So the boss has been driving you crazy, the kids have been misbehaving and your partner is looking very tired. Perhaps it's time to pack your toothbrush and socks and take your family on a weekend escape. It's incredible how much difference a night or two away from your daily routine can make. The following places are less than three hours away and all offer plenty of fun things to do and beautiful spots to relax.
If you are after a quiet, relaxing getaway, then you can't go wrong with Jervis Bay. Beaches with the whitest sand in the world (according to Guinness Book of Records) and crystal clear waters are surrounded by an incredible national park.
Located approximately 2.5 hour drive from Sydney, Hunter Valley is a great family destination. Enjoy a change of pace with a glass of wine or enjoy a soothing spa treatment.
Things to do: Visit the incredible Hunter Valley Gardens, go wine tasting or enjoy a drive through the beautiful country side. If you have kids, play Aqua Golf or Putt Putt and enjoy a leisurly lunch at the Village. If you are feeling adventurous, then book for a hot air balloon ride or explore Barrington Tops National Park.
Stay at: Harrigans Irish Pub, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley or Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens
Approximately 2.5 hours north of Sydney, Nelson Bay is a beautiful region which offers gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping and golden beaches.
Things to Do: Feed sharks and sting rays at the Australian Shark and Ray Centre, swim at Tomaree Aquatic Centre or visit Toboggan Hill Park which offers a one kilometre toboggan ride, plaster model painting and a 19 hole mini golf course.
If you are after an adrenaline rush, then check out Port Stephens Parasailing or go for a thrill ride on Thundarraft. Swim with dolphins with Dolphin Swim Australia.
Wollongong is located just 1.5 hours south of Sydney
Things to do:
On the way to Wollongong stop at Bulli Lookout or Sublime Point and enjoy the most spectacular views of the Wollongong area. Alternatively stop at Bald Hill and watch hang gliders take off or drive down to Stanwell Park and see the hang gliders land.
Once you arrive at Wollongong, make sure you visit the stunning Wollongong Botanic Gardens. There are 17 great beaches to choose from and also many parks with playgrounds for picnics and BBQs. Other places to visit include Futureworld Eco Technology Centre, Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk and Illawarra Museum, Science Centre and Planetarium and Symbio Wildlife Zoo.
Novotel Wollongong or Quest Serviced Apartments