Regional art galleries in NSW are one of the state’s best kept secrets. You don’t have to stay in Sydney to see rare works of colonial and Aboriginal art in addition to contemporary works. You’ll find that most regional centres have galleries with rolling exhibitions and dynamic public programs to get the community involved.
The major regional art galleries such as Wollongong Art Gallery on the South Coast, the Lake Macquarie City Gallery, Newcastle Art Gallery and Tweed River Regional Art Gallery on the North Coast attract thousands of visitors every year, with exhibitions worth travelling for.
Australian Aboriginal art is finally getting the recognition it deserves and is one of the most significant art movements of recent times. Many of the regional galleries contain significant works and you'll find dedicated Aboriginal galleries too, including the Waradah Aboriginal Centre in the Blue Mountains and Dunghutti-Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery in Kempsey.
Along the banks of the beautiful Murray River in Albury you’ll discover the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, another splendid marriage of Aboriginal art and nature with the art working in with the Australian landscape.
Dotted around NSW are small, private galleries where you'll find exquisite pottery, jewellery, ceramics, leatherworks and fine art. Head to the Riverina region and go to Wagga Wagga where the National Art Glass Collection has 400 works.
Bundanon makes for a delightful day trip from Sydney. This is where famous Australian artist Arthur Boyd lived and worked. Open every Sunday, it’s less than three hours' drive south from Sydney and the homestead and studio contain hundreds of artworks. Nearby Nowra is home to another regional gallery, the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre.