Sick of the same weekend routine? Lucky for us, Sydney is surrounded by pristine waterways and heritage-listed National Parks. That means there are endless opportunities when it comes to taking day trips from Sydney, and all are within an easy driving distance.
These day trips offer something for everyone; white-sand beaches, picturesque towns with delicious treats for the avid foodie or spectacular hikes and sweeping views for the more adventurous.
Experience it all with one of these unforgettable day trips from Sydney.
Short day trips from Sydney
It doesn’t matter whether you’re searching for day trips in winter or summer. The beauty of NSW can be enjoyed all year round. Simply allow your tastes to dictate where you’ll visit next!
1. The Royal National Park
The Royal National Park is only a one-hour-drive from Sydney’s centre. It features some fantastic hiking trails and beautifully-rugged coastal scenery, including the famous “Figure 8” pools and the iconic “Wedding Cake Rock”. These spots offer some alluring Insta-worthy shot opportunities. Just be careful, as they can be dangerous, particularly in certain weather conditions. In summer, Wattamolla has a beautiful lagoon and beach but be sure to get there early; it can get crowded!
2. Palm Beach
This pristine beach-side destination is still technically on the fringes of Sydney, although it will take an hour to drive there from the city centre. Palm Beach glitters with golden beaches and sparkling water. Relax at the beach in summer or hike to the top of Barrenjoey Lighthouse. It’s a short but challenging walk to the top, but the views are well worth it. It’s also a great place to spot whales from June to November. Visit The Boathouse for lunch or head to Barrenjoey House for delicious fresh seafood.
3. Southern Highlands
There’s something for everyone in the Southern Highlands. From Bowral to Bundanoon, you can visit delicious lunch stops, hiking, wilderness areas, gorgeous manicured gardens and an abundance of wildlife. Visiting Fitzroy Falls is a must. The way there is paved with rich green rainforest, panoramic lookouts and (if you’re lucky), glimpses of local wildlife. The area teeming with birdlife as well as native Australian animals like echidnas, platypus, possums, wallabies and wombats.
4. Berry & Kiama
Berry is a quaint little town surrounded by rolling green hills. It’s known for its cute shops and fresh produce, but also has a sophisticated café culture and a range of beautiful shops. If you want to stay longer, Berry is only a stone’s throw away from beautiful beaches. Nearby Kiama is even closer to the coast, where you’ll have opportunities to visit Seven Mile Beach, Kiama Lighthouse or the impressive Kiama Blowhole.
5. Hunter Valley
Of all the day trips from Sydney, this one is for the foodies. If you’re looking to embrace foodie culture and sip wine, the Hunter Valley Wine Region is for you. The Hunter produces some of Australia’s best Shiraz and Semillon varieties. It also offers beautiful landscapes, fresh produce and delectable dining choices. For those looking for just a day trip, there are wine tours on offer from Sydney. However, if you are looking to stay longer, you could stop by the picturesque Hunter Valley Gardens or ride on a hot air balloon or helicopter.
6. Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is one of the most beautiful day trips from Sydney, but this could easily turn into a weekend stay. Just 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney, this UNESCO World Heritage area features some of the most spectacular lookouts and views you could imagine. Locals and international tourists alike come here to explore its rugged beauty, deep gorges, waterfalls and abundance of hiking trails. Visit the quiet mountain towns of Leura or Blackheath, ride the cableway over Scenic World or cuddle a koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park.
7. Port Stephens
If you’re up for one of the longer day trips from Sydney, or fancy a weekend stay, Port Stephens is the spot for you. With pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, it’s the perfect spot for a beach day. If you look closely, you may even be able to spot the area’s pod of dolphins. The more adventurous can explore Stockton Sand Dunes on a quad bike. If you’re looking for something less daring, you can also visit the nearby Tomaree Headland or Gan Gan Lookouts.
Where would you choose to go on a day trip from Sydney? If you need more advice about Sydney its surrounds, we have an intimate knowledge of this beautiful state. Contact us for more information, or browse our other local insights for more information.