Sydney, Australia is a great place to be, but it’s not the only place you should visit in New South Wales. If you’re living or staying in Sydney, you have many options for exciting day trips! Whether you like to sip wine or take an epic hike, you’ll have a wonderful time visiting one of Sydney’s beautiful neighbors.
Not sure where to go? Here are some of the best day trips from Sydney!
Hunter Valley for the Wine Lover
Sophisticated and beautiful, Hunter Valley is a destination you won’t want to leave. This region has over 150 wineries, many of which you can tour. Spend your time enjoying the lovely views, sipping local wine, and walking through acres of verdant vineyards. Don’t forget to take a bottle of wine (or three) back to Sydney with you!
Hunter Valley features frequent events. Check a local schedule to see if you can catch any musical performances, festivals, or art displays! Hunter Valley is just two hours north of Sydney, making this region a wonderful place for day trips.
The Blue Mountains for the Adventurer
The Blue Mountains are arguably the most stunning asset Australia has. A quick hour and a half drive from Sydney will transport you from the bustling seaport to the calm beauty of the mountainous wilderness! There’s so much to see and do here. You won’t even know where to start! The most iconic sight in the park is the Three Sisters, a trio of rock peaks that just beg to be photographed.
If you want to see more of the beautiful natural world, you can take a bushwalk through the hills. Popular hiking destinations include Wentworth Falls, Leura Cascades Picnic Area, and the infamous Glowworm Tunnel. You could live your whole life in the mountains and never see it all!
Jervis Bay for the Beach Bunny
This beach is famous for having the whitest sand in the world. This makes it the perfect place to lay out and soak up the sun rays! Of course, there’s a lot more to do in Jervis Bay than just get a tan. If you want to stick to the seaside, you can enjoy the water or do a little whale watching. You might get lucky and glimpse one of these mighty beasts rise to the surface of the ocean!
Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Booderee National Park Botanic Gardens and see a museum or lighthouse, too. Jervis Bay Maritime Museum is choc-full of interesting historical tidbits, while Cape St. George Lighthouse and Point Perpendicular’s lighthouse will offer you breathtaking views of the ocean.
Royal National Park for the Nature Lover
Escape the fast-paced lifestyle of Sydney’s streets and immerse yourself of the solitude of Royal National Park. This park is a seaside expanse of beaches, hills, trails, animal habitats, and more!
There’s a lot to do here, and you’re not likely to get bored while visiting. Go bushwalking in the park to see a variety of animal species from birds to whales. Speaking of whales, this is one of the best places in NSW to whale watch! From May to November, stake out on the edge of a dramatic cliff for a chance to see whales on their annual migration.
If walking isn’t your thing, there are also many scenic drives you can take. Hit the road for incredible views! Along the way, you can find many viewpoints and picnic spots.
One of the most interesting sites in the park is the Figure Eight Pools. To get here, you have to take a tough three or four hour hike! On top of this, the location of the pools is dangerous and can be extremely hazardous at high-tide. However, it’s more than worth it to find these weird, 8-shaped tide pools.
Canberra for the Culture Vulture
Australia’s capital is the ideal day trip destination for people who love history and the arts! There’s so much to see and do that you just might want to plan a week trip in the future. One of the best things about visiting Canberra is the chance to see the Australian parliament in action. Visit in the afternoon when Parliament is sitting to witness Question Time. Or just take a free tour of Parliament House.
A favorite Canberra pastime is browsing the galleries. You could never take enough time to see every art gallery in the city! The National Gallery of Australia is the most famous, but there are many others to see, as well. Don’t forget to check out a museum while you’re there! The most entertaining is probably National Museum of Australia, which is interesting enough to keep kids happy. For a more serious excursion, see the Australian War Memorial.
By the way—Canberra also has great dining! Be sure to check out the funky, elegant, and delicious options in the city.
Kangaroo Valley for the Romantic
Sleepy Kangaroo Valley is a beautiful example of historic Australia. This is a place for lovers to while away happy hours. Although the area seems slow and drowsy, there’s actually quite a lot to do here, from watersports to chic shops.
Kangaroo Valley’s downtown area is a lovely place to walk hand-in-hand with someone special. It’s pretty small, so you can see all of it in an afternoon. However, it’s also nice to cycle and see a bit more of the town, including the historic Hampden Bridge.
If you and your sweetheart love to play outside, you’re in luck. The Kangaroo Valley Golf Club is popular with tourists. If you’d rather have a lazy day, you can settle down for an afternoon of fishing. If you want to get active, you can rent a kayak and head down the Kangaroo River! Or, pack a lunch and go bushwalking.
Get out and see New South Wales! All of these places are two hours from Sydney or less, making them easy destinations for a day trip. Are you a romantic, adventurer, or something else? Let us know your ideal trip in the comments!