30 Experiences to Restore & Renew
It's all about the Feels
How good does it feel when you go somewhere you’ve never been? See something you’ve never seen? Whether it’s in your own back yard or a day trip away. It’s so damn good! Often it’s it’s the intangibles – the feels – that makes it special. You can’t quite capture it with a photo, but you can certainly feel the goodness it brings. We need more happy, and here’s 30 things you can do that will bring a smile to that gorgeous face of yours!
Renew your senses
From dazzling creative sights along the Silo Art Trail, to the tingly taste of bush tucker on an Aboriginal cultural tour and the rousing sound of a thousand voices singing as one at Tamworth’s Country Music Festival, NSW makes every sense come alive.
Renew your romance
Ready to take your love to new heights? Watch the sun rise over the Hunter Valley from a hotair balloon, reconnect on a romantic seaplane flight to the Broken Bay Pearl Farm in the Hawkesbury, or stand on top of the world together on a BridgeClimb adventure.
Renew your Sunday sessions
Make new memories with mates on Sydney Harbour. Soak up the good vibes on a day cruise, take in the sun-kissed sparkle of the Harbour with a late lunch at the Opera Bar, The Squire’s Landing or Cruise Bar; or book a water taxi to Cockatoo Island or Clark Island for a laidback picnic with Insta-worthy views.
Renew yourself on a North Coast road trip
Leave stress in your rear view mirror as you cruise to calmness on the scenic route from Newcastle to the Northern Rivers. Along the way, embrace a sense of possibility as you surf, swim and chase waterfalls from one North Coast outdoor playground to another.
Renew your tastebuds
Be energised by surprising new flavours. Head south from Sydney and tuck into just-shucked delicacies on the Oyster Coast, indulge in the world’s best fine dining on Sydney Harbour’s shimmering edge, and feast on innovative, fusion fare in South Eveleigh.
Renew your adrenaline levels
Feel the joyful rush of mastering a new skill as you test your pedal power at Thredbo’s Mountain Bike Park; abseil down the Blue Mountains‘ World Heritage-listed sandstone, or spot friendly sea life from your kayak on a paddling tour of the Batemans Marine Park, Sydney Harbour or majestic Lake Mulwala in Murray River country.
Renew with the big blue
From soothing cerulean to inspiring indigo, every shade of refreshing blue washes over you in NSW’s ocean pools, with more than 100 revitalising baths to discover from Bermagui on the Sapphire Coast to dazzling Yamba in the north.
Renew your awe
You feel it as you drive through lush Gondwana forests; as the endless shimmer of the Warrumbungles‘ night skies curl around you; as a timeless pulse resonates through Mungo National Park’s moonscapes – that spine-tingling wonder of something bigger than us.
Renew your warm and fuzzies
There’s a life-affirming feeling of mutual curiosity when you come eye to eye with a friendly creature. It’s there when you swim with humpback whales in Jervis Bay and seals off Montague Island, and when you trade gazes with Port Macquarie’s famous koalas.
Renew yourself on country roads
Experience a deep sense of connection to the land on the Mighty Murray River Drive; discover Wagga’s rich Aboriginal history on a motorcycle tour of Wiradjuri Country; and explore NSW’s rich Gold Rush history in Forbes, Nundle, Gundagai and beyond.
Renew your perspective
Be surprised by a stunning new worldview as you stand on Australia’s roof at Mount Kosciuszko; as you snorkel in the shadow of Balls Pyramid, or feel like a speck in the universe as you view a billion stars from your Capertee Bubble Tent.
Renew your me time
Surround yourself with nature on a grand scale at luxury stays across NSW. Recentre yourself at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley; soak up the serenity at Spicers’s Sangoma; kick back on a pristine beach between plush spa treatments at Halcyon House, and immerse yourself in healing thermal pools in Yarrangobilly and Moree.
Renew your workout
Make exercise an enriching experience. Swap your rowing machine for a Coffs Coast stand-up paddleboarding adventure, where Aboriginal guides reveal the secret life of the waterways; hit Sydney’s most scenic trails for views so good you’ll forget you’re working out, and test your endurance on the South Coast’s three-day Light to Light Walk.
Renew yourself under outback skies
Magic exists where red desert dirt collides with cloudless cobalt skies – it courses through you as you explore Broken Hill’s desert sculptures and 40,000-year-old Ngemba ingenuity in Brewarrina, and it brings calm contemplation to campfires from Cobar to Corner Country.
Renew with vitamin sea
Surrendering to the ocean’s rhythm nourishes the soul. Rejuvenate as you scuba dive with friendly sharks at Seal Rocks, South West Rocks and Narooma; swim with dolphins in Port Stephens; snorkel with turtles in Manly, Cook Island and Lord Howe Island, and tune into its flow as you learn to surf with legendary pros like Pam Burridge and Philippa Anderson.
Renew your weekend plans
Nothing seals a friendship like a new adventure. Get the blood pumping in Penrith with indoor skydiving and jet-packing; discover fresh gourmet fare together in the Southern Highlands, or fill up on a world of colourful flavours on a foodie tour of multicultural Sydney.
Renew your understanding
Be moved by the energetic pulse of Sydney’s heart on an Aboriginal Dreamtime Southern X Tour of the Rocks or a Bangarra Dance Theatre performance, and discover hidden bush caves filled with rock art – just a stone’s throw from the city centre in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.
Renew yourself on a South Coast road trip
You feel a new sense of freedom as you head south along the Grand Pacific Drive, cross the Sea Cliff Bridge and meander through the Shoalhaven, to Eurobodalla and the sparkling Sapphire Coast. Driving through emerald-hued hills rolling towards sacred mountains, glistening rainforests and crystal seas, there’s inspiration at every turn.
Renew your social feed
Time to refresh your Instagram feed? Bondi Icebergs, Chippendale’s laneways and the city’s creative cafes offer picture-perfect backdrops close to the city. For next-level inspiration, venture west to snap sparkling gems plucked from the earth in Lighting Ridge, glam selfies with Broken Heel Festival drag queens and spirited camels in dramatic desert scenery.
Renew your stretch sessions
Reconnect with your body and mind during a transforming stay at a yoga retreat, where stunning wilderness settings super-boost the healing nature of your practice. Stretch your way to stress-free wellbeing at sanctuaries in the Blue Mountains, Thredbo, the Murrumbidgee, Lord Howe Island, the North Coast and the Hunter Valley.
Renew your family connection
Bring the family together for new experiences that deepen your bond. From sharing Vivid Sydney’s twinkling technicolour to thrilling Luna Park rides and cute encounters with Taronga‘s wildlife; from fruit-picking in Bilpin to playful days aboard your Murray River houseboat, there’s a new memory to savour wherever you go together.
Renew your happy hour
With fresh new waterholes to explore, the good times are on tap across Sydney. Clink glasses at YCK Laneways, where you can choose from 17 secret small bars; toast the iconic Harbour views at Hyde Hacienda, Henry Deane and Smoke in Barangaroo, or head to the Inner West for a craft brewery tour your crew will never forget.
Renew your pampering experience
Even if you have just a day to reclaim your calm, a healing ritual in a luxurious day spa will give you a boost, inside and out. Choose your own wellness adventure in prestigious pampering palaces near the Harbour, Blue Mountains bathhouses and wellness havens in Albury, Kangaroo Valley and Killcare.
Renew your window seat view
Give quality time with loved ones an A-list twist with a flightseeing adventure. Wing it to Orange or the Outback for a long lunch with Crooked Compass, enjoy a private helicopter fishing tour with Go Fish, or fly between Snowy Region vineyards with True North Helicopters.
Renew your Mardi Gras plans
Sydney’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is no doubt iconic, but why settle for just a month-long celebration when you can keep your rainbow connection sparkly all year round? There’s LGBTQI parties to discover from the bush to the beach – start with the Coastal Twist Festival; Rainbow on the Hay Plains, and Lismore’s Tropical Fruits Easter Party.
Renew your wine time
Discover your new favourite drop on a journey from one iconic NSW wine region to another. Already charged your glasses in The Hunter? Plan a trip to the Shoalhaven, where NSW’s only coastal wine region is famous for its Chambourcin, Chardonnay and Shiraz blends. Or, head to Orange and sample the best of the local cool climate varieties on a winery tour.
Renew your human connection
Reconnect with friends, and make new ones, as powerful storytelling replenishes your spirit. Feel your emotions stir as you take in the tale of Hamilton; live music exhilarates your senses during a Sydney Opera House performance, and your heart will fill as the crowd laughs as one during the annual Sydney Comedy Festival.
Renew your sea legs
Feel a new respect for the ocean – and its empowering energy charge through you – as you learn to sail on the South Coast or in Port Stephens. It’s a thrill to become part of a living Ken Done painting on Sydney Harbour, where you can learn the ropes with EastSail, slip into the thick of the action on a super-maxi, or surrender to the rush of a jetboat adventure.
Renew yourself on bush trails
Replenish your senses with a forest-bathing hike through Minnamurra or Bald Rock National Park; stand taller as you conquer Mount Kaputar and Mount Tomaree, and feel stress slip away with every step on a riverside ramble along the Murrumbidgee.
Renew your mornings
Seeing the sunrise on the NSW coast is an awakening, with no caffeine required. Feel energised as you breathe it all in at Australia’s most easterly point; delight as dawn creates its own lightshow at NSW’s southernmost lighthouse – or simply stand on the sand, anywhere between the Victoria and Queensland borders, and let the colours revive you.