Beyond the vibrant city, New South Wales is a place where abundant wine regions and vast national parks give way to unspoiled shores caressed by enamel-blue waves. It's small wonder that this sun-drenched state is among Australia's most visited.
My journey took me across magnificent coastal stretches. Only aerial photography can hint at the vast, wondrous scale of nature here. There's an overwhelming sense of escape that can only come from being so close to the ocean.
I enjoyed watching the surfers getting lost in a turquoise expanse so big that they could be mistaken for small fish. Between the breaks in the surf, it was a reminder that in the euphoric throes of the wild, danger and fear lie just beneath the surface.
This article was first published in 2019. It was updated 4 November 2022.