New South Wales: What you need to know

How to get there, when to go and the seasonal events, we give you the facts to make the most of your trip

Team Wanderlust
01 May 2015
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Discover Sydney and New South Wales

State capital: Sydney
State population:
7.5 million
Time zone: GMT+10 & +9.5

Visas: Required by UK nationals. The eVisitor visa is free and can be applied for online from the Department of Immigration & Border Protection ( It’s valid for visits of up to three months.

Money: Australian dollar (A$), currently around A$1.88 to the UK£

When to go: With a temperate climate, NSW is a year-round destination. Seasons in Australia are the reverse of those in the UK. Summer is December to February, when the average maximum temperature is around 26°C – perfect for hitting the beach. Winter is June to August, though even then temperatures seldom drop below 7°C; the Snowy Mountains do get colder, but this is prime time for skiing. Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) are beautiful times to visit, with wildflowers, wine harvests, food festivals and warm weather that’s great for hiking, cycling and a wealth of other activities.

Getting there: Flights from the UK are frequent, and take around 24 hours with a stop. Singapore Airlines (0844 800 2380, offers great fares in all classes, flying via world-beating Changi Airport.

More info:; facebook: /seesydney; Instagram: /sydney; Twitter: @sydney_sider; YouTube: /sydney

What’s on

New South Wales has a busy calendar of events – here are 12 to look out for

New Year Cricket Test Match, Sydney (January)
The year’s biggest Test Match at the Sydney Cricket Ground – vs England in 2018 (website)

Tamworth Country Music Festival (January)
Australia’s largest music fest takes over Tamworth for two weeks (website)

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (March)
Flamboyant parade and party; expect outrageous costumes (website)

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (March/April)
A month of open-air, world-class opera held on the harbour (website)

Vivid Sydney (May/June)
A show-stopping three-week festival of ‘light, music and ideas’ (website)

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival (May/June)
Two full months of festivities in celebration of delicious Hunter Valley produce (website)

Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival (June)
A free community event to mark the winter solstice – artists, musicians and market stalls take over Katoomba (website)

State of Origin Series (July)
This huge sporting occasion – when the rugby league teams of NSW and Queensland do battle – is dubbed ‘Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry’ (website)

Sculpture by the Sea (October/November)
This annual exhibition sees the magnificent Bondi coastal path transformed into an alfresco sculpture park (website)

Eden Whale Festival (October)
Whale-watching combined with music, live shows, seafood and family fun fill the far-south seaside town (website)

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (December)
More than 100 yachts depart from Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day – a memorable sight (website)

New Year’s Eve (December)
Sydney celebrates with the world’s best fireworks display (website)


Main image: Kangaroo, Pebbly Beach (Destination NSW)

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