30 Best Day Trips From Sydney You’ll Love 2024 Guide
Looking for the best day trips from Sydney? If you simply want to escape the city for the day or find new places to visit in New South Wales, we’ve got the perfect Sydney day trip ideas for you to choose from! Expect the second oldest national park in the world, road trips down to the beautiful Grand Pacific Drive, wine tasting in Hunter Valley and so much more.
Whether you’re looking for new places to visit in Sydney, or just looking to get out of the city, we’re here to help you.
We’re including day trips from Sydney by train and bus, so if you’re new to Sydney or don’t have a car, you can use this article as your go to Sydney weekend guide.
I highly recommend sand boarding in Port Stephens which is home to the biggest dunes in the Southern Hemisphere in Port Stephens! This is a very popular activity for a reason. Kids and adults absolutely love this unique experience near Sydney!
DAY TRIPS NORTH OF SYDNEY WITHIN 2 HOURS
1. Spend The Day At Avalon Beach
North Sydney / 50 mins drive from Sydney
After living in the nearby Warriewood for a few months, we spent a lot of time exploring the area so you might like to check out our huge Northern Beaches in Sydney Guide.
While most people skip Avalon Beach in Sydney and head straight to Palm Beach, there’s so many reasons why Avalon easily makes it onto our best day trips from Sydney list. Spend the day exploring the beautiful Avalon shops as well as the many cafes and restaurants to choose from. You can check out our full guide on where to eat in Avalon Beach.
Pro tip – drive over to the Pittwater side in Clareville, you’ll have access to the gorgeous Clareville Beach which is popular with families. Drive on a little further an explore the stunning Paradise Beach which we randomly found on Google Maps. This slice of heaven feels remote, like you’ve found a real hidden gem. You can read more about Paradise Beach in our guide here.
How to get to Avalon Beach By Car: It’s a 50m drive north of Sydney By Bus: You’ll have to take two busses to get to Avalon Beach which will take 1h30m.
2. Take A Ferry Over To Beautiful Scotland Island In Sydney
North Sydney / 40 minute drive from Sydney
If you fancy going on a boat on your day trip from Sydney then we recommend getting the ferry over to Scotland Island from Church Point in Pittwater. The boat ride itself is gorgeous and we highly recommend it even if it doesn’t take very long. Read our complete Scotland Island Guide for logistics on how to get there and things to do.
When you return from your ferry ride either opt for the beautiful Church Point Waterfront Store & Cafe or pop next door to Pasadena. If you’re unsure which one is better, Pasadena has a great beer garden on the water and they do a cracking fish & chips which is slightly cheaper than the Waterfront Store & Cafe. The latter is beautiful though and definitely worth eating at even if you just want to pop into the store to pick a few snacks up.
How to get to Scotland Island By Car: It’s a 40m drive north of Sydney By Bus: You’ll have to take two busses to get to Church Point Wharf to get the ferry over which will take 1h30m.
3. Spend The Day At Palm Beach
North Sydney / 1h drive from Sydney
While Palm Beach is a popular day trip from Sydney, this one hour drive from Sydney Harbour Bridge is worth every single minute because it truly is beautiful.
I have been known to stalk the Home & Away set locations from time to time up here and even found them filming outside The Boathouse once! Check out our complete guide for the Best Things To Do In Palm Beach Sydney for all details on how to spend the day or weekend getaway here.
How to get to Palm Beach By Car: It’s a 1 hour drive north of Sydney By Bus: The L90 will take you directly to Palm Beach which takes about 1h30m.
4. Go On A Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Walk
North Sydney / 1 hour drive from Sydney
As we mentioned above about our secret hike we do from Palm Beach, you can get to the beautiful Resolute Beach from Palm Beach Wharf. We tend to jump on the ferry to Great Mackerel Beach which is stunning in itself, then walk 40 minutes or so around to Resolute Beach in Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park. I wouldn’t take young kids as it’s hiking in the bush next to the water on a not so well trodden on track, not on a boardwalk.
If you’re driving over to Ku-ring-gai National Park, you can head down the Resolute Beach track from the beautiful West Head Lookout. West Head Lookout is stunning and has a great perspective of the famous Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach.
How to get to Ku-ring-gai National Park By Car: It’s a 1 hour drive to America Bay Track By Bus: Sorry there’s no public transport to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
5. Go On The Riverboat Postman Cruise On The Hawkesbury River
North Sydney / 45min drive from Sydney
We loved our experience on the River Boat Postman Cruise which is located in Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River. That’s right, you can join the postman on his run around the islands in the Hawkesbury for a fun boat trip which lasts for 3 hours. At the time of writing, it was just $58 for adults and $18 for kids.
This is also a really easy day trip from Sydney by train. You just need to jump on one train from Central and it will take just over an hour to get there. Best of all, the train station at Brookyln is directly opposite the Riverboat Postman Cruise!
How to get to Brooklyn By Car: It takes 1hr from Sydney By Public Transport: 1h15m train from Central station
6. Spend The Day At An Aussie Sheep Farm
North Sydney / 1h20m from Sydney
If you’re looking an authentic taste of Aussie culture then we recommend heading over to Tobruk Sheep Station for a bit of a different Sydney day trip. You’ll see demonstrations in whip cracking, sheep-sheering and even boomerang throwing to keep you entertained.
How to get to Tobruk Sheep Station from Sydney By Car: It takes 1h20m from Sydney By Public Transport: It takes 2h45m with a combo of a train and bus
7. Relax At Patonga & Pearl Beach
A bit further north of the Hawkesbury River and you’ll come to the beautiful Patonga Beach and Pearl Beach. You can actually get a ferry from Palm Beach over to Patonga so it’s up to you how you decide to do your day trip from Sydney.
There’s a campground at Patonga Beach which we always said we’d love to stay at one day because it’s right on the water and looks beautiful. Plus, it’s just a short walk down the road to The Boathouse at Patonga.
8. Check Out The Beautiful Avoca Beach
North Sydney / Between 1h30m – 2h drive
Avoca Beach is a beautiful little coastal town, perfect for a day out of the city or weekend getaway. We recommend Aqua Fun for the family, a visit to one of the BBC’s best cinema’s in the world – the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre and the Gin Distillery for some gin tasting and walks around the beautiful gardens.
How to get to Avoca Beach By Car: Between 1h30m – 2h By Bus: Takes 2 hours from Sydney with a combo of train and bus
9. Go Horse Riding Or Abseiling At Glenworth Valley
North Sydney / 1h20m drive from Sydney
A great family day trip from Sydney or anyone really is spending the day at Glenworth Valley. Just an hour north of Sydney will bring you to an adventurers paradise (especially for kids). Expect quad biking, horse riding, abseiling and a whole lot more.
How to get to Glenworth Valley By Car: It takes 1h20m to get there from Sydney By Bus: There’s no public transport to Glenworth Valley unfortunately
10. Spend The Day At The Hippest Town On The Central Coast, Long Jetty
North Sydney / 1h30m
Known as being the Central Coast version of Newtown, expect some cool cafes, antique shops, fab street art and much more at Long Jetty, a hidden gem nestled right next door to The Entrance. Find out more about it in our guide, Best Things To Do In Long Jetty.
How to get to Long Jetty By Car: It should take 1h30m to drive from Sydney to Long Jetty By Public Transport: You’ll need to take the Newcastle train to Gosford, then take the B21 or B22 bus to Long Jetty which will take 2h30m total.
11. Spend The Day In Newcastle
North Sydney / 2h by car
Just a two drive north of Sydney, Newcastle has many incredible beaches you’ll find not nearly as busy as any Sydney beach. We lived there for about a year and have loads of guides for you to check out including:
How to get to Newcastle By Car: It’s just a 2hr drive north of Sydney By Train: It takes 2h30m to get there with a combo of train and the newly built tram line into the centre of Newcastle
12. Spend The Day At Hunter Valley
North Sydney / 2h10m drive from Sydney
The Hunter Valley is known as NSW’s wine country, and it can be on the pricey side too. But, we’ve done our research and found some great gems when it comes to exploring this area. We recommend eating at Cafe Enzo and going on a DIY wine tasting tour. Also, how could we forget, visit the Hunter Valley Gardens for a great family day out – there’s a couple of fairground rides as well.
HOW TO GET TO HUNTER VALLEY By Car: 2h30m drive from Sydney By Bus: There’s no public transport but there’s loads of tours to Hunter Valley from Sydney.
13. Something For Everyone At Port Stephens
North Sydney / 2h30m drive from Sydney
Just an hour’s drive north of Newcastle is the beautiful Port Stephens. It’s one of those places that has something for everyone. There’s loads of activities to keep the family entertained like going sandboarding on the dunes, as well as exploring the set location of the Mad Max movies, camel rides and shark cage diving!
How to get to Port Stephens By Car: It’s a three hour drive north of Sydney, past the city of Newcastle By Bus: It takes an hour from Newcastle on the bus.
DAY TRIPS WEST OF SYDNEY
14. Get Some Space In Blue Mountains
Western Sydney / 1h30m drive from Sydney
The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the most popular day trips from Sydney. There’s loads of hikes to tackle with our favourites being Hanging Rock and Wentworth Falls, as well as Insta famed lookout points that you can drive right to such as: Lincolns Rock and our favourites, Hargraves Lookout and Blackheath Lookout. Check out our Blue Mountains guides which include visiting scenic world, outdoor rock climbing and so much more:
How to get to Blue Mountains National Park from Sydney By Car: It’s a 2h drive from Sydney By Train: One of the easiest places to get to from Sydney via public transport is Blue Mountains. It’s a 2h20m on the train.
15. Experience A Slice Of England At Breenhold Gardens
Western Sydney / 1h50m drive from Sydney
Right near to Blue Mountains National Park you’ll find Mount Wilson and the beautiful Breenhold Gardens. It’s only open during a few weeks in the year during Spring and Autumn but we reckon these gardens are the best to see the autumn and spring colours in Sydney. If you’re British, these gardens will certainly remind you of home being one of the most amazing day trips from Sydney.
It’s no wonder Mount Wilson is often used as the set location for many movies including The Great Gatsby which you can read about int our 18 Hollywood movies filmed in Sydney guide.
How to get to Breenhold Gardens from Sydney By Car: It takes 2h10m to get to Breenhold Gardens By Public Transport: Unfortunately there’s no public transport to Breenhold Gardens
16. Relax In The Best Hot Baths In NSW At Sparadise Japanese Bath House
West Sydney / 2h30m drive from Sydney
Another amazing day trip from Sydney is Sparadise Japanese Bath House in the middle of the Blue Mountains. We absolutely love this gem where you’ll be sitting in 30C+ water, looking out to magnificent views and wondering how on earth you didn’t know anything about it before.
How to get to Sparadise By Car: Approx. 2h30m from Sydney By Train: Unfortunately there’s no public transport to Sparadise
17. Visit The Less Touristy Caves Near Sydney
Western Sydney / 3hr drive from Sydney
Our another awesome day trip from Sydney without the crowds is at Wombeyan Caves which is just a stones throw from Blue Mountains National Park. You might have heard of Jenolan Caves but if you drive just an hour longer, you’ll come to Wombeyan Caves. You can do a tour or a self guided tour into the caves just like we did! If visiting in Summer, trek into the Mares Forest Creek Canyon for a hike and swim, it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done in Australia.
How to get to Wombeyan Caves By Car: It takes around 3hr to drive there By Bus: Unfortunately there’s no public transport to Wombeyan Caves
18. Be Totally Wowed By The Views At Kanangra-Boyd National Park
Western Sydney / 2h45m drive from Sydney
Very few know about Kanangra-Boyd National Park and although it’s a bit of a drive to get there, you’ll be in complete amazement of the beauty of this part of the Blue Mountains National Park. You’ll honestly think you’re in somewhere like Borneo when you see the views from this stunning day trip from Sydney. There are campsites here too if you want to make a weekend of it!
How to get to Kanangra-Boyd National Park By Car: It takes around 2hr45m to drive there By Bus: Unfortunately there’s no public transport to Kanangra-Boyd National Park
19. Visit The Secret Glow Worm Tunnel In Newnes
Western Sydney / approximately 3h30m drive from Sydney
Newnes is one of the proper gems to visit near Sydney. It might take a while to get there but it’s totally worth it. Even the scenery on the way to Newnes is exceptional. We recommend going on the glow worm tunnel hike (good for families too) where you have to walk through a very black tunnel along the old railway tracks to see the glow worms.
If you fancy staying for a few days, there’s an awesome free campsite there too. We want to head back to see the old zig zag railway bridge too!
How to get to Newnes from Sydney By Car: It can take up to 3h30m to drive to Newnes By Bus: Unfortunately there’s no public transport options to get to Newnes
DAY TRIPS SOUTH OF SYDNEY
20. Spend The Day At Royal National Park
South Sydney / 1 hour from Sydney
This is clearly one of our favourite day trips from Sydney! As the second oldest national park in THE WORLD, you’ll find plenty of incredible beaches and hikes to go on. You can read our full list of the 15 Best Royal National Park Walks if you want to know all of our favourite places to visit.
Some of our favourite hikes include the Wedding Cake Rock walk which leads onto the stunning Big Marley Beach as well as the Palona Cave walk.
How to get to The Royal National Park from Sydney By Car: It’s just a 1 hour drive from Sydney By Bus: Jump on the train to Cronulla, then a ferry to Bundeena
2. Hike To The Insta Phenomenon Figure 8 Pools
Southern Sydney / 1hr drive from Sydney
Although it is part of The Royal National Park, we felt it was only right to give the Figure 8 Pools hike a section of its own which is just an hours south of Sydney. Make sure you check the tides before going there otherwise you might have wasted your day as it would be too dangerous at high tide. We recommend reading our full blog post about Figure 8 Pools first before you go on this amazing coastal walk along beautiful beaches.
How to get to Figure 8 Pools from Sydney By Car: It’s a 1 hour drive from Sydney By Bus: It’s a 1 hour train ride to Otford, then hike from there
22. Find The Famous Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout
Southern Sydney / 1hr drive from Sydney
Continue on your drive on the south coast and you’ll find the beautiful lookout point at Stanwell Tops which reaches over to the famous Sea Cliff Bridge in the distance.
We loved the short hike up to the view point (read our Sea cliff Bridge Guide first), but just be careful if you do attempt it. Please don’t take children up there and if you go be super careful and always wear hiking boots as thongs or trainers won’t cut it.
How to get to Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout By Car: It’s a 1 hour drive from Sydney By Bus: It’s also a 1 hour train ride from Central to Stanwell Park Station
23. Have A Fun Packed Day In Wollongong & Kiama
Southern Sydney / 1h30m to drive from Sydney
You’ll find not one but two incredible temples to visit in Wollongong being the beautiful Nan Tien Temple and Sri Venkateswara Temple, a couple of awesome lookout points, brilliant hikes and zip lining for the family.
Obviously don’t forget to visit the biggest blowhole in THE WORLD down at Kiama as well. Read our full guide for the Best Things To Do In Wollongong before you go which is full of hidden gems!
How to get to Wollongong from Sydney By Car: It takes 1h30m to drive from Sydney By Bus: It takes 1h30m to get the train from Sydney – Wollongong.
24. Bring Out Your Inner Child At Jamberoo
Southern Sydney / 1h30m-2h drive from Sydney
Jamberoo Action Park is a brilliant day trip from Sydney during the summer. Set in the country on the outskirts of Kangaroo Valley, this water slide park is a great day trip for the whole family.
How to get to Jamberoo from Sydney By Car: It takes between 1h30m-2h to drive there By Bus: It takes about 3hr with a combo of bus and train
25. Visit The Beautiful Southern Highlands
Southern Sydney / 1h30m drive from Sydney
Southern Highlands is one of our favourite weekend getaways from Sydney. We also love mooching around the shops in Bowral, driving around the stunning Kangaroo Valley and Kangaroo River, as well as appreciating the hiking trails and secret gardens in the area. Check out our guides for weekend trips or a day trip below:
How to get to Southern Highlands By Car: It takes about 1h30 to drive there. By Public Transport: Catch a direct train from Sydney and you’ll be in Bowral in 1h30m.
26. Visit A Thai Buddhist Monastery
Southern Sydney / 2hr drive from Sydney
We absolutely love Sunnataram Thai Buddhist Monastery in Bundanoon which is west of Kangaroo Valley. If you’re not up for doing one of their donation based weekend retreats, you can visit every Sunday from 11-4pm. Just make sure you cover your shoulders, arms and below the knees for respect for the monks.
How to get to Sunnataram Forest Monastery By Car: It takes about 2 hours to drive there. By Public Transport: It takes between 2-3 hours to get there with a combo of buses and trains.
27. Discover The Whitest Sand Beach In The World At Jervis Bay
Southern Sydney / 3hour drive from Sydney
Just a three hour drive south of Sydney sits the beautiful Jervis Bay. With the title known as the world’s whitest sand beach, we recommend going on the White Sands Walk which is one of the most beautiful coastal walks in Australia.
Jervis Bay is a fantastic day trip from Sydney, you’ll be coming back time and time again! Just make sure you check out our popular Jervis Bay Guide before visiting!
How to get to Jervis Bay from Sydney By Car: It takes 3 hours to drive there. By Public Transport: Unfortunately there’s no public transport to Jervis Bay from Sydney
28. Discover The Hidden Gems In Canberra
Southern Sydney / 3hr drive from Sydney
We were blown away by the amazing things to do in Canberra. Although everyone we spoke to always said ‘we weren’t missing out on much’, we were really surprised about how cool the city actually is. Expect amazing art galleries, some of the best we’ve seen, fantastic wine bars and great places to eat.
If you’re looking to get out and explore more hidden gems in Sydney, you’ll find some of them in our 18 best hikes in Sydney guide. These hikes are some of the best secluded places near Sydney and if we mentioned them all in this post, it would go on forever!
We hope our best day trips from Sydney has helped you plan your future getaways!
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