Outdoor activities in NSW
Summer in NSW presents an incredible array of outdoor activities: from gliding above the ocean to pedalling along dirt tracks, and trampolining across the treetops. Try something new this season among the state’s incredible landscapes.
Hover above it all: eFoiling at Ku-ring-gai National Park
Welcome to your next water sport obsession, eFoiling. Part hovercraft, part surfboard and toting some serious Back to the Future vibes, eFoils are motorised hydrofoils. They’re the sustainable and silent way to cruise the water with no wind, waves or paddles required. While even those who’ve never dipped a toe in water sports can master the e-Foil, it’s best to begin with some tuition. Under the tutelage of Fliteschool Manly, you’ll meet at Bobbin Head wharf and head out into the crystalline waters of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. After one-and-a-half exhilarating hours skimming the bays, expect to be propelled into a new hobby.
Discover what lies beneath: Underwater Scooter Tours at Gordon’s Bay
Sydney’s stunning beaches are very pretty to look at but dive deep and you’ll find some truly remarkable scenes and creatures. You can snorkel by yourself in many spots along the coast, but power things up a notch with a Sydney Underwater Scooter Tour. Ideal for ages from 16–75, you don’t need to have a scuba diving licence or even be a strong swimmer to use the scooters; they’ll pull you along to your comfort level. Tours take place just 20 minutes from the city centre at Gordons Bay Marine Reserve, an underwater enclave with Port Jackson sharks, octopus and a famously big, blue grouper. Everything is provided, including masks, wet suits, boots and fins.
Take a ride: e-bike tours & mountain biking in the Blue Mountains
On steamy city days, the bush-covered Blue Mountains beckon with cool, fresh air, lushly shaded bush tracks and loads of adventure. There are plenty of incredible walking trails, but you’ll cover more ground if you put those feet to work pedalling. Blue Mountains Biking Adventures offer both traditional mountain bikes or e-bikes for hire should you feel inclined to self-guide, but for those new to mountain biking, a great option is to join the company’s e-bike tours that take you off the beaten track and remove some of the grunt work. You’ll be fitted with an electric bike, helmet, water bottle, snacks and some practice before rolling through some of the mountains’ most idyllic spots.
Walk, don’t run: mindful exploration with Trip Slow
Hemmed by a dramatic and absorbing coastline, Sydney is outlined by beautiful walking tracks. Even if you’re a regular runner or ambler, touring company Trip Slow can offer something different: guiding walkers on mindful and informative journeys that layer the city’s waterfront and beaches with history and context. With walks ranging from easy to medium and from three to five hours, Trip Slow encourages a connection to nature for a truly grounding experience on two feet.
Onboard adventures: boat tours in Newcastle & Lake Macquarie
With almost 2000 kilometres of mainland coastline in NSW, it makes sense to board a boat to truly appreciate our water-loving culture. Specialising in nature-based tours with a side of adventure in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, CoastXP takes passengers from boat to bush and beyond. Choose from guided wildlife experiences, an offshore boating adventure tour, or try their most recent adventure: a lake cruise combined with a nature walk to discover the magnificent diversity of nature along this beautiful stretch of coast.
Go without snow: summer adventure in Kosciuszko
Kosciuszko National Park is just as thrilling without it’s a dusting of snow. Much like European snowfields, come summer, Thredbo flips into a mountain biking and hiking land of adventure. From fly fishing trout in nearby Lake Jindabyne to horse riding, abseiling, golf, a family friendly bobsled and surprisingly addictive games of disc golf, there is an alpine activity to suit your summer-loving self and kin.
Power pedal: self-guided e-bike tours on the South Coast
While it’s easy enough to unfurl a towel on Narooma’s stunning beaches and stay put all weekend, experience more of this South Coast gem by hitting a unique cycle track by e-bike. Save your legs and the environment with Southbound Escape’s eco-conscious, self-guided tour along the 21-kilometre Narooma to Dalmeny trail. Pause to greet the lounging seal community at the Australian Rock lookout, take in vistas of Montague Island and Glasshouse Rocks, and take a break to dive below the breakers at Surf Beach. The pedal-assist technology is ideal for slow sojourns, but if you’re keen to pump it, mountain bikes are available.
Bounce it out: trampolining in the Port Macquarie treetops
No matter your age, excitement will ensue when you find yourself on a trampoline. At WildNets Adventure Park, just 10 minutes from Port Macquarie, all manner of bounceable and climbable activities await the entire family with netted rooms, suspension bridges, treehouses and ball pits. Accommodating all abilities, from L-plated walkers to veritable spider monkeys, this is the best time you can have away from the beach. But perhaps the most rewarding part of the experience is that fifty per cent of the park’s profits are directed into a koala breeding program.
Don’t look down: stargazing at Broken Hill
Outdoors-y activities needn’t be confined to daylight hours. With our cities becoming increasingly light-polluted, dark-sky gazing is now wildly popular. Far Flung Broken Hill, with its outback cloak of darkness, is the perfect spot to look up. Outback Astronomy offers a hosted stargazing session, Hang Out With the Stars, with binoculars and telescope provided to see more detail plus an explanation of everything you can see above.
Worm your way underground: glow worm tunnel hike in the Wolgan Valley
Sometimes, in the peak of summer’s heat, the idea of retreating to the cool underground is strangely alluring. On Wolgan Valley Eco Tours’ Glow Worm Tunnel Hike, you can do just that and visit these illuminating invertebrates in their abode. First up, you’ll enjoy a five-hour, nine-kilometre hike through soaring sandstone ravines, Jurassic-era forests and ancient rock formations all fuelled by a delicious morning tea and espresso.
Note: Wolgan Valley Eco Tours will be closed until Jan 2023
Into nature’s bounty: native food tours
If you’ve never visited the hinterland around Byron Bay, you’re missing out. The lush, sub-tropical region has long been a cornucopia of produce for Aboriginal people and you can learn about these native nuts, seeds, and fruits with local Arakwal woman Delta Kay on Vison Walks’ Bush Tucker Tour. Promoting awareness, understanding and mutual respect through knowledge-sharing, Delta gives context to her people’s country and customs through traditional foods as you stroll Mullumbimby Heritage Park and Bush Tucker Gardens.