While Sydney can be the perfect vacation destination in itself, with its pristine beaches, iconic architecture and picture-perfect weather, sometimes Sydneysiders want to get away. Here are the best day trips and weekend getaways from the Harbour city.
The Blue Mountains in New South Wales offer a surprising departure from the beach-and-city beauty of Sydney. They’re easily accessible by train – take the Blue Mountains line from Central Station and alight at Katoombah. This drops you a mere kilometer from the iconic Three Sisters rock formation, with access to countless hikes of varying difficulty through woodlands, cliffs, and waterfalls. Tourist information centres are available across from the train station and at the Three Sisters lookout point. Consider staying West of the city to get an early start to your visit. You can stay in Parramatta hotels
If you’ve got a few days, drive deeper into the Blue Mountain National Park, and treat yourself to the spectacular Jenolan Caves. Even some Sydneysiders are surprised to find that Australia’s most extensive and impressive cave system is only a few hours’ drive from the coast. The trek is a literal gem, displaying crystal rock formations and wide chasms among its system of underground rivers and caves. Booking a tour is essential, and a wide range specialty options are available, from adventure caving to night tours. Several B&Bs service the area, but consider camping overnight in the Blue Mountains to allow yourself more room to explore.
If mountains aren’t really your style, but you’re looking for beaches a bit less populated than Bondi, Jervis Bay can’t be beat. A mere three-hour drive from Sydney, the area boasts the whitest sands south of the Whitsundays, as well as vast expanses of natural parks and bushwalks. The several campsites and cabins available in the area tend to fill up on holiday weekends, so book ahead of time if you’re planning to go over ANZAC day. Despite it’s popularity, however, Jervis Bay remains a quaint seaside town away from the city noise of Sydney.
Finally, if you can’t make it all the way to Jervis, Wattamolla Bay will sufficiently scratch the itch to get out of the city. A mere hour from Sydney, Wattamolla’s cliff walks and sandy bays are calmer and less populated than those to the north. Cheeky thrill-seekers often disregard the regulations and jump from the ten-meter cliffs into the water, though this activity has been banned from the area of late. Nevertheless, it’s still the perfect spot for a classic Aussie barbecue – several free facilities are available on site. Bring a handful of friends, a picnic, and some sunscreen, and enjoy the calm natural beauty outside of the urban center without having to drive all day and night.
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