From stunning geographical landscapes to iconic architecture, Australia is definitely high on Malaysians’ travel list. Nothing embodies the land Down Under more than Sydney though, with surrounding regional New South Wales being one of the most picturesque places on the continent!
It’s a value for money travel destination too, especially considering Malaysia Airlines is having an awesome promotion for direct flights to Sydney right now. Check out all the activities and places below that will inspire you to pack your bags and go for an Australian adventure ASAP!
1. Go on a day trip to the majestic Blue Mountains region, Australia’s Grand Canyon!
The Three Sisters rock formation, Katoomba | Source: quentinschneiter
Wolgan Valley, Blue Mountains | Source: destinationnsw
Gardens of Stone National Park, Blue Mountains | Source: destinationnsw
A highlands region just a 2-hour train ride away from Sydney, this iconic mountain range is not actually blue in colour but it is often seen engulfed in a “blue haze” due to the droplets of Eucalyptus oil in the air that get mixed with dust particles.
What to expect:
- Deep valleys, lush rainforests, dramatic rock formations and plenty of hiking trails that are just waiting to be explored!
- Pay a visit to Katoomba and witness the famous Three Sisters rock formation whilst learning intriguing tales from the locals.
- Get on Australia’s only glass-bottomed cable car along the world’s steepest passenger-carrying railway in Scenic World Blue Mountains and be amazed by the jaw-dropping views!
- If you’re staying overnight, don’t miss the chance to explore the mystical Jenolan Caves, a 430 million-year-old geological wonder just over an hours’ drive from Katoomba.
- You can get there via car or private coach, and pick from over 17 different cave tours with varying levels of difficulty to join in!
The Jenolan Caves, Katoomba | Source: Visitnsw
The Scenic Railway at Scenic World | Source: abc
Getting there and moving around:
A scenic 2 hours train-ride to Katoomba departs hourly from Sydney’s Central Station with differing fares depending on whether it’s peak hour or not. Here’s the list of train fares for you to plan your trip to the Blue Mountains:
- An off-peak (Any time other than 7 am to 9 am on weekdays and the whole day on Saturdays) round ticket costs RM40.
- A peak hour (7 am to 9 am on weekdays) round ticket costs RM50.
- On Sundays though, all fares are capped at around RM8!
- Do note that you require an Opal card to get these fares which you can get for free by just reloading it with a minimum of RM29.
When you’ve arrived in Katoomba, you can then visit all the attractions listed above by either taking:
- The more convenient Blue Mountains Explorer Hop-On Hop-Off (HOHO) tour bus with an unlimited one-day pass costing around RM156 if you purchase online, or
- If you’re feeling adventurous, use the public bus which stops at all the mentioned attractions and is priced significantly lower and uses the OPAL card. You can check the timetable and stops here.
The Blue Mountains Railway Line | Source: TransportNSW
The Blue Mountains Explorer HOHO Tour Bus | Source: Bluemountainsattractions
2. Spot the unique and colourful Australian wildlife!
No trip to Down Under is complete without witnessing the various wildlife that’s only found on the continent and regional New South Wales is the perfect place to do just that! Here are some of those enigmatic animals and where to spot them in their natural habitat in the region:
Location: Blue Lake, a one-hour scenic walk from Jenolan Caves.
This semiaquatic mammal is endemic to eastern Australia is one of only two mammal species left in the world that lays eggs instead of giving birth.
What to expect:
- Notoriously shy, the chances of seeing a Platypus in the wild is quite slim unless you know where and when to look.
- The aforementioned Jenolan Caves are the perfect place to start as Platypus are known to be native to that part of the Greater Blue Mountains.
- Specifically, make your way to the Blue Lake which is reachable after an easy hour-long bushwalk through the Jenolan River track.
- Look out for ripples on the surface of the lake and you may be in luck to witness one of nature’s most unique creatures!
Source: NSW National Park
A platypus swimming in Blue Lake, nearby Jenolan Caves | Source: Flickr
Eastern grey kangaroos
This iconic animal is so synonymous with Australia that it’s embedded on the country’s coat of arms! There are actually several variants of kangaroos with the eastern grey being the second largest and the most adaptable amongst its species.
Top destinations to encounter kangaroos:
- In the Blue Mountains National Park, kangaroos can be seen in Euroka Clearing, just past the campsite near the Glenbrook entrance between September and March.
- In the south coast of NSW, one popular spot is the Depot Beach in Murramarang National Park.
- At the North Coast of NSW, there are a few Kangaroo sitings near Coffs Harbour such as Safety Beach Golf, Look At Me Now Headland, Hungry Head and Dorrigo and Bellingen Valley national parks.
- You can also find kangaroos in some national parks including Menindee Lakes (Kinchega National Park), Mungo and Sturt.
Source: Daily Telegraph
This adorable animal typically inhabits open eucalypt woodlands as its leaves make up most of a koala’s diet. Top of many wildlife-spotting wishlists when travelling to Australia, there are many locations throughout New South Wales where you can do just that!
Top destinations to spot koalas:
- Lismore and the northern rivers region of NSW, where you can spot koalas in the wild, explore rainforests, waterfalls and volcanic spires.
- The surrounds of the mid-north coastal town of Port Macquarie, as well at the Billabong Zoo and Koala Hospital there.
- While in Sydney, you can even have breakfast with the koalas at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.
A Koala spotted on Port Macquarie’s breakwall | Source: ABC
Wombats grazing Kangaroo Valley | Source: Youtube
Location: Kangaroo Valley
In contention for the cutest animal in the world title with its distant relatives the koalas, wombats can be found in forested, mountainous and heathland areas of New South Wales.
Top destinations to spot wombats:
- The gorgeous Kangaroo valley, located just around 4 hours train ride away from Sydney is your best bet to see these cuddly animals in the wild.
- They can also be found in Kosciuszko National Park, especially at the High Plains, Khancoban, Tumut and the Yarrangobilly area.
- You can also have close encounters with wombats, kangaroos, koalas and other native animals at the recently opened Taronga Zoo
3. Discover Sydney Harbour’s islands and wharves by public ferry!
Did you know that approximately 14 million people travel across Sydney Harbour by ferry annually? With 32 public ferries connecting the city to small islands, wharves and stunning lighthouses, it’s a welcome economical alternative to organized tours that are aplenty in the harbour area!
Here are some places that we would recommend you to visit in and around the area:
Hornby Lighthouse, Watsons Bay | Source: NSWNationalpark
Located on the southern head of Sydney Harbour’s entrance, this is the oldest fishing village in the city! Scenic and drenched in history, walk through the South Head Heritage Trail for a serene bushwalk and witness historical remnants such as rifle wall and old cannons.
The Hornby Lighthouse is a must-visit when you’re there which is located at the top of “The Gap”, a dramatic cliff point with crashing waves below.
You can either take a ferry or a public bus to Watsons Bay from Sydney Harbour. We would recommend taking the ferry for its gorgeous views though!
The natural final stop for your Sydney Harbour escapades, take your adventures to a whole new level by spending the night glamping on Cockatoo Island’s awesome camping site.
What to expect:
- One of the most well-known harbour islands in Sydney, Cockatoo Island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique and long history.
- The island was actually used to house convicts between 1939 to 1969 and one of the country’s largest shipyards between 1857 to 1991.
- Gaining heritage status due to its large-scale shipyard operations and layout, it has been preserved for its maritime history!
- Nowadays, there are a host of amenities and activities on offer such as camping grounds, family fun days, audio tours and more.
- The best part about glamping here, besides the state of the art facilities, is the awe-inspiring sunrise view of Sydney’s Harbour from the grounds!
- Unlike the other islands in the Sydney Harbour National Park, there is no admission fee to enter.
- Cockatoo Island is accessible via a 20-minutes ferry ride from Circular Quay.
Glamping and camping package prices:
Prices vary according to the days of the week with a 1 night 2-guests glamping package starting at RM253 from Monday to Thursday and RM284 on Friday to Sunday. The prices are significantly cheaper if you decide to camp and bring your own tent, however, starting at just RM128!
4. Discover scrumptious and mouth-watering local cuisines!
What’s a Sydney adventure without a culinary one, right? Find out the best food the city has to offer by visiting these places below:
Pay the local farmers markets a visit
There’s no better way to take in the sights and sounds of Sydney than by paying a visit to a local farmers market. And the best part? Visiting them is absolutely FREE!
What to do:
- Grab a bite at The Rocks Friday Foodie Market (every Friday 9 am – 3 pm) or The Rocks Markets (every Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 5 pm) and find the perfect souvenir for a loved one as you browse through various hand made products and clothing.
- Sample seasonal produce from NSW, purchase artisan bread, taste boutique wines, and learn firsthand from farmers about the stories behind their produce at the Carriageworks Farmers Market (every Saturday 8 am – 1 pm). Psst! there are even occasional demonstrations by celebrated chefs showcasing seasonal produce.
- Enjoy live music, delectable treats and much more at the Cambridge Markets EQ (every Wednesday and Saturday 8 am – 2 pm).
Satisfy your seafood cravings at the Sydney Fish Market
Perfect for seafood lovers, the Sydney Fish Market is THE place to visit if you’re craving fresh seafood. The market is open from 7 am to 4 pm daily except Christmas Day.
What to expect:
- A haven for seafood lovers featuring a wide selection of seafood including giant lobsters, oysters, salmon, crab, and many others.
- The market is the largest in the southern hemisphere offering fresh seafood cooked right before your eyes! Prices are pretty affordable too!
- Sushi bar and restaurants with both indoor and outdoor seating for you to savour mouthwatering dishes right by the bay.
Okay, Sydney and regional New South Wales are GORGEOUS! We don’t know about you but we feel the urge to get on a plane to Sydney ASAP. Well if an Australian adventure is what you’re looking for then we’ve got great news for you as Malaysia Airlines is offering return flight tickets to Sydney at a discounted price!
Experience an adventure down under like never before with Malaysia Airlines! Book now until 29 Dec 2019 for travel period between now until 30 June 2020 for all-in return fare of just RM1,799!
Feel your wanderlust levels going into overdrive yet? For more information regarding the Sydney promo from Malaysia Airlines or other amazing promotion, click here.
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