Besides wrapping your hands around a hot cuppa, autumn is also best for taking advantage of cool-weather escapes, crimson-hued vineyards, and diving into a large pile of maple leaves in the park — it’s tradition.
These towns offer more than a visual spectacle, from the misty Blue Mountains to the picturesque Hunter Valley and coastal gems like Byron Bay to the charming Southern Highlands. They invite you to immerse yourself in the spirit of autumn, where crisp air awakens your senses and the earthy scent of fallen leaves lingers.
Give yourself over to the crisp autumn change and set off on an exploration of NSW’s hidden autumn treasures.
You don’t need to travel far from the Harbour city to see autumn foliage. The Royal Botanic Gardens puts on a dazzling display of red and orange hues, foregrounded by a duck pond. Take a stroll and enjoy the sights, or plan a picnic to make the most of a sunny day.
Centennial Park is another inner-city foliage haven, bursting with colours and Lasiandra Trees. Stroll through the line of trees on the southern side of the duck pond for a truly spectacular sight. If you love jumping in the leaves, this is the place to do it.
Much like its name suggests, Orange is a visual feast during autumn, putting on an impressive burst of oranges, reds, purples, and golden lights. Less than a four-hour drive from Sydney, you can immerse yourself in vineyards and parks. During April, a food and wine festival celebrates the autumn harvest — it’s always a treat.
The Blue Mountains is a go-to for anyone looking to escape the big smoke in under two hours’ drive. Here, soak up autumn’s rich warmth in the many gardens or tree-lined streets. For Elm Trees and pink trees, visit Mount Wilson or Breenhold Gardens. In Leura, the Everglades Gardens have towering trees, and the grass is often carpeted with leaves.
Oberon is around an hour’s drive west of the Blue Mountains and offers an autumnal paradise. Attend the Mayfield Garden Autumn Festival for its English box hedge maze, a row around Mayfield Lake, and its kaleidoscopic autumnal colours.
Autumn is the best time to visit Bathurst. Enjoy the explosion of colour, not to mention the delicious local produce. Explore the historical sights, parks, and streets to find the thriving maple trees boasting orange and red hues. The cooler climate helps visitors settle into the magic of the changing season.
Drive to the Southern Highlands to experience its old-world charm and picturesque villages that only liven during autumn. In Bowral, the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens and Corbett Gardens are famous for their impressive colour display in spring and autumn. Drive a little further to explore Berrima, Mittagong, and the other small towns doting tree-lined streets, perfect for leaf-peeping.
Situated in the Snowy Mountains is Tumut, a small town by the river. In autumn, the green leaves turn to gold, lining the river banks and drawing tourists in with their colours. The Tumut River Walk is the best place to take it all in. Don’t forget your camera.
This hidden gem can be found in Uralla, a town on the Northern Tablelands. It has a rich gold rush history, but its true gold nugget is Gostyck Chapel. The elm trees shed their brilliant red leaves during autumn, covering the church and its surroundings. Many photographers love this spot for just that. Although, it is private property, so you can look, just not too close.
Is there anything more autumn than going apple picking? Bilpin is renowned for its apples, particularly its cider. Although, visit this quaint town during autumn and witness its red and orange hues come alive. Stay for a picnic, or wander through gardens and bushlands for a scenic stroll.
There’s a golden glow in Wagga Wagga, and we’re not just talking about the sunsets. Bask in the rustic autumn tones by a riverbank, or head to a park with a picnic basket and soak up a sunset or two. The streets are also lined with trees, dropping their burnished leaves on the pavement.