From tracing the ancient songlines of Indigenous Australians to following in the footsteps of the first convicts sent to our shores, the cooler months of Winter are the perfect time to don your activewear and get walking in NSW.
Recent statistics have revealed that the popularity of bushwalking continues to rise, with 7 million visitors travelling to NSW to bushwalk in the year ending March 2016, a growth of 19% on the previous year. With increases recorded in both visitors and visitor nights, NSW continues to attract travellers seeking nature-based tourism experiences.
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said Regional NSW offers Australia’s most diverse range of bushwalking experiences, with Winter proving the most popular period for domestic daytrip visitors.
“As Australia’s most geographically diverse State, NSW is the ideal destination for a walking holiday incorporating UNESCO World Heritage-listed wilderness, Australia’s highest peak or almost 5 million hectares of National Parks and nature reserves,” Ms Chipchase said.
Experience a piece of NSW’s history with a walking holiday in Regional NSW, with a few suggestions of fantastic Winter walks in NSW.
Follow in the same footsteps as Australia’s convicts by walking part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Great North Road track in Dharug National Park near Wisemans Ferry. Convict-built between 1826 and 1836 overlooking theHawkesbury River, the walk contains relics of convict life including preserved stonework, bridges and convict graffiti in the rock face. The 9 km loop takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete with campgrounds available at Mill Creek and Ten Mile Hollow.
Located in the Eurobodalla National Park on NSW’s South Coast, the Bingi Dreaming track is the perfect day walk taking hikers along a songline (dreaming track), a stunning coastal route visiting campsites and ceremonial and trade sites used by the Brinja-Yuin people. Approximately 13.5 km each way, the walk starts at Congo Headland and leads all the way to Tuross Head through eucalyptus forests and heathlands. With ocean views and beautiful vantage points along the way, it’s very likely you’ll spot some whales in Winter!
Scale the tallest outdoor staircase in Australia
The Blue Mountains is a mecca for bushwalkers offering over 140 km of trails and walking tracks. With stunning views of the Jamison Valley and Wentworth Falls, the historic National Pass in the Blue Mountains National Park ticks all the boxes for a Winter walk in the mountains. Considered as one of the most iconic and historically significant tracks in the region, the impressive hand built Grand Stairway is Australia’s tallest outdoor staircase.
Uncover the history of Ben Boyd
Take the Light to Light walk on the far South Coast to learn more about historical pioneer Benjamin Boyd. Spanning 30 km each way, the cooler Winter months are the perfect time to take in this multi-day walk with amazing whale and bird watching on offer. This walk starts at the historic Boyds Tower in the Ben Boyd National Park ending at the Green Cape Lighthouse, with campgrounds and accommodation along the way.
Indigenous rock art in the Outback
Located in the Gundabooka National Park near Bourke, the Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site walking trackgives walkers a fascinating insight into Indigenous rock art of the Ngemba and Paakandji people. The 1.4 km track is challenging, taking walkers through bushland and boulders alongside fascinating rock paintings and significant ceremonial sites.
Lights on in Byron
Framed by spectacular coastline criss-crossing through beaches and rainforest, the iconic Cape Byron walking trackis a must-do for all Byron holiday makers. Set aside a few hours to complete the 3.7 km track, as you’ll want to take your time ocean spotting, with the water teeming with dolphins, turtles and in Winter, whales. Be sure to pay a visit tothe Maritime Museum and the historic Cape Byron Lighthouse which sits on the easternmost point of Australia. The Cape Byron area is also home to the region’s oldest midden at The Pass, a place of great cultural and archaeological significance.