Are you looking for unique and beautiful hidden getaways in NSW? These 10 hidden gems, including hidden beaches and waterfalls, offer the perfect getaway from the bustle and noise of the big cities.
Bendalong is a cute coastal town in the region of Ulladulla, in the Shoalhaven. Set on the majestic jutting stretch of coastline known as Red Point, this town boasts some of the most stunning hidden beaches in NSW and borders the scenic Conjola National Park.
This is a magic spot to explore, full of hidden gems like the sandy Boat Harbour Beach (where you can hand feed stingrays!), the 24 hour off-leash Washerwoman’s Beach, Inyadda Beach, and further south, Potato Point, Merimbula and Jervis Bay – home to the whitest sand in the world. You’ll be spoilt for choice with any weekend spent in Bendalong’s cozy town.
#2 Jenolan Caves
Discover a different (but no less impressive) side to the Blue Mountains at the Jenolan Caves. A highlight of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and one of the oldest cave systems in the world, this subterranean network of limestone caves features awe-inspiring stalactite-lined chasms carved by pure underground rivers.
Nine of the 300 caves are open to the public, including the Lucas Cave (with its striking ‘Cathedral’ limestone formation often used for music concerts) and Temple of Baal Cave. Explore the caves with guided tours, intriguing gold and night tours.
#3 Crystal Shower Falls, Dorrigo Mountains
This stunning hidden waterfall in NSW, deep inside the lush rainforest of Dorrigo National Park, offers visitors beautiful scenery and the opportunity to explore behind the cascading sheet of water. Starting with the Satinbird Stroll, follow the Wonga Walk through lush rainforest, leaving from the Glade picnic area.
Once you reach the falls, a suspension bridge will take you to a short side track that winds behind the waterfall into a rocky cavern. This short walk takes just 1 to 2 hours to complete. To explore the rainforest further, simply carry on trekking the Wonga walk.
#4 Killalea Beach
One of our favourite hidden beaches in NSW, Killalea Beach offers 250 hectares of pristine coastal reserve and surfing beaches, tucked away inside the beautiful Killalea State Park. The perfect spot for a romantic picnic or camping adventure, Killalea Beach boasts bush and coastal walking tracks, beautifully landscaped picnic areas, great fishing rivers, and stunning wetlands. Killalea Park is within hiking distance of Bass Point Reserve and Shellharbour Village.
#5 Lightning Ridge
Undoubtedly one of the most impressive hidden gems in NSW, Lightning Ridge is a tiny and quirky mining town in the New South Wales outback. Renowned for the rare black opal that has been mined here since the late 1800s, the town offers tours of the local opal mine. Try your hand at fossicking or enjoy the chance to relax in hot, bubbling Artesian bore baths.
Bizarrely, the dusty outback town is home to a Gothic style castle called Amigo’s Castle, hand-built with ironstone boulders and designed to look like Italian ruins. You can also visit one of the largest collections of cacti in the Southern Hemisphere at Bevan’s Cactus Nursery.
#6 Garie Beach
A popular destination for local families, Garie Beach is just a convenient hour’s drive from Sydney, in the southern end of Royal National Park. Offering excellent swimming and surfing opportunities, and even the chance to watch whales, Garie Beach is the ideal spot for a weekend getaway. Camp by the beach and amongst trees at If you’re feeling lucky, try your hand at some beach fishing. After a picnic lunch, explore the rainforest gullies around the beach and enjoy the spectacular view from Governor Game lookout.
#7 Fairy Bower Falls, Bundanoon
Fairy Bower Falls, a gorgeous hidden waterfall in NSW within Southern Highlands’ Morton National Park, is a wonderful reward at the end of a steep walking track from Gambells Rest picnic area. From the top, you can bask in the glory of Tooths Lookout.
#8 Dunns Swamp
Along the banks of the Cudgegong River, the pristine Dunns Swamp in Wollemi National Park, outside of Mudgee, offers unspoiled nature and stunning sandstone pagoda rock formations. Explore the numerous walking tracks, canoeing and swimming spots.
#9 Dingo Tops, Tapin Tops National Park
On the north coast of NSW, you’ll find Tapin Tops National Park, a spot treasured by locals for its stunning waterfalls, winding creeks and ancient eucalyptus forest. Nestled inside the national park is Dingo Tops campground, the perfect quiet place to base yourself to explore the gorgeous Tapin Tops National Park. Around the camp, you’ll almost certainly catch glimpses of interesting wildlife: koalas, parma wallabies, birds and red-legged pademelons. Enjoy the Mountain Brush circuit or go take a dip at the swimming hole near Potoroo Falls. In spring, the campground will come alive with blooming violet pea flowers, large yellow guinea flowers and the flame bottle tree, bursting with red flowers.
#10 Bermagui Blue Pools
Escape the city, hit the Pacific Drive and admire one of the best natural attractions on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales.
The Bermagui Blue Pools are an unmissable destination: a crystal clear salt-water natural swimming pool at the base of a dramatic rocky cliff face, surrounded with views of the mighty Pacific Ocean. Here, you can swim and snorkel in clean, clear salt water. Enjoy awe-inspiring coastal views from the viewing platform, which doubles as a perfect spot for whale watching.