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Published August 10th 2016
A Day Becomes a Holiday with these Adventures
Top 5 Sydney Day Trips
Spectacular Sydney offers endless day trips, catering for winter skiing, summer swimming and autumn leaf kicking and spring romance. 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 within a few hours of our CBD.
There are trips catering for every budget, from cheap and cheerful to indulgent and pricey. Each trip will renew your love for Sydney while captivating visiting family and friends. You'll enjoy memories to outlast the most vivid selfies.
Mother nature's lungs are frantically puffing in the heart of the CBD. Hear the ancient wollemi pine inhaling CO2 in our Royal Botanical Gardens as you explore the manicured sections dedicated to enchanting floral themes, aboriginal culture, conservation and green love. Whether you yearn for leafy seclusion or expansive views of the city and harbour, you'll find a spot to unfurl your picnic blanket and lie back beneath warm Sydney sunshine. Explore the highlights here.
Visit: Mrs Macquaries Road Sydney (entrances also on Macquarie St, Cahill Expressway Farm Cove and the Opera House). More info.
(image by the Treat Factory)
2. Berry The Rocks near Circular Quay is a snapshot of our colonial past but the picture is blurred by touristy shops spruiking t-shirts, opals and 'genuine' Australiana. Escape the imposing skyscrapers of the city at Berry, a town compelling visitors to experience the lives of our ancestors while riding horses, sampling freshly baked treats and exploring a countryside captured on millions of iconic postcards. Visit the Treat Factory to relive your childhood with peanut brittle, nougat, licorice, musk sticks. Stock up on boiled lollies, including the nostalgic treats of bullseyes, cherry rocks and humbugs. The treats will fuel your hike on the Drawing Room Rocks, with natural rock formations creating comfortable tables and chairs to admire the spectacular view of the south coast, stretching into the horizon.
Visit: Drive 2 hours south on the M1, just past Kiama. More info.
(image by Jenolan Caves)
3. Blue Mountains A pilgrimage site for hikers, the distinctive blue tinge tempts a steady stream of visitors every weekend. Circle the Three Sisters, a giant trio of rocks or ride the scenic cable car or chugging railway train. For science buffs, the phenomenon is believed to be due to Mie scattering, the light effect causing the shorter wavelengths of blue and grey to become more prominent, perhaps accentuated by the rich oils in the vast forests of eucalypt trees. Spelunk your way through Jenolan Caves, dodging the stalactites (dripping limestone slowly hardening as it stretches to the ground) and stalagmites, slowing growing toward the cave's ceiling.
Visit: Drive 90 minutes west on the M4, just past Penrith. More info.
4. Hunter Valley During the scenic 2-hour drive to the Valley, peruse the list of over 100 wineries to sip your favourite drops before the sun sets and you're returning home. Popular choices are Scarborough Wine Co., Peterson House and Audrey Wilkinson. If the long list of award-winning producers leaves you breathless, sign-up for the Two Fat Blokes' half-day tour, enjoying 3 of the Hunter's finest wines, complemented with cheeses and savoury treats. The Hunter Valley welcomes non-drinkers too with historic cottages and galleries at Maitland and Patterson, golf at Rothbury and hiking in national parks in Singleton and Wollombi. Be sure to bring a piece of the Hunter into your kitchen with the local produce, including chocolate, cheese and jam.
Visit: Drive 2 hours north on the M1, just past Newcastle. More info.
(image by Jervis Bay Surf School)
5. Jervis Bay White sands are a cliché on most beaches. Jervis Bay's Hyam Beach is proudly coated in the whitest of paradise-inspired sands, verified by the Guinness Book of Records (I'm sure the judge enjoyed reviewing it). Water babies of all ages are welcome in the idyllic aqua of the bay, with snorkelling and scuba diving popular as amateur archaeologists explore thousands of shipwrecks from every era of our nautical past. Search the enchanted national park surrounding the bay for, spurred by legends of buried treasure. You'll share the bay with local residents though, but they are all friendly and cute natives – dolphins, kangaroos, whales and wombats.
Visit: Drive 3 hours south on the M1, just past Nowra. More info.
If you're driven to a day trip, I hope you love these choices as much as the savvy surveyors of these classic destinations each weekend. Have you discovered another divine day trip in Sydney? Please let us know, we love to discover new favourites.