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From the outback to the beach, and the city to the mountains

The birthplace of Australia as we know it today, New South Wales is both steeped in colonial history and a signpost of modernisation. Lose yourself in Sydney's CDB streets and spend your weekend wining, dining and shopping to your heart's consent. Explore surrounding pockets for bohemian delights in Newtown, stylish coffee dates in Paddington or a taste of little Italy in Leichhardt. Even if you are a Sydneysider, it's easy to become a tourist for the weekend and see your city in a new light. Venturing off the coast, spend your days in leisure at Lord Howe Island. Less than two hours flight from Sydney will see you immersed in natural beauty so great it earns World Heritage status. Who says you need to travel far and wide to experience island paradise?

NSW: Hunter ValleyHunter Valley

Those in search of romantic getaways take to the hills for a luxurious stay in the Blue Mountains. Temperatures drop and landscapes morph as you make your way inland through picturesque towns like Katoomba that have retained their old-world charm throughout the years. You can also unwind in bed and breakfast country in the Australia's oldest wine growing region, Hunter Valley. Can't choose between rolling hills and sandy shores? Chat to a Flight Centre consultant about splitting your short break between wine tasting tours in the Hunter region and beachside bliss in the state's second largest city, Newcastle.

NSW: Byron Bay Beach Byron Bay Beach

Where Sydney finishes, Wollongong picks up. Take the scenic route via Grand Pacific Drive and kick-start your weekend getaway in the company of coastal winds and scenic surrounds. The Gong, as it is affectionately known, offers surfing, beachcombing and unbeatable panoramas from the Illawarra Escarpment. At the other end of the state, the relaxed atmosphere of Byron Bay can make a weekend away feel like a week's worth of R&R.

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