Australia is the sixth largest country by total area. Its capital is Canberra but the largest urban area is Sydney. With the help of friends living there, my Dad and I were able to visit both places back in January 2013.
It doesn’t take much to fall in love with Australia when you get to see all the beautiful places it has to offer. No wonder about the large-scale immigration from non-English-speaking nations. This side of the world is just beautiful.
Since we Filipinos are more familiar with American English, it takes some time to adapt to Australian way of speaking. Although they speak English, they use terms that are considered jargon. For those who are planning to visit Australia soon, I advise you research some of their words to make your life easier especially when you plan to order some chips (French Fries) at Maccas (McDonalds).
Here are some recommended places to visit in New South Wales:
- Sydney Opera House. It is one of the 20th century’s most famous and distinctive buildings. You may choose to watch performances or simply chill with friends outside the opera house at night and watch the beautiful architecture comes to life. I highly recommend trying one of those Sydney Harbour Cruise ferries while you are in the area.
- Darling Harbour Bridge. The bridge is actually called Pyrmont Bridge which is located in Darling Harbour. It is said to be a symbol of Australia’s industrial history. We found a lot of places to eat in the vicinity so there is no danger of getting hungry while on a stroll. If you have kids in tow, there is also a nearby amusement park called Luna Park Sydney.
- Sydney Tower Buffet is a banquet-style dining experience with uninterrupted revolving view of the city. I got a little dizzy at first because of the constant slight movement but after a few minutes, I get to enjoy the relaxing view and really great food. The tower is located at Sydney Tower Dining, Reception Level 4, Sydney Westfield Centre, Between Pitt & Castlereagh Streets, Sydney
- Featherdale Wildpark is a zoo in Doonside, Sydney that specializes in Australian native wildlife and birds. The place is actually won the Major Tourist Attraction Award twice! What I loved the most about Featherdale is the close encounter experience. Yup! Hug them all you want (if they want you to). There are no cages for Koalas, Kangaroos, Sheeps, etc. You walk in to the zoo and tadaaa! Truly animal kingdom feels.
- Bondi Beach is one of the most visited tourist sites in Australia. It is officially an Australian National Heritage. Coming from Central Sydney, we drove it for about 30 minutes since it is only 7 kilometers away. WARNING: Do not go there during summer or you will find yourself standing in the crowd with nowhere to stick your beach umbrella.
- Hunter Valley Gardens is Australia’s largest display garden…like, literally. Spanning over 25 acres of land with 10 stunning feature gardens, I still can’t believe I did not get lost. Walking through thousands of flowers, trees and shrubs was dream-like. All I did was gawk…and smell…and gawk again.
- Blue Mountains National Park is known for its dramatic scenery. It encompasses steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and of course The Three Sisters, the most spectacular landmark in the area. The Three Sisters which is located at The Echo Point is essentially an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned into stone. Cool isn’t it? Oh! Did I mention that you will have to ride cable cars with glass on all four sides going to the Echo Point and it will literally cross mountains? I guess not.
- Wollongong is the Go-To place for surfing and paragliding. This coastal city is strategically located between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean causing the waves to be perfect for surfers and the wind ideal for gliders.
- Kiama Blowhole. Under certain sea conditions the Big Blowhole in Kiama can spray water up to 25 meters in the air, in quantities that thoroughly drench any bystanders. I didn’t bring extra clothes so I put on my jacket to absorb most of the water before it gets to my shirt. There is also Little Blowhole just a few minutes drive from the Big Blowhole but we always want the bigger ones, don’t we?
- Bald Hill, Kiama is one of the best known and most popular lookouts in the Illawarra Region providing panoramic vistas. The nature reserve in the hill is internationally renown as hang gliding and para gliding sites.
- Two Figs Winery sits proudly at the top of a hill overlooking a river which makes it one of the best places for wine tasting. You cannot go to Australia and not try some fine Australian Wine. Wineries are everywhere and you can go wine tasting for free. I am more of a water-person but that didn’t stop me from taking a sip of their Sparkling White Wine while in this breath-taking place.
12. Hyams Beach & Jervis Bay is an oceanic bay on the south coast of New South Wales that is said to possess the whitest sand in the world! Trust me, the sand in Boracay doesn’t compare to this. It feels like my feet are being swallowed by marshmallow every time I take a step.
Want to visit more of Australia? Read next: 4 Places to Visit When in Canberra, Australia.
Have you visited New South Wales or are you planning to visit soon? I’d be glad to share experiences and expectations in the comments section. Talk to you, guys soon!
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