Here we share our pick of the best weekend getaways from Sydney for families looking for a few days away. From sand dunes to wineries, hiking, skiing and more, there’s loads of fun to be had during a quick break from Sydney.
Are you planning a trip to Sydney, Australia? If so, you probably already recognize it as one of the most spectacular cities in the world.
Sydney frequently ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities, and there are countless things to see and do.
However, you may not know that there are many fantastic places to visit just outside of Sydney.
There’s everything from beaches, mountains, vineyards, and so much more. Most of these places are only a few hours away from Sydney, and any of them could be a potentially great weekend trip with the family.
So let’s take a look at some of the adventures you can have in New South Wales. Here are a few weekend trips from Sydney you need to know about.
The Blue Mountains are a mountain range about two hours west of Sydney. They get their name from the natural blue haze created by the forests below.
These mountains are simply a nature lover’s dream come true, with a ton of hiking trails to check out.
It also features the Scenic World, with its range of fun cable ways, skyways, walkways and the Scenic Railway. This is popularly believed to be the world’s steepest railway.
One of the major highlights and famous landmarks of the Blue Mountains is the Three Sisters. This is an unusual trio of rock formations, and it’s one of the most photographed spots in all of Australia.
If you’re a thrill-seeker, then pastimes such as rock climbing and canyoning are popular here. Or you could simply spend the day exploring the nearby arts and crafts galleries with your family.
Reward the kids for all the strenuous activity with a visit to the Candy Store in Leura.
If sipping wine is more your style, then you won’t want to miss Hunter Valley. Hunter Valley is the oldest wine region in Australia, and it’s only a couple of hours from Sydney.
There are several guided tours available, and you’ll love the opportunity to taste their many delicious wines.
Of course, wine isn’t the only thing Hunter Valley has to offer. There are also spa retreats, gourmet restaurants, and even a golf course designed by Greg Norman.
You can even visit the Hunter Valley Wine School to learn more about wine or ride over the vineyards in a hot air balloon.
And kids will love strolling through the beautiful Hunter Valley Gardens or visiting the animals at the Hunter Valley Zoo.
If you’d love to spend the day at the beach, then you’ll love Port Stephens. It’s a two and a half-hour drive north of Sydney, and it consists of 26 beaches in all.
From there, you can go for a swim, go scuba diving, go sand surfing or quad biking in the sand dunes, or catch some waves. Speaking of surfing, the Port Stephens Surf School is an excellent place to learn if you’ve never tried it before.
Dolphin watching and whale watching are other popular activities. Port Stephens is home to over 100 dolphins, and you can see them when you go on a dolphin-watching cruise.
Or you can hike to the top of Mount Tomaree at Tomaree National Park. It’s a challenging hike, but the view from the top makes it all worth it.
Click here to read more about the Fun Things to do in Port Stephens.
Kangaroo Valley is a charming little village that’s a couple of hours away from Sydney. It’s well-known for its artistic community and fascinating, colonial history.
You can learn more about that history at the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Village Museum. Or you can simply take a stroll down the main street which dates all the way back to 1870.
While you’re there, you’ll want to check out Hampden Bridge, the last wooden suspension bridge in Australia.
You can also ride a kayak down Kangaroo River or have a picnic on the Tallowa Dam. On top of that, Kangaroo Valley occasionally hosts some of the biggest music festivals in Australia.
Jervis Bay is another great place to visit if you want some fun in the sun.
This popular beach area is about three hours south of Sydney and is believed to have some of the whitest sand in the world. It’s also an incredibly safe beach with very little swell.
There are several spots to go scuba diving such as The Labyrinths and Point Perpendicular. You can even find a sunken airplane.
Additionally, you can go on dolphin and whale-watching cruises. You can also see some great views from the Point Perpendicular Lighthouse and Cape St. George Lighthouse.
There’s also walking trails, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Mudgee is another excellent spot for wine lovers. It’s a three and a half drive from Sydney.
Mudgee is a town that’s well-known for its wineries and vineyards. It’s also a charming little town with several colonial buildings that date back to the 19th century.
Mudgee is also a great place for stargazers. Check out the Mudgee Observatory where you can get a clear view of the Milky Way.
Orange is another beautiful town with tons of things to see and do. Like Mudgee, it’s around three and half hours from Sydney.
Also like Mudgee, Orange is famous for its food and wine. There are several wineries available where you can try some of their chardonnay or cabaret sauvignon.
On top of that, Orange is also known for its natural beauty. It’s one of the snowiest parts of Australia during the winter, and you can do some hiking on Mount Canobolas.
Orange is also home to several national parks. You can play some golf at the Duntryleague Golf Course or stroll around the Summits Walking Track.
Port Macquarie is a seaside town full of beaches, walking trails, and estuaries. It’s a four-hour drive from Sydney, or you can fly there.
Port Macquarie is famous for having one of the highest koala populations in Australia. You can see them up close at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital or the Billabong Zoo. Billabong Zoo is also where you can meet Shrek, a giant monster crocodile.
In addition to that, Port Macquarie has a fascinating history as a former penal colony. You can learn more about it on the Port Macquarie Hastings Heritage Walk.
There are also several great bars and restaurants such as The Stunned Mullet and Bills Fishhouse.
Coffs Harbour is a popular tourist destination that’s about five and a half hours from Sydney. This town is very popular for its outdoor activities.
One of its main attractions is the Big Banana, which was made to celebrate its thriving banana industry, which now includes the Big Banana Fun Park that the kids will love.
Or you can take them to feed penguins at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park.
You can also experience Aboriginal culture on the Gumgali Track. Here, you’ll learn more about the Aboriginals’ creation story.
Have you ever wanted to swim with humpback whales? You can do that too in Coffs Harbour during whale watching season.
Coffs Harbour is also home to a number of beaches, restaurants, and various festivals and events.
Do you love to ski? Then this is where you need to go. The Snowy Mountains are the highest mountain range in Australia and are home to the highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko.
They’re one of the few places in the country that experiences a lot of snowfall, making it an extremely popular skiing spot, with popular ski resorts including Thredbo and Perisher. There are also several places to learn to ski if you’ve never tried it before.
But the Snowy Mountains have more to offer than just skiing. There are also other winter activities like snowshoeing and snow tubing.
There are things to do in the summertime as well such as fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.
The Snowy Mountains are about three and a half hours from Sydney.
Finally, our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the capital city of Australia, Canberra. It’s three and a half hours from Sydney and is one of Australia’s biggest cities.
You can also take a tour of the Parliament House or learn about the country’s history at the Australian War Memorial.
If you still haven’t satisfied your wine craving, check out the Canberra Wine Region.
Canberra also hosts several major festivals throughout the year like the Truffle Festival, Floriade, and the Canberra Balloon Spectacular.
Moreover, you can enjoy many outdoor activities in Canberra such as walking, fishing, and biking.
These are a few of the adventures you can expect to have outside of Sydney. As you can see, there are plenty of things to explore for both you and your family.
So what are you looking forward to the most? Are you ready to take a trip to the beach, or do you want to do some wine tasting? Don’t hesitate. Start planning your trip today, and you’ll be having fun in Australia in no time.
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