The most incredible luxury experiences in NSW

If you’re looking for a holiday that’s just a little bit extra, NSW has a host of luxurious experiences that showcase every corner of the state. From private plane safaris to world-famous vineyards, get set for a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Feb 2022 -
3
min read
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Feeling like you deserve a little boost? These luxury experiences take you from everyday to extraordinary. It may be raising a special experience to the next level – making a waterfront lunch even more memorable with a spectacular seaplane arrival – or the chance to go behind the scenes at a pearl farm, discovering the cultivation secrets of the jewel. From the outback to the city, these exclusive experiences are a great way to spoil yourself. 
 

See the harbour from a superyacht 

It’s the most spectacular harbour in the world and the only way to improve on those postcard-perfect views is to enjoy them from the deck of a luxury superyacht. Ghost 2 is one of the finest ships to sail on Sydney Harbour, a sleek 37m vessel that feels like a floating five-star resort. Relax on the sun deck, soak in the jacuzzi, watch the scenery slip by from floor to ceiling windows and dive into the ocean when she drops anchor. 

You can charter Ghost 2 through Sydney Harbour Exclusive, setting out for a lush lunch, glitzy cocktail party of an overnight stay for up to 12 lucky guests. 

Aerial view of friends dining on the Ghost 2 superyacht, Sydney Harbour

Ghost 2 superyacht, Sydney Harbour

Take a flightseeing tour of the Snowy Mountains

For scenery on a grand scale, it’s hard to go past the Snowy Mountains. From the high-country plains in the east to the sheer cliffs in the west, these untamed landscapes are usually off-limits to all but the hardiest hikers. A flightseeing tour with Snowy Mountains Helicopters is an elegant alternative. Discover hidden waterfalls and shimmering alpine lakes, gaze down on the ski fields and marvel at the majestic twin peaks of Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Townsend, and keep an eye out for wild brumbies.

Your chopper can touch down for a tasting at the Dalgety Brewing Company or Wildbrumby Distillery, or discover one of the park's remote beauty spots on a private wilderness picnic complete with a gourmet hamper and bottle of bubbles.

Be chauffeured around world-class wineries

With more than 150 cellar doors dotted around the pretty villages of Lovedale and Pokolbin, the Hunter Valley, a two-hour drive north of Sydney, makes for a great getaway, whether you come for one day or settle in for a short stay. The most indulgent way to explore Australia’s oldest wine region is with a private chauffeur from AEA Luxury Tours.

Drink in the scenery as you visit a selection of the area’s best wineries, stopping to sample the goods and learn more about winemaking. It’s not all about the wine, though – your tastebuds will get an additional treat on a visit to a local dairy as well as at a leisurely lunch in one of the Hunter’s many acclaimed restaurants.

Couple enjoying a wine tasting experience with chief winemaker Stuart Hordern at Brokenwood Wines, Pokolbin

Brokenwood Wines, Pokolbin

Or drop in for a tasting by helicopter 

Take your wine tour to the skies with an ultra-luxe helicopter adventure. The experienced pilots from Sydney HeliTours will take you on a glorious 45-minute scenic flight from their base at Sydney Airport to the lush Hunter Valley for an indulgent lunch at your favourite winery or restaurant. Or you can spend a full day hopping between the vines with Hunter Valley Helicopters. Your private chopper will pick you up from your accommodation and touch down at two or three of the valley’s top wineries, where you can expect the full VIP treatment. 

You can also find this chic style of heli-sipping in other regions across the state. Join Touchdown Helicopters for an aerial tour through the wineries of the Shoalhaven region or Orange Helicopters for day of tasting at the area’s award-winning cool climate wineries. 

Sleep in six-star style in the city’s highest tower 

With its glittering glass façade rising 75 floors above Barangaroo, the Crown Towers hotel is superlative in every way. This is Sydney’s tallest skyscraper, its first six-star hotel and an exercise in over the top luxury. Rooms and suites have glorious views over the city, plush furnishings, indulgent bathtubs and innovative technology. Or go all out and book into one of the incredible villas, which have private outdoor terraces, butler service and exclusive experiences. 

Around the hotel, you’ll find award-winning restaurants (including Oncore by Claire Smyth, the only female chef with three Michelin stars), a rooftop swimming pool, exquisite spa and designer shopping. 

Woman admiring the expansive views from Crown Towers, Sydney

Crown Towers, Sydney


Catch a seaplane to lunch

Few cities can match Sydney when it comes to restaurants with outstanding water views, but Cottage Point Inn is something truly special. Surrounded by verdant national park on Pittwater, north of the city, this intimate waterfront restaurant is beloved by celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Pippa Middleton for its tucked-away location as well as its superb food.

Save yourself the long road trip and arrive in style with Sydney by Seaplane. It’s just a few steps from the wharf where you pull up to the restaurant where your table awaits. Time it right and you may get to say hello to the resident kookaburras as you savour a three-course lunch, before your pilot whisks you homewards again. It’s an experience that will stay with you. You might even have to do it again.

Go behind the scenes at a pearl farm

The pristine waters of the Hawkesbury River, just a 45-minute drive from the centre of Sydney, are home to the only pearl farm on the east coast of Australia. Broken Bay Pearl Farm specialises in growing the rare akoya pearls, prized around the world for their outstanding lustre.

The private four-hour tour immerses you in the intricacies of pearl farming. Enjoy the breeze on your face as you take to the water to see how pearls are grown and harvested, before returning to solid land to learn how the value of each pearl is assessed. You will even get hands-on experience grading pearls yourself, before choosing a pearl of your own to take home.

Guest examining a freshly farmed pearl on a tour of the Broken Bay Pearl Farm, Mooney Mooney

Broken Bay Pearl Farm, Mooney Mooney

Create your own custom rum blend

Tucked away in the streets of inner-city Surry Hills, Brix Distillers specialises in rum, using Australian molasses, organic sugar cane and native spices to create its acclaimed range. Sign up for a Rum Spicing Class to put yourself in the creator’s seat, mixing up your own rum blend to take home and share with family and friends. The distillery will provide a range of fruit, nut and spice infusions produced in house, and explain how to use each one to blend your customised drop.

Friends making rum in a class at Brix Distillers, Surry Hills

Brix Distillers, Surry Hills

Enjoy a taste of Outback luxury

Few landscapes are as quintessentially Australian as the rolling plains and sprawling cattle stations of the NSW Outback. Now you can enjoy them on an unforgettable day trip or spend a weekend on the farm thanks to Australia by Air.

Drink in the extraordinary sense of space you only find in the outback as you fly to the 11,500-hectare Callubri Station. As well as exploring the farm and its resident fauna – expect to see kangaroos, emus and echidnas – you will enjoy a memorable lunch in the property’s atmospheric old church, where dishes made with farm-fresh ingredients are served on a rustic timber table.

Callubri Station - Buddabadah - Cobar Area - Outback NSW

Callubri Station, Buddabadah

 

Be dazzled by opera in a spectacular location 

Each year the world’s most remarkable stage pops up just offshore from Mrs Macquarie’s Point. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour features a different show each year (like Madama Butterfly, Aida and La Traviata) performed outdoors on a grand scale, with harbour as the living backdrop. To make an extraordinary night even more luxurious, you can arrive in style by private water taxi and dine at the exclusive Platinum Club as the sun sets.  

For a night you won’t forget, you can even arrange for a once-in-a-lifetime walk on part in the show. Opera Australia offers a limited number of opportunities, which include full hair, makeup and costume, a meet and greet with the cast, a rehearsal with the directing team, and a photographer to capture your starring moment. 

Fireworks at the performance of Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour

Madama Butterfly, Sydney Harbour

Discover the glamorous side of camping 

Glamping is the perfect combination of immersion in nature and creature comforts, offering unique accommodation in beautiful locations. You’ll find indulgent options all across the state from the bush to the beach. In the lush Mudgee wine region, Sierra Escape has four stylish tents on a 115-hectare property, each equipped with a fireplace and outdoor bathtub. In Orange, glamp right on a vineyard at Nashdale Lane Wines. The two tents are inspired by romantic wood cabins and come complete with four poster beds. 

The South Coast is a glamping hotspot, with Paperbark CampCurrajong RetreatTanja Lagoon Camp, The Cove, The Woods Farm, South Coast Retreat and more. In the Barrington Coast region, Amaroo Escape is a stylish adults-only retreat by the Manning River. Stay in a futuristic geodesic dome near Inverell at Faraway Domes or admire the night sky through the clear walls of Bubbletent in the Blue Mountains. 

Enjoying the outdoor bath in the Sierra Escape - Mudgee

Sierra Escape, Mudgee

Go shopping like a VIP 

Splash some cash like an expert on a guided VIP shopping expedition with Splendour Tailored Tours. A top Sydney stylist will take you to their favourite stores and secret boutiques to create your ideal wardrobe or fill your home with unique pieces. The personalised itinerary includes luxury transport, champagne morning tea and a delicious lunch. With their expert eye, fashion tips and insider access, you’ll get to strut like a celebrity. 

Splendour Tailored Tours at Aquabumps, Bondi

Splendour Tailored Tours at Aquabumps, Bondi

Paddle and shuck in pristine waters 

The Sapphire Coast gets its name from the deep-blue sparkling waters that fringe the glorious coastline. Discover the wonders above and below the surface on a guided adventure with Navigate Expeditions. Starting at the mouth of the Pambula River, you’ll paddle kayak across the vibrant water, admiring the surrounding bushland of Beowa National Park and looking our for native wildlife. When you arrive at Broadwater Oysters, you’ll learn what makes Sapphire Coast oysters so special and taste some freshly shucked. 

Be immersed in art 

Renowned artist Arthur Boyd once said “you cannot own the landscape”. He stayed true to his word when he and wife Yvonne gifted their property, Bundanon, to the Australian people in 1993. With more than 1,000 hectares of pristine bush and parkland along the Shoalhaven River, today it is home to a gallery with more than 4,000 pieces from Australia’s leading artists. Spend a weekend fully immersed in the collection when you stay at the award-winning, eco-friendly The Bridge. 

Each stay includes guided tours, behind the scenes access, artmaking workshops, nature walks, sunrise yoga classes and exceptional dining. If you have a particular passion, choose one of the themed weekends focusing on retro films, conservation and more. 

Couple enjoying the view from the museum at Bundanon Art Museum, Illaroo

Bundanon Art Museum, Illaroo - Credit: Safari Global

Connect with an ancient culture 

Take a spiritual and historical journey through Bouddi National Park with an Indigenous guide. This three-hour private tour from Elixir Journeys begins with a welcome ceremony before visiting significant Indigenous sites throughout the park. Hear fascinating stories about the landscape of the Central Coast, view Aboriginal rock art and sample bush food. Your inspiring experiences culminates with the engraving of a sustainably harvested, hand-made artefact by a local Indigenous artist for you to take home. 

Bouddi National Park, Central Coast

Bouddi National Park, Central Coast

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