Where can you go in New South Wales in July 2021? | NSW travel restrictions explained

As the state implements COVID-19 travel bans, here's where you can go now, what you can do and what to keep in mind.

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You can travel for leisure within the state if you're a resident of most of regional and rural New South Wales. However, most urban areas have travel restrictions while stay-at-home orders are in place, so the destinations you can travel to may be limited.

Lockdowns continue for Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. They are off-limits to travellers unless you have an exemption.

We're covering what else you need to know to safely travel throughout New South Wales in this guide.

Accommodation in New South Wales

Overnight recreational stays are allowed within the state, except for locked-down regions. This includes stays at family and friends' properties and at paid accommodation, like hotels and Airbnbs.

Can I stay overnight with family and friends?

Yes. Unless you're in a locked-down area, you can invite visitors over to your home, as long as there aren't more than 5 people. This person limit also applies to overnight stays until further notice.

It's recommended that if you're vulnerable (for example, immunocompromised) or older than 70, you should limit the number of overnight guests.

In locked-down areas, overnight stays are prohibited.

Can I book a stay at a hotel?

Under the latest recommendations by the New South Wales government, there are no restrictions to paid accommodation at hotels unless you're in a locked-down area. Across the state, you can check in as a leisure traveller. However, there may be some changes to check-in and fewer amenities will be available at the hotel.

You can book into and stay at a New South Wales hotel if you are coming from another state, but you may need to quarantine or self-isolate upon arrival back home as per the regulations of your state.

Some hotels, especially in Sydney, are still being used as quarantine hotels for people returning from overseas.

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Can I stay at a privately owned or paid holiday home (such as an Airbnb)?

Staying in a holiday home is permitted across the state, unless you're currently under stay-at-home orders. This includes a home you own or one you've booked on an accommodation site such as Airbnb and Stayz.

Holiday home groups are limited to a maximum of 5 people for overnight stays.

Am I able to book a bed or a private room at a hostel?

In areas that are in lockdown, hostels must close except to those who are in need of shelter.

Hostels elsewhere across the state are taking in guests with physical distancing measures in place.

For example, the YHA chain has limited the occupancy in shared dorm rooms. It's offering more sanitisation stations, especially in shared spaces like bathrooms and kitchens.

Base Hostels allows guests to check in with their phone using an app.

At all hostels, physical distancing should be practised.

Is camping and caravanning allowed?

People who are in a lockdown area cannot camp or caravan at this time.

Elsewhere in the state, there is no limit to how many people can stay at a campground, but you will need to practise physical distancing with other campers.

In New South Wales you can use shared barbeque and kitchen facilities as long as there is ample physical distancing space per person.

If you're planning a camping trip to a New South Wales national park you may need to reserve a spot in advance, even if it's to a campground that has been free in the past.

Tourist attractions in New South Wales

Most popular attractions in Sydney including zoos, aquariums, museums and galleries must close due to lockdown.

You can pre-book or purchase vouchers for future travel if the activity isn't available.

Some popular attractions include:

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Are national parks in New South Wales open to visitors?

Most NSW National Parks are open to recreational visits, including camp sites within the parks. Camp sites need to be pre-booked for overnight stays.

A few parks may be closed for safety reasons or to regenerate. Confirm on the NSW National Parks website before heading out to avoid disappointment.

People in locked-down regions can visit national parks for exercise and outdoor recreation if they're within a 10km distance of their home or within their LGA.

Can I go to beaches and parks?

The opening status of beaches and local parks depends on the local council. Before you hit the surf check the local council website to make sure you won't have to turn back.

If the beach is open, you should practise the state's physical distancing restrictions. Stay in small groups and make sure there is at least 1.5m distance from you to the next group of people.

People in locked-down areas can visit beaches and parks for outdoor recreation and exercise, limited to households or up to 2 people. Exercise can only be taken within 10km of your home or within your LGA.

Will ski areas be open this year?

The ski season has opened for 2021.

The season-opening dates are as follows:

  • Thredbo: 12 June
  • Perisher: 12 June
  • Charlotte Pass: 12 June
  • Selwyn Snow Resort: Closed for the 2021 season

Last year there were limited tickets available. This year we're anticipating the same with pre-purchase bound to be necessary to ensure no overcrowding.

Getting to and from your holiday destination

Am I able do drive anywhere within New South Wales or into the ACT/Canberra?

There are no limitations when driving your own vehicle. Generally, you can go anywhere within the state unless you're in a locked-down area, in which case you must stay at home unless you're out for essential reasons.

These 10 road trips take you along the state's most beautiful and unique landscapes.

If you're hiring a car, there may be additional protocols due to COVID-19 in place, including when you can pick up and drop off your vehicle.

For example, Europcar has a zero-contact policy where the car keys will be disinfected and put into a sealed envelope.

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