It's all About Food and Films - New South Wales
Home to surfing communities, rugged mountain ranges and one very famous opera house, New South Wales (NSW) encapsulates all that's great about life Down Under. And this time of year is when it really shines, with a rich calendar of events to enjoy. the main focus is a culinary one, with no fewer than six dedicated food and drink festivals taking place, including the city-wide Sydney Good Food Month throughout October. Meanwhile, 777 miles to the north, the ten-day Byron Bay Film Festival - now in its tenth year - will kick off in October.
A hipster's paradise
The shining star of NSW - first inhabited by Aboriginal tribes some 50,000 years ago before the Europeans arrived in 1770 - is, of course, Sydney. Famed for its heavenly harbour, Australia's hippest city is a fast-paced metropolis of 4.3million residents. Among them is trendy local Louise Di Marchi. 'Sydney is always evolving with hip new places opening on an almost daily basis,' she says, citing new restaurant Bouche, which offers 'approachable fine dining', according to its website, while newly opened Tuxedo is Sydney's first bar dedicated to espresso martinis. Lethal.
Get your head down
Plans are already well underway for a new W Hotel. The 402-room property in Darling Harbour will boast an infinity pool and is due to be completed in 2019. If that's too long to wait, consider booking a room at Starwood's forthcoming Aloft Hotel, set to open inside the iconic 1909 Druids House building in Korean town this November. So, your bed is sorted, but how to spend your time? Fill your days with the newest experiences the city has to offer. Surf school Let's Go Surfing has just launched stand-up paddle boarding around the coastal suburb of La Perouse, taking in the bays and sandstone cliffs of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, a place rich in indigenous history and where the first Europeans landed.
Segway into cooking
It would be silly to go all that way and not experience the adventures elsewhere on the eastern coast. Ride a segway through the historic Coolangatta Estate, home to resorted convict-built cottages, with segway tours South Coast, through the hills and riverbanks around the quaint town of Berry (two hours from Sydney), and learn about the community that took shape in the early 1800s. Alternatively, sign up for a cookery workshop at the family-run Buena Vista Farm, a peaceful spot in Gerringoing populated by free-range pigs, geese and cattle. Courses include learning how to make sourdough and cheese making.
Get off the beaten track
Get a taste of the outback among the ancient landscapes of Mungo National Park, 550miles west of Sydney. Explore its dunes and dry lake basins by day before practising yoga by moonlight. The new Mungo Full Moon Yoga Tours are run by yogini Natalie Jenkins. The next overnight tour will take place on November 15.