5 things you’ll definitely want to know before visiting New South Wales

Panorama view of Sydney Harbor Bay

New South Wales (NSW) is Australia’s most populous state and is home to some of the country’s best loved tourist destinations such as Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Byron Bay.

However, just like visiting anywhere far away from home, you’ll need to know what to expect when you get there. If NSW is your destination of choice, we’ve highlighted 5 key things you’ll definitely want to know before you arrive.

Do you have what you need to visit NSW?

Due to COVID, you currently need a travel declaration to enter New South Wales by car from Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) or Queensland. There are some domestic flights to and from the state but there are strict local restrictions in place right now.

However, normally, there are no special requirements to enter or exit different states from within Australia.

That said, you must still be careful with the items you carry across these borders. There are special biosecurity rules in place meaning you can’t bring things like fruit, vegetables, plants or honey across state boundaries.

Also, if you’re coming to NSW directly from another country, you’ll probably need to get an Australian ETA online before you arrive in Oz. Therefore, be sure to check the entry requirements for your nationality before boarding your flight.

Lockout laws are a thing of the past in Sydney

Sydney until recently had some pretty strict laws regulating drinking in bars.

Under the city’s “lockout laws” drinks couldn’t be sold in glasses after midnight. There was no entry allowed to pubs and bars after 1.30pm in some of the centre’s most popular areas.

However, since March 2021, these no longer apply. Now, fans of the nightlife scene in Sydney won’t face any time restrictions on entry or drinks service when visiting the city’s most fashionable nightspots.

It’s not all about the big city

NSW is more than just Sydney. There’s beautiful countryside, amazing beaches and vineyards you should definitely visit when on a trip to the state.

With its long and beautiful coastline there are plenty of places to chill out on the beach. Although some of the highlights include Byron Bay, Murray Beach, Pebbly Beach or Anna Bay. If you’re not as interested in swimming in the sea or chilling on the sand, there are also amazing coastal walks in these areas.

Of course, one of the best out-of-town destinations to see when you’re in New South Wales is the Blue Mountains. This beautiful mountain range is made even more spectacular by sandstone ridges like the 3 Sisters, or its eucalyptus forests that gives it its eponymous blue hue on sunny days.

The food and drink scene is unforgettable

As you might expect, seafood is a big deal here in New South Wales. However, the state is also well known for producing great fruit and veg too. This of course means local restaurants are adept at turning out delicious food.

There are a few standout things to try when you’re visiting NSW though. Sydney rock oysters are considered a particular delicacy and fresh fish such as snapper is something you’ll definitely want to sample on your trip.

Also, the state is well known for producing amazing wine, which you can try at local vineyards in place like Hunter Valley, Mudgee and Orange. If you’re more of a beer drinker though, you’ll also be spoiled for choice by the many craft breweries found around the state.

There’s wildlife galore

Australia as a whole is beloved for its diverse and unusual wildlife. New South Wales is home to many of these favourites such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats and even platypuses.

Not only that, around the coastal areas you can see amazing sea life such as whales, dolphins and turtles. Even more impressively, you can also find colonies of penguins along NSW’s coastline in some locations.

A trip to New South Wales is something you won’t forget in a hurry. Of course, though it’s important to go with a plan in mind to make sure you can get the most enjoyment out of your visit.