Home #WHERETONEXT Australia & New Zealand New South Wales, Australia Four Charming Winter Roadtrips

New South Wales, Australia Four Charming Winter Roadtrips

Hit the road in New South Wales during winter to discover spectacular landscapes, charming towns and ideal cold-weather activities, such as longer walks and cosy pub dinners by a roaring fire.

Embrace the romance of the Greater Blue Mountains Drive

Feel the crisp mountain air fill your lungs as you weave up winding roads west of Sydney on the Greater Blue Mountains Drive, taking your time to admire the heritage streetscapes of Springwood, Faulconbridge, Wentworth Falls and Leura en route to Katoomba.

There’s no better time to visit Katoomba than during winter when the mountain town’s restaurants, hotels, and guesthouses feel cozier than ever. Time your visit for mid-winter and you might be lucky enough to wake one morning at the likes of the luxe Lilianfels Resort and Spa to see the magical sight of the region’s eucalypt forests dusted with a layer of snow.

Soak up the dramatic Central Tablelands location of Lithgow to the north before taking an alternative route back to Sydney through historic Windsor. Pause to stretch your legs in the lush surroundings of the cool-climate Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, where you can also enjoy a hearty lunch. The scent of ripening winter fruit perfumes the air as you near the apple orchards of Bilpin on the final leg of your drive – pick up edible souvenirs at farmgate stalls along the way.

Channel your inner drover on The Long Paddock

Take a fascinating step back into NSW’s pioneer past on The Long Paddock drive. Relive an iconic chapter of Australia’s history as you trace the historic Cobb Highway, an integral stock route from the Murray River through the Riverina region of southwest NSW, to the edge of the Outback.

The friendly folk at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre in Echuca Moama have a wealth of knowledge about this important historical port town. Make the hour-long trip from Moama to the town of Deniliquin and imagine what it must have been like to pass through the now-peaceful riverside town in the mid-19th century when Deniliquin was a busy livestock trading center. Seize the opportunity to enjoy a round of golf at the Deniliquin Golf Club or watch the sun sparkle on the Edward River as you take an invigorating stroll along the Beach to Beach Riverside Walk.

Stop in Booroorban and spend the night in a restored ‘red rattler’ train carriage at Burraburoon Farmstay. Then, move leisurely on to the towns of Hay and Booligal, where you can get a taste of unpolished outback charm with your pub grub at the Duke of Edinburgh.

Take a moment to admire The Pioneers, a mural by Wayne Strickland in Ivanhoe, north of Booligal, before making your way to the Ivanhoe Hotel Motel. Meet local characters and get a feel for the land over a pub meal before embarking on the final leg to the heritage town of Wilcannia, where you’ll uncover even more historical treasures.

Nourish your soul on the Riverina to Snowy Valleys Way

Save room in your suitcase for take-home treats when you embark on an exhilarating winter drive that begins in the food-bowl town of Griffith, six hours southwest from Sydney. Stock your car with local goodies before heading on to the relaxing country town of Narrandera, making a short detour to visit Lillypilly Estate Winery and Toorak Winery in Leeton to pick up a bottle or two of locally made wine – perhaps a bone-warming shiraz or petit verdot – to enjoy at the end of the day.

Elevate a picnic lunch in Kindra State Forest, on the journey from Narrandera to Junee, with tasty morsels from Coolamon Cheese Co. in Coolamon. Relive your childhood fantasies at Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory in Junee, then cruise along for another half an hour south to Wagga Wagga for a revitalizing cocktail at Birdy Bar before dinner at Pastorale. Showcasing ancient methods of cookery using fire, coals and smoke, Wagga Wagga’s newest fine diner is tailor-made for soaking up the wintery atmosphere.

Let the Sturt Highway carry you towards the dreamy Snowy Mountains via charming towns such as Adelong and Tumut. Further south is Tumbarumba, where Australia’s highest peaks form a magnificent backdrop to an emerging wine region. Seek out installations by Australian and international artists on the expanding Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, in and around the towns of Adelong and Tumbarumba, as well as Batlow and Tooma. Travel deeper into this enchanting area on the Kosciuszko Alpine Way, ending your trip in a snowy winter wonderland. Before you set off, prepare for this final leg by checking for weather conditions and road closure information on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife website. Immerse yourself in this serene landscape for longer at Common Kosci, a new architect-designed cabin on a farm in Jindabyne built for comfort and connection.

Feel moved by the wide open spaces on the Central to Outback NSW drive

Buckle up for a thrilling drive into the heart of Outback NSW during the cooler months to experience a new perspective of the spectacular region. Start by taking a walk on the wild side in Dubbo, a five-hour drive west of Sydney, and see lions up close on a Pride Lands Patrol at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Wind down the window for a blast of fresh country air as you head west on the Mitchell Highway to Nyngan to check out the Nyngan Museum. Then take a restorative walk in the Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve wetlands before diving into country NSW’s mining history in Cobar, 132km inland on the Barrier Highway.

Finally, set your sights on Broken Hill, Australia’s first heritage-listed city. You’ll be amazed by the vibrancy of this remote cultural hub, where you’ll find period buildings, great dining and thought-provoking galleries. Start your day in a delightful time warp with a visit to Bells Milk Bar. This cafe has been serving up sweetness since 1892, but it was a renovation in the 1950s that catapulted it into the city’s cultural canon with its ‘futuristic’ style. Swing by and scoff down some peaches and cream waffles and a coffee and wander its adjoining museum of Aussie milk bar heritage.

The Mutawintji National Park is a ruggedly beautiful desert region, rich in Aboriginal history. Book a guided tour to visit the Mutawintji Historic Site, which has one of the best collections of Aboriginal art in the state. The vibrant red landscapes and lush waterholes will leave a lasting impression. At night, be mesmerized by the clarity of the Milky Way in the dark skies outside Broken Hill during a Spectacular Sky Encounter with Outback Astronomy – an unexpected road trip view you won’t soon forget.