What’s New in New South Wales

New hotel openings and re-brands, glamping accommodation, eateries and other developments from the region

With new luxury eco-lodges, cross-country rail-routes, walking trails, hotels, restaurants and theme park rides opening across the region, it’s never been a better time to explore the diverse landscapes of New South Wales. Visitors to the region can experience glamping in World-Heritage listed national parks, six-star luxury in the form of Sydney’s Casino playground in the Ritz Carlton, a ride on Australia’s largest wave swinger in the iconic Luna Park and a four-day rail journey that calls at some of the region’s best spots including Hunter Valley and the spectacular North Coast.

Please see below for a roundup of New South Wales’ most exciting news for the months ahead.

New Hotel Openings and Developments

The Ritz Carlton – six-star luxury in Sydney’s casino playground – opening in 2020

Increasing the luxury offering in Sydney, the new six-star Ritz Carlton will house 220 rooms and 200 residences over 61 stories. Located at the Star Sydney complex, the existing casino building will get a rooftop makeover, with a stunning new Sky Terrace and Sky Lobby planned to maximise the views over the city and harbour. Other facilities include a restaurant, two gyms and a spa and wellness centre.

W Sydney Hotel – luxury with a twist for Sydney’s Darling Harbour – opening in 2020

Turning traditional luxury on its head, the brand new W Sydney, part of Marriott International, is planned to open next year and will be part of ‘The Ribbon’ development set in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. With 593 stylish guestrooms, suites and serviced apartments, the property will also feature the brand’s iconic pool deck the “Wet Deck”, with shimmering views of Darling Harbour. The restaurant will serve up local cuisine and two bars including the signature see-and-be-seen Living Room, which will shake up Sydney’s social scene. There’s a state-of-the-art FIT gym for fitness fanatics and a brand staple AWAY® Spa offering an array of treatments.

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney – Sydney’s historic post office building welcomes five-star rebrand – opening in October 2019

Set to debut at 1 Martin Place in October 2019, the existing Westin Sydney will be re-branded to The Fullerton Hotel Sydney. Offering five-star accommodation just a stone’s throw away from Sydney’s restaurants, shops and theatres, and a short distance from the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. There’s a choice of charming heritage rooms located within the historic General Post Office building or the contemporary accommodation in the high-rise Tower Wing.

voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley – prestigious Hunter Valley estate reopens – re-opened in April 2019

Following a refresh of IHG’s upscale brand voco, one of Hunter Valley’s most prestigious estates has recently re-opened. The 70-room property embodies the bold characteristics of voco, with exclusive features from its bright yellow accents to onsite beehives and distinctive hallmarks, setting it apart for a memorable stay. Surrounded by 70 acres of rolling countryside with scenic mountain views and minutes away from the region’s most popular wineries, with world-class dining facilities, the property also features onsite tennis courts, an indoor heated pool, sauna, spa and gym.

Nightcap Ridge – eco-luxury cottages in World-Heritage listed National Park – opened in March 2019

Located in Byron Bay hinterland, Nightcap Ridge is a 70-acre property set inside the World-Heritage listed Nightcap National Park. Consisting of two new eco-luxury cottages plus a stunning wedding venue “The Argory”, the recently opened resort provides guests with the perfect country hideaway, with spectacular views, swimming holes, star gazing by the campfire, bushwalking and birdwatching.

Turon Gates – glamping tents added to luxurious riverside resort in the Blue Mountains – opened in March 2019

Set in the beautiful Blue Mountains two and a half hours from Sydney, Turon Gates, the authentic bush hideaway spread over 6,000 acres has added six luxurious riverside glamping tents to its offering. Each tent features its own king-sized bed and lounge area, contemporary bathroom, kitchenette with Nespresso coffee machine and a Danish wood burner stove. The new additions add an extra element of luxury to this rustic, romantic getaway.

Blackbird Byron – boutique bed and breakfast with views of Cape Byron – opened late 2018

Offering luxurious accommodation in the Byron Bay Hinterland, Blackbird is a new boutique bed and breakfast providing a home-from-home for those looking to relax amongst the waterfalls, animals and nature. With three new breezy pavilions, each offering king-sized beds, Moroccan-tiled bathrooms and views of Cape Byron and the Pacific ocean, this design-led property is the perfect base for creatives looking to escape and gain inspiration, or as a base for active-adventure lovers. There’s also a magnesium mineral swimming pool framed in acres of green forest and massage and therapy treatments for ultimate relaxation.

New Attractions

New ride at Luna Park, Sydney – take a seat on Australia’s largest wave swinger – opened in April 2019

Luna park takes thrill-seekers to new heights with its first new permanent ride in five years. With a name meaning ‘to fly’ in Italian, ‘Volare’ is the brand-new family wave swinger ride specially handcrafted by world-class Italian manufacturers, Preston and Barbeiri. With views over Sydney Harbour, the 64-seat flying carousel spins at speeds of up to 65 kilometres an hour and is the largest and highest wave-swinger in the Southern Hemisphere. The new ride features unique, hand-painted artwork that reflects Luna Park’s vibrant heritage and personality, including Showtime characters such as Luna Bob and Luna Belle, and is lit by over 3,500 LED lights which illuminate Sydney’s skyline.

New Eateries

The Bon Pavilion, Gosford – food empire opens in trendy suburb of Gosford – opened in April 2019

The new culinary venture launched by one of Australia’s most well-respected chefs, Sean Connolly, features an upscale steak and seafood restaurant, Bonfire, an espresso bar, private dining and the Bon Bon Bar, all under one roof. Located in the heart of Gosford, the menus will focus on ethically-sourced produce from premium suppliers.

New Developments

Bondi to Manly coastal walking tracks to open to take in Sydney’s landmarks – opening late 2019

Announced in November 2018, the new project will link all existing coastal and harbour-side walking tracks between Australia’s two most-famous surfing beaches – Bondi and Manly. When completed, the walk will be approx. 80km in total, passing through landmarks including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

New on-demand ferry service in Sydney – opened in December 2018

Launched by Captain Cook Cruises, Sydney’s first ever on-demand ferry service will work like ride-sharing apps, allowing customers to locate their ferry, hail a ride and then track the ferry’s journey time from their mobile device. Operating Monday – Friday, the services for Sydney Harbour operate between Elizabeth Bay, Garden Island and Circular Quay during peak morning and afternoon times.

New Great Southern Train service from Brisbane to Adelaide  – launched December 2018

The new four-day southbound journey starting in Brisbane includes an incredible beachside dining experience in Northern NSW, an immersive day in the Hunter Valley and Newcastle region before continuing to Victoria and disembarking in Adelaide. Comprising of 28 carriages holding up to 214 guests per journey, the Great Southern service launched in December 2018 and will run through to 27 January 2020, departing Brisbane every Monday.

Getting There

To experience Sydney, Hunter Valley, Byron Bay and more, explore the New South Wales coast and ride the waves on a classic road trip along Australia’s Legendary Pacific Coastline.

Explore the region’s rolling vineyards, impressive beaches and beautiful national parks through Hunter Valley, Coffs Harbour and Port Stephens. Highlights include exploring the quaint towns of Gosford and Newcastle, experiencing the laid-back atmosphere of Byron Bay and driving along one of the region’s best scenic roads from Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour.

Kuoni (01306 747008 or offers three nights at the Shangri-La Sydney, five nights on the Pacific Coast Explorer and two nights at Sebel Brisbane. The price for selected departure November 2019 is from £2,740 per person and includes accommodation, flights with Qantas and car hire.

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