Summer is finally here and that means relaxing on the beach, late nights in the city and summer festivals. But these holidays, why not choose a more peaceful option at some of New South Wales’s most tranquil locations?
Stargazing in Parkes
Parkes is the place for peace. It’s the ideal spot for nature lovers, stargazers and amateur astronomers alike because it’s home to CSIRO’s impressive radio telescope (known as ‘the Dish’), which was the very same telescope that broadcast the moon landing back in 1969. Today, visitors can lie beneath it and gaze at the stars, or have a picnic in its shadow.
Take to the skies in the Hunter Valley
The Hunter Valley Gardens is an essential stop for a tranquil escape from the everyday. In the heart of the Hunter vineyards, the gardens include the Indian Mosaic Garden and the Chinese Moongate Garden. But if you’re after something more private, take a hot air balloon ride across the valley. You can watch in wonder as a tapestry of living colour unfolds beneath you.
In the Orara State Forest you’ll be awed into silence by the sweeping vistas over Coffs Harbour and the New South Wales coastline at the recently redeveloped Sealy Lookout. So spectacular is the view that during the 1970s Queen Elizabeth II herself made a visit to admire the region. Pack a picnic or barbecue lunch and spend the whole afternoon near the top, or enjoy walking trails within the forest, uninterrupted by the sounds of the modern world.
There’s nothing quite so calming as the sound of running water: take in some natural music next to the Tumut river. The name ‘Tumut’ is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘a quiet resting place by the river’. With a population of approximately 6000, there’s no need to battle the crowds, and no better way to spend a lazy weekend.