Looking for inspiration for the best weekend getaways from Sydney? With international travel out of the question at the moment, explore more of the incredible places to visit in NSW. You might even surprise yourself and find some hidden gems you didn’t even know existed, while going on adventures on your weekends away from Sydney.
Having explored a lot of incredible weekend getaways from Sydney, we’re going to break it all down so you’ll know exactly where to spend your future weekend trips. To make it easier for you, skip to weekend getaways from Sydney within 1hr drive, 2hr drive, 3hr drive and 3hr+ drives (perfect for long weekends from Sydney or places to visit in Sydney on public holidays). We’re giving you a short run down on each place, where to eat and stay and why it’s worth visiting.
You can find detailed guides on our site for the majority of places we mention in this post.
And, to make it super easy for you if you’re unsure which Sydney getaway is best for you, you’ll find our summary for different types of people. Expect to find the best family getaways from Sydney, romantic weekends from Sydney, best weekends from Sydney with public transport, best for hikes, camping and so much more!
Table of Contents
Short Trips From Sydney Within 1hr
Discover short trips from Sydney within 1 hour for those who might not usually venture further away than your local suburbs in Sydney.
1. Scotland Island
Distance from Sydney: 40 min drive // Northern Beaches Perfect for: Couples weekend getaway from Sydney
Scotland Island in Sydney is one of those hidden gems! Located in Pittwater, and just a bit further south from Palm Beach is an island which will make you feel like you’re a million miles away. Whilst there’s not a lot to do on Scotland island, this Sydney getaway is all about relaxing and enjoying the beauty of Pittwater. We’ve been here twice and would easily go back in a heartbeat!
Things to do in Scotland Island Hire a kayak to nearby beaches, spend about 40 minutes walking around the island, simply sit back on a jetty and enjoy a beautiful sunset!
Scotland Island Restaurants There’s no restaurants on the island, but eat at Church Point Wharf or Pasadena at Church Point (both are excellent). Pasadena is the perfect place for afternoon sundowners.
Where to stay in Scotland Island We stayed at Scotland Island Lodge which is run by a lovely British couple (book the room with the outdoor spa!).
Public Transport friendly? Yes! Take a bus to Church Point, then jump on the 10 minute ferry ride over to Scotland Island. If parking, you’ll have to pay for parking at the car park at the wharf, or park a good 5 – 10 minutes away for free parking.
Distance from Sydney: 45 min drive // Northern Beaches Perfect for: Beach lovers!
After pet sitting nearby for a couple of months, we were able to really explore the Northern Beaches in Sydney, and one of our favourite areas is without a doubt Avalon Beach. Whilst most people tend to drive straight to Palm Beach, Avalon Beach has a fantastic village vibe with a beautiful beach.
Things to do in Avalon Beach Whilst Avalon Beach and the rock pool are fantastic, expect to find a cool village behind the street. With beautiful shops, cafes and restaurants to choose from, walk down Old Barrenjoey Road to discover it all. Drive five minutes up the road over to Pittwater side and discover family friendly Clareville Beach and our personal favourite Paradise Beach nearby for quieter swimming options. If you’re up for hiking, you’ll find a coastal path stretching all the way from Palm Beach to Manly!
Avalon Beach Restaurants We were really impressed with the food options in Avalon. Koto is where you’ll find one of the best acai bowls in Sydney! Head to Sunset Diner for burgers, Alma for Mexican, and Bistro Boulevard for French food.
Although Palm Beach is another fantastic day trip from Sydney, it also makes one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney too! Located in the Northern Beaches, it’s a gorgeous area everyone should at least spend the weekend in. The tropical vibes of Palm Beach always blows my mind that it’s just 1 hour from Sydney.
Things to do in Palm Beach Take the boat over to Great Mackerel Beach and hike over to Resolute Beach (although not suitable for young children). Check out The Bible Garden, hire a SUP board in Clareville, and of course hike up to the top of Barrenjoey Lighthouse!
Palm Beach Restaurants Eat at The Boathouse, Newport Arms and Whale Beach Deli!
Distance from Sydney: 1h drive to Brooklyn // North of Sydney Perfect for:Affordable cruises, experience on house boats
The Hawkesbury River is such an underrated getaway from Sydney. Expect to discover loads of relaxing activities, perfect for everyone!
Things to do in Hawkesbury River We absolutely loved the Riverboat Postman Cruise. You’ll spend the morning helping the postman deliver the post to the residents around the Hawkesbury River. It’s a great activity for kids, but it’s also pretty cheap at just $50pp which includes either morning tea or lunch. You can buy alcohol really cheap on board too, making it a fun cruise for friends. Also, head over to Dangar Island and spend a few hours walking around or hire a kayak to explore further.
Hawkesbury River Restaurants Head to the Brooklyn Marina to find restaurants and cafes to choose from. Lifeboat Seafood do a really good fish & chips!
Distance from Sydney: 1h drive // North of Sydney Perfect for: Adventure family weekend
Glenworth Valley is an award winning adventure park for families. If you’re looking for the best getaways from Sydney for families, then look no further! Spend quality time with your family and leave the iPads at home. Camp at Glenworth Valley and have an action packed weekend with the array of activities on offer.
Things to do in Glenworth Valley Spend an action packed weekend from Sydney learning to abseil, horse ride, kayak and go quad biking with your family.
Glenworth Valley Restaurants As it’s a camping experience, bring all of your food with you to cook in the BBQ areas around the campground.
Glenworth Valley Accommodation You can camp at Glenworth Valley, but if you’d prefer a bit more luxury, book a cabin in Glenworth Valley here.
6. Royal National Park
Distance: 1h // South Sydney Perfect for:Hiking & wild swimming
The Royal National Park tends to be another day trip from Sydney, but don’t let it put you off from one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney! With campsites within the national park and accommodation nearby, spend a gorgeous weekend hiking and swimming in the world’s second oldest national park.
Things to do in The Royal National Park There are so many hikes in the Royal National Park, some of our favourites include The Figure 8 Pools, Wedding Cake Rock and so many more. Discover some of the best waterfalls in Sydney you can swim in and of course hire a rowing boat at Audley for a fun day floating down the river. Or spend the weekend at a beautiful wellness retreat in Royal National Park, eating vegan food, doing yoga and kayaking at The Heart & Soul Retreat.
The Royal National Park Restaurants There’s not many places to eat in Royal National Park, so head over to the cafe at Audley or go to Bundeena for all of your essential items.
To be honest, most of the best weekend getaways from Sydney are located just 1h30m or up to 2 hours from Sydney. This means you can take the whole family on a beautiful holiday from Sydney without having to spend the whole weekend driving.
7. Blue Mountains
Distance from Sydney: 1h30m // Blue Mountains Perfect For: Everyone!
Although Blue Mountains makes a great day trip from Sydney, don’t underestimate what a jammed packed weekend you could have! Please don’t just go to Three Sisters and wonder down the main street in Katoomba, there is so much waiting for you. The good news is, we have so many articles about the Blue Mountains for you to read, let’s help you out with where to start.
Things to do in Blue Mountains If you’re looking for a cheap weekend in Blue Mountains, check out our hiking and camping itinerary for a weekend in Blue Mountains. You’ll find the best Blue Mountains campgrounds, where to eat, hike and so much more. Re recommend checking out our guides below for what to do and see in Blue Mountains.
Distance from Sydney: 1h15m // North of Sydney Perfect for: beach lovers & camping
We couldn’t believe how gorgeous Pearl Beach in Sydney really is! This little gem feels like you’re a million miles away from Sydney, even if you can see Palm Beach across the water.
Things to do in Pearl Beach Enjoy relaxing on Pearl Beach, go on a hike down to Warrah Lookout before reaching Patonga Beach. Stop for lunch at The Boathouse at Patonga and enjoy the beautiful water views. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous,
Pearl Beach Restaurants As we mentioned above, eat at The Boathouse in Patonga, Pearl Beach Cafe & General Store, or go for a special meal at the beautiful Pearls On the Beach.
Public Transport Friendly? Yes! A combination of train and bus will take over. 2hours to get to the beautiful Pearl Beach.
9. Wisemans Ferry
Distance from Sydney: 1h20m // North of Sydney Perfect for:Hiking, family getaway
Wisemans Ferry is a gorgeous part of Sydney. Located just 1h20m away from the city, enjoy hiking, beautiful campgrounds and historical sites.
Things to do in Wisemans Ferry You can’t come to Wisemans Ferry and not do the UNESCO Old Great North Road Walk in Dharug National Park. This incredible walk extends to 260km up the coast, so tackle a shorter part of it to Hangmans Rock. This 3h30m walk will take you along the remnants of convict life. If you’re not interested in hiking, enjoy kayaking down the Hawkesbury River instead! And if you have kids, take them to Tobruk Farm for a bit of fun getting up close to loads of animals.
Wisemans Ferry Restaurants Check out the Wisemans Ferry Grocer for breakfast and lunch and Wisemans Inn Hotel for dinner!
Wisemans Ferry Accommodation Camp at Mill Creek Campground, Koveda Holiday Park or Del Rio Resort. Or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, stay in a Hawkesbury River House Boat!
Public Transport Friendly? Yes! It will take around 3 hours to get there by train and bus.
10. Avoca Beach
Distance: 1h20m // Central Coast, North of Sydney Perfect for:Beach getaway
Avoca Beach is a beautiful little beach town, nestled in the Central Coast NSW. It’s got a gorgeous market and honestly feels like a little Byron Bay at times. This is a gorgeous Sydney getaway you need to put on your list.
Things to do in Avoca Scuba dive at the EX-HMAS Adelaide, check out the views at Captain Cook Lookout, have fun at Aqua Lake, visit the gorgeous Avoca Beach Picture House and swim at the many beaches in the area.
Avoca Beach Restaurants Eat at Bombini for lunch or dinner. They do cracking cocktails and pizza! Head to Oomph for burgers and The Point for breakfast or lunch. If you’re looking for something special, book a table at Manfredi at Bells At Killcare Boutique Hotel.
Distance: 1h30m // Central Coast, North of Sydney Perfect for:Hipsters / vintage lovers
Although we’ve been to Central Coast loads before, we recommend checking out the hip Long Jetty. Situated behind The Entrance, we were surprised how we hadn’t been there before until recently. Although it’s known as ‘the Newtown of the Central Coast’, expect to find cool street art, vintage shops, yoga studios, healing & tarot shops, lots of independent kids clothing stores, homeware shops and awesome Long Jetty restaurants and cafes.
Things to do in Long Jetty Check out the jetty at Long Jetty to top up your insta feed, take photos of the famous Long Jetty mural outside Green Tangerine Cafe & outside Reapers Barbers. Visit, Long Jetty Vintage shop, book a seat at The Savoy Cinema, shop at Plain Janes & Shadow Bang for cool clothing and homewares, and don’t forget to visit A Dash Of Christmas which is an amazing grotto style Christmas shop open on weekends! If you’re looking to find the best beach in Central Coast near to Long Jetty, go to Toowoon Bay.
Long JettyRestaurants We love The Glass Onion Society for breakfast or lunch (eggs benny is the most popular), but Belle & Co is also great, Bowlarama for smoothie bowls and Common Ground for farm to plate meals.
Distance from Sydney: 1h30m // North of Sydney Perfect for:Discovering hidden gems, beaches and caves
There are loads of amazing beaches, national parks and so much more to visit around Lake Macquarie. Situated just south of Newcastle, you’ll find the largest saltwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere! It’s twice the size of Sydney Harbour and is absolutely beautiful, especially at sunset.
Things to do in Lake Macquarie Check out the caves at Caves Beach & Ghosties Beach, swim under the pier at Catherine Hill Bay, drive your 4×4 onto Redhead Beach, swim in the rock pools at Bongon Beach and surf at Frazer Beach. We must admit, Lake Macquarie is home to some of the best beaches in Sydney! All of the above beaches are absolutely beautiful!
Lake Macquarie Restaurants Eat at Caves Coastal Bar & Bungalows. It’s a fab pub with good outdoor seating, just a stones throw from the beach.
Distance: 2h drive // North of Sydney Perfect for:City break without feeling like you’re in a city
After living in Newcastle on an off for the last few years (Steve’s family are based here), I must admit it’s an underrated city near to Sydney. With loads of amazing beaches, cafes, restaurants, hikes and so much more to discover, you could easily have a fantastic weekend from Sydney here. It’s also the gateway to the Hunter Valley and Port Stephens which we’ll mention more below.
Things to do in Newcastle One of my favourite things to do in Newcastle is to take my yoga mat down to Bar Beach at sunrise and go for a swim after I’ve perfected my sun salutes! Infuse Health offer up the best yoga classes in Newcastle! I also love shopping at Sourced Vintage tshirt shop on Darby Street, running from Merewether to Nobby’s Lighthouse and checking out the incredible beaches in Newcastle as well.
Newcastle Restaurants Go to Ginger for fantastic Asian food, Kotara Westfield for cheap food court food (The Thai restaurant is great!), Blue Door for acai.
Distance: 2h drive // North of Sydney Perfect for: Wine lovers & families
The Hunter Valley always makes it to the top of the best weekend getaways in Sydney list because it’s home to the some of the best wineries in Australia! As a popular wedding destination in Sydney as well, Hunter Valley packs a punch for an excellent weekend away from Sydney.
Things to do in Hunter Valley Go to Hunter Valley Gardens, and at Christmas they have a massive light display. Go on a sunrise hot air balloon ride, watch a famous band at A Day On The Green (we saw The Rolling Stones there a few years back!), and check out the following wineries: Tempus Two winery, Miguigans winery and Brokenwood Winery.
Hunter Valley Restaurants Cafe Enzo is fantastic for an affordable lunch in Hunter Valley, and Hunters Quarter has the views for dinner in Hunter Valley.
Distance: 1h30m drive // South of Sydney Perfect for: culture, waterfalls, hikes, families
Wollongong in NSW is an underrated weekend from Sydney. The drive down past Stanwell Tops is beautiful and worth going to for that alone! Expect to find the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere, a stunningly beautiful Indian temple, waterfalls, the biggest blow hole in the world and so much more!
Things to do in Wollongong: There are so many things to do in Wollongong and Kiama. Start with the Grand Pacific Drive and enjoy driving along the coast and over the famous Sea Cliff Bridge. Stop off at Sri Venkateswara Temple and Kelly’s Falls, before checking out Simbio Wildlife Park. Continue on to the blow hole in Kiama and head inland to the brilliant Jamberoo water park and Illawara Fly Tree Walk.
Wollongong Restaurants: Stop off at The Scarborough Hotel for cliff top views and good pub food.
Distance from Sydney: 1h30m // Southern Highlands Perfect for: Country getaway for everyone, especially foodies
If you’re missing UK, head down to Bowral and you’ll feel like you’re in a lovely town in the countryside. As Bowral is the main hub in the Southern Highlands, you’ll find more cafes and restaurants here than any other town in the area, as well as plenty of activities to keep you busy!
Things to do in Bowral Head straight to The Green Lane which sort of reminds me of The Grounds of Alexandria, but complete with gorgeous restaurant and cafes, plant and flower shops and Dirty Janes antique shop. Check out the famous Bradman museum of cricket, the amazing Tudor style antique shop Lancelot Hill, and explore plenty of hikes including, Box Vale Walking Track, 40 Foot Falls and 60 Foot Falls.
Bowral Restaurants There are so many beautiful places to eat in Bowral, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Head to The Press Shop or Plantation Cafe for breakfast, the famous book shop inspired restaurant Harry’s On Green Lane for lunch or dinner, and The Mill for cheap street food. We loved Veggie Nook – try the gnocchi and fried green tomatoes, it will change your world!
Distance from Sydney: 2hr drive // Southern Highlands Perfect for: Country getaway for adventurers
Kangaroo Valley is a gorgeous slice of countryside heaven. Out of all of the town in Southern Highlands, this is one of the prettiest in our opinion. It’s tiny with just a small touristy street, but there’s plenty to do to keep you busy, making it one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney.
Things to do in Kangaroo Valley One of the main things to do in Kangaroo Valley is kayaking down the Kangaroo River. You can easily book a kayak just next to the Hampden Bridge. Drive down the Moss Vale Road from Fitzroy Falls in the morning and you might see the fog take over the valley like we saw. It’s an amazing experience to witness. Drive up to Upper Kangaroo Valley and discover the beautiful swimming hole Flat Rock Waterhole. It’s an amazing slice of paradise in the heart of the Kangaroo Valley.
Kangaroo Valley Restaurants The General Cafe is the most popular place to eat in Kangaroo Valley. We stopped here for hot chocolate and croissants. Steve actually said the almond croissant was the best he’s ever tasted! The Friendly Inn Hotel is the oldest pub in the region, perfect for some sundowners and dinner.
Distance from Sydney: 1h30m // Southern Highlands Perfect for: Country getaway for foodies and families
Berrima is a beautiful little town in Southern Highlands. We arrived just before sunset, and to me, it honestly reminded me of being in little English village. The light and air felt so similar, it was a really comforting feeling. This is a historical town is known as the best preserved Georgian town in Australia!
Things to do in Berrima Head over to the Surveyor General Inn, the continuously oldest licenced pub in Australia. It was a British pub feel to it, with a proper bar, carpeted floors and a decent beer garden. Discover the Harpers Mansion Maze, a fun day for the family. And, with loads of historical buildings to discover in Berrima, The Old Berrima Gaol sits in the heart of the village – and it’s currently operating as a prison to this day.
Berrima Restaurants: Berrima is home to Eschalot restaurant, which is one of the best restaurants in Southern Highlands. Checkout Berkelouw Book Barn for lunch, it’s a cool bookshop restaurant.
Robertson packs a punch for things to do in Southern Highlands. Expect plenty of waterfalls, hikes and of course pies to eat! It’s the artist hub of Southern Highlands too, home to more alternative people.
Things to do in Robertson Start one of the action packed getaways from Sydney with visiting one of the big things in Australia – the big potato (although it genuinely looks like a turd!). Touristy draw cards are Robertson Pie Shop and Robertson Cheese Factory, but some of the best things to do is to visit the waterfalls in Robertson. We love Balmoral Falls, Carrington Falls (and Blue Pool & Nellies Glen for swimming in), Jump Rock swimming hole at Macquarie Pass, Illawarra Fly Treetops, Minnamurra Rainforest, and Jamberoo Lookout which looks right out to the ocean.
Robertson Restaurants We tried the famous Robertson Pies which is more of a novelty to be honest. Go to Moonacres Harvest Kitchen amazing farm to kitchen food, and the beautiful Robertson Hotel for Devonshire Tea next to a fire – perfect for a winter getaway from Sydney.
Distance from Sydney: 1h40m drive // Southern Highlands Perfect for: garden lovers country escape from Sydney
Moss Vale in Southern Highlands might not be as charming as other towns in the area, but there’s still some great places to visit in the area. Plus! It’s really easy to to get to Moss Vale from Sydney on public transport with direct train links.
Things to do in Moss Vale We really loved the Red Cow Farm in Moss Vale. It’s a gorgeous open gardens for all to enjoy (with $15 entrance fee). Inside the gardens, you’ll find a turquoise pond, which is absolutely beautiful. The cottage at the farm instantly took me right back to the English countryside. It’s a must visit! Visit Mount Ashby Estate for wine tasting, Dormie House to explore the gardens, and Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve.
Moss Vale Restaurants We had lunch at Highlands Merchant, but also check out The Post Office Cafe, and Birch for fine dining.
Public Transport friendly? Yes! It take around 1h40m on a direct train from Sydney to Moss Vale
Distance: 1h30m drive // Southern Highlands
If you’re looking for a meditation retreat near Sydney, you absolutely must go to Sunnatarum Forest Monastery in Bundanoon. We’ve been three times now because it’s that good. This donation based retreat is held at a Thai Buddhist Monastery. On a good day, you’ll be able to see out to Jervis Bay! Expect a schedule consisting of sitting and walking meditation, Thai Chi and Buddhist teachings. A weekend here and you’ll feel like you’ve been away for ages. You won’t regret it!
It’s no wonder Berry is one of the most beautiful getaways from Sydney. Although it’s kinda obvious Berry is a tourist town, it’s a beautiful one you could easily spend the weekend at.
Things to do in Berry The most popular draw card to Berry is the famous Berry Doughnut Van. We lined up feeling quite sceptical about the whole thing, but I must admit, those cinnamon doughnuts are really worth talking about. Hike to the beautiful Drawing Room Rocks, do wine tasting at Silo Estate Winery (one of the best wineries in NSW), and shop at the gorgeous shops in Berry – we loved AMARA Homewares, a beautiful Indian antique shop.
Berry Restaurants Foodies will love the many Berry restaurants to choose from. Eat at Milkwood Berry and Berry Tea Shop and seasonal local food at South on Albany. And of course, as mentioned above, line up for a cinnamon doughnut at the Berry Doughnut Van.
The Japanese Bath House in Blue Mountains is a fantastic weekend getaways from Sydney for spa lovers. We feel it deserves its own title in this article because you could spend days relaxing in the hot pools overlooking Lake Lyell.
Situated a 40 minute drive from Katoomba, this traditional onsen is a fantastic escape from Sydney. With loads of hot baths to choose from, there’s a gorgeous tea room to chill out in and relax after a dip in the pools and a massage. Either make it a day trip from Sydney or spend the weekend staying in the Japanese style accommodation at the spa.
Watch our video at Sparadise Japanese Bath House In Blue Mountains below
Weekend Getaways From Sydney Within 3 Hours
24. Port Stephens
Distance: 2h30m // North of Sydney Perfect for: Everyone, particularly families
Port Stephens is a really popular Sydney getaway for a lot of people because it offers up so much for a weekend away. With plenty of resorts to choose from, gorgeous beaches and loads of family friendly activities, the islands honestly transports me to Krabi in Thailand. Having recently visited again, it still blows my mind this is just a few hours from Sydney.
Things to do in Port Stephens Make sure you go to Anna Bay for sand duning on the largest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. You can also go swimming with dolphins with one of the only companies in NSW. Hike up to the top of Mount Tomaree and of course discover some of the incredible beaches.
Port Stephens Restaurants Have breakfast or lunch at Little Nel Cafe, or Home Interior, and dinner at Rick Stein’s At Bannisters.
Watch our video to the top of Mount Tomaree in Port Stephens
25. Seal Rocks
Distance: 3h // North of Sydney Perfect For:Beach holiday, camping, surfing
I remember Steve’s cousin telling us about Seal Rocks and it was on our list for ages. When we went to visit, we couldn’t believe how amazing this place truely is. It’s one of those special places in NSW which you’ll want to come back time and time again, perfect for beach and camping getaways and for surfing too.
Things to do in Seal Rocks: Seal Rocks is all about the beach. Bring your surfboard and enjoy some of the best surf in Sydney. Walk up to the top of the Lighthouse and if you’ve got a 4×4, drive along the beach.
Seal Rocks Restaurants There’s no restaurants in Seal Rocks but you can buy supplies from the local shop. You could also drive 20 minutes to the nearby Blueys Beach. Go to the Balinese restaurant, it’s excellent.
Distance: 3h // North of Sydney Perfect For:Beach holiday, surfing
We spent a couple of months in Blueys Beach and we just couldn’t get over how gorgeous this little gem truely is. Instead of staying in Forster, stay in Blueys Beach instead. Whilst Blueys Beach is the main little hub of the area, there are about 5 beaches back to back including Blueys Beach which are all incredible.
Things to do in Bluey’s Beach: You’ve got so many incredible beaches to choose from around Blueys Beach. Head over to Boomerang Beach and Blueys Beach for surfing. Elizabeth Beach is a stunning beach for swimming and for families due to the calm waters. My faovurite is Shelley Beach which is half nudist beach (literally one side of the beach is for nudists). It’s an incredible beach, you’ll wonder if you’ve been transported to somewhere totally magical.
Blueys Beach Restaurants: Kembali is an amazing Balinese restaurant in Blueys Beach. Head there for lunch or dinner! If you’re looking for a cheap dinner, head to Pacific Palms Reccy Club for dinner. It’s far from fancy but the sunset views over the water is worth it.
Distance: 2h20m drive // Blue Mountains Perfect for:Anyone who loves English Countryside or gardens
Mount Wilson in Blue Mountains is a magical place. This hidden gem is so beautiful, it honestly reminds me of the English countryside.
Things to do in Mount Wilson Visit during Spring or Autumn and enjoy the trees changing colour. There are quite a few gardens in Mount Wilson to visit. We’ve been to Breenhold Gardens in Autumn and Spring and they are absolutely beautiful!
Mount Wilson Restaurants: There’s nowhere to eat in Mount Wilson, but we can 100% recommend going to The Grumpy Baker in Bilpin. The baked eggs is amazing!
Distance from Sydney: 3hr drive // South Coast Perfect for: Couples weekend from Sydney and families
Just below Jervis Bay is a local favourite Sydney getaway, Mollymook. Expect beautiful beaches, loads of kid friendly activities and so much more for a couples getaway or family weekend away.
Things to do in Mollymook Mollymook is all about sitting back and relaxing. If you’re looking for a couples weekend away, look no further. Learn to surf, visit Spa By The Sea or go on a wine tour to nearby wineries with Wine Knot Tour. For families, check out the blowhole, Mollymook Markets (held every fifth Sunday on the beach) and Funland in Ulladulla. A bit further up the coast is a magical rockpool called Mermaid Lagoon in Berrara, with crystal clear turquoise water!
Mollymook Restaurants Eat at the famous Rick Stein’s at Bannisters, or Gwylo which is an Asian fusion restaurant.
Public Transport Friendly? Yes! It will take more than 5 hours to catch a train and multiple buses.
29. Jervis Bay
Distance: 2h30m drive // South of Sydney Perfect for: Beach lovers, families
It’s no wonder Jervis Bay is known as ‘The Whistundays of NSW’. Having been to both recently again, we had totally forgotten how amazing Jervis Bay really is. It’s an incredibly special part of NSW, everyone needs to visit!
Things to do in Jervis Bay The White Sands Walk is a gorgeous walk which ticks off some of the incredible beaches in Jervis Bay. It starts from Vincentia and ends at the famous Hyams Beach – home to the whitest sand beach in the world. This beach reminds us a little of the beach in Tulum in Mexico but without the dumps of seaweed! There are so many incredible beaches in Jervis Bay, you certainly won’t be bored here! Best of all, there is a fantastic holiday vibe in Jervis Bay.
Jervis Bay Restaurants Head over to Jervis Bay Brewery for drinks and dinner. It’s got a great vibe! If you’re looking for a pub meal, head over to The Huskisson Pub!
Perfect For: City getaway for art lovers and families.
Canberra is easily one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney, especially if you’re into art. With amazing art galleries, beautiful hotels, vintage shops, good hiking spots and fab restaurants to choose from, there’s much more to Canberra than you think!
Things to do in Canberra Go to National Gallery Of Australia and stand in awe of global artists such as James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama and so much more! Explore the street art, vintage shops, museums and of course Parliament House and you’ve got yourself a jammed packed weekend ahead.
Canberra Restaurants Canberra nightlife tends to be located in Braddon. We love Lazy Su and Bar Rochford!
Canberra Accommodation Ovolo Nishi is our go to hotel in Canberra. This is a one of a kind hotel you’ll want to photograph for hours.
Public Transport Friendly? Yes! A direct train from Sydney will take around 4 hours.
Distance: 3h drive // South West of Sydney Perfect for: hiking, camping, wild swimming, caves
Perfect For: Explorers and camping
Wombeyan Caves is a little hidden gem near Sydney. Although most people visit Jenolan Caves, Wombyan Caves is equally just a good in our eyes! You’ll find less people here, plus you can visit the caves on self guided tours. When we visited, we were the only people in the caves – it was amazing!
Things to do in Wombeyan Caves Wombeyan Caves is all about the caves. You can go on guided and self guided tours around the different caves here. Plus, if you’re visiting in Summer, embrace the Mares Forest Creek Canyon and hike and swim your way through the ice cold water. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done near to Sydney!
Wombeyan Caves Restaurants A weekend at Wombeyan Caves is all about camping so bring everything you need. There is a shop at the campground to buy any essentials you might have forgotten. If you’re looking for a pub meal, drive to The Argyle Inn in Taragla for a chicken parmie by the fire.
Distance: 3h drive // North West of Sydney Perfect for: Hiking & camping
Perfect for: Explorers and camping
Newnes is one of the best camping getaways from Sydney. The free campsite is incredible and the Wolgan Valley is breathtaking. If you love hiking, you won’t be disappointed with this special weekend away from Sydney.
Things To Do In Newnes Camping in Newnes is all about exploring the area. There is a river next to the campsite so you could spend the day sitting in it to cool down after one of the many hikes to choose from. We hiked to the glow worm tunnels which takes you along the old railway tracks. It’s beautiful!
Newnes Restaurants There’s nowhere to eat in Newnes, so bring all of your food with you or stop off in Lithgow on the way there and stock up on supplies.
Consider the below weekend getaways from Sydney which are between 3 and 5 hours driving time. Although driving for more than three hours might not be on top of your list, the below places in NSW are definitely worth a visit on a long weekend from Sydney.
Distance from Sydney: 3h30m drive // West Sydney Perfect For: Couples, foodies, wine lovers
Mudgee is one of those weekend getaways from Sydney, perfect for couples, foodies and wine lovers. Indulge in award winning restaurants and wineries and kick back for a beautiful weekend from Sydney.
Things to do in Mudgee Start your trip to Mudgee by visiting Logan Wines and Lowe Family Estate, two of the big hitters when it comes to Mudgee wineries. For the adventureres, check out plenty of walks including: Castle Rocks, The Drip Walk to Aboriginal rock art and Wellington Caves.
Mudgee Restaurants Head to Alby & Esthers for coffee and Lawson Park Hotel for dinner at the oldest pub in Mudgee.
Distance from Sydney: 3h30m drive // West of Sydney Perfect for: Foodies, wine lovers
Orange is a foodie haven, complete with boutique breweries, cider houses and wineries. It’s often known as one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney, but not as busy as other parts of the Sydney region.
Things to do in Orange Head over to Small Acres Cyder, Badlands Brewery for cider and beer tasting as well as Nashdale Wines Cellar Door. There are so many amazing Orange wineries and cellar doors to check out, so could literally spend the entire weekend go around them all. Go hiking around Orange and check out Millthorpe which is a gorgeous heritage listed village just 20 minute drive from Orange.
Orange Restaurants The best restaurant in Orange is Charred Kitchen & Bar, followed by Lolli Redini, and the gorgeous Byng Street for breakfast.
Public Transport Friendly? Yes! You can take a direct train to Orange which will take nearly 5 hours!
35. Old Bar & Taree
Distance: 3h30m drive // Mid-North Coast Perfect for: People who prefer a bit off the beaten path
Most people skip Old Bar and Taree and head straight up to Port Macquarie when heading up the East Coast of Australia. We spent a couple of months living in Old Bar during our pet sitting days. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend staying in Taree itself, there are some beautiful places to visit nearby.
Things to do in Taree & Old Bar Visit Old Bar during the October long weekend for the Kombi Festival. We were lucky to see it and it’s so much fun, where kombi owners and lovers come to town to go on a parade and show off their vintage campers. Explore Cro
Old Bar & Taree Restaurants The main place to eat in Old Bar & Taree is Flo Bar in Old Bar. They have a fab outdoor seating area with live music on the weekends!
Distance from Sydney: 4hr drive // North of Sydney Perfect For: People who prefer a bit off the beaten path.
Barrington Tops tends to make the lists as one of the best national parks in Australia, and you’ll see why when you visit. We were blown away by this Gondwana National Park because it honestly feels like you’ve been transported to the Jurassic era. It’s absolutely mind blowing and makes a fantastic long weekend getaways from Sydney.
Things to do in Barrington Tops Barrington Tops is all about camping and hiking. We did the Antarctic Beech Tree Forest Walk which took around 2hours. There is a waterfall you can swim in on this walk, but check first as at the time of visiting it was closed.
Barrington Tops Restaurants There are no restaurants in Barrington Tops so you’ll need to buy all of your supplies in a nearby town before.
Barrington Tops Accommodation Camp at Barrington Tops and enjoy being in the heart of one of the best national parks in Australia.
Port Macquarie might be best known for the koala rescue centres, but it’s also a fantastic family getaway from Sydney. Choose between 17 beaches, plenty of restaurants and so much more in this popular beach town.
Things to do in Port Macquarie With so many Port Macquarie beaches to choose from, head to Shelly Beach, Lake Cathie Beach and Flynns Beach. A visit to Port Macquarie isn’t complete without a visit to the Koala Hospital – get up close to the Australian native animal right here. Start the Port Macquarie Coastal Hike from the gorgeous views of Tacking Point Lighthouse.
Port Macquarie Restaurants Eat breakfast at Social Grounds, lunch at Little Fish Cafe, and dinner at Chow Haus or The Stunned Mullet.
Public Transport Friendly? Yes! It’s a 7h30m train and bus ride to Port Macquarie
38. South West Rocks
Distance from Sydney: 4h45m drive // Mid-North Coast Perfect for: scuba diving, hiking, camping, beach lovers and families
We heard about South West Rocks a while back and knew we had to visit. We were blown away by this little slice of heaven. With incredible beaches, fantastic campsites and so much more, it makes one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney!
Things to do in South West Rocks Check out the famous Trial Bay Gaol, an historical prison you can visit and wonder around. The beach at Trial Bay is fantastic and flat – perfect for families. Go up to the top of Smokey Cape Lighthouse and feel like you’re on the edge of the world. There’s loads of beaches and hikes by the lighthouse, a perfect way to spend the day exploring the area. If you’re into diving, South West Rocks is home to one of the best dive sites in Australia, at Fish Rock Cave. Here you can dive with grey nurse sharks and the largest ocean cavern in the world!
South West Rocks Restaurants Eat at Seabreeze Hotel for pub food, Malt & Honey, Trial Bay Kiosk and Sixty for breakfast or lunch.
Nambucca Heads is a relaxed beach town on the Mid-North Coast. Just a 10 minute drive from there is the beautiful beach town of Valla Beach. It’s a stunning quiet beach with a couple of places to eat at.
Things to do in Nambucca Heads & Valla Beach Head over to the V-Wall, a beautiful walk along the coast with an art gallery of painted rocks. Passerbys are encourage to leave their piece of art on the rocks as a memory of their time in Nambucca Heads. Check out the Captain Cook Lookout and snorkel the Nambucca River, making it a perfect long weekend getaways from Sydney.
Nambucca Heads Restaurants Have breakfast or lunch at Wharf Street Cafe, Beach House Providore or Nourish Cafe & Grocer. For dinner, check out the V-Wall Tavern for a good pub dinner.
Bellingen is one of the best towns in NSW. We literally nearly moved there, but then the pandemic happened so we couldn’t. This hippy town is home to some of the best hikes in NSW, waterfalls, wild swimming spots and fantastic places to eat and drink. Although the town is almost made up of one street, there’s so much more to this little pocket of country paradise than you think, making it one of the best long weekend getaways from Sydney.
Things to do in Bellingen & Dorrigo Book kayaks and float down the Bellinger River, drive out to The Promised Lands in Gleniffer (there’s something really special about this area), swim at Danger Falls, do the Crystal Showers Falls hike in Dorrigo, visit the Dorrigo Skywalk, and drive out to Waterfall Way and go waterfall spotting. Shop at Cargo Lane – it’s our favourite homewares shop in Australia!
Bellingen & Dorrigo Restaurants Eat breakfast at The Black Bear, go for coffee at Hyde, Qudo for the best Japanese restaurant we’ve ever been to, Cedar Bar & Kitchen for dinner, Bellingen Brewery for pizza, and Tish Facos for fantastic tacos!
I used to think the only thing worth stopping by in Coffs Harbour was the big banana, it’s a city which actually surprised us for the incredible beaches to choose from. The size of the city reminds us a lot of Newcastle in NSW. It’s the perfect long weekend getaways from Sydney for beach lovers and families.
Things to do in Coffs Harbour There are so many beautiful beaches to choose from in Coffs Harbour, our favourites include Diggers Beach (opposite The Big Banana), Sapphire Beach and Woolgoolga Beach. Go to Woolgoogla Lookout at sunset to spot kangaroos in the wild, and drive up to the Forest Sky Pier for epic views across the coast. On the way up, you’ll see loads of honesty boxes. Stop at the one with the frozen chocolate covered bananas – they are delicious!
Coffs Harbour Restaurants Go to Cafe Ophelia and Beach House Cafe in Woolgoolga for breakfast or lunch and Ernies Kitchen and Fiasco Ristorante & Bar for dinner.
Although Sawtell is just a 15 minute drive south of Coffs Harbour, it deserves a spot of its own, especially when you’re looking for the best long weekend getaways from Sydney. Whilst many beach towns in NSW tend to be stuck in the past with the infrastructure and food options (ie only serving burgers and fish & chips), Sawtell really surprised us for being a really cool little beach town. There’s a fab main street with loads of modern places to eat and the beaches are fantastic.
Things to do in Sawtell Obviously being a beach town, Sawtell is all about the beach. The main beach is big, and you can easily get a good stretch of it all to yourself. Just around the corner from the beautiful Bonhead Lookout is the Sawtell Memorial Rockpool. Come here for a morning swim and you’ll truely feel like you’re a world away on your holidays. If you’re looking for bush walks, head over to Dorrigo National Park and do the Crystal Showers Falls walk.
Sawtell Restaurants We were really impressed with the Sawtell Hotel. This beach style pub is a cool pub you could spend all day in. Go to Taste or Kimono for dinner. We met some locals who told us Kimono is an amazing Japanese restaurant. And head to The Spare Room for dinner at a cool bar.
Public Transport Friendly? Yes! You can get a direct train from Sydney to Sawtell. Expect it to take around 9hrs.
Distance from Sydney: 5h10m drive // Orana Region Perfect for: Hiking, star gazing, camping
The Warrumbungle National Park is known as one of the best National Parks in NSW. Although it was relatively unknown by many people until recently, the Breadknife Walk went viral on social media and it’s become really popular. Affectionately known as The Warrumbungles, it’s also home to the first dar sky park in Australia because of the amazing amount of stars in the sky.
Things to do in The Warrumbungles The Warrumbungles is all about hiking, so get ready to spend the weekend exploring as many Warrumbungles walks as possible. The Breadknife Walk is a 14.5km walk, but there are some shorter walks to discover such as the Belougery Flats Loop Trail a 1.5hr walk. Honestly, you won’t regret taking the time to get here to have one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney.
Warrumbungles Restaurants This is a camping weekend from Sydney, so bring all of your supplies with you.
Warrumbungles Accommodation It’s all about camping at Warrumbungle National Park!
Public Transport Friendly? Unfortunately you’ll need to hire a car to get to Warrumbungles.
Kanangra-Boyd National Park is known as a bit of a gem near to Blue Mountains. Just a 40 minute drive from the popular Jenolan Caves will bring you to Kangangra Walls Lookout. It honestly made us wonder whether we had been transported to Borneo because the views really are jaw-dropping. Put it on your list to visit for your future weekend getaways from Sydney.
Things to do in Kanangra Boyd National Park Kanangra Boyd National Park is all about hiking. Home to some of the best walks in Sydney, you could easily spend a jammed packed weekend getaway here, ready to recharge for the coming week.
Kanangra Boyd National Park Restaurants There’s no restaurants in the park so bring everything with you.
Kanangra Boyd National Park Accommodation You can camp near to the Kanangra Walls Lookout, just bring everything with you as it’s a basic campsite.
Public Transport Friendly? Unfortunately you’ll need to hire a car to get to Kanangra-Boyd National Park.
Distance from Sydney: 5hr drive to Bermagui // South Coast Perfect for: Families, camping, hiking, beaches, foodies
Although we’ve only been to the South Coast once, it’s one of the most popular long weekend getaways from Sydney, families love! Known for its sublime beaches, you could easily spend a couple of weeks exploring the area. We’re going to combine all of the areas in this section. Once we’ve been back to visit, we’ll update this section for you.
Things to do in South Coast The main towns people stay in South Coast tend to be around Batemans Bay, Narooma and Bermagui. Head to the beautiful tourist town of Tilba Tilba, check out Australia Rock in Narooma and Horses Head rock formation in Bermagui. There are plenty of beaches to discover such as Mystery Bay, Depot Beach and South Durras. Make sure you check out the crystal clear rock pools in Mimosa Rocks as well.
South Coast Restaurants: Get breakfast or lunch at The Saltwater Cafe in Kioloa, Tribe Cafe in Batemans Bay or Mossy Cafe in Mossy Point. Go for dinner at Sandbar in Batemans Bay, run by one of the best chefs in the South Coast.
Public Transport Friendly? It will take at good 8 hours with two train rides and a bus trip to get to Bermagui.
In case you’re a little overwhelmed with the amount of choice to decide upon, here’s our best weekend getaways from Sydney summary to help you make the most of your weekends. These are the best places to visit near Sydney in our opinion.
Best Weekend Getaways From Sydney For Hiking Blue Mountains / Kanangra Boyd National Park / Barrington Tops / Bellingen /
Best Weekend Getaways From Sydney For Beaches Seal Rocks / Blueys Beach / Jervis Bay / South West Rocks / Lake Macquarie / Coffs Harbour / Sawtell / South Coast
Best Weekend Getaways For Camping Glenworth Valley / Seal Rocks / Wombeyan Caves / Mystery Bay / Newnes / South West Rocks
Best Weekend Getaways For Families Glenworth Valley / Port Stephens / Jervis Bay / Palm Beach / South Coast
Best Weekend Getaways For Couples Scotland Island / Berry / Japanese Bath House / Mollymook / Batemans Bay
Best Weekend Getaways For Foodies Newcastle / Bowral / Berry / Mollymook / Orange / Mudgee
Best Wellness Getaways From Sydney Sunnatarum Forest Monastery / Japanese Bath House / Mollymook
Best Weekend Getaways From Sydney For Vintage Shop Lovers Long Jetty / Blue Mountains / Bowral
Best Weekend Getaways From Sydney For Those Missing English Countryside Mount Wilson / Bowral / Robertson / Berrima / Moss Vale / Kangaroo Valley
Best Weekend Getaways From Sydney For Public Transport Palm Beach / Blue Mountains / Bowral / Newcastle / Berry
45 Best Weekend Getaways From Sydney
SAVE THIS POST FOR LATER AND PIN BELOW
If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends & family on your social media pages 🙂