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Sydney Scenic Drives: The Countryside

Home > Sydney > Adventure | Day Trips | Escape the City | Places of Interest | Travel
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I love travelling, discovering hidden gems & food. Experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass. Owner of do check it out for grazing platters and more :)
Published May 13th 2021
Take the back roads, go on tourist drives, experience it all
Sydney is home to endless scenic drives, from coast to country and in between.

The list below features the top Scenic Countryside Drives:

The Country Roads. Drives include less than five hours from Sydney, making it a perfect weekend getaway or an epic day trip (starting early, of course).

1. Sydney to Kangaroo Valley

Escaping to the countryside will not be complete without visiting or staying in Australia's most beautiful valley, Kangaroo Valley. This small town runs through the Southern Highlands valleys and features rolling hills, green fields, quaint farms, wildlife-rich rainforest and spectacular attractions.

Enjoying an afternoon scenic stroll at Fitzroy Falls Reservoir

It is home to Hampden Bridge, a Victorian suspension bridge with castle-like sandstone towers, The Pioneer Village Museum, endless lookouts, the 'world's greatest pies', and nearby the spectacular Morton National Park where the mighty Fitzroy Falls calls home.

Crossing the historic Hampden Bridge

Other attractions include canoeing down the Kangaroo River, the Historic Village Walk, Mannings Lookout, Mcphails Trail, a scenic drive through the Valley Floor Ride, and much more.

Where to Eat:

The Southern Highlands is known to have some of the best pies in the country! A visit here will not be complete without pie tasting. For some of the best pies in town, try Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop, Southern Pies, and Kangaroo Valley Bakehouse.

Other places to eat include The General, The Friendly Inn Pub, Kangaroo Valley Fudge House & Ice Creamery, The Woolshed Restaurant, Hampden Deli and more.

Click here for places to eat.

Feasting on pies at the World Famous Pie Shop- Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop

Where to Stay:

Kangaroo Valley has it all when it comes to country accommodation. You will find anything from family-friendly camping, holidays houses and luxury homes, cottages and cabins, dog-friendly stays, B&B stays, budget stays, caravan parks, farm stays and more.

Click here for more accommodation options.

2. Sydney to Picton

The drive is approx 85km from Sydney and arriving in Picton feels like stepping back in time.

This historic rural town was once New South Wales' first European settlements, making Picton a fantastic spot for historians and architecture buffs, where many of the buildings date back to the 19th century, including the railway tunnels and one of the oldest hotels in Australia, the George IV Inn, where the first beer was poured in 1835!

Spotting adorable kangaroos on the scenic drive

This country town is home to the stunning Picton Botanic Gardens, Stonequarry Creek webbed with walking and cycling trails, pick-your-own fruit experiences, homemade beers, farms, and endless countryside charm.

Exploring the locomotives at the Rail Museum

Other and nearby attractions include the Historic Picton Walking Tour, Victoria Bridge, Picton Tunnel, Razorback Lookout & Razorback Range, Douglas Park, Maldon Suspension Bridge, Thirlmere Rail Museum, Thirlmere Lakes National Park, and much more.

Enjoying the "off the beaten track

Where to Eat:

With rich agricultural surrounding the town, there is no shortage of local delights! Places to eat include Picton Hotel, George IV Inn,Antill Park Country Golf Club, The Captain's Quarters, and more.

Where to Stay:

Places to stay include the Picton Valley Motel, George IV Inn Hotel, and Mowbray Park Farmstay.

Click here for more accommodation options.

3. Sydney to Bowral

Sitting at 661 metres above sea level and being approx 118km southwest Sydney, Bowral is the largest country town in the Southern Highlands. It is home to green pastures, rolling hills, beautiful gardens, antique and up-market boutique stores, wineries, art galleries, fresh local produce and fine food eateries, nature galore and more.

Enjoying the autumn hues at Venables Park

An array of attractions include the iconic Sir Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame, Mt Gibraltar Reserve with its many walks, lookouts and picnic spots, the tranquil Cherry Blossom Vietnam Memorial Walk, Corbett Gardens, Milk Factory Gallery, Bowral Lookouts, and much more.

Check out those colours! Being in awe at the Tulip Festival- Corbett Gardens

Where to Eat:

Bowral is a gourmet getaway with its fresh produce and cool climate wines. Places to eat include visiting a cellar door including Centennial Vineyards, dining at a highly acclaimed restaurant including Onesta Cucina.

There is also an array of charming country pubs, wine tasting tours, quaint cafe and more.

Where to Stay:

Accommodation includes Manor and B&B stays, holiday homes, and boutique stays, motels, farm stays, and more.

Click here for more accommodation options.

4. Sydney to Goulburn

The historic service centre and the main city in the Southern Tablelands, Goulburn is located where the Mulwaree and Wollondilly Rivers meet and approximately 196km southwest of Sydney via the M5 Motorway and Hume Freeway.

Driving past the spectacular Canola Fields

Goulburn is one of the earlier inland settlements in New South Wales and is home to various attractions, including The Big Merino, Belmore Park, museums, historic cemeteries, rail heritage, gardens, Grafton Self-guided Walk, The Old Goulburn Brewery, and more.

It is also home to an array of significant historic buildings discovered on the Historical Walking Tour.

River crossing on our bushwalk at Bungonia National Park

Where to Eat:

Indulge your senses with Goulburn's diverse spread of local food and beverages, including high quality, fresh, regionally grown produce, exotic cuisines, local cool climate wines, quaint pubs, and more.

Click here for more eateries.

Where to Stay:

Places to stay include intimate guest houses, B&B stays, self-contained stays, cosy heritage homes, pub stays, camping, farm stays, and more.

Click here for more accommodation options.

5. Jamberoo

Surrounded by endless rolling farmland, Jamberoo is one of Sydney's gorgeous country towns. This historic dairy town is located west of Kiama and is approximately 114km south of Sydney via the Princess Highway and Albion Park.

The breathtaking views from Saddleback Mountain Lookout

This small rural village is home to dairy pastures, spectacular scenery, including views of Saddleback Mountain, towering cliffs of the Illawarra escarpment, rolling hills, and dense rainforest.
Attractions include historic buildings, Jamberoo Action Park, Saddleback Mountain Lookout, Hoddles Track, Minnamurra Rainforest, and Barren Grounds Nature Reserve.

Admiring the falls at Minnamurra Rainforest

Where to Eat:

Places to eat include the Jamberoo Pub, where you will find excellent pub food, cafes and patisseries, international cuisine restaurants, and more.

Where to Stay:

Accommodation includes retreats, B&B stays, camping, farm stays, and cottages.

Click here for the website.

6. Sydney to Orange

Located around 3.5 hours from Sydney, passing the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, the stunning countryside, Orange is a leafy townhome to excellent quality food and wine, including hatted restaurants and natural attractions, including Mount Canobolas.

There are endless attractions from botanic gardens to winery experiences, self-guided walking trails to scenic drives to historic villages, lookouts to historic and heritage buildings, and much more.

Discover the local heritage and history on the self-guided Orange Heritage Trail or see local history displays at the restored Cobb & Co Coachhouse and discover the historic and heritage buildings.

A picnic with a view at Mount Canobolas

Where to Eat:

With a high altitude and rich volcanic soil from nearby Mount Canobolas, Orange is perfect for cool-climate wines. Try some local boutique wineries across the region, and be sure to try the award-winning shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.

Food and wine tasting paired with breathtaking views can be enjoyed at Nashdale Lane Wines; acclaimed restaurants including Lolli Redini, Antica, Australis, Tonic and The Union Bank are home to some of the region's best produce.

If craft beer and cocktails are more your thing, visit Birdie Noshery & Drinking Establishment, or enjoy a cheeky gelato at the Spilt Milk Bar.

Click here for a list of places to eat and click here for places to enjoy a drink.

Where to Stay:

Accommodations options include vineyard and rural stays, luxury boutique hotels, camping and glamping, holiday homes, apartments, hotels and motels, and retreats.

Click here for the website.
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Why? Explore NSW's countryside
When: All year round
Website: See Above
Where: See above
Cost: Free & Ticketed Attractions
Your Comment
you've really put a lot of effort and thought into this ... appreciate your layout and your amazing pics! Well done
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1436) 34 days ago
Absolutely fabulous locations. I have been to four of the locations mentioned, but sadly just passed through. It pays to stop and linger.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|2573) 34 days ago
Well done, Gypsy Rose, an awesomely informative article. Congrats on the well-deserved Gold!
by Elaine (score: 3|8195) 34 days ago
Thank you, Elaine :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|745) 34 days ago
Thank you, Neil. They are certainly worth a stop! :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|745) 34 days ago
Thank you, Kate :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|745) 34 days ago
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