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 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.
TRAVEL TIP: Before going on an adventure in Sydney, leave your luggage at any of mindmybag’s luggage storage locations in Sydney.
Royal National Park
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 making it one of the most memorable days trips from Sydney.
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.
Location: V3J7+JF, Royal National Park NSW 2233
Phone Number: +61 2 9542 0648
Although the Royal National Park is normally open from 7 AM – 8:30 PM, closures due to inclement weather or fire hazards are possible at any time. The daily vehicle price to enter the park is $12.
Located around Sydney’s northern beaches, Palm Beach is a paradise close to the city. 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.
Palm Beach and West Palm Beach are their little universe, where style, art, and opulence take center stage. You’re probably planning to treat yourself on this vacation by staying in one of the area’s most luxurious hotels.
Blue Mountains National Park
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 the 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.
Phone Number: +61 2 4787 8877
The Blue Mountains National Park is beautiful at any time of year, but summers and winters are ideal. For the finest experience, come during the spring months of September and October.
With its majestic seaside caverns which are a site for tourists to see, 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. Arguably, this place is one of the most picturesque of the day trips from Sydney.
Kiama’s historic waterfront buildings and wealth of natural attractions make it an ideal destination for a day trip from Sydney, a weekend escape, or a week-long vacation that will allow you to fully take advantage of the area.
The capital city of Australia, 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 from 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.
Canberra, Australia’s capital, is also referred to as “The Bush capital” because of the city’s extensive parks and the surrounding mountains.
Just under two hours from Sydney is one of the most beautiful areas on 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 runs 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.
Upon reaching the end of The Entrance, you will find a 300-metre stretch of beach that is constantly monitored by lifeguards. From the start of the September break to the end of the April break, the beach is supervised by lifeguards. Additionally, you can go surfing.
Around 200 kilometres from Sydney’s Central Business District lies Port Stephens. 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 where extreme sports aficionados can head to bushland trails and surf the waters off the coast. Snorkelling, diving, kayaking, and sailing are also popular water sports around the bay.
Moreover, Port Stephens is well-known for its ample fishing grounds and is considered one of the best destinations for anglers in all of Australia. Further, with its expansive hiking trails, it is a great destination to explore thanks to its breathtaking views of the bay and islands off the coast. If you prefer to spend your time in the waters, you can also swim with the local marine life. Dolphins make the bay home and you can slalom through the waters alongside them. You can spot humpback whales migrating along the Port Stephens coastline between November and May.
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 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 to 30 metres high. You can sandboard down the steep dunes for an extreme sports day out.
After getting all of the extreme sports, water sports, and hiking you can handle, explore Port Stephen’s local produce stores. The area is popular with 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.
Port Stephens is not only home to some of Australia’s most stunning beaches, but also to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest shifting sand dunes, a wealth of wildlife activities (including dolphin and whale watching trips), stunning hiking trails, and some of the best cuisine in all of Australia.
If you are an outdoorsy traveller, then Glenworth Valley is the perfect day trip from Sydney for you. It is only an hour’s drive north of Sydney and is a perfect place to take your family.
The Valley offers a variety of activities like horseback riding, kayaking, and rock climbing. Guests can also explore the valley by riding on horseback or try quad biking through riverbanks where they can find eucalypt forests on the scenic bush trails.
In addition, guests also have a wide array of accommodation choices. You can stay in an eco-villa equipped with a modern kitchen and facilities as well as a hot tub for a relaxing dip. For guests who love the outdoors, there are also glamping tents and campsites available where you can sleep amid lush trees and enjoy a night with an amazing view of the stars. Glenworth Valley is a perfect day trip or a weekend getaway for you and your family.
Located on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures is a great place to go horseback riding, abseiling, kayaking, or quad biking not far from Sydney. Glenworth Valley is a great place to go swimming and camping.
Just a 2-hour drive west of Sydney, you can find Breenhold Gardens. This majestic place comprises 45 hectares of different flowers, trees, and ferns. The gardens were an idea of the late Thomas Breen and his wife Charlotte in 1965. Over the years, the garden has been filled with exotic flowers and trees from all over the world.
The area has been a popular tourist destination, especially for influencers who wish to get a picture-perfect spot. Every corner of the garden is social media-worthy and a fun fact is that it has been one of the locations for the movie The Great Gatsby. Moreover, tourists say that the best time to visit the garden is during the autumn season when the reddish hue of the leaves is a picture-worthy moment and the perfect background for your holiday memories. For just an entrance fee of $10 per person, enjoy the breathtaking scenery and beautiful ambiance of Breenhold Gardens.
Location: 29 The Avenue, Mount Wilson NSW 2786
Adults pay $15.00 to enter Breenhold Gardens, while children over the age of 5 pay only $5.00. The family rate is $40.00 and includes 2 adults and 3 or more children.
Kanangra-Boyd National Park
Another day trip from Sydney is the Kanangra Boyd National Park. Located just 110 kilometres Southwest of Sydney, this park is one of the eight protected areas in Australia and was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.
The park is comprised of the Boyd Plateau where the perfect ridge of the plateau can be seen. The most notable area on the plateau is the Kanangra Walls which is one of the most spectacular landscapes in Australia. For the best views of the wall, you can head to the Kanangra Boyd lookout. Other activities guests can do in the area is bird watching, and if you are lucky, you can find wedge-tail eagles.
In addition, the park also has bushwalking trails and walking tracks wherein guests can trek and explore the wonders the park has in store. These include the eucalypt forests and the misty mountains of the Boyd Plateau. Animals such as the squirrel glider and the brush-tailed rock wallaby also live in the area and tourists are in for a treat if they spot one.
Location: Jenolan Caves Rd, Jenolan NSW 2790
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is about an hour’s drive north of Sydney. It has a lot of natural and cultural landmarks. From the sandstone platform at the West Head Lookout, you can see a beautiful view that goes from Pittwater to the Central Coast.
On the short hike through the woods that is the Aboriginal Heritage route, you might see handprints and carvings made by the Guringai people thousands of years ago. The Hawkesbury River, Pittwater, Cowan Water, and several smaller creeks and bays are all inside the park. Do you want to see more situations like these? The Bobbin Inn is where you can rent paddle boats.
Ku-Ring-Gai National Park is a heritage-listed park with beautiful scenery. Winding creeks, ocean, rainforest, eucalypts, rugged cliffs, and mangroves. Camp at The Basin or explore walking and bike paths, lookouts, and Aboriginal sites.
The beautiful paradise of Kangaroo Valley may be found just two hours south of Sydney. Stop by Yarrawa Estate Winery and try some local jams and wines. Trips down the Kangaroo River in a canoe or a horseback ride through the woods and fields are great family activities. Both the Victorian-style Hampden Bridge and the views of the wilderness from Mannings overlook are well worth a visit. The Flavours of the Valley Foodie Trail features a variety of hands-on activities, such as classes in gourmet cooking, gardening, soap-making, and the art of high tea.
Well-known for its picturesque mountain setting and rural atmosphere. The Valley hamlet is picturesque, complete with antique shops, specialty boutiques, and one-of-a-kind art galleries and cafes. If you find yourself in Kangaroo Valley, you simply must stop by Hampden Bridge.
Take a trip to Berrima, a town that appears to have remained unchanged since the 1830s. Berrima is the most well-preserved Georgian settlement on the Australian mainland, and it is famous for its proximity to wineries, attractive structures dating back centuries, and high-end boutiques. The Australian Alpaca Centre sells warm jumpers ideal for the chilly season, while Mrs. Oldbuck’s Pantry is stocked with fresh, locally sourced foods. The Eschalot, a restaurant on the National Register of Historic Places with two hats, serves a delicious lunch that should not be missed. Explore the Berrima River in search of a platypus, or join a ghost tour of the courthouse.
The village of Berrima is historic. It’s the only surviving Georgian colonial town in Australia, founded in 1831. Before its founding, Bong Bong, near Moss Vale, was the Southern Highlands’ settlement hub (1817).
Lake Macquarie is a sizable lake, but the area between Sydney and Newcastle, Australia, has a lot to offer city inhabitants looking for a rural retreat. If you, like Bilbo Baggins, desire to travel to the end of the world and back in a single day, then a trail ride with AAA Horse Riding & More is the only way to do it. You’ll be able to trot and canter past palm tree canopies, thick fern paths, and sky-scraping slender gums at the base of the Watagan Mountains. After, try your hand at skippering a private runabout on the area’s namesake lake with Jetbuzz Watersports.
Sharks in the lake indicate that the environment there is stable. Of fact, Lake Macquarie has always had sharks, as far as the old fishers are concerned.
The magnificent coastal community of Avalon Beach is one of the nicest day trips you can take from Sydney. Avalon is one of the best day trips from Sydney for several reasons, yet most tourists skip it in favor of Palm Beach.
For starters, you’re not limited to either Avalon Beach or the pristine seaside pool. From the Avalon side of Pittwater, you can take a short ferry ride to the Clareville side, where you’ll find the gorgeous and family-friendly Clareville Beach.
The beach and park are great for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Divers and snorkelers should be wary of the remnants of World War II amphibious training exercises. Visitors can take use of covered picnic tables that look out over the water.
Aussie Sheep Farm
Those interested in seeing authentic aspects of Australian life on a day excursion from Sydney can consider visiting Tobruk Sheep Station. You can see demonstrations of sheep shearing, whip cracking, and boomerang tossing to pass the time. A lamington can be enjoyed as a sweet end to an authentic Australian BBQ.
Tobruk Sheep Station is a fantastic destination for a day trip from Sydney, so don’t miss it if you’re in the region.
In some aspects, Avoca Beach is similar to Byron Bay. The easygoing vibe, stunning seaside market settings, and delicious, healthful meals will have you relaxing in no time.
Around 95 kilometers north of Sydney, Avoca Beach is a beachside community in New South Wales, Australia. Avoca Beach is a popular tourist destination and residential neighbourhood that is increasingly included in discussions of the Greater Sydney area.
Southern of the well-known Terrigal village is where you’ll find Avoca Beach. It’s just as scenic and safe for kids as Terrigal, but with less of a buzz. A lengthy dead-end road terminates at the beach. It has numerous restaurants and cafes, in addition to interesting landmarks.
The people of Sydney sometimes neglect Newcastle, but the city has a lot to offer. If you’re looking for stunning beaches that are significantly less crowded than those in Sydney, head two hours north to Newcastle.
We think you’ll enjoy the Bogey Hole and the Merewether Ocean Baths, and we know you’ll love the acai at Blue Door and the Asian cuisine at Ginger Megs. Our top pick among the many independently owned businesses on Darby Street is the vintage store Sourced On Darby.
If you’re tired of grape tours, try a sunrise hot air balloon flight over Hunter Valley. Watch the sunrise over the horizon as the balloon flies over the treetops and takes you to your destination. Brunch with champagne and a view of the vineyard.
Brokenwood Wines is one of Australia’s best-known premium wine labels. You can visit them in the Hunter Valley for a 45-minute guided wine tasting in one of their unique circular tasting “pods,” where you can try 6 Brokenwood varietals and single vineyard wines.
There is 8 km of walking paths in the 14-acre Hunter Valley Gardens.
The Rose Garden, the Storybook Garden, the Indian Garden, the Chinese Garden, the Italian Grotto, the Sunken Garden, the Lakes Walk, the Oriental Garden, the Formal Garden, and the Border Garden are 10 themed gardens with native and exotic plant species. There are waterfalls, statues, paintings, more than a million plants, 6,000 trees, and 600,000 shrubs in the gardens.
Foodies will find paradise in Hunter Valley. Cheeses, jams, chocolates, and other sweets are just some of the scrumptious treats available here. In addition, there are some of the country’s best restaurants in the area. Visit notable eateries like Muse Restaurant and Circa 1876 if you’re a serious foodie.
Sydney is an amazing city, but sometimes, you just need to get away from the hustle and bustle. These day trips from Sydney are a great way to refresh yourself and see something different.