New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, is divided into four sections: a coastal strip including the regions south of Sydney; the mountainous areas of the Great Dividing Range; the agricultural plains including the Riverina area around Wagga Wagga; and the dry areas located in the far north-west region of the state. Hop a flight to New South Wales and the options are endless.
New South Wales boasts a strong economy, thanks in part to the financial and technical companies that have set up world headquarters in the state. But what’s great about New South Wales is its opportunity to branch out. International fights to New South Wales arrive in Sydney, but travelers can board local airlines and flights to more remote regions of the state and experience some of Australia’s finest wildlife and nature-reserves.
Thanks to comparable weather conditions year round, booking cheap flights to New South Wales is convenient for spontaneous planning. No real extremes in temperature mean perfect weather for outdoor excursions, and tolerable weather conditions no matter when you go. The northwest section of the state is the hottest, and the coastal area bakes in humidity between December and February. The coldest section is the Snowy Mountains, where snow and frost occur almost daily between June and August.
When to fly / Seasonality:
Although it’s commonly considered a year-round destination, plan your New South Wales flights outside of the rainy months (April, May, and June) to optimize outdoor enjoyment.
Peak Season: Most vacationers book flights to New South Wales between November and February, when the summer temperatures soar up to 104 degrees. With temps that scorching, be sure to pack sunscreen and a bathing suit.
Off-peak Season: If you’d rather hit the trails than sleep on the sand, then consider booking your cheap flight to New South Wales in the winter (June, July, August) to see the Snowy Mountains in all their glory. Beware of icy conditions and prepare for a chilly voyage to the top.
Once your flight to New South Wales arrives, consider renting a car to maximize your scenic opportunities. Conveniently located at the airport, rental agencies will help you decide on a car to suit your needs. You’ll undoubtedly go in one (or all) of three directions: The main highway in Newcastle takes you through the Blue Mountains to Melbourne and Canberra; The Pacific highway swerves along the north coast to Queensland; and the Princes Highway runs south toward Victoria.
If public transit is your New South Wales travel method of choice, then you can select between trains and buses to take you where you need to go. The Countrylink train system has both regional and interstate routes that originate from Sydney’s central station and go straight to other capitals within Australia. Major bus lines like Greyhound have pass deals (for more than one ride) and special discounts for students.
If you’re simultaneously trying to save time and see as much as possible, you may want to consider reserving a domestic New South Wales flight through either Qantas or Eastern Australian Airlines. Both will quickly take you to other internal cities.
Concerts in Caves: Whether you’re a world class traveler or a music aficionado, you’ve surely never seen a concert like this. Step inside Jenolan Caves, located in Port Stephens, to experience a melodic evening filled with Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish instrumentation. If you happen to book your flight to New South Wales around the third or fourth Saturday of each month, you’ll be able to catch this spectacular affair of live classical music. Cello, guitar, and violin masterpieces fill the air as the limestone formations create special acoustics and an unforgettable ambience.
Art Gallery of New South Wales: Although there are more than 40 art exhibitions held every year in New South Wales, one trumps them all. For art lovers booking cheap flights to New South Wales in September, you’ll be in for a prize – literally. The Dobell Prize for Drawing is the nation’s most prestigious award. Launched in 1993, the honor is granted to the best in contemporary design, and is announced the day before the exhibition begins. If you’re not an art enthusiast, but want to check it out anyway, get there early for one of the educational forums on approaching artwork as a beginner.
Scenic Railway: All aboard the world’s steepest rail way. Nestled in Katoomba, the Scenic Railway is an old carriage that used to transport coal and shale from the Jamison Valley to the surface. Once you’re strapped in, brace yourself for the 1361-foot descent into the Valley at a 52-degree incline. Although the trip is short, you can wander through windy forest pathways and old, sturdy tree ferns at the bottom.
Lightning Ridge: If the vast array of tourist attractions has you overwhelmed, relax and head to Lightning Ridge. Stock up on souvenirs at quaint boutiques, peek in and out of galleries, and experience an opal mine all in the same afternoon. Bevan’s Black Opal and Cactus Nursery grows 2,000 species of cactus and other plants that the family personally cultivates. Take a glimpse at the beautiful pottery work at Gemopal Potter’s, where you can take home a hand-made vase or bowl, created while you watch. If you do purchase one, be mindful when packing for your return New South Wales flight. Lastly, spend the evening at the Artesian Bore Baths, where the 104-122 degree water is said to have therapeutic value.
VisitNSW: Check out VisitNSW, the official travel site for New South Wales. It’s packed with everything to plan your trip, including information on each of the state’s eight diverse regions.
(prices quoted are from London)