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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blockbuster Sporting Action Takes Place Throughout Regional New South Wales This Winter


As Australia’s global tourism and events state, New South Wales is a fitting destination to host the nation’s best sporting events.


If you love sport, winter is the perfect time to book a weekend away in regional New South Wales and watch some of the best matches and competitions Australia has to offer.

Port Macquarie

On Sunday 4 May, IRONMAN Australia returns. As one of the longest running IRONMAN events on the global circuit, IRONMAN Australia is an iconic global event. Consisting of a 3.8 kilometre swim, 180 kilometre bike course and 42.2 kilometre run, the event takes in the best of the Greater Port Macquarie region, on one of the most scenic IRONMAN courses in the world.

Once the IRONMAN wraps up, there is an endless list of activities for the athletes and spectators to enjoy in the Greater Port Macquarie region, ranging from sports to adrenalin-pumping adventure. Air sports include skydiving and paragliding over beautiful beaches, rivers, lush farming country and forests. Back on land there's horse-riding, boating, water skiing and kayaking.

Port Macquarie’s food and wine scene offers a wide variety of quality produce and hip, new coastal dining spots. In and around town there are award-winning restaurants, cafes, wineries and farmers markets. Or head to the hinterland and meet producers at the farm-gate, pick food from the trees, prepare dishes at a cooking class, and fill your boot with regional goodies to take home.

Tweed Valley

A wonderful event for the cycling elite, The Battle on the Border has become a much sought after cycling festival. Now in its 6th year, the Battle of the Border includes hundreds of recreational and seasoned competitors who cover between 200km and 400km across uniquely challenging terrains. Taking place from 15- 18 May, the five-stage tour covers various towns around the Tweed Valley including Mt Warning, Murwillumbah and Kingscliff.

Offering a relaxed vibe and stunning scenery, The Tweed is the perfect place for competitors to holiday after the event. Accommodation in the area ranges from five-star resorts with spa facilities, to self-contained B&Bs with ocean views, or hire a houseboat and discover the beautiful Tweed River.

A network of country roads makes it easy to explore The Tweed and with five World Heritage national parks, The Tweed is the most bio-diverse region in Australia. The Rainforest Way is a series of short loop drives that showcase the lush rainforests, while a climb to the mountain summit of Wollumbin-Mount Warning to watch the sun rise is a must for the adventurous.

Mid North Coast and Hunter

The inaugural 2014 Port to Port MTB, a four day race taking place on Thursday 29 May to Sunday 1 June, is designed to be fun and challenging for mountain bike riders of all levels. Taking place over four stages, recreational to competitive riders will tackle some of NSW’s finest forest, trails and fire roads in the towns of Port Stephens, Nelson Bay, the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.

The Mid North Coast and Hunter are the perfect options for a short break stay. When they’re not hitting the tracks, riders will be spoilt for things to do throughout the regions. Whether it’s exploring the fine wine and gourmet food trails in the Hunter Valley, or continuing the adventure by tackling the vast sand dunes of Stockton Beach.

Whatever type of accommodation you’re after there’ll be something for you, from hotels to self-contained apartments, resorts and bed and breakfasts. In the Hunter there are private cottages set amongst the rolling vineyards, while Nelson Bay offers gorgeous scenery and a relaxed atmosphere that will guarantee a memorable holiday experience.

Coffs Harbour

Fast becoming an iconic Australian sporting event, the Australian Surf Festival is the largest gathering of surfers in the country. Held in Coffs Harbour from Saturday 2 August, the two-week festival comprises four amateur events, including: Australian Longboard Titles; Australian Logger Titles; Australian Surfmasters Titles and Australian Single Fin Titles. The festival offers not only the chance to see some spectacular surfing, but also an exciting range of activities including music, art and surf culture.

Famous for its World Heritage-listed rainforest and Solitary Islands Marine Park, the Coffs Coast is full of activities, whether visitors want a quiet weekend away or an action-packed holiday. The city also has a wide choice of accommodation, from motels to glossy resorts and small, exclusive boutique retreats.

After enjoying a day of surfing action, visitors can visit the rainforest at Dorrigo National Park, go white water rafting in the Nymboi-Binderay National Park or have a relaxing day at one of the chic cafes and designer stores in the nearby town of Sawtell.

Newcastle

University and TAFE students from New South Wales and the ACT will gather in Newcastle in July for the Eastern University Games. Around 3,000 students will take part in up to 20 different sports over four days of competition, from Sunday 6 to Thursday 10 July. Sports on offer include AFL 9s, basketball, football, hockey, indoor cricket, lawn bowls, netball, oztag, tenpin bowling and volleyball.

Perched between a working harbour and beautiful beaches, Newcastle is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, with a vibrant arts culture, cool bars, restaurants and accommodation options aplenty. After a day of competition, students can check out live music at one of the many local pubs around the city and finish up with late night coffee at funky inner city Darby Street.

For competitors and spectators, there is accommodation in Newcastle for every type of visitor - from cosy bed and breakfasts to executive lodges and everything in between. Newcastle also offers a diverse range of dining options, from cocktails at a one of the many harbour-side restaurants to Mediterranean restaurants and quirky sidewalk cafes on cosmopolitan Beaumont Street.

Calendar of Sports Events in Regional NSW this Autumn/Winter

For more information on sporting events taking place in New South Wales this winter, visit http://www.visitnsw.com/events-sporting-events?from=footer
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