Warm, sunny days and cool nights make for a fantastic time to explore the great outdoors in NSW this Spring.
From incredible wildflower walks to spring festivals and amazing animal encounters, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in NSW this spring.
Sydney is the place to be in spring. With perfect daytime temperatures, the city’s sparkling harbour and glorious beaches beckon locals and visitors. The best way to enjoy this spectacular weather is out on the iconic harbour. Get a bird’s eye view from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb, or see it all from the water with an adrenaline-fuelled jet boat experience. Luna Park also offers a fun, entertaining day out for the whole family.
In spring, the city becomes blanketed in vibrant purple jacaranda blossoms. Stroll around Circular Quay and The Rocks, or through suburbs like Lavender Bay, Kirribilli’s famous McDougall Street, Zetland, Parramatta or Paddington for the best viewings. While you’re out and about, make sure to check out the scenic walk from Bondi to Tamarama as the coastal track is transformed into a stunning temporary sculpture park for Sculpture by the Sea, beginning in mid-October.
For more cultural experiences, don’t miss the weird, wonderful and salacious Sydney Fringe Festival, which highlights artists, comedians, musicians and performers in over 450 shows across the city. And don’t forget to pack your fascinators, as the Sydney Everest Carnival also kicks off in September for eight weeks of world-class racing at Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens.
Fields of gold
Head to the historic town of Parkes in Central NSW where canola crops transform paddocks into breathtaking fields of gold. Take off on a cycling or self-drive tour around the canola fields and soak in the vibrant swathes of colour, or see it from the air with Balloon Joy Flights out of Canowindra. Australia produces around 2 to 3 million tonnes of oilseed crops each year, which are regarded globally for their high quality – so enjoy the sights, but please do not enter the canola fields as it may risk contaminating the crop.
A different kind of gold fever struck Parkes in 1861 and you can explore the region’s gold mining heritage on the Newell Gold Trail. Visit nearby Peak Hill, a 35-minute scenic drive north of Parkes, which has a heritage open-cut gold mine from 1893. Parkes is also famous for the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, nicknamed ‘The Dish’ and now known as Murriyang, which helped broadcast the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. At 64 metres in diameter, it is one of the largest single dish telescopes in the Southern Hemisphere. You can visit the observatory and see astronomy and space science exhibitions as well as 3D theatre shows.
There’s also plenty more to explore in this region in spring, especially for foodies. Grazing Down The Lachlan, held on 16 September in nearby Forbes, is an annual food festival that celebrates the local produce of the Central West region. Set alongside the picturesque Lachlan River, ‘grazers’ can wander along the nine-mile reserve between six stations offering delicious food with a beverage to match. Or head to the month-long Orange Wine Festival throughout October where you can indulge in the region’s cool climate wines and thriving food culture.
Griffith comes to life with SpringFest
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Griffith Spring Fest Citrus Sculptures! From 8-22 October, more than 50 sensational sculptures made with over 100,000 oranges and grapefruit will line the main street of this Riverina city – all put together by an army of more than 700 volunteers at sunrise. Based on the famous lemon sculptures in Menton, France, these larger-than-life sculptures were first installed in 1995 and draw thousands of visitors to Griffith every year. As well as the much loved sculptures, Griffith Spring Fest is also packed with a range of exciting events including the Griffith Garden Festival, Garden Bus Tours and the Launch Party.
During these wonderful celebrations, the city’s abundance of fresh produce, world-class wineries, friendly people and rich mix of cultural heritage is all on show. You’ll find plenty of eclectic cellar doors to visit, creative providores dishing up delicious local produce and a plethora of world-class restaurants and charming cafes. Ring in spring with this splendid two-week long community festival celebrating the orange harvest, a love of gardening and Griffith’s cultural richness.
A whale of a time
From May to November, a record number of humpback whales are making their 10,000 kilometre migration along Australia’s east coast from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef and back. In spring, they’ll be heading south with their new calves in tow.
Some of the best places to spot these magnificent giants are on NSW’s North Coast in Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour. Port Macquarie has excellent vantage points such as the Heritage-listed Tacking Point Lighthouse, and headlands in Kattang Nature Reserve and Crowdy Bay National Park. You can book a cruise with Port Jet Cruise Adventures or see the action by sea plane with Port Macquarie Adventure Flights. In Coffs Harbour, Jetty Dive is the only company that offers the incredible opportunity to swim with humpbacks during August and September, while the best views from land are at Muttonbird Island’s Eastern Side lookout, Woolgoolga Headland or Look At Me Now Headland (where you’ll also be able to spot kangaroos).
Eden on the South Coast is a pristine coastal wilderness with a long whaling history. The region is known as the “Humpback Highway” and in spring, many spend a few days in the area with their calves resting, feeding and playing. In mid-October, enjoy the celebrations of The Eden Whale Festival with talks, workshops and whale-watching tours, and make sure to check out the Eden Killer Whale Museum. You’ll find plenty of shoreline vantage points around Twofold Bay, the third-deepest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as along the coast in Beowa National Park.
Blooming mad for wildflowers
In spring, NSW bursts into life with vibrant native wildflowers flourishing along coastal walking tracks and in national parks.
If mountain hikes are your thing, when the winter snow has melted in Kosciuszko National Park, open fields of wildflowers proliferate across the alpine landscape: visit between November and April to spot purple eyebrights, yellow billy buttons and everlasting daisies. The Blue Mountains National Park is brimming with natural beauty, with the World Heritage-listed rainforests, stunning cliff-top escarpments and beautiful wildflowers. See the red ‘mountain devil’ flower near Leura, or head out of Blackheath for scribbly gums and vibrant red waratahs.
If you prefer coastal tracks, Bouddi National Park on the Central Coast boasts a flower rarely found on Australia’s walking trails: the stunning, snow-white flannel flower. While this delicate, daisy-like native can only be seen between September and December, the spectacular views from the coastal tracks are enjoyable year round. Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay is a wonderland of more than 460 indigenous plants, and is also home to Australia’s only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens, Booderee Botanic Gardens. Join a guided tour to learn how local Aboriginal people use native plants and wildflowers in bush tucker and medicine.
Walk on the wild side
Spring is a great time to visit zoos and wildlife parks across NSW, as many of the animals are about and active. For a great family day out, get up close and personal with rare native animals, experience a safari tour with exotic creatures and learn about important conservation work.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a must-visit: this immersive open-range zoo in Dubbo is home to over 5,000 animals from 350 species. In the Lion Pride Lands experience, you can head into the lion’s den to see their growing lion cubs, or visit the other newest additions to the zoo including meerkat pups, spider monkey babies and five giraffe calves. As the zoo is a sprawling 300 hectares, we’d recommend hiring a kart or bicycle to travel through. You can even spend the night amongst the animals at the lodge, self-contained cabins or in a safari tent.
Symbio Wildlife Park, found just south of Sydney, also houses exotic animals such as meerkats, lemurs, tigers and cheetahs. You can also meet Australian favourites such as wombats and echidnas, hand-feed kangaroos or take a selfie with a koala.
At the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast see Elvis the five-metre saltwater croc being fed on weekends, then see spiders, snakes, platypus and even a giant Galapagos tortoise and Komodo dragon up close. Heading further up the coast, you can find other great attractions such as the Koala Hospital and Billabong Zoo in Port Macquarie, and the Butterfly House and Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour.
Loved finding out what to do in NSW this spring? For more inspiration on planning new adventures, click here!
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