Ready to hit the road and escape Sydney for a local getaway in NSW? Here’s a list of 30 amazing destinations and experiences within easy reach of Sydney ranked by approximate road travel times.
Within just 1-2 hours’ drive of Sydney are spectacular beaches, national parks to explore, quaint towns and much more, go a little further and you have wine regions, spectacular national parks and a vast array of coastal communities and attractions.
1 – 2 hours from Sydney
- Berry – the quaint country town features gardens, trees, arts and crafts, antiques, and markets to explore.
- Blackheath and the Blue Mountains – the beautiful village of Blackheath features gardens, majestic lodges, farmers markets, artisanal foods as well as being a launching pad for all the natural wonders of the Blue Mountains.
- Wollongong – located along the Grand Pacific Drive featuring beaches, adventure activities, arts, and iconic attractions
- Bowral – located in the Southern Highlands offering museums, gardens, manor homes, antique stores, art, spa, and golf.
- Lake Macquarie – the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere offers a gamut of watersports activities, adventure attractions, camping, or peaceful relaxation.
- Gosford and the Central Coast – located between Newcastle and Sydney, Gosford is the hub of a region packed with coastal villages, natural attractions, and activities.
- Garie Beach and the Royal National Park – Garie Beach offers swimming, whale watching, fishing, surfing, and walking treks. There are 11 beaches in the Royal National Park to explore along with bushwalks, camping grounds, and more.
- Windsor and the Hawkesbury – known as Sydney’s food basket, the region features several towns to explore with the charming Windsor at the heart. Explore colonial heritage and architecture, bushwalking, horseriding, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, and more.
2-4 hrs from Sydney
- Kangaroo Valley – Explore the Fitzroy Falls and Gerringong Falls, kayaking, canoeing, golf, and wine tasting.
- Port Stephens – home to 26 beaches along with sheltered bays that are perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking.
- Oberon – a charming country town that is surrounded by horse riding trails, fishing spots, 4WD trails, and the nearby Jenolan Caves, Abercrombie Caves, and Wombeyan Caves.
- The Hunter Valley – a naturally scenic area that is home to numerous world-famous wineries. Other attractions are the zoo, Hunter Valley Gardens, Yengo National Park, and more.
- Hawks Nest and the Myall Lakes National Park – offering long sandy beaches, nature trails, mountain bike trails, fishing, boating, and waterways to explore.
- Mollymook Beach – a peaceful 2km beach where you can enjoy fishing, snorkeling, surf school lessons, and nearby golf, restaurants, and more.
- Hyams Beach – facing Jervis Bay it offers stunning white sand and crystal-clear waters. You can explore the Jervis Bay National Park and kayaking, fishing, and dolphin watching at Jervis Bay Marine Park.
- Orange – a superb food and wine area, it also offers many bushwalking and nature exploration opportunities inc. Nangar National Park, Towan Pinnacle, and Verandah Caves.
- Mudgee – a characterful town that is home to outstanding wineries and local produce. Nearby is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wollemi National Park.
- Gerringong – featuring dramatic headlands and beaches the area is popular with surfers, foodies, and those looking for a nice seaside escape.
- Newcastle – has a bit of everything, heritage, beaches, stunning coastline, art & culture, walking and cycling trails, shopping and more.
- Lake Conjola – an aquatic playground for fishing, kayaking, waterskiing and wakeboarding along with the Conjola National Park featuring cycling and walking trails.
4-5 hours from Sydney
- Forster and the Great Lakes region – Forster offers scuba diving, whale watching, swimming, surfing, and fishing while also being a gateway to the Great Lakes Region, Booti Booti National Park, and Myall Lake National Park.
- Bermagui – famous for its deep-sea fishing opportunities the town also offers beaches, wineries, and Mimosa Rocks National Park to explore.
- Port Macquarie – a coastal town offering whale watching, beaches, the famous Koala Hospital, Billabong Zoo, Sea Acres National Park, heritage and much more.
- The Snowy Mountains – Home to the famous skiing resorts of Thredbo, Perisher, Selwyn, and Charlotte Pass usually operating from June to October. While in warmer months its a destination for hiking, horseriding, kayaking, fishing and exploring Mount Kosciuszko National Park.
- Coffs Harbour – home to the iconic Big Banana, the city offers beaches, bushwalks, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park, Muttonbird Island, and is the only place in the world where you can swim with humpback whales.
8 hrs from Sydney
- Byron Bay – is perhaps one of the world’s most iconic coastal towns, featuring a spectacular hinterland, amazing beaches, dive sites, coastal walks, and a thriving culture and food scene.
- Tweed Coast – bordering with Queensland, Tweed Heads, Tweed Coast and Tweed Rivers offers a fantastic coastal and inland area to explore with peaceful and often uninhabited beaches, natural attractions, food, and culture to explore.