If there are two things I love doing when traveling, is going on a roadtrip, and going on a hike. Both of which I got to during during my 8-Day Roadtrip in New South Wales with Daryl. When Destination New South Wales asked if I could come up with my dream itinerary, I immediately looked up “glamping”, “mountains”, “hikes” on Google – and I’m super glad we managed to tick all these experiences off my Australian-adventure checklist. I didn’t want to do the usual Sydney City + Blue Mountains combination, and I hope you’ll be inspired by this itinerary to explore the greater areas of NSW!
What we did was take the 2016-launched Singapore Airlines direct flight from Singapore to Canberra, rented a car there, and slowly made our way up to Sydney (a 4-hour, 283km drive if you drive from Canberra without stopping). P.S. I’ve partnered with Singapore Airlines to offer a special return airfare rate to Sydney, read on to find out more!
Here’s a breakdown of my pretty cool adventure down-under. Look up #dreainaustralia on Instagram for all the Instagram pictures!
Still recovering from last evening’s hike and with no time to recuperate, we packed on the adventure with a 2-hour horse riding adventure at Thredbo Valley Horse Riding. We were given a quick safety and horse-handling introduction, before making our way through the Australian bushland on horseback and to a quiet river bank where we rested for a bit. Our guides were incredibly welcoming and friendly, and they handled the horses with so much care – which I really appreciated.
Post-horse-riding, we had a quick lunch and made our way to Tilba Lake Camp – where I camped at one of their three “Lotus Bell Tents” for the night. I’ve stayed at a similar tent on a rooftop at Melbourne’s CBD before (yup, you heard that right), but this would be the first outdoor “glamping” experience. We were on private property, and overlooking a lake. Even though the weather was pretty rainy during our week in NSW, it was kinda calming and surreal to hear the raindrops pitter patter on the tent as you fall asleep. In case you are wondering, “how is the toilet situation like”, don’t worry, like I said, it’s “glamping” – toilets and showers, together with a communal living space, are available 50m away from your tents!
If you are up for a seaplane adventure, pack your bags and head towards coastal town Mollymook. Along the way, you can stop by Australia Rock or Mystery Bay for some scenic photo-ops. The drive to Mollymook from Tilba will approximately take 1hr 45mins, so you can stop by for lunch at The River Moruya before your plane ride just in case you get hungry from the drive! If you have never been on a seaplane before, you’re up for an experience: we met up with the good people from South Coast Seaplanes at Moruya Airport, went through a quick safety briefing, and took off from Moruya River – quite something taking off and landing onto water if this is your first! As you ascend, you’ll pass incredible rock formations at Bingie Point. During our plane ride we spotted seals, and during the right season, you’ll spot dolphins and whales that frequent Montague Island! To end off the perfect day, we checked into Bannisters By The Sea, a luxury cliff-side property that has the perfect infinity pool overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. This is probably the best spot to go to for a quiet romantic couple getaway.
If you’re not driving from Canberra, and are coming from Sydney, you may want to consider our next destination as a quick 2-day getaway from Sydney city life instead! We arrived into Jervis Bay the next day (200km from Sydney), and there’s TONS to do in Jervis Bay. We went on a dolphin cruise adventure on Jervis Bay Extreme, rented a kayak from Jervis Bay Sea Kayaking Tour and kayak-ed through mangroves, and got gelato and Japanese food in the rows of shops by the beach! The guide who brought us on our kayaking tour moved to Jervis Bay from the UK, telling us he preferred the sun, sea, and slower-paced lifestyle, and I can see totally see why. My choice of accommodation when vacationing at Jervis Bay? Definitely Paperbark Camp, my second “glamping” destination. I loved every minute of my stay there. The camp is surrounded by – as its name suggests – Paperbark trees, and each tent is in its own private area so everyone gets a dedicated personal space. You can kayak by the stream that is located on the property during the day, and end off your day with a campfire experience as dusk approaches.
We had to say goodbye to Paperbark the next morning in order to make our way back in time to check in to the super hip, modern-industrial decorated hotel The Old Clare Hotel, not before stopping by the Seacliff Bridge for a view that can only remind you of the Great Ocean Road in Melbourne, or Big Sur in California. We concluded our last three days in Sydney like any regular Singaporean would – eating and shopping!
For shopping, I like to head to Paddington Market. My favourite Australian brands include Bardot, Aritzia, Finders Keepers, Wittner, Faithfull, Zimmermann, Manning Cartel, and Zulu & Zephyr – so definitely give their shops/ stockists a visit!
No trip to Sydney is complete without giving their scenic and iconic spots a go: try Coogee Beach, the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk, Watsons Bay, and Observatory Hill a go. To up your scenic-Sydney-experience game, you can book a 20-minute helicopter tour on Sydney Heli Tours just like we did. It was Daryl’s first helicopter experience, and to see him go excited over flying past the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Bondi, was immensely fulfilling.
And…. that’s a rundown of my roadtrip adventure in New South Wales! As with all my travel guides, this list is not exhaustive, and I would really welcome any more suggestions from you guys if you have any!
As mentioned earlier, I’ve partnered with Singapore Airlines to get you guys a special promo fare to Sydney when you book on the SQ portal from the 3rd – 17th April. A return trip to Sydney will be pegged at $618, just key in the promo code “DREAXSQ” when booking! Alternatively, click here to book your trip!
I hope this blog post will get you excited over planning for your ideal New South Wales holiday!