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A man in a dark green jacket and a woman in a red jacket walk past a misty lake in the bush.
Photograph: Supplied/Destination NSW

Get free with these three NSW escape plans

Find solitude and wide open spaces with these incredible NSW destinations

By Time Out in association with Destination NSW
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There’s something truly liberating about taking a break from your everyday life, and leaving all the responsibilities, anxieties and pressures that come with it behind you. Whether your search for serenity takes you on a weekend sojourn to the South Coast, to the Riverina for a four-day getaway, or even deep into the wilds of the Snowy Mountains for a week of off-grid adventures, there’s no denying that finding freedom feels really, really good. If you’re ready to escape the ordinary, you’ve come to the right place.

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Discover more ways to feel free in NSW.

Little Niche Nosh

Blenheim Beach, Vincentia | Photograph: Destination NSW

A free-roaming weekend away on the South Coast

Swap your normal weekend routine of sleep-ins, Uber Eats and cleaning for a cheeky trip to the South Coast, and prepare to be amazed by how a solid dose of salty sea air can bring you back to life. You’ll want to base yourself at Paperbark Camp, a luxurious bush retreat comprising 13 safari-style tents. It’s tucked away on the banks of a pristine waterway not far from the coastal villages of Vincentia and Huskisson, but feels completely removed from any semblance of society. There are three national parks to explore – Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay National Park and Jervis Bay Marine Park – and together they boast kilometres of deserted walking trails that lead to white-sand beaches. When you’re done swimming, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, head back to camp for a magical meal high up in the treetops. 

Little Niche Nosh

Kimo Estate | Photograph: Destination NSW

An invigorating four-day escape to the Riverina

Four days. It may not seem very long in the grand scheme of things, but in the picturesque Riverina region, time has a funny way of forcing you to slow down and let go of anything that’s been holding you back. This is Australia’s food bowl, and it’s marked by vast rivers, open plains and fertile fields of crops, vines and fruit trees – out here, it’s all about fuelling your body, mind and soul. 

When it comes to kicking back in the Riverina, the place to stay is Kimo Estate. This working farm is home to three epic A-frame eco huts (which overlook the Murrumbidgee River flats and the mountains of the Great Dividing Range), two 100-year-old cottages and the shearer’s quarters. You can explore the property on horseback, or fly up, up and away on a chartered helicopter tour of the local wineries. Feeling peckish? Hit the road and feast on sweet treats from the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory, olives from Wollundry Grove and cheese from the Coolamon Cheese Factory. And when you’re back at the estate, be sure to have a soak under the stars in the outdoor tub – now if that’s not freeing enough for you, we don’t know what is.

Little Niche Nosh

Snowy Mountains | Photograph: Destination NSW

An exhilarating one-week odyssey in the Snowy Mountains

If your idea of holiday heaven is going completely off-grid for a week, there’s no better place to do so than the Snowy Mountains. Think of it as your very own outdoor adventure park – a place where you can hit the slopes in winter, and hike, bike, fish and four-wheel drive in the summer. 

For a true Snowy Mountains experience – one that allows you to completely unplug from the outside world – you’re going to want to stay at Snowy Wilderness Resort. It’s located 29 kilometres from the nearest township of Jindabyne, and has a range of different accommodation options, including campsites and self-contained lodges. But what makes this alpine hideaway so special, is that it’s also a sanctuary for wild brumbies. The resort operates guided multi-day riding trips so you can see these beautiful creatures up close, and also to provide you with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the rugged environment.

If you do feel the need to venture back into civilisation throughout your week-long trip, towns like Cooma, Tumut and Jindabyne offer plenty in the way of markets, quirky museums and even top-notch breweries and distilleries. And you’ll want to put aside a day to go on a guided tour of ​​Wiradjuri Country with a traditional landowner. You’ll forage for bush tucker, take part in a spiritual smoking ceremony and connect with the land in a completely new way. But trust us, it won’t be long before the endless peaks, dramatic ravines and glacial lakes pull you back in for one last thrilling romp in the wilderness.

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