The start of the new year brings with it a fresh calendar of celebrations and first on the roster is Australia Day and the accompanying long weekend. Those long summer days, endless blue skies and the inevitable heat wave combined with a few cheeky extra days off make for the perfect mini-break. If you happen to live in the area, are thinking of visiting or simply need some adventure inspiration, New South Wales has you covered with a whole host of fun and interesting ways to spend your Aussie day. To help you get started, here are six unique ways to spend your Australia Day long weekend in regional New South Wales.

Pro tip: share your favourite Sydney and NSW holidays on social media by using the hashtag #IloveSydney or #NewSouthWales!

1. Tamworth Country Music Festival

Australia’s largest music festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival features the ‘who’s who’ of country music as well as Australia’s best-emerging artists who will perform at more than 2,800 events across 120 venues. From 19 – 28 January, there are free and ticketed events taking place each day, including a dedicated family zone and 400 plus buskers hoping to be spotted as the next country music star on Tamworth’s ‘Boulevard of Dreams’ in Peel Street. Some of Australia’s biggest country music stars started out busking on Peel Street, including Keith Urban, Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers and Beccy Cole.

Crowds enjoying the Tamworth Proud Australia Day festivities at Toyota Park during the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2017.

2. 100 Beaches Challenge

The Shoalhaven is home to more than 100 stunning beaches. Take the 100 beaches challenge and discover some or all of this spectacular coastline, from brilliant white sand beaches to turquoise bays and stellar surf breaks.

Huskisson Beach, Jervis Bay. Image credit: Dee Kramer

3. BBQ lunch atop Mount Kosciuszko

Join hundreds of fellow Aussies and hike to Australia’s highest peak at Mount Kosciuszko for Aussie Day. Celebrate the summit with a high alpine BBQ lunch and poetry reading of The Man from the Snowy River as part of this unique event. The NSW Snowy Mountains is an adventure seeker’s paradise during the Summer months and is home to some of the best mountain biking, hiking, white-water kayaking, abseiling and high country horse-riding in Australia. Also not to be missed is relaxing in the thermal hot springs at Yarrangobilly and sampling the locally produced wine, beer and whisky at cellar doors across the region.

Camping underneath the stars in Kosciuszko National Park. Image credit: Tourism Snowy Mountains

4. Hunter Valley Harvest

The annual Hunter Valley Harvest will be in full swing, with grapes being picked and the Hunter Valley’s newest wines being made. Pick-up an e-bike from Sutton Estate and pedal with ease exploring some of Australia’s most famous vineyards, as well as some of the best emerging and boutique winemakers. Australia Day long weekend also marks the final weekend to view the Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens.

Wine tasting at Margan Wines and Restaurant, Broke in the Hunter Valley.

5. Port to port adventure on the Murray River

From either Moama or Wentworth, hire a houseboat and explore the Mighty Murray River on an epic three-day adventure of boating, fishing, kayaking and paddling. Explore the ports, national parks and lakes of the Murray River, including Echuca Moama, which is one Australia’s biggest inland ports and home to the largest fleet of operating paddle steamers in the world.

Family holidaying with ‘All Seasons Houseboats’ on the Murray River. Image credit: Rob Blackburn

6. Road trip Waterfall Way

Discover five National Parks and 13 waterfalls on the 185km Waterfall Way road trip from Coffs Harbour to Armidale. Not to be missed is Dorrigo National Park, a sanctuary of World Heritage-listed rainforests and magnificent waterfall walks, Australia’s second-highest waterfall Wollomombi Falls and swimming at the base of the magnificent Dangar Falls.

Dangar Falls, Dorrigo National Park. Image credit: Destination NSW

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