Sydney is the premier travel destination in Australia. The Aussie city welcomed over 16 million travellers in 2019, making it the country’s most visited city. Sydney has its own unique attractions, but its location means you will find top-notch day trip destinations not far away. From gorgeous beaches and natural landscapes to towns and cultural experiences, there is so much to see and do on day trips from Sydney.
Along with the great outdoors, there are museums and art galleries to explore along the way. A day trip from Sydney is an adventure worth taking. You won’t regret heading outside of Sydney to explore one of these destinations.
Just over 35 kilometres outside of Sydney is the gorgeous Royal National Park . Nature lovers and beachgoers will love a day out at the park thanks to its immense beaches. There are 21 kilometres of beaches to explore and surf. Royal National Park is Australia’s second oldest national park having been established in 1879.
The Hacking River runs nearly the entire length of the park. You can fish, swim, and float down the river. There are plenty of hiking trails available to explore as well. Pack a lunch and stop off at some of the incredible spots to rest and recharge on your walk.
The park can be accessed from Cronulla by taking the ferry or driving. There are also walking trails from the railway stations located nearby making it possible to walk to Royal National Park. There is a coastal tour available allowing you to explore some of the harder to reach parts of the area. The park is packed with breath-taking beaches and waterfalls to soak and swim the day away.
Palm Beach is located around Sydney’s northern beaches. It is just over an hour away from Sydney CBD and is a short drive to make. You will find an array of coffee shops and cafes around the Palm Beach area. The beach is a beautiful, unspoiled patch of shoreline, while Barrenjoy Lighthouse is a popular attraction to visit and the climb up to it is great exercise.
The town is the setting to Australia's seminal soap opera Home and Away . There is a Home and Away tour that takes visitors around the town to see some of the most famous places in one go. Whale Beach, Avalon Beach and Bilgola Lookout are all stops along the tour. Even if you choose not to go on the tour, you can visit these locations during a day trip from Sydney.
Of all the day trips from Sydney, there are none more popular than Blue Mountains National Park . The UNESCO World Heritage Area is an enchanting location and takes you deep into Australian wilderness. The national park is made up of 664,000 acres of land and includes lush eucalyptus forests, jagged gorges, aboriginal rock paintings, waterfalls, and hiking trails. You will find 140 kilometres worth of hiking trails in total, making the park an ideal place for wildlife and outdoor adventure lovers.
You will find the Three Sisters rock formation in the national park, which is the true highlight of a visit. The Katoomba Scenic Railway is another favourite attraction as it takes you through the Jamison Valley. Pack your mountain bike in the car and ride the hair-raising dirt trails through the park. Rock climbing is also a favourite pastime.
Jamison Valley lookout is considered by many regulars to the Blue Mountains as the best for views. It is quite special and the views are awe-inspiring. You will find some Instagram-worthy photo opportunities that will make your followers green with envy. The area is well-known for its number of waterfalls. You are spoiled for choice when searching for a great waterfall backdrop for photos. Paradise Pool, Minnehaha Falls, Wentworth Falls, and Katoomba Falls are all great spots to explore.
Kiama is located just under two hours away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney. It may be a bit far for a day trip, but once you arrive you will be glad you visited. Kiama is a laid-back seaside town with quaint cafes and old-timey shops. Locals from around the area head to Kiama to play at the golf course found nearby.
As many of the other day trips from Sydney, you will find amazing natural landscapes and scenery to explore. Kiama Blowhole is one of the town’s most popular attractions. The blowhole is a crevasse in the cliffside where the seawater fountains up and spurts out. Kiama Coast Walk is a glorious path that overlooks the sea, beaches and rivers. The walk will take you to towns along the coast. If you don’t fancy walking the path, you can bring or hire a bike to pedal.
Canberra is around a three-hour drive away from Sydney and it is possible to explore the Aussie capital during a day trip. Canberra offers you something completely different than the day trip destinations previously mentioned on our list.
The city is located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and offers up a selection of cultural attractions. In Canberra you will find museums, art galleries, and various memorials. Australia’s National Museum, War Memorial Museum, and Railway Museum are just three of the amazing places to visit. They allow you to learn more about Australia.
Compared to other major cities in Australia, Canberra was a purpose-built city and did not grow organically. Canberra was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and his wife, Marion Mahony Griffin as a neutral capital. Therefore, the city looks and feels far different than other destinations around Australia. The city’s parklands are ideal to spend time exploring while the man-made Lake Burley Griffin is a great place to stop off for a while.
Just under two hours from Sydney is one of the most beautiful areas in the Central Coast, The Entrance . The coastal town is perfect for a day out for anyone who loves to get out and explore Australia’s natural landscapes. The Entrance may offer great days out in nature, but it also gives you the chance to stay in a town that is flush with restaurants and cafes. After spending time outdoors, you can retire to a restaurant for a meal.
Cyclists can ride a 12-kilometre trail that runs around Tuggerah Lake. There are also a variety of hiking trails around the area that run through nearby Wyrrabalong National Park. The Entrance also offers a gorgeous beach, Tuggerah Beach, with eight kilometres of wide-open sands. The beach is perfect on warm, sunny days. If you like to surf, Tuggerah Beach is a year-round destination for catching waves.
One of the popular experiences for visitors to The Entrance is feeding the local pelican population. Every day from 3:30 PM, around 50 hungry pelicans converge for feeding. Don’t miss the chance to video yourself feeding the big birds as they congregate for “the scoop”.
Port Stephens lies around 200 kilometres from Sydney's Central Business District. It is an expansive natural setting that is twice as large as Sydney Harbour. Port Stephens Bay is a rugged coastal retreat with 20 gorgeous beaches. Extreme sport aficiadnoes head to the area to explore its bushland trails and to surf the waters off the coast. Snorkelling, diving, kayaking and sailing are also popular water sports around the bay.
Port Stephens is well-known for its ample fishing grounds. It is considered one of the best destinations for anglers in all of Australia. The hiking trails around Port Stephens are expansive. Tomaree Headland Lookout is a great destination to explore thanks to its breath-taking views of the bay and islands off the coast. If you prefer to spend your time in the waters, you can swim with the local marine life. Dolphins make the bay home and you can slalom through the waters alongside them. Between November and May, you can spot humpback whales migrating along the Port Stephens coastline.
On the way to Port Stephens, you can stop off at Nelson Bay. The town is full of quaint shops and restaurants that attract foodies from all over. Nelson Bay’s seaside promenade is another top draw as you can walk it for exercise and to experience glorious days under the sun. If you want a unique adventure, then hit the sands at Stockton Brighton Sand Dunes to hang 10. Stockton Brighton Dunes is the largest sand dune system in Australia. Dunes rise up to 30 metres high. You can sand board down the steep dunes for an extreme sport day out.
After getting all of the extreme sports, water sports, and hiking you can handle, explore Port Stephens local produce stores. The area is popular for individuals who love farm to table foods. There is also a Port Stephens Day Tour allowing you to see all of the top destinations in the area in one day.
Sydney is an amazing city, but sometimes, you just need to get away from the hustle and bustle. A day trip from Sydney is a great way to refresh yourself and to see something different.