I'm a Freelance Writer - MPG Communications and Author - Maria P Frino (pen name).
Published September 20th 2021
Travel in NSW to Shake off Lockdown Blues
Freedom day is happening soon. What will you do to celebrate coming out of this long COVID lockdown?
The Sydney Lockdown will be eased and we are going to be able to move about again. This means we can holiday and visit other areas. Here are five places in NSW where you can help the local economies to recover. All are within a few hours driving distance from Sydney.
I have started with my home city because after three months of lockdown the businesses throughout Sydney need customers to return. There are so many hidden gems to explore in the harbour city as well as the iconic places everyone loves.
Even on a dull day the Sydney Harbour is spectacular.
Darling Harbour is popular and from here you can board a ferry to Cockatoo Island and explore what this World Heritage Listed site has to offer. Go along just for the view or enjoy the activities on offer - even camping. The Visit Cockatoo Island website has everything you need to know.
Looking for unusual things to discover in Sydney? Like a tall ship cruise or kayak Sydney Harbour? Take a look here for great ideas to explore and book.
The harbour city has many iconic places on offer but take time to see other parts of Sydney, like local areas you wouldn't think to visit. There are many hidden walks and picnic spots to discover along the Parramatta River. You can do a ferry hop along the river and find these surprise areas.
Discover local walks and picnic areas along the Parramatta River.
This beachside city between the escarpment and the sea is one of two steel cities in NSW (the other is Newcastle). These days both are known more for their beaches, tourism and adventures. Wollongong is only a 90min drive from Sydney and is a great place to escape the city. Take the scenic tour over the Sea Cliff bridge for some spectacular ocean views - SeaCliffBridge.
Wollongong Harbour is popular with locals and tourists.
Locals and tourists alike flock to the harbour and the iconic City Beach and North Beach. With great cafes, walks, rocky foreshores to explore and lots of picnic areas, this family-friendly area is both relaxing and an exercise haven.
If you're into educational or historical tours why not take a 2.5hr tour of the steelworks? Learn the inner workings of an industry that is the backbone of Wollongong. To book and more information click here Steelworks tours.
This region is also known for adventures - skydiving, glamping, ziplining, helicopter flights, deep sea fishing, whale watching. For information about these and many other activities for thrill-seekers, check out the Visit Wollongong website.
3. BLUE MOUNTAINS
The scenic Blue Mountains is also a short drive from Sydney and is an area where adventure awaits Thrillseekers can delight in the pursuits available for great adventures.
You will need to spend more than a weekend to explore everything the Blue Mountains has to offer. Visit museums like The Teapot Museum in Leura; Trees Adventure where you can explore high up in the canopy, discover this World Heritage Listed area from Scenic World with the Scenic Skyway and Cableway or discover Jenolan Caves. See these and other ideas on this things to do website.
This area has history to discover with ghost and mystery tours too. Everything every history/mystery buff needs to know is here.
4. SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
Visit the beautiful and serene Southern Highlands where tranquility awaits. Spring brings with it the Tulip Time Festival in Bowral, which is only online for 2021. This floral festival is on every year, so diarise it for next year and see it in person then.
Tulip Time Bowral is a floral extravaganza. Photo courtesy of Jill Wellington Freerangestock.com
Apart from Tulip Time, why not check out these other activities to do -
Truffle Hunting with Ganymede Truffles - something to do during winter. Take this wild food adventure tour and stay on a working truffle farm. More information about this unique experience is here.
Discover more in Sutton. Your adventure to explore alpaca and deer farms, as well as wineries and olive groves starts here.
Bendooley Estate Book Barn in Berrima is a must-see for all book buffs. Set in picturesque paddocks, this barn is a haven for seekers of rare books and it's home to the Bendooley Estate Restaurant and cellar door, so you can savour the acclaimed food and wine as well.
Find out more about these and other activities to discover in the Southern Highlands, go to the visitnsw website.
5. PORT STEPHENS
Port Stephens is known as a great boating and fishing destination.
Approximately three hours drive from Sydney, Port Stephens is a mecca for sailors, surfers and scene seekers alike. Teeming with gorgeous beaches, nature and rivers, adventure, great food and whale watching, a stay in Port Stephens will definitely recharge your life.
This area boasts long stretches of beaches and waterways. There is lots of family-friendly accommodation available in Port Stephens, Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay, Corlette and Soldiers Point, from bargain prices to 5-star resort style.
Visit this beautiful region to seek out adventures like -
4WD Sand Dune Tours and Sandboarding
Stockton Bight is home to 2,500 hectaries of sand dunes and this is where you can do a 4WD tour that takes you to the dunes. Sandboard down the 30 metre slopes of up to 60 degrees. It's awesome fun.
There are a number of camel rides available and they start from $35 per person. Sunset rides start from $90 per person. The rides are on the Stockton Dunes.
Wild Dolphin Swim
This is one on my bucket list and is available from $349 per person for people 7 to 70. #JoinThePod at Dock C, d'Albora Marina, Nelson Bay. From 6.15am to 11.00am, this is a 4-hour tour and includes wetsuit fitting.
Note: COVID-19 restrictions may still be in place in some areas. Check on websites and with local authorities before booking. Wear a mask and social distance where required so we can all enjoy getting back to holidaying in NSW.