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Published August 16th 2018
When a Day Becomes a Holiday
Spectacular Sydney is setup for winter skiing, summer swimming, selfies in a bed of autumn leaves and romantic spring picnics. Whether you've lived in Sydney all your life or you've recently moved into Australia's unofficial capital, you'll love these top five day trips, all within a few hours of the CBD.
These escapes from the city cater for every budget, from cheap and cheerful to indulgent pampering. Each trip will renew your love for Sydney while captivating overseas visitors.
Visit: Mrs Macquaries Road Sydney (entrances also on Macquarie St, Cahill Expressway Farm Cove and the Opera House).
Lick a sweet rainbow (image by the Treat Factory)
Berry The Rocks near Circular Quay is a snapshot of our colonial past but the picture blurs amid touristy shops spruiking t-shirts, opals and 'genuine' Australiana.
Escape the daunting skyscrapers for Berry, living like our ancestors as you ride horses, sample sweet baked goods venture into unspoilt countryside. Visit the Treat Factory to indulge your childhood nostalgia with peanut brittle, nougat, liquorice, musk sticks. Stock up on boiled lollies, including bullseyes, cherry rocks and humbugs.
Now buzzing with a sugar hit, tackle the hike to the Drawing Room Rocks. These natural rock formations create comfortable tables and chairs for weary hikers to gaze over the south coast, in a vista stretching into the horizon.
Visit: Drive 2 hours south on the M1, just past Kiama.
Millions of years in the making (image by Jenolan Caves)
Blue Mountains A rite of passage for hikers, the forest of eucalyptus draws people westward from the beach. In the Blue Mountains, circle the rocky Three Sisters or ride a scenic cable car or chugging railway train.
For science buffs, the colouring of the skies is believed to be Mie scattering. This light effect causes shorter blue and grey wavelengths to pop into view, fuelled with the aromatic oils of eucalypt trees.
Spelunk through Jenolan Caves, dodging the stalactites (dripping limestone to create pillars) and stalagmites, slowing stretching for the heavens.
Visit: Drive 90 minutes west on the M4, just past Penrith.
During the easy 2-hour drive to the Hunter Valley, lock in your shortlist from over 100 wineries. You'll sample some of the best wines in Australia, loading the boot with your favourites.
If the long list of award-winning producers has you flummoxed, sign-up for the Two Fat Blokes half-day tour, trying 3 of the Hunter's top wines with cheese and savoury treats.
The Valley takes care of the designated driver too, with historic cottages and galleries at Maitland and Patterson, golf at Rothbury and hiking in the national parks in Singleton and Wollombi.
Be sure to bring a piece of the Hunter into your kitchen with a batch of the local produce, including chocolate, cheese and jam.
Visit: Drive 2 hours north on the M1, just past Newcastle.
Hang Ten (image by Jervis Bay Surf School)
Sandy white beaches are a cliché, but an urban myth claims Jervis Bay's Hyam Beach has the world's whitest sands, 'endorsed' by the Guinness Book of Records. Fake news or not, you'll enjoy testing the tale with a visit.
Water babies of all ages bath in the idyllic aqua of the bay, with snorkelling and scuba diving popular as amateur archaeologists paddle through shipwrecks lost to the salty seas.
Search the bay's enchanting national park, following the clues from legends of buried treasure. The bay can be crowded with locals, but they are all cute and friendly. These natives, dolphins, kangaroos, whales and wombats, love selfies.
Visit: Drive 3 hours south on the M1, just past Nowra.
Where's your divine day trip in Sydney? Please let us know with a comment.