Smith Exclusive: 20% off three nights plus AU$300 resort credit
New South Wales, Australia
We've hand-picked the very best boutique and luxury hotels in New South Wales to bring you our collection of stylish romantic retreats. Find your perfect hotel and get the low-down on holidays in New South Wales – just choose your destination from the list below…
Destinations in New South Wales
Sydneysiders have been in the know for years now, hightailing it to the Blue Mountains for indulgent weekends of wildlife spotting, antiques shopping and gallery-hopping.
Some jokingly refer to Byron Bay as the most northern suburb of Sydney – everything you can find in the big smoke is on your doorstep here, too.
Once a sleepy backwater, New South Wales’ Central Coast is a burgeoning hot getaway for weekending Sydneysiders, with top tip the Bouddi Peninsula, a boho cousin to the more familiar glam Northern Beaches across the water.
Just two hours from the skyscrapers of Sydney, the turquoise sea, white-sand beaches and untouched forests of Jervis Bay (pronounced like 'Jarvis' Cocker) sparkle on the New South Wales South Coast.
With its soaring volcanic peaks, turquoise lagoon, unspoilt beaches and rare plants, birds and marine life, ruggedly beautiful eco-retreat Lord Howe Island should bring out your inner David Attenborough.
Endless pristine beaches, many of them close to deserted, and lush green countryside dotted with bucolic villages are the highlights of New South Wales’s South Coast.
Sassy Sydney is a supermodel of a city – and she knows it. The eye-popping setting, sprawled around one of the world’s best looking harbours, keeps tourists slack-jawed.
Hire a car – Rick’s recommended company is No Birds – and drive down the New South Wales South Coast. With surf-lapped beaches, niche vineyards (shoalhavencoastwine.com.au) and foodie town Berry en route, the two-and-a-half-hour journey to Jervis Bay is easy on the eye and stomach. Paperbark Camp offers safari-chic tents just a skip from white-sand shores. Spend your days there swimming, kayaking or whale-watching, then dine on Chilean-accented Australian fare. For local dining, Rick rates Wharf Rd for seafood at 10 Wharf Road in Nowra or book a table at Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook, a 45-minute drive south. His former chef Alex Delly runs St Isidore, just outside Milton at 89 Croobyar Road, serving seasonal produce.
…having dinner at Sydney restaurant Sea Treasure at 46 Willoughby Road in Crows Nest on the Lower North Shore. Go for pipis (clams) in XO sauce, Peking duck with pancakes, san choy bow made from the rest of that duck, then salt-and-pepper mud crab or steamed coral trout with soy and ginger. They have a good wine list that’s great value for money, too.
From Paperbark Camp, continue along the picturesque coastal road to Melbourne, breaking up the 10-hour drive with two nights en route. Batemans Bay is fun for watersports; Montague Island Reserve, off Narooma, is home to seals and penguins; Mimosa Rocks National Park offers sea caves and lagoons; beachy Merimbula serves fresh seafood; and Eden is good for spying whales in season. Over the Victorian border, Mallacoota and Lakes Entrance are chilled out stops in lake-dotted Gippsland, where you can take a dip at dreamy Ninety Mile Beach. Be sure to sample the region’s acclaimed cheese, fish and free-range meats. If you’ve got more time, detour to Wilsons Promontory for dramatic coastal parkland and Phillip Island to see penguins and fur seals.