Whether you’re planning a road trip or just looking for something near you, there’s no doubt you’ll want to spend your Discover vouchers on something exciting. While you can’t walk 10 metres in Sydney without running into a cinema or museum, it’s a bit trickier in some regional areas. Luckily there are plenty of companies scattered around New South Wales that have registered to accept Dine & Discover vouchers (for complete listings visit service.nsw.gov.au). Here are just a few of the great options, running north to south, just waiting for you to wave your voucher at them.
Kayaking nature tour Brunswick River
An activity that’s equal parts peaceful and adventurous, a kayak through the serene waters of the Brunswick River, near Byron Bay, is a beautiful scenic adventure and that’s only part of the tour. In Australia, rivers are generally associated with muddy water and lurking crocs, not somewhere you’d think to snorkel. However, the Brunswick River has beautifully clear waters for snorkelling and you’ll keep watch for stingrays, turtles and dolphins. A quick swim and a few snacks will mark the end of your day and then you’ll be dropped back in Byron Bay.
Price: $25/$35 per child/adult
Sandboarding Port Stephens
Walking up sand dunes is never too much fun but rocketing down them is pretty thrilling. The Stockton Beach sand dunes near Port Stephens offer the perfect family activity, with a bouncy beach drive followed by as much sandboarding as you like before the last shuttle back to town. The entire region is beautiful and your beach holiday will feel all the more satisfying after having a daytime adventure. With a Discover voucher it becomes extremely cheap and it’s equally suitable for exuberant adults as it is for wide-eyed kids.
Price: $5/$10 per child/adult
Horse riding and outdoor adventures Glenworth Valley
Sky-high eucalyptus trees, green rainforest and crystal-clear creeks make up Glenworth Valley, a gorgeous adventure destination on the Central Coast. Your voucher will be as versatile as ever – you can put it towards seven different horse-riding experiences, as well as kayaking, quad biking, axe throwing, abseiling and more. A trot through the valley on horseback will give you a true appreciation of the area’s beauty.
Price: dependent on activity, two-hour horse rides from $90 per person
Kangaroo Valley: Canoe and canapes tour
A bit of nature and excitement is always great but sometimes we need a little decadence as well, and this tour strikes the perfect balance. On the Kangaroo Valley Canoes, Cool Climate Wines and Canapés Tour you’ll paddle through a sunken forest while indulging in some local canapes and sampling cool-climate wines. Kangaroo Valley was harshly impacted by bushfires so it’s also a chance to invest in the surrounding communities as well as witness the resilient regrowth of the native rainforest. There’s plenty of wildlife to spot, plus it’s a beautiful location and the local delights only add to the magic.
Price: $170 per person
South Coast: Mogo Wildlife Park
To get an idea for how exotic the animal line-up is at Mogo Wildlife Park you only need to hear some of the names of the animals in the park. Bolivian squirrel monkeys, Nepalese red pandas and oriental small-clawed otters are just some of the critters you’ll see. The park is about a 10-kilometre drive from Batemans Bay and has the largest collection of endangered and exotic species in all of Australia. You also have the option to pick a more intimate encounter that can involve feeding a tiger or lion, playing with a meerkat or having a squirrel monkey sit on your shoulder.
Price: free/$13 per child/adult (intimate encounters from $150 per person)
Far South Coast: Local produce trail
A half-day Tilba Valley tour promises luxury transport from Narooma that will take you on a private tour of the Coxon family’s oyster farm, including a tasting platter and a gin cocktail. Next up will be a trip to the village of Central Tilba, where you can browse the town’s boutiques and sample the acclaimed products of ABC Cheese Factory. From there, you’ll head to Tilba Valley Winery & Ale House, one of the South Coast’s most popular venues, where you’ll be treated to a private wine tasting.
Price: $160 per person, children under the age of five are free
Snorkel with seals Montague Island
Swimming with the seals at Montague Island is one of the best things to do on the South Coast. Make your way to the turquoise waterways of Narooma, then join a boat for the 20-minute ride to Montague Island where you can snorkel or scuba with the two seal colonies that live on the island. The puppy dogs of the ocean will dart and dance around you, plus you could encounter turtles, rays and harmless sharks or, in the right season, penguins and whales. Let knocking $25 off the price be your inspiration to take the plunge and have an extraordinary marine adventure. Montague Island Adventures gives you the option to extend to a four-hour tour and visit the island as well.
Price: snorkel tour $75/$85 per child/adult; with island tour $95/$115 per child/adult
* Note: all prices are after claiming one $25 Discover voucher towards the activity. If you haven’t already claimed your Dine & Discover vouchers (each NSW resident receives two $25 vouchers for dining and two $25 vouchers for activities), head to service.nsw.gov.au and submit your details.