With its proximity to world-renowned beaches, national parks, and iconic locations brimming with history, Sydney is the perfect central location for incredible day trips. Venture out of the city and you will come across sights that will consume you with all kinds of wanderlust.
A short trip out of town will find you face to face with the raw beauty of the Blue Mountains, the pristine coastline boasting natural wildlife, and Aboriginal heritage trails allowing you to immerse yourself in the land and traditions of Australia’s first peoples. Whether you’re joining us for a short-term or long-term stay in Sydney, you have the luxury of visiting the following postcard-perfect locations within a day.
A little under 2 hours’ drive west from Sydney will find you in one of Australia’s most iconic national parks. The Blue Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site comprised of 664,000 acres of eucalyptus forests, rugged mountains, gorges, waterfalls, and breathtaking beauty.
You can access the park via the M4 Motorway by car or by train from Central Station. For those wanting the full day trip experience without the hassle of logistics, you can also join a Day Tour service from Sydney. Highlights of the Blue Mountains include the famous rock formation known as the ‘Three Sisters’, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Katoomba Scenic Railway.
The world-famous Palm Beach is just an hours’ drive from Sydney. Boasting panoramic coastal views, crystal clear surf, the championship Palm Beach Golf Course, and the set of TV’s Home and Away, this secluded oasis is the perfect day trip for when you want to escape the crowds of the city.
Palm Beach is a sweeping coastline of golden sands fringed by the surf on one side and the tranquil Pittwater Bay on the other side. Visit the heritage-listed Barrenjoey Lighthouse, standing at 113 metres above sea level and a prime spot for whale watching between May and November. Other activities include embarking on a kayak tour around Pittwater, cruising the bay on a charter boat, or simply relaxing on the beach and grabbing a bite to eat at the Boathouse. For those who are unable to drive, you can get to Palm Beach via bus departing from Circular Quay and Central Station.
Around 2 hours’ drive from Sydney is the picturesque Hunter Valley. The famous wine region is the perfect destination for wine lovers and foodies alike. The Valley is one of Australia’s oldest grape growing regions and is known for some of the best wines. The region is also known for its fresh produce and artisan foods of cheese, chocolates, oils, honey, and tasting plates.
Stop by regional museums and take in local artwork and crafts or visit the themed gardens and impressive horticulture at the Hunter Valley Gardens. The most direct route to the Hunter Valley by car is via the M2 and M1 Motorways or take the train from Central Station. Alternatively, there’s plenty of Day Tours operating out of the city for those who prefer to go on a guided tour.
One hour’s drive from Sydney is the second oldest National Park in the world. The Royal National Park combines unspoilt views of pristine beaches and lush wilderness dotted with rivers, valleys, and abundance of nature trails. The park is an outdoor lover’s dream, with activities ranging from hiking to kayaking, swimming, cycling, surfing, rowing and whale watching alongside nudist beaches and Aboriginal artwork sites. For a relaxing day away, bring a picnic rug and packed lunch and lay down for a lunch at Ironbark Flat or Wattle Forest. To access the park, you can drive or catch a ferry from Cronulla.
The South Coast is a stretch of striking rugged coastline dotted with spectacular beaches and beautiful towns. 90 minutes’ drive along the Grand Pacific Drive and over the stunning Sea Cliff Bridge will take you to the coastal town of Kiama.
This seaside town is most famous for the Kiama Blowhole. It’s here you can watch the magnificent display of waves spurting through a hole in the rocky outcrop, forming a natural fountain of 20-metre high ocean sprays. Hike the Kiama Coast Walk and take in the sights of the headlands, rivers, and beaches surrounding the town. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot whales while up at Blowhole Point.
Less than an hour away from Sydney is one of Australia’s most historically significant national parks. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is rooted in deep Aboriginal cultural heritage. It is here you can embark on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, which will take you on a stunning loop around some important sites and heritage of the Guringai people.
You’ll discover ancient rock paintings, engravings, and caves. During the leisurely walk, you will have time to sit and rest to take in the sights of the surrounding parklands and hidden beaches. The West Head Lookout is a breathtaking vantage point which once was the sight of large European ships arriving on Aboriginal land.