Seven awesome sky-high experiences in NSW
Feel totally lost in the moment with these adrenaline-fuelled, sky-high experiences.
The joy of viewing the world from above is twofold: there’s the adrenaline rush of the activity you’re undertaking, be it hang-gliding or hot-air ballooning or taking a scenic flight; and then there’s the view itself, of coastline or wine country or the outback.
To properly see NSW, to take in everything it has to offer and to have an awe-inspiring time doing it, you have to see it from up high. And these are the best places to do it.
Tackle the Scenic Skyway
Back when it opened in 1958, the Scenic Skyway was Australia’s first-ever cable car. Nowadays you’ll complete the 384m-long ride across the ancient ravines of the Blue Mountains in a modern Swiss-made cable car that can carry 84 passengers. The glass floor gives you direct views 270m down to the forest below.
This is stunning stuff and the perfect way to take in the likes of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, Mt Solitary and the Jamison Valley. And it’s just one of the experiences offered by Scenic World – you can also hitch a ride on the Scenic Railway, take the Scenic Cableway down into Jamison Valley, or meander along the Scenic Walkway to see life under the rainforest canopy.
Float high above Mudgee in a balloon
What a truly incredible way to begin the day: huddling in a basket beneath the huge expanse of a hot-air balloon, rising high into the sky as the sun breaks the horizon and lights the scene below.
In the Mudgee region in the state’s central west, that scene includes some of Australia’s prettiest landscape – rolling hills, vine-covered valleys and forested mountains. And it’s at its most spectacular up high at sunrise, which is exactly what you’ll see on Balloon Aloft’s 4hr breakfast flight.
Go skydiving in Wollongong
The view of the Wollongong coastline from 15,000 feet up is pretty spectacular – but come on, you’re not thinking about the view. You’re thinking about the fact that you’re in a perfectly good aeroplane and you’re about to jump out of it.
Skydiving is one of life’s true thrills, at once white-knuckle and yet so fulfilling, and an experience with Skydive Sydney - Wollongong is an iconic way to view this spectacular stretch of NSW coast and feel full of wonder at the feeling of “flying”.
Take in Mungo from the air
The vastness of Mungo National Park in the state’s far west is difficult to appreciate at ground level. Yes, you can explore this dramatic, other-worldly landscape – a reserve that’s the same size as the sprawl of greater Sydney – by car or on foot.
But on a scenic flight with Mungo Lodge you get to see all of the park’s highlights, from the Walls of China to Lake Mungo, from Vigar’s Well to Mungo Woolshed. You’ll also get a better appreciation of the vastness of the outback which, from the sky, stretches on and on and on.
Soar high above Stanwell Tops
Hang-gliding is flying at its most pure: nothing but a single wing and the power of the wind to keep you in flight. And when you do it at Stanwell Tops, about an hour south of Sydney, you also get to drink in the incredible views of Wollongong and the South Coast.
HangglideOz has been running tandem flights here since 1987. Soaring high above the cliffs, with only the sound of a gentle breeze in your ears, you will be astonished at the beauty and simplicity of flight.
Go heli-wine-touring in the Snowys
Wine-tasting in a helicopter? With the vast alpine beauty of the Snowy Mountains as your backdrop? That’s what’s on offer with Truenorth Helicopters’ Vine to Wine Adventure, which starts in Tumut and transports you to the Tumbarumba wine region, where you’ll visit two premier cool-climate wineries (Obsession and Courabyra) for tastings and more. On the way back, even more spectacular scenery awaits, as you pass over Talbingo, Journama and Blowering dams on the Tumut River.
Explore the Sapphire Coast by seaplane
Want to gain an all-new perspective on the ruggedly beautiful Sapphire Coast in the far south of the state? South Coast Seaplanes offers seven flight itineraries, taking off from the river at Moruya and soaring over such glorious spots as Batemans Marine Park, the Tollgate Islands Nature Reserve, Tuross Head, Mogo State Forest and Montague Island. Choose one of the picnic options, and enjoy a gourmet lunch on the beach. This is the very definition of awe-inspiring.