’s breathtaking rugged landscape with a trip to Callubri Station. At this truly unique farm stay, you’ll venture to the western plains, to a 28,000-acre working sheep property nestled between the tiny country towns of Nyngan and Tottenham. The family-run luxury farm stay will give you a glimpse into farm life not many will ever experience. Stepped in 140 years of family history, you’ll become one of the crew, gaining a true sense of belonging as you go for a ‘smoko’ at the Shearers Quarters and sundowners at the shed. If you really want to immerse yourself in farm life, you can even get involved in the day-t0-day activities of the farm, like checking dams or heading out with the agronomist for a crop inspection. At the end of the day, you’ll retreat to your premium Sky Suite, with plush king beds and outdoor lounges overlooking a 12-metre mineral shipping container pool. It’s all about balance, right? 

Indulge In An Adults-Only Retreat In Mullumbimby

Relax and unwind in decadent surroundings at Blackbird retreat. Nestled in the Mullumbimby hinterland with just three luxury pavilions - this dreamy escape is indulgence personified. Let time slow down as you wake up to jaw-dropping sunrise views from the hinterland to the ocean, go for a dip in the retreat’s magnesium pool, zen out in the infrared sauna and soothe your muscles with a deep tissue or reflexology massage in your private pavilion. This incredible spot is a feast for all of your senses, including your tastebuds with a daily brekky of locally sourced goodies (think: griddled sourdough, fresh local veggies, chia pots, fruits, house-blended teas and coffee) while at night you’ll be treated to a mouth-watering seasonal menu prepared in house by a private chef. Treat yo’self to the vacay you deserve.

Travel To Another World At Mungo National Park

There are few places in NSW that will have your jaw hitting the floor quicker than Mungo National Park. The UNESCO World Heritage Listed-park is awash with history and culture and is the perfect place for those seeking a true ‘pinch me’ moment. Nestled in Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area, the sprawling park encompasses 2,400 square kilometres of semi-arid landscape - read: it looks like a scene from Mars. Home to a labyrinth of ancient lakes formed over the last two million years, towering sand dunes, nature trails and stargazing sites, this is the kind of place you’ll remember for years to come. Make a beeline for The Walls Of China - no, that’s not a typo - and Lake Mungo. You’ll stare in awe at the red craggy rocks that peak and dip out of the ground leaving behind crater-looking formations. While you can wander the boardwalk of this area solo, we recommend linking up with one of the Aboriginal Discovery Rangers at the Mungo Visitor Centre, where you’ll learn about Dreaming stories of the area from the last 60,000 years and the significance it has to traditional owners - the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and Mutthi Mutthi people.

Connect To Country In Wagga Wagga With This First Nations Tour

Regional NSW is steeped in Aboriginal culture, so why not see the landscape through the eyes of a First Nations guide? Make your way to Wagga Wagga and book yourself a spot on Bundyi Cultural Tours where Wiradjuri man Mark Saddler will take you on a personal tour of the Riverina. You’ll connect to the people and places that shaped the region, as Saddler takes you along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, out west to Galore Hill Scenic Reserve and finally to The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place, a spiritual Dreaming and ceremonial location. Over the course of the day you’ll hear Dreaming stories, learn Wiradjuri language, taste bush tucker and try to master the art of traditional tool making. This is your chance to really see and feel NSW’s incredible ancient culture.

Soar Over The Sand Dunes In Port Stephens

You know that joyous feeling you get when you’re a kid and you nail your first bike ride downhill? That lose-your-stomach, pure exhilaration? Well, we’ve found the adult’s version of that and it’s in Port Stephens. The crew at Sand Dune Adventures—which is owned and operated by Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council—will take you on a thrilling hour-long adventure from bush to beach as you traverse through the iconic Worimi Sand Dunes on Stockton Beach. Along with your guide, you’ll fly through coastal grassland and scrub before soaring up and down the dunes - some of which reach 100 feet high. Along the way, you’ll learn the Worimi people’s age-old connection to these lands through storytelling while soaking up the incredible, unspoilt surroundings. This one is a must-do for all the fun-seekers out there. 

From igniting your sense of adventure to connecting and unearthing a sense of belonging, NSW will give you all the feels. Brimming with natural splendour, unrivalled vistas, community spirit and incredible local produce, it's time to get out and explore what NSW has to offer. and feel something new For more, head to visitnsw.com/feelnew.

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Destination New South Wales and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image source: Urban List

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