2020 seems to be the year for short trips close to home, and Sydney is lucky enough to have so many great weekend getaways to choose from! From pristine beaches, rugged mountains and lush vineyards, there are no shortage of beautiful places to sneak away to for the weekend.
I’ve picked out my favourite Sydney weekend getaways below! They are all an easy drive from Sydney, have spectacular scenery and amazing dining options.
This small seaside town boasts some of Australia’s best beaches, with white sands and crystal clear water. In fact Hyams beach holds the Guinness book of World Record title for having the whitest sand in the world! So head on down to this South Coast gem and enjoy the sunshine!
A 2.5 hour drive from Sydney.
- Take the White Sands Walk– This stunning coastal walk is the ultimate way to experience the beauty of Jervis Bay. The walk begins at the Greenfield Beach area, and takes you through lush rainforest and past several breathtaking beaches. Bring a picnic and take your time hopping from beach to beach.
- Visit Booderee National Park– One of Australia’s best National Parks, with white sand beaches and expansive Indigenous owned Botanic Gardens. The Park offers a number of campsites as well.
- Little Pigs Cafe– A local favourite serving modern Australian brunch and lunch. The breakfast here was amazing!
- Stone Grill- A gourmet Steakhouse with BYO. The meat and seafood is delivered to your table where you cook it on a stone grill (hence the name!).
Vincentia and Hyams beach offer easy access to the area’s best beaches and the White Sands Walk. Hyams Beach Seaside Cottages are great for a relaxing adults only getaway. Husskinson is a another great option for those who love being close to the cafes and shops.
The Hunter Valley is home to a seemingly endless array of wineries and cellar doors, and its not hard to see why it is one of the most popular weekend trips from Sydney. Its is the perfect place to sip on a glass of wine whilst you look out over the rolling hills and vineyards. The region is also foodie heaven with cheese and chocolate factories, gourmet delis and delicious restaurants at every turn.
A 2 hour drive from Sydney.
- Go on a Wine tour– You can’t visit the Hunter Valley and not discover as many wineries as possible! Opt for a self drive tour, or to really take advantage of the tastings hop on a bus tour. Check our Two Fat Blokes, Hunter valley Tours or iHop Hunter Valley for more info.
- Wander the Hunter Valley Gardens– Featuring 60 acres of display gardens, picnic areas and a boutique shopping village, the Hunter Valley Gardens offer a nice change of pace from all of the food and wine sampling.
- Take a Hot Air Balloon ride– One for the bucket list, a Hot Air Balloon ride offers a unique way to experience the beauty of the region. Glide through the air as you watch the sun illuminate the vineyards below.
- Muse Restaurant– Combining locally sourced produce with a contemporary Australian flair, Muse is a top dining choice in the Hunter Region.
- Hunters Quarter– Well known for its exceptional service, this stunning restaurant offers picture perfect vineyard views.
- Cafe Enzo– A great choice for a casual breakfast or lunch. The menu features your usual favourites like eggs and toast, as well as some creative twists such as a vego breakfast board.
Pokolbin is the main area in the Hunter Valley, offering easy access to the vineyards and restaurants. H Boutique Hotel is an entirely self sufficient property that offers affordable units set against the backdrop of a stunning lake and rolling hills.
For a more luxurious stay, Spicers Vineyard Estate offers unparalleled comfort and facilities, as well a private Vineyard.
Breathtaking lookouts, challenging hikes and towering waterfalls all await you in the Blue Mountains. Strap on your hiking boots and get ready to be blown away by the stunning Mountain Scenery and quaint country towns.
A 1.5 hour drive or a 2 hour train from Sydney.
- Visit the Lookouts– There are dozens of lookouts dotted throughout the Blue Mountains, each offering a unique perspective of the incredible scenery. Lincolns Rock and Blackheath lookout are definite stand outs!
- Go on a Hike– Hiking is a must to do activity when in the Blue Mountains, with the Park offering a variety of long and short walks. The Grand Canyon trail is a highlight of the area. The trail runs deep into the canyon, crossing streams and weaving under waterfalls.
- Relax at a Japanese Bathhouse– These Japanese style hot springs offer the perfect way to relax after a busy weekend away filled with hiking and exploring. Prices start from $80 per person for 3 hours of bathing.
- Cinnebar– An extensive menu offering share plate dishes and a range of cocktails.
- Aunty Eds Restaurant and Bar– A casual dining establishment that specialises in burger and snacks.
The YHA in Katoomba is a great option for both backpackers and families alike. The hostel is in a great central location, and is equipped with a large shared kitchen and a cosy lounge.
For those after a more romantic weekend away, the Eagle View Escape is the epitome of understated luxury. Each room has a gorgeous spa bath, as well as stunning views of the surrounding lake and valley.
Check out my detailed guide to the Blue Mountains here!
Port Macquarie boasts gorgeous beaches, stunning rainforests and lush vineyards all within 15 minutes of each other. The town is also famous for its Koala Hospital, and koala sculpture statues that have been dotted around the town. They’re honestly so cute and fun to spot!
Whilst it is a longer drive from Sydney than the other destinations, the charm of Port Macquarie makes the little extra effort so worth it.
A 4 hour drive from Sydney.
- Go Winery hopping– Hopping from vineyard to vineyard is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Port Macquarie. Bago Winery is a particularly fun winery to visit, as it features a maze that you can get lost in before you sip on your wine and nibble on some cheese.
- Visit the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre– The centre features a beautiful boardwalk that weaves through the lush native rainforest. Learn all about the trees and their traditional Indigenous uses, and buy a souvenir from the cute gift shop.
- Support the Koala Hospital– The Koala Hospital offers free tours daily, where you can learn about the care and preservation of the koalas. The perfect way to get up close and personal with Australias cuddliest animals.
- The Stunned Mullet– A beautiful restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine, which features an extremely extensive wine list (33 pages!).
- Off the Hook Fish and Chips– Sitting along the break wall, watching the sun go down as you eat fish and chips is the perfect way end your evening. The glazed grilled fish here was delicious and the chips were perfectly salty.
Port Macquarie offers a range of accomodation to suit all budgets. Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges is a stunning waterfront resort that features a heated pool and private jetty. AirBnb is another great option here, with many beautiful guesthouses available .
Home to incredible beaches and delicious dining options, Port Stephens is the perfect lazy Sydney weekend getaway.
A 2.5 hour drive from Sydney.
- Hike up the Tomaree National Park summit– Arguably one of the biggest draw cards to the area, this short hike will reward you with stunning coastal views. During the winter months it is also a great whale watching location. Aim to do this hike early as it can get extremely busy1
- Laze around on Zenith Beach– A gorgeous golden sand beach that is book ended by two conical headlands. The sunrise here is stunning, and it’s the perfect place to while away a few hours.
- Evviva Cafe– Serves delicious casual meals for a really reasonable price. Try the fish tacos or one of the burgers!
- Little Beach Boathouse– Another popular option, the Boathouse serves fresh seafood and has stunning views over the bay.
Stay in Nelsons Bay for easy access to the National Park and restaurants, or opt for the quieter area of Port Stephens. The Anchorage Port Stephens Hotel and Spa offers luxurious waterfront rooms, an adults only heated pool and a beautiful day spa.
I hope this list inspires you to get out and explore Sydney’s incredible surrounds!
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