The Courier

Explore the hidden intrigues of the First State

CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope. Picture Shutterstock
CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope. Picture Shutterstock

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Some of the more hidden intrigues of Australia's First State, New South Wales, are on display with this relaxing tour. The trip takes a loop, starting in Sydney and heading as far north as Coffs Harbour before ending where it began, back in the Emerald city.

Transport alternates between rail and coach. The group departs Sydney Central Station for the first leg of the journey to Bathurst.

See the picturesque Blue Mountains in the morning from the relaxing vantage point of train comfort, passing through Katoomba, Mount Victoria and Lithgow.

Railway town Bathurst's rich history is bought vividly to life at the Railway Museum.

See also former Prime Minister Ben Chifley's home for a good idea of life in 1940s Bathurst. Heritage treasure, Abercrombie House is an example of a grand country home circa 1870s and a must visit.

Out with old, the tour revs up with a look at Mount Panorama, home to the Bathurst 1000.

Leaving Bathurst, the coach stops by the magical and unexpected flower filled Mayfield Garden, resplendent with water garden, ponds, bridges, grotto and tree-lined valley.

It is a short drive to Cowra to immerse yourself in some of the best WW11 regional history around at the Japanese War Cemetery and POW Camp.

Macquarie river in Dubbo. Picture Shutterstock
Macquarie river in Dubbo. Picture Shutterstock

Parkes still sparkles from its starring role in film The Dish. See the Parkes Radio Telescope where all the action took place as well as The King's Castle Elvis Exhibit, Parkes Aviation Museum and Parkes Motor Museum.

Spend two nights in Orange to soak in the towns enviable food and wine culture including a winery tasting and some award winning tipples.

Back on track, the next leg is by train to Dubbo, situated beside the Macquarie river. Enjoy hearing the stories and challenges at the Royal Flying Doctor Experience.

Australia's Nashville, Tamworth, is reached by coach. Familiarise yourself with the stars of Australian country music at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. Later, the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre comes into view as does Oxley Scenic Lookout and the Botanical Gardens.

Known for its cathedrals, Arrmidale is the next stop and considered one of our most elegant regional cities.

By coach the tour makes its way to the North Coast of NSW and Coffs Harbour. A sightseeing tour of Coffs Harbour kicks off the stay. Take in spectacular beaches and the marine conservation areas the region is famous for.

This is a nature lovers wonderland with the Solitary Islands Marine Park and a walk out to Muttonbird Island. Travel inland to Sealy Lookout in Orara East State Forest which takes you past everyone's favourite landmark, the Big Banana.

Aerial view of Coffs Harbour beach and harbour. Picture Shutterstock
Aerial view of Coffs Harbour beach and harbour. Picture Shutterstock

Rounding out the journey and the loop, is a delightful coastal train trip back to Sydney.

Start making plans to join Travelrite and The Senior newspaper now for this October 15 to 27, 2024, getaway.