Easter is a great time to explore New South Wales with the family. Whether you’re travelling up or down the coast, to the country or the outback, be sure to add these fun-filled activities and events to your itinerary. We have done the hard work and found some exciting things to do this Easter in NSW.
In and around Sydney
Dating back to 1823, the Sydney Royal Easter Show, held in April, is Australia’s largest ticketed event and is usually attended by more than 800,000 people. It’s a unique celebration of the Australian way of life with agricultural experiences, fresh produce, animal displays, arts and crafts, baking, carnival rides, live entertainment and much more.
The Hawkesbury region, just north of Sydney, grows some of the best produce in the state, and many orchards are open for you to pick your own. April is right in the middle of apple season, so it’s the perfect time to grab a basket and stock up on the freshest fruit. Try Pine Crest, Bilpin Springs or Shields orchards, then stop in for a tasting at the Hillbilly Cider Shed.
Southern Highlands and South Coast
Burrawang Easter Market is one of the longest running markets in the Southern Highlands, a 90-minute drive from Sydney. The market takes over the streets of sleepy Burrawang with more than 150 stalls selling local produce, homewares, jewellery, art and crafts. There are also rides for the kids, face painting, animals and a huge barbecue. When you’ve finished shopping, drop into the Burrawang Pub for a refreshing drink.
The Southern Highlands is famous for its gardens and autumnal colours. Each year, five privately owned gardens open their gates to visitors during the Autumn Open Garden Weekend and Plant Fair (mid-April), showcasing spectacular autumn scenes. The Plant Fair is held at the Southern Highlands Botanic Garden in Bowral, the region’s largest town, with stalls from specialist nurseries along with garden tours, garden art and sculptures and refreshments.
The unspoilt waters off Montague Island is one of Australia’s best snorkelling and diving sites. The island is about 9km off the coast of Narooma, a 4.5-hour drive south of Sydney on the Sapphire Coast. In April, the waters are still warm (before the temperature drops sharply in winter), there are plenty of seals and their pups frolicking in the water, and it is prime time to spot the rare and endangered grey nurse shark. Join a tour of Montague Island with Underwater Safaris, Montague Island Discovery Tours or Narooma Charters from Narooma.
See seals and their pups frolicking in the water, and it is prime time to spot the rare and endangered grey nurse sharkat Narooma
The game’s not big enough unless it scares you a little. Wait a minute – you’ve been declared dead. You can’t give orders around here. I’ll alert the crew. What? We’re not at all alike! Flair is what marks the difference between artistry and mere competence.
The Riverina and Country NSW
Easter means chocolate, so where better to spend it than a factory dedicated to the stuff? The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory is housed within a restored 1935-built flour mill in the Riverina region of NSW. Enjoy lunch in its provincial-style gardens, then stock up on some high quality organic Belgian style coverture chocolate to see you through the rest of the holidays.
The Riverina boosts world-class wineries and cellar doors including, De Bortoli Wines, Berton Vineyard, Lillypilly Estate Wines and Calabria Family Wines.
Spend the Easter Long Weekend in the heart of the Riverina wine region at the annual Griffith Easter Party (early April). Celebrating the end of the vintage, this multi-day celebration will feature a host of activities, entertainment, demonstrations, and of course, wine and food for the whole family to enjoy.
The Hunter, North Coast and Outback
The sprawling grounds of the Hunter Valley Gardens, a two-hour drive north of Sydney, will be transformed into an Easter playground (early April) with activities, entertainment, rides and a giant Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny is on hand to help with the search as thousands of brightly coloured eggs hidden among the plants. Kids will love having a ride on the garden’s classic Swing Chair, ascending 11 metres into the air.
April is the last month to bounce around at Splash Water Park in the coastal town Nelson Bay, a three-hour drive north of Sydney. The floating waterpark sits just offshore from Nelson Bay beach and is suitable for anyone over the age of six. The course includes a five-metre rock climbing tower that you can jump off, trampolines, monkey bars, balance beams, slides, rope swings and wobbling lily pads.
Byron Bay Bluesfest is also held over the Easter Long Weekend in Byron Bay, on the north coast of NSW. Headline acts usually include international artists as well as local performers, with revellers given the full festival experience from camping and tent hotels to market stalls, great food and busking competitions.
Experience Easter in the NSW Outback at the Lightning Ridge Easter Festival (early April). The weekend in the town of Lightning Ridge, in northwestern NSW, is packed full of events for the whole family, kicking off with a rodeo on Good Friday followed by opal digs, horse races, market stalls, live music, fireworks and more. The festival also showcases the region’s Aboriginal heritage with a Welcome to Country ceremony, cultural performances and local art.
Carousel ride and entrance to the Storybook Garden located in the Hunter Valley Gardens, Pokolbin. Crowd at Bluesfest 2014, Byron Bay.
Image Credits: Destination NSW
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