The Hunter Valley is an area that’s famous for its inspiring wilderness and world class wines and vineyards. No matter what your taste in getaways you’re bound to find something to savour, just two hours from Sydney.
At the mouth of the Hunter River, the port of Newcastle, founded in 1804 as a penal colony for exporting lime and coal, is today the world’s largest coal exporter and Australia’s biggest port. Visitors and locals alike are fascinated by the spectacle of boats and ships from around the world passing just metres from where you can relax with a coffee or a drink.
Close by, at Newcastle which showcases fine examples of Colonial and Victorian architecture, and a sense of history greets you at every turn.
The Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest winemaking region. From humble beginnings in 1825, the Hunter Valley is now home to over 80 wineries and cellar doors. In recent years, excellent vintages have been produced from more than 20 varieties of grapes.
From one end of the Valley to the other, you’ll find sensational local produce, great live music and fantastic food an irresistible combination! Wander through an art gallery, tour a working winery, indulge in fine dining, take a horse and carriage ride. Or perhaps you’d prefer something more adventurous like hot air ballooning or skydiving.
Clustered around the vineyards are charming villages and towns, each with a special appeal of its own. Features include heritage buildings, gift centres that deserve hours of browsing and stylishly restored Australian pubs, as well as markets, concert spectaculars and festivals held throughout the year.
Take a walking tour of the city’s most popular monuments and bustling piazzas starting from the Customs House where shipping was cleared and goods passing through the port of Sydney were taxed and cleared for sale or export,to Millers Point , a precinct where old 19th century sandstone buildings live side-by-side with redbrick structures created in the first decades of the 20th century by the Sydney Harbour Trust. During our 3 hours walking tour we will admire historical buildings.
BridgeClimb Sydney was awarded ‘Best Guided Tour in Australia’ at the 2012 Australian Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards held last night, Tuesday 4th December, at the Ivy, Sydney. This is the second consecutive year that BridgeClimb has won this prestigious award.
In a survey conducted by the Australian Travellermagazine over the past four months, more than 1,000 readers nominated their all-time favourite travel destinations and experiences throughout Australia.
“It’s an honour to be recognised in the ‘Best Guided Tour in Australia’ category amongst the impressive company of our fellow finalists”, said BridgeClimb Sydney Managing Director, Richard Evans. “This award is a tribute to all BridgeClimb team members who come to work every day with unfailing passion and commitment to delivering an unforgettable Sydney experience”.
Georgia Rickard, editor of Australian Traveller magazine, said, “Being voted by travellers themselves, the survey results are an accurate mark of what Australians recognise as the best adventures and destinations, and which leisure operators are excelling in their field. It’s also an indication of domestic travel trends for 2013”.
The ‘People’s Choice Award’ is determined by an online popular public poll. Since BridgeClimb’s inception on 1st October 1998, just under three million people have shared in the spirit and beauty of Sydney city from atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Managing Director, Richard Evans said, “The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the world’s most recognisable icons, but this award is testament that Australians, 80 years on, still have a special place in their hearts for their Bridge. We feel very privileged to be able to provide an experience where locals can get up close and personal with their beloved ‘Coathanger'”.
The magic and history of Sydney’s iconic harbour islands will be showcased during a series of events celebrating nature and culture throughout October.
Sydney Harbour Island Hopping gave people unique access to the spectacular harbour islands of Sydney Harbour National Park via one looped tour, with tailored entertainment and experiences on each.
“People loved the idea of spending the day cruising from one island to the next,” said National Parks and Wildlife Service Head, Sally Barnes.
“For the first time this year, the Sydney Harbour Island Hopping program will include food experiences on all of the islands and a visit to the newly reopened Goat Island.”
First stop on the looped tour – which will run each Saturday and Sunday from 9 – 24 October, the experience on Goat Island will pay tribute to its colonial past, with visitors getting a taste of life in the 1830s, complete with convicts, food and music from the era.
Shark Island will be a highlight for the kids, who will enjoy becoming ‘Future Rangers’ and visiting the Kid’s Cafe, while everyone can experience Sydney Harbour’s Aboriginal heritage and sample traditional bush tucker as part of the Aboriginal cultural experience on Clark.
The popular Perfect Picnic will also return in 2010 offering a fantastic way to finish the long weekend on Monday 4 October. With picnickers invited to dress to impress and prizes awarded for the best picnic spreads and costumes, Perfect Picnic is the ultimate place to spend the afternoon relaxing with friends, complete with DJ and 360 degree harbour views.
Fort Denison will feature in this year’s program as a stand-out, stand alone lunch and dinner experience in one of the most coveted dining locations in Sydney. Looking out from the Harbour’s sandstone sentinel, diners will be treated to an Australiana menu inspired by local produce and ingredients.
Dining on Fort Denison will run each Saturday and Sunday from 9 – 24 October and will include a guided tour of the island’s historic Martello Tower (the last of its kind in Australia), ferry transfers to and from the island and a sparkling wine welcome drink on arrival.
Sydney Harbour Island Hopping is a part of Crave Sydney International Food Festival, offering 31 days of extraordinary food experiences.
Crave Sydney International Food Festival offers something for everyone – large scale food events; intimate dinners cooked by some of the world’s leading chefs; authentic food experiences across Sydney’s culturally diverse suburbs; and family and free activities on and around Sydney Harbour Bridge and islands.
Crave Sydney International Food Festival is one of five anchor events on the NSW Master Events Calendar created by Events NSW on behalf of NSW Government.
Having arrived in Australia it’s time to stretch your legs. There are plenty of city walking tours on offer, and lots of opportunities to explore magnificent walking tracks free of crowds.
In Sydney, start off by exploring the historic Rocks area of the city with Rocks Walking Tours.
The Rocks is considered to be the birthplace of European Australia. It’s packed with heritage buildings, boutiques, restaurants, and traditional pubs and tales of old-time convicts, pickpockets, and press-ganged sailors.
Unusual tours of the area include searching for ghosts, and exploring some of the city’s most atmospheric pubs on The Rocks Pub Tour.
One can also pick up some of the 12 self-guided historical walking tour brochures produced by the City of Sydney. Each brochure introduces you to a different area of the city and different aspects of Sydney’s fascinating history.
These self-guided historical walking tour brochures have been developed by the City of Sydney History Program to introduce you to different aspects of Sydney’s fascinating history.
Each brochure features a clear map of the walk with numbered points of interest, detours and museum stops suggested along the way. Each tour takes approximately 1 to 2 hours. More Details
Visitors to Sydney are usually amazed at all the greenery surrounding the famous harbour. In other parts of the world this ‘prime real estate’ would have been developed long ago, but here most of it is protected by the Sydney Harbour National Park.
There are several self-guided walks through the park. One of these is the 1.4km (0.9 mile) South Head Heritage Trail, known for its sandstone cliffs, historic fortifications, and sweeping views. You’ll see different angles of the harbour from a variety of lookouts on this track, which starts from Camp Cove in Watsons Bay.
Another lesser-known track is the 5km (3 mile) Bradleys Head and Chowder Head Walk. This starts near the Taronga Zoo ferry wharf and follows the shoreline through eucalypt forests. As well as spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House, you can see some of the historic cannons that once defended Sydney.
The 17km (10.5 mile) Manly Scenic Walkway offers more panoramic lookouts across Sydney Harbour. The trail takes in beaches, Aboriginal sites, community parks, forests, scrubland and even pockets of subtropical rainforest.
Among Sydney’s most challenging scenic tracks is the Coast Walk. The 26km (16 mile) walking trail spans the entire east coast of the Royal National Park from Bundeena to Otford. Experienced walkers can do it in one day, but it’s best completed in two. You will need camping equipment and plenty of water.
The walk leaves from Bundeena in Sydney’s south and takes in deserted beaches, coastal heathland, pockets of rainforest, and dramatic cliff tops. You can often spot whales during their annual migration. You can get to Bundeena from the surf-side suburb of Cronulla onboard the little M.V. Curranulla ferry. In 2009 this boat celebrated 70 years on the Cronulla to Bundeena ferry run. She remains the oldest commuter ferry in Australia working a regular timetable.
On Sydney’s western fringe you will find the Blue Mountains, a World Heritage-listed site containing plenty of marked walking trails ranging from easy strolls through dripping rainforest and around dramatic canyon rims, to adventurous hikes through the wilderness.
New South Wales’ national parks and regional tourism will both benefit from the passing of the National Parks & Wildlife Amendment (Visitors and Tourists) Bill 2010 through the NSW Parliament in early June 2010, according to peak industry body, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
TTF Executive Director Brett Gale said the legislation further enhances protections for the natural estate.
“This is a sensible move which will help to increase visitation to national parks,” Mr Gale said, “while at the same time protecting them from inappropriate development.”
“It will clarify the types of visitor facilities that are allowed in national parks and further strengthen the restrictions on what tourism activities are acceptable.
“Far from threatening the natural estate, it further enshrines in law vital conservation requirements.
“Only structures of an appropriate type and scale which ‘tread lightly’ are permissible, while a share of profits from any commercial partner will be reinvested in park infrastructure and management.
“Preserving the natural amenity of national parks is crucial to maintaining their desirability to visitors which puts conservation at the forefront of the tourism industry’s considerations.
“The ethos is intrinsically one of conservation and environmental awareness, underwritten by the reality that the natural assets are the primary attraction.
“The tourism industry welcomes the passing of this bill and looks forward to helping the NSW Government achieve its aim of a 20 per cent increase in visitation to national parks by 2016.”