Guide to Sydney & New South Wales – Scenery, Gastronomy & Lots of Fun!

Our Australian series brings you to Sydney – the country’s largest metropolis capital, sprawling on one of Earth’s natural harbours on the east coast.


A cosmopolitan capital the brings together a hotpot of culture, entertainment, and lifestyle, Sydney is definitely a vibrant, multi-faceted holiday destination that offers an amazing range of to-dos for your list. Its coastal charm, beautiful harbours and amazing landscape on the backdrop of the popular icons like the Sydney Opera House is an embodiment of how exquisite Sydney is. If you’re looking for a holiday destination that has everything, here are some ideas to kickstart your vacation plans!

Scenic Coastal drive


Australia is one of the best countries in the world for a self-drive vacation, and Sydney is a great city for cruising. One of the best routes to travel on is a driving adventure to the Gold Coast through Hunter Valley, Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Brisbane. Stop along the way to enjoy pristine waterways, beautiful sandy beaches and coastlines and world heritage national parks.

A coastal drive is an incredible experience for many travelers – you get to cover much more ground than on foot and you control the time you spend at each destination. Unplanned stops are always part of your drive, so plan well for everyone to have their time on the go. Check out our coastal drive package for a better understanding of a well-planned self-drive holiday.

Frolicking with nature


Sydney’s beautiful natural habitats provide ample opportunities to explore the great outdoors and frolic under the sun. Port Stephens is one of the best places to visit and we highly recommend spending some time on the dolphin capital of Australia, where 140 bottlenose dolphins reside. Naturally, this vacation spot holds various dolphin cruises and activities. With its mesmerizing 4WD adventures, coastlines, surfing, parasailing, snorkeling, scuba diving and other water sports are readily available.

If you’re traveling between May and November, catch sight of migrating humpback whales on whale-watching cruises from Nelson Bay. These gentle giants are an incredible sight to behold – how often can you witness these behemoths of the sea live in action? Almost never, so grab this chance!


Blue Mountains is another great self-drive destination that brings you close to nature. Driving up the mountain, you’re accompanied by its blue hue surroundings. They say the view from the top is simply stunning, and you better believe it! There are a plethora of things to do here, such as street walks, visiting the national parks (Kanangra-Boyd is a must-see, the sheer sandstone cliff faces of Kanangra Walls or mist-wreathed Mount Cloud is worth the long drive!), gourmet walks and more.


It’s a lot to do at Blue Mountains, you’ve got to pick the ones you and your company love best!

Gastronomical experiences

Australians love food. And in Sydney, you get the best of everything – from breathtaking views to mouth-watering food! With many natural attractions, you probably have had to walk a little to get to your hot spots. If you prefer to weave in some delicious goodness into your trip, food and wine trails are aplenty at the Blue Mountains. Meet with local producers on a food tour exploring the State’s gourmet highlights,  join the Catch a Crab tour that shows you how to haul crabs from Tweed River or hunt for the elusive luxurious black truffles in winter!


Hunter Valley offers a variety of winery trails with vineyards, gourmet tours and hearty food experiences to accompany your full-bodied wines. The Hunter Valley getaway has always been reputed for its good food and fine wines, and as Australia’s most visited wine region and home to more than 150 top-class wineries, vineyards and cellar doors, you’ll definitely enjoy the perfect gastronomical escape here.

Port Stephens offers a similar culinary adventure with cooking demonstrations and picnic areas. If you prefer to just enjoy the local product straight off from your (large) plates, the huge array of restaurants will want you to try them all!


We recommend trying Cookabarra Restaurant & Fish Farm – fresh seafood grilled and cooked to perfection, immaculate view from the restaurant and excellent service all around. It’s the full package on Port Stephen Nelson Bay you’re after, a Barramundi farm and Hydrophonic garden is available for a tour after your feast.

Other great Sydney ideas – from paradise to vivid experiences

If self-drive holidays aren’t your thing, then what you’re after could be a family fun travel plan that includes a Roar & Snore programme and getting upclose with the Australian wildlife. Remember to include the Sydney Royal Easter Show in your plans – there is so much to see and do at the Show, including animal experiences, food and wine, entertainment carnival fun, shopping and much more!


Or maybe a retreat on Lord Howe Island, one of the most exclusive paradise destinations in Australia. Immerse yourself in its amazing natural environment and enjoy incredible activities unique to the island – scuba diving in one of the best locations, day hikes, snorkelling on the coral reef, hand-feeding fish on Ned’s Beach and much more.

This multi award winning, World Heritage-listed paradise is about two hours away from Sydney by air, and with an array of accommodation and dining options on the exclusive island, this could be just the paradise for you.


If you’re looking for a vibrant adventure on a cosmopolitan holiday, enjoy a vivid experience through one of our cherry-picked experience packages – the VIVID Sydney Special. Enjoy cruises, historical and cultural visits, and also some nature adventure with the family. We’ve got an early bird promotion on this, along with other great deals to Sydney, so check them all out!

Psst: So, after reading our blog post, what activities that you will definitely do if you were to visit Sydney? Simply answer this hidden question and tag us on Facebook / Instagram for a chance to win a mystery prize!


Jetabout Holidays is a leading travel agency under the Holiday Tours Group. With over 30 years in the travel industry, Jetabout Holidays reputation as a top agent has garnered awards within the industry. Voted as the #1 Travel Agency for New Zealand and Australia (under Qantas Holidays) by Weekender Travellers Choice 2014, you are assured of a hassle-free, personalized vacation.
Jetabout Holidays is 75% owned by Qantas Airways and is the highly-regarded travel specialist for Australia and New Zealand tours. Call us at 6734 1818 or email us at for your holiday plans!

Aussie Specialist

An Aussie Specialist who enjoy spreading love about Australia. Travel differently, be inspired on your trip to Down Under!