We regularly take day trips from Sydney because there is so much to see and do (and let’s face it, there’s only so long you can sit on the beach at the weekend). So, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite places that we often explore when it comes to the weekend in Sydney.

And, we’re including day trips from Sydney by train and bus so if you’re new to Sydney or don’t have a car, anyone can use this blog as your go to weekend guide. If some of the day trips don’t have access to public transport, hire a car from our favourite car rental (and the cheapest) right here.


North Sydney

1. Spend the day at Palm Beach

North Sydney

PALM-BEACH-GUIDE

Although Palm Beach is technically classified as still being in Sydney, it’s still an hour’s drive from the Harbour Bridge. We love how tropical it is and how much there is to do in this pocket of paradise.

Expect hikes to some of Sydney’s best beaches, ferry rides, Home&Away spotting, iconic lookout points and a pub that’s so big it even has an outdoor cinema in it.

Palm Beach is the perfect day trip from Sydney for everyone.

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.

Read more: 15 amazing things to do in Palm Beach


2. Feel like you’re in Byron at Avoca Beach

North Sydney

things-to-do-in-avoca-beach

Avoca Beach is one of those beach towns that reminds us of Byron Bay. It’s chilled out vibes with gorgeous beach markets and healthy food to die for will definitely have you relaxed in no time.

We recommend going to Bombini for dinner, 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 a cheeky Gin Distillery for some gin tasting and walks around the beautiful gardens.

We also recommend checking out the Australian Reptile Park nearby too!

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

Read more: 15 things to do in Avoca Beach


3. Hike around Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

North Sydney

AMERICA-BAY-WALKING-TRACK-SYDNEY

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is so underrated in Sydney, that in just a one hour drive, you’ll find some awesome hikes, beaches, Aboriginal sites and some cracking view points to discover.

We love the America Bay track which is an easy 20 minute bush walk which leads you out to a beautiful view point. Beaches to discover include Flint & Steel Beach and one of our favourites, Resolute Beach which looks out to Palm Beach. Above this beach you’ll find West Head Lookout which gives you a unique perspective looking out to Palm Beach’s famous light house.

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 🙁

Read more: The easiest hike in Sydney with knock out views 


4. Go on the postman’s run on the Hawkesbury River

North Sydney

wisemans-ferry-day-trips-from-sydneyImage via Sydney.com

They might well hold one of the best music festivals in Australia (Return to Rio), but Wisemans Ferry makes a fantastic day out from Sydney.

Located along the Hawkesbury River, head over to the beautiful and relaxing part of Sydney where you can go Mandarin fruit picking at Watkins Family Farm, pick up some fresh veggies at the Mountain Grove Country Markets and go on one of the many hikes in the area.

We also recommend going on the River Boat Postman Cruise which is located at Brooklyn. 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. It costs $58 for adults and $18 for kids.

How to get to Wisemans Ferry

By Car: It takes 1h30m from Sydney

By Public Transport: 2h45m with a combo of train and bus


5. Have a proper Aussie day out

North Sydney

Tobruk-Sheep-Station-SydneyIf you’re after an authentic taste of Aussie culture then we recommend heading over to Tobruk Sheep Station. You’ll see demonstrations in whip cracking, sheep-sheering and even boomerang throwing to keep you entertained. They even offer a proper Aussie BBQ complete with lamingtons for dessert.

If you’re visiting Sydney on holidays, make the effort to go to Tobruk Sheep Station as it’s easily one of the best day trips from Sydney.

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


6. Go horse riding and abseiling… and more

North Sydney

glenworth-valley-horse-riding-fun-date-in-sydney

A great day trip from Sydney for the family 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 🙁


7. Discover the gem of Newcastle

North Sydney

NEWCASTLE-BEACHES-NSWOften disregarded by many Sydney peeps, Newcastle is actually a proper little gem. Just a two drive north of Sydney, Newcastle has many incredible beaches you’ll find not nearly as busy as any Sydney beaches.

We recommend checking out the Bogey Hole, Merewether ocean baths, Blue Door for the best acai and Darby Street for an abundance of places to eat. Don’t forget the coastal walk along the Anzac Walk which easily rivals the Bondi coastal walk.

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 Newy.

Read more: 10 Best Newcastle beaches


8. Easily entertain the kids at Port Stephens

North Sydney

things-to-do-in-port-stephens-day-trip-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 a toboggan run, sand dunes to explore the set of the recent Mad Max movie, camel rides and much more.

With a harbour twice the size of Sydney Harbour, we recommend hiring a small boat for a couple of hours to go dolphin spotting. We love the drive over to Shoal Bay. You’ll wonder if you’ve just landed on a tropical Thai island.

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.

Read more: The ultimate guide to Port Stephens


9. Go wine tasting and eat awesome food

North Sydney

THINGS-TO-DO-IN-HUNTER-VALLEYThe 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 fair ground 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.

Read more: The ultimate budget guide to Hunter Valley


West Sydney

10. Get some space in the Blue Mountains

West Sydney

BLUE-MOUNTAINS-THINGS-TO-DO

The Blue Mountains is our favourite winter getaway 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.

We also recommend visiting Yellow Deli in Katoomba for lunch as I doubt you’ll ever find a more beautiful restaurant than this as well as having a mooch around the vintage shops on the same street.

There’s also Scenic World to visit for the family and of course the steepest railway in the world!

We also recommend stopping by Leura as it’s a gorgeous little town a few kms away from Katoomba. Go and explore the Everglades Gardens whilst you’re there.

How to get to Blue Mountains 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.

Read more: The best things to do in Blue Mountains


11. Wonder around the most beautiful gardens

West Sydney

breenhold-gardens-blue-mountainsRight near to Blue Mountains in Mount Wilson lies 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. If you’re British, these gardens will certainly remind you of home.

Breenhold Gardens is one of our favourite days trips from Sydney and is an absolute must visit for the whole family. It’s $10 to get in but they only accept cash. There’s also many other gardens to visit in the area too if you have enough time.

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 🙁

Read more: Why you must visit the incredible Breenhold Gardens


12. Go to the best outdoor spa in NSW

West Sydney

SPARADISE-JAPANESE-BATH-HOUSE-BLUE-MOUNTAINS-REVIEWAnother amazing day trip from Sydney is Sparadise, a 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. Best of all it costs just $70 per person. Money well worth spent!

How to get to Sparadise

By Car: Approx. 2h30m from Sydney

By Train: Unfortunately there’s no public transport to Sparadise 🙁

Read more: Why you must visit the most amazing Japanese Bath House in the Blue Mountains


13. Visit the less touristy caves near Sydney

West Sydney

wombeyan-caves-blue-mountains-day-trip-from-sydneyOur another awesome day trip from Sydney without the crowds is at Wombeyan Caves. You might have heard of Jenolan Caves but if you drive just an hour longer, you’ll come to Wombeyan Caves. We actually couldn’t believe how amazing these caves are, especially as we hardly saw another person in sight. You can do a tour or a self guided tour into the caves.

If you feel like you want to stay nearby, there’s an awesome camp site at Wombeyan Caves too.

If you’re brave enough, we recommend popping over to the Mares Forest Creek Canyon, 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

Read more: Why you need to visit Wombeyan Caves


14. Be totally wowed by the views

West Sydney

KANANGRA-BOYD-NATIONAL-PARK-SydneyVery 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. 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 need to stay over.

How to get to Kanangra-Boyd National Park

By Car: It takes around 3hr to drive there

By Bus: Unfortunately there’s no public transport to Kanangra-Boyd National Park 🙁

Read more: Everything you need to know about visiting Kanangra-Boyd National Park 


15. Visit the glow worm tunnel

West Sydney

NEWNES-FREE-CAMPING-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 🙁

Read more: Why you need to visit Newnes


South Sydney

16. Visit the second oldest park in the world

South Sydney

BUNDEENA-HIKE-royal-national-park-sydneyOh the Royal National Park 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.

We absolutely love The Garie and Big & Little Marley Beach the most, but Wattamolla is a fantastic beach for families with a shallow lagoon on one side and the beach on the other.

You can hike all the way from Bundeena to Otford but it would take a couple of days to complete. We’ve done this trek in stages on day trips from Sydney so we recommend starting with an easy walk from Bundeena to Big Marley Beach (and it’s public transport friendly too!)

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

Read more: A great hike by public transport in The Royal National Park


17. Hike to an Insta phenomenon

South Sydney

FIGURE-8-POOLS-sydneyAlthough it’s part of The Royal National Park, we felt it was only right to give the Figure 8 Pools hike a section of its own. This fantastic 1 hour hike is so beautiful that when you reach the pools, you won’t even care how they look because the hike is so wonderful.

Make sure you read this post before you go as you’ll need to time the hike with the tides to get there.

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

Read more: 8 things you need to know before you do the Figure 8 Pools hike


18. Find the famous lookout

South Sydney

SEA-CLIFF-BRIDGE-Sydney

Who would have thought there’s so much to do right at the end of The Royal National Park when you arrive at Stanwell Tops. You’ll find a 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, although it’s technically not illegal, it’s also not a hugely noticeable trodden on track and you have to find the secret access to it. 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.

Read more: How to get to the Sea Cliff Bridge lookout

How to get to Stanwell Tops

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


19. Have a fun packed day in Wollongong & Kiama

South Sydney

things-to-do-in-wollongongIf you stopped off at The Royal National Park or at Stanwell Tops, you should have enough time to check out some of Wollongong’s top attractions.

You’ll find not one but two incredible temples to visit in Wollongong, a couple of awesome lookout points, brilliant hikes and ziplining for the family.

Don’t forget to visit the biggest blowhole in the world down at Kiama as well.

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.

Read more: 16 excellent things to do in Wollongong


20. Bring out your inner child at Jamberoo

South Sydney

jamberoo-water-park-sydneyImage via Visit NSW

Jamberoo 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.

And if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, head over to the Illawara Fly Tree Top Walk or hike over to Macquarie Pass Jump Rock. This 30 minute hike will bring you to the most beautiful swimming spot, with jumping platforms included. Just be careful if you decide to jump in.

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

Related post: 9 best wild swimming spots in Sydney


21. Kangaroo Valley

South Sydney

Bowral-kangaroo-valleyKangaroo Valley is one of our favourite weekend getaways from Sydney. Famed for having not one but two statues to go and visit… cricket veteran Don Bradman (there’s even a museum in honour of him) and Marry Poppins. Apparently the writer lived here in her teenage years.

There’s plenty of hikes to take on and waterfalls to visit. We love visiting Belmore Falls, Carrington Falls, Fitzroy Falls and Gerringong Falls (just don’t try to get to the bottom of Gerringong Falls as it’s too dangerous, trust me, we tried!).

If you have kids in tow, check out Minnamura Rainforest park.

There’s also a Tulip Festival usually around the end of September which is worth a visit.

We also love mooching around the shops in Bowral and recommend visiting Lancelot Hill Antique shop on the main street which is amazing. We used to visit a lot of antique stores in England, and this one matches the quality of them easily.

If you’re wondering where the centre of Kangaroo Valley is, we recommend checking out Bowral, then smaller towns like Berrima, Mittagong and Robertson.

Also, not forgetting, if you’re a foodies lover, then defo check out Berry. This small town is on the map for having some of the best cafes and restaurants in NSW. You can detour her onto your way into the Kangaroo Valley.

How to get to Kangaroo Valley

By Car: It takes about 2hr to drive there.

By Public Transport:It takes about 4hr to get to Kangaroo Valley by a train and a couple of buses.


22. Visit a Thai Buddhist Monastery

South Sydney

sunnataram-forest-monastery-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 retreats, you can visit every Sunday from 11-4pm. Just make sure you cover your shoulders, arms and below the knees out of 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.

Read more: What’s the retreat like at Sunnataram Thai Buddhist Monastery?


23. The best beach town near Sydney

South Sydney

things-to-do-in-jervis-bay-day-trip-from-sydneyJust a three hour drive south of Sydney lies Jervis Bay. If you’ve not heard of Jervis Bay yet, you’ll want to know about it because it’s one of the most stunning beach towns you’ll come across near to Sydney.

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. You’ll pass by loads of incredible beaches with white sand and turquoise waters, you’ll wonder if you’re still in Australia. Best of all, the track is pretty quiet and it’s a nice flat walk meaning you can take your kids along too.

Jervis Bay is a fantastic day trip from Sydney, that you’ll be coming back time and time again.

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 🙁

Read more: 8 things to do in Jervis Bay


24. Find the best swimming spots in Sydney

Various Sydney Spots

wild-swimming-in-sydney

If you’re looking for some day trips from Sydney that involve finding some of the best wild swimming spots around, check out our Top 9 Wild Swimming Spots In Sydney. 

We’ve also found some of the best beaches near Sydney as well that won’t have many or anyone else on them. You can thank us later for this 🙂

Read more: The 9 best wild swimming spots you’ll be putting on your bucket list.


25. Explore some of the best hikes in Sydney

Various Sydney Spots

BEST-HIKES-IN-SYDNEY

We’ve tried and tested all 18 best hikes in Sydney mentioned in this post. 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. So take your time, check out this post and start planning your day trips from Sydney.

Read more: The best 18 hikes in Sydney


I think we’ve covered a fair few places in this post to keep you entertained for some day trips from Sydney.

Check out some of these posts to inspire you!

⇒ 13 long weekend ideas within 3 hours of Sydney

⇒ 16 cheap long weekend ideas for a staycation in Sydney

⇒ 16 romantic getaways from Sydney

If you’re looking to do a tour in Sydney check out the below!

 


25 best day trips from Sydney

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