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Best Weekends Away For Couples - Within 3 Hours of Sydney

Home > Sydney > Lists | Weekend Escapes | Romantic | Long Weekend | Escape the City | Day Trips
by Linda Moon (subscribe)
... a dreamer, freelance writer, massage therapist, naturopath, mother & drop-out social work student living, working and writing in the Blue Mountains. When not occupied with the real world, she writes fantasy.
Published March 14th 2013
Find a little piece of England or the Whitsundays near home
Gerringong - Gerroa, South Coast, Illawarra Region
No, this isn't Ireland, it's Gerroa - Gerringong.

For romance, solitude and the chance to snuggle amidst eye-catching scenery, you can't beat this bunch of tried and tested escapes from the rat race. A thriving food scene and varied accommodation options in these tourist-focused towns ensures your taste of some of NSW's best offerings will be well flavoured with creature comforts and fine food.

Take your pick from a menu of rolling green hills, sea or leafy mountains. Since everyone has the same desire, the only catch could be the price. For a critique on each town, read on….

BERRY – small rural, vintage style country town on the South Coast.

Location info:

Berry is about 2 hours and 20 minutes drive from Sydney, on the Princess Highway after Kiama. It is the first rural township South of Sydney. Located on a coastal plain, it lies between the Great Dividing Range (with Kangaroo Valley to the west), the Tasman sea and the Pacific Ocean (the beaches of Gerroa, Seven Mile Beach and Shoalhaven Heads) along the South coastline.

Main street of Berry, NSW
The bustling, lively main street of Berry. Think Mosman in the country, but with loads more charm.

Main attractions:

- Upmarket country ambience (think Mosman in the country, but with a great deal more cuteness).
Renowned shopping and eateries.
The nearby seaside locations of Kiama, Gerroa and Gerringong.
The Berry markets – on the first Sunday of every month.
Nearby wineries.

Berry candy store.
Upmarket candy store Berry style.

Insider Facts:

Berry is home to many ex-city sea-changers. Don't expect bargains here. For more info on Berry check out the official Berry website here.

Winery near Berry
Is this Tuscany? No, it's a winery near Berry. You come here for the greenery.

GERROA / GERRINGONG – Picturesque, adjoining small coastal towns with green hills overlooking the coastline and Mount Coolangatta.

Location info:

Gerroa and Gerringong sit within the municipality of Kiama and are roughly 133 kms South of Sydney.

Main attractions:

- Top scenery, peace and quiet.
- The chance to chill in a weekender with stunning views.
- The nearby towns of Kiama, Berry and further afield, Kangaroo Valley and Jamberoo.
- Seven Mile Beach

Gerringong, Gerroa - looking out to Seven Mile Beach
Green hills and stunning coast-line - winning combination!

Insider Facts:

This scenic coastal town of about 497 citizens is very popular with holiday makers. Many houses have amazing views. Book in advance for peak seasons and be prepared to pay plenty for it. Be wary of accommodation providers that boast a view but don't actually deliver the goods. In the past Gerroa was a retreat for various religious orders. There's not much action in the towns themselves, but it's a great base for further exploration of the area and a top place for a chilled weekend.

Gerringong - Gerroa, South Coast, Illawarra Region
Get a weekender with a view like this - but be prepared to pay.


MOUNT WILSON – tiny European style village in the midst of mountain rainforest.

Location Info:

Mount Wilson is located in the Blue Mountains, approximately 2 hours drive from Sydney if you take the Richmond Road and Bells Line of Road route.

Mount Wilson in autumn, blue Mountains
Mount Wilson in autumn - spectacular getaway from Sydney.

Main Attractions:

- Autumn, when the deciduous trees turn red and amber, is stunning.
- The town itself, removal from the noise and bustle of city life.
- Private gardens in the town are open in spring and autumn for a small fee (about $7 per garden) through the Open Garden Scheme.
- Walnut and chestnut picking in March.
- Rainforest walks.

Insider Facts:

There are no petrol stations or shops in Mount Wilson. The Blue Mountains can also be prone to foul weather - rain, mist and cold in all seasons including summer. Come prepared. For further information, see my article "Escape to Mount Wilson."

Mount Wilson, Blue Mountains, NSW
The beautiful tree-lined avenues of tiny alpine village Mount Wilson. Not England, but almost.


WOLLOMBI VALLEY - Charming, historic village with country ambience offering a great base for exploring the Hunter Valley.

Location Info:

Wollombi is a small village in the Lower Hunter Valley. It is 128 km (about 80 minutes drive) north of Sydney. Wollombi is fringed by the World Heritage listed Yengo National Park, Yengo State Forest, and the convict-built Great North Road.

Mulla Villa, Wollombi Valley, Lower Hunter Valley, NSW
Country ambience galore at old homestead, Mulla Villa at Wollombi Valley. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Main Attractions:

- Wineries
- Relaxing atmosphere for chilling in a B&B.
- Gourmet food
- Historic buildings
- The Convict and Wine Trails
- Shopping
- Walks

Insider Facts:

Wollombi, like most of the Hunter Valley, is very pricey. Expect to pay a premium for food and accommodation.


JERVIS BAY - Protected marine reserve nature playground with white sands, calm bays, wildlife, walks and camping areas.

Location Info:

Jervis Bay is 190km south of the Sydney CBD and will take you around three hours drive.

Main attractions:

- All the above.
- Whale and dolphin spotting cruises
- Considered one of the best places for diving and snorkelling in NSW. Not a protected marine reserve for nothing!
- Top spot for kids.
- Loads of coastline and walks to explore.

Jervis Bay Marine Park, NSW
Is this the Whitsundays? No, it's Jervis Bay - whitest sand in NSW, bays of blue water and backdrop of native bush - oh my!!

Insider Facts:

Camping at Greenpatch during the Dec-Jan school holidays is allotted via a ballot system. Call the Booderee National Park for more information. I wouldn't come here if you want night-life, shopping and a lively restaurant scene. There isn't much, if any of that. This paradise is for nature lovers. There are no shops onsite and it can be hard for out of towners to even find a supermarket.

Jervis Bay Marine Park, NSW
Jervis Bay is full of hidden inlets, lagoons, creeks, coves, caves and other secret places to explore.
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Why? Find a little piece of the Whitsundays, Ireland and England in these great locations near Sydney.
When: Anytime you have the money and time.
Where: From the South coast to the Mountains and the Hunter.
Cost: Budget for accommodation, petrol and meals.
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