Why bushwalk in NSW?

By | Category: Travel destinations
Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains

Last year a third of all bush or rainforest walking tours in Australia took place within New South Wales. That amounted to 5.5 million visitors and 853,000 of them were made by those from overseas. Over half of all holiday trips to the state will involve a nature-allied activity.

Why are visitors attracted to NSW?

Part of it must be that NSW has more than 820 National Parks and reserves and over 2,000 kilometres of coastline. That’s what the tourist authority in the state would tell you but there are other more obvious reasons as well.

For a start most overseas visitors fly into Sydney and although it is a rambling, ever-growing sprawl, there are many open spaces including national parks within the metropolitan area so it easy for people to get to them without spending a large amount of the day travelling which is an important consideration for any holidaymaker. Lane Cove National Park is in the almost inner Sydney suburbs and a fifteen minute train journey from the very middle of Sydney.

Only 19 miles from Sydney is a wetland expanse with native Australian cave drawings that few know about largely because it was in private hands. But the owner was happy for it to be explored and there were holiday cottages for the knowledgeable few. Whilst Waratah National Park where the TV series Skippy was filmed decades ago is fictional, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park – the proper name for the area is and yes, you will see yellow signs warning you that kangaroos cross the road.

In the Blue Mountains where you can even find a home-made hang gliding launch pad!

In the Blue Mountains where you can even find a home-made hang gliding launch pad!

The second reason is that the Blue Mountains are only a 60 minute drive away. There are also frequent trains from Sydney’s Central railway station and tours from the major stations in the Blue Mountains such as the “capital,” Katoomba. In this world heritage site, you can walk for dozens of miles without seeing another human, see waterfalls and wildlife or see the highest peak in the area which doesn’t even possess a name!. It provides the familiarity with what we know from films and television series but an element of danger as people can, and have got lost, trekking through land that is remote. It was only 21 years ago that a completely new tree (wollemia) was found here yet you would have thought with all man’s techno-gizmos and curiosity these days, that would have been found decades ago.

A final and general reason which doesn’t just apply to NSW is that the Australian landscape is so different from landscapes we Europeans are used to. That unfamiliarity lures you further into the bush to see more. And then you get hooked. No wonder Australians still spend so much time on domestic travel rather than holidaying overseas.

For more information about the national parks of NSW, click here.

For more information about bush walking and other walks in NSW, click here.


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