You may think taking a day trip from Sydney is a little silly. Considering how much there is to actually do there. But taking a trip out of the city, be it for a day or even a weekend, opens up some great sightseeing experiences. I’m talking wine tasting in Hunter or Kangaroo Valley. Hiking in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Or even a foodie trip to the Shoalhaven Region. If you’re looking for inspiration, I’m going to share my favourite day trips from Sydney. All of which I have actually taken during my trips to Australia.
Nature lovers and beachgoers looking to escape the city, a visit to Kiama might be the perfect day out for you. Kiama is located along the New South Wales South Coast and is home to the 22km Kiama Coast Walk. This stunning route takes you from Minamurra river all the way to Werri Beach. Along the way you’ll spot the Kiama Blowhole, that blasts water over 20 metres in the air, as well as the nearby lighthouse. Kiama is also home to a number of national parks and nature reserves, all with great picnic facilities and beautiful lookout points. These include Budderoo National Park, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and the Seven Mile Beach National Park in Gerroa (around 15 minutes from Kiama). Driving from Sydney to Kiama takes around 1 hour 45 minutes along the Grand Pacific Drive.
Minamurra Rainforest Loop and Falls Walk
During my trip to Kiama, we headed inland to Budderoo National Park to complete the Falls Walk. A 4.2km (return) hike amongst the incredible rainforest to the Minnamurra Falls. Everywhere I looked there were ferns, trickling streams and huge trees with winding roots. Before this trip, I’d never seen a waterfall. And the Minnamurra Falls was a spectacular one to start me off. The upper and lower viewpoints give you different vantage points of the falls and are great for stopping to catch your breath and taking a photo, or five.
The region of Illawarra lies south of Sydney’s CBD and takes around 1 hour and a half to drive. The district of Illawarra encompasses a lot of square miles and there is a lot to see and do here. Kiama, which I have just spoken about calls it home. As well as the city of Wollongong, perfect for skydiving, Batemans Bay and Shoalhaven River. My reason for visiting Illawarra, was the Illawarra Fly zip-line tour. It was exhilarating hurting through the ancient rainforest canopy and is an experience that definitely made it on to my Australia best bits list. As well as this I was lucky enough to stop at the gorgeous Bald Hill Lookout for sunrise. It’s one of the country’s most well-known lookouts. And for good reason.
For anyone looking to spend some time away from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is a perfect location choice. It’s a wonderful place to hike, with an abundance of marked bushwalks. There are the famous Three Sisters to marvel at from Echo Point. As well as the Jenolan Cave, Scenic World, Tree Adventure and more. Be sure to stop at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre to learn more about its history. Or head to one of the Blue Mountains many towns to support the local community. Katoomba, Blackheath and Leura are popular spots for visitors.
Watsons Bay makes a perfect day trip from Sydney city centre. Just catch a ferry from Circular Quay, enjoy 20 minutes of fabulous city views and you’ve arrived. There’s a lot to do in Watsons Bay, but during my visit, I walked the South Head Heritage Trail that begins at Camp Cove. It’s a short walk but packs a lot in. You’ll pass Lady Bay Beach (which permits nude bathing). You’ll get a glimpse of the Sydney harbour. And between May and November, you may be lucky to spot a whale or two from South Head. Learn more about indigenous history with Kadoo Tours. And stop for a bite to eat after at one of the waterfront restaurants.
Palm Beach is the ideal destination to explore one of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. By public transport, it’s only a 90-minute journey from the city centre. When I visited Palm Beach I spent some time walking the Smugglers Track section of the Barrenjoey Healand Walk. At the top of the walk, you’re met by the Barrenjoey Lighthouse and views of Palm Beach and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Surfers should head to the northern end of the beach for great surf conditions. Whilst the less active among you should head to the southern end of the beach. Here you can enjoy a swim in the ocean pool. And the sea views have got you craving seafood, head to the famous Boathouse Palm Beach for some fish and chips.
There are so many day trips from Sydney to do, and these were just some of my favourites. If you’ve spent some time out of the city and have some recommendations of your own, I would love to hear them. I’m forever compiling lists of things to do in Sydney, whenever I return.
Until next time.