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Top Short Weekend Getaways from Sydney

Home > Sydney > Adventure | Escape the City | Places of Interest | Travel | Weekend Escapes
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published October 27th 2019
From astounding scenery to quaint villages & beyond
Sydney is home to spectacular locations imaginable, from harbours to secluded beaches to valleys, making it the perfect excuse to escape each weekend and experience something different.

Escape the busy city life this weekend and indulge at one of Sydney's surrounding astounding scenery. The list below features mini-breaks that ensures the perfect weekend escape getaway to relax and unwind.

1. Lake Macquarie
Boasting with the largest coastal saltwater lake in Australia and combined with easy access to spectacular beaches, makes Lake Macquarie nature's paradise.

Distance: 1-1 Hours approx. from Sydney CBD

Why: Leisure-filled weekend getaway

Attractions: Sensational scenery, Macquarie Lake: kayak, canoe or fishing opportunities, walking & cycling trail around the Lake, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Blackbutt Nature Reserve, beaches, Wetlands, Lookouts National Parks.

Where to Stay: Holiday parks, campsites, houseboats, Bed & Breakfast, Self-contained, and hotel, motel & resorts. Click here for all details.

Click here for the website.

Enjoying the coastal views at Caves Beach


2. Kiama
Kiama is home to spectacular coastlines. Located in the Illawarra region this town is also a stone's throw from sublime National Parks, astounding beauty and beaches.

Distance: 1 - 2 Hours approx. from Sydney CBD

Why: Coastal getaway escape

Attractions: Kiama Blowholes, Saddleback Mountain Lookout, Crooked River Wines, Budderoo National Park, Kiama Coast Walk, Minnamurra Rainforest , beaches, Kiama Lighthouse, and more. For list of attractions click here.

Where to Stay: Secluded rural cottages, restored heritage buildings, beach holiday parks, Bed & Breakfast, mountain cabins, glamping, beach houses, hotel, motel & resorts, and campsites. Click here for all details.

Click here for the website.

Enjoying a stroll around Kiama's marina


3. Goulburn
This first inland city in Australia has tangible signs of rich history that is scattered throughout. Many attractions a heritage-based.

Distance: 2- 2 Hours approx. from Sydney CBD

Why: A laidback country-style weekend getaway

Attractions: The Big Merino, Rocky Hill Lookout, Goulburn Historic Waterworks Museum, Belmore Park, self-guided heritage walking tour, homesteads, galleries, shopping, market events, walking trails, tours, and wineries.

Where to Stay: Bed & Breakfast, bush retreat, farm stays, camping & caravan, hotel, motel & apartment, pub stay, and self-contained. Click here for all details.

Click here for the website.

Image Courtesy from Goulburn Australia Facebook


4. Port Stephens
This aquatic-based fun region is home to bays boasting beautiful beaches, inviting inlets, spectacular bushland, sand dunes, and entertaining indoor attractions.

Distance: 2 Hours approx. from Sydney CBD.

Why: Beach weekend getaway

Attractions: Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton sand dunes), Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters, Fighter World Museum, Tomaree Head Summit Walk, quad biking, horse & camel riding, dolphin & whale cruises, 4WD sand driving, surfing, kayaking, swimming & snorkelling, walking & cycling trails, lookouts, and more.

Where to Stay: Holiday houses, Bed & Breakfast, backpacker, hotel, motel, resorts & apartments, holiday parks, cabins, camping, and pet-friendly accommodation. Click here for the website.

Click here for the website.

There are plenty of Lookouts that offer spectacular views of Port Stephens and beyond


5. Blue Mountains
This World Heritage Site is a rugged region known for dramatic scenery. It encompasses steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls, villages dotted with guesthouses, galleries, and gardens. It is also home to some of the best bushwalking trails and stunning natural beauty in the country.

Distance: 50min- 1:20hr approx. from Sydney CBD

Why: A mountain and adventure weekend escape

Attractions: The iconic Three Sisters at Echo Point, lookouts, Blue Mountains National Park, Wentworth Falls Lake Reserve, Scenic World, scenic drives, waterfalls, walking trails & hikes, abseiling, canoeing, 4WD adventures, gardens, tours, day spas & pampering, galleries & museums, horse riding, and more.

Where to Stay: Romantic & honeymoon retreats, luxury resorts, cottages & cabins, Bed & Breakfast, hotels, backpacker & budget, chalets, motor & motor inns, grand historic retreats, pet-friendly accommodation, guest houses, family-friendly accommodation, eco-tourism stays, executive stays, bushland & country stays, farm stays, treehouse stays, and camping. Click here for details.

Click here for the website.

The famous Three Sisters from Spooners Lookout, Blue Mountains


6. Bowral
Bowral is the largest town in the Southern Highlands as well as being a picturesque town that is home to wineries, natural beauty, great eats, pastures and rolling hills, and the famous Tulip Time Festival.

Distance: 1:20- 2 Hours approx. from Sydney CBD.

Why: Quaint towns and village weekend escape

Attractions: Eclectic mix of eateries, including hatted restaurant Biota, wineries & vineyards, boutique shopping, country markets, Bradman Centre- Bradman Museum & Oval, gardens, quaint villages nearby including Mittagong, Moss Vale, Robertson, Berrima, and more, galleries, including the Milk Factory Gallery, Corbett Gardens, Mount Gibraltar Reserve, scenic drives & tourist drives, lookouts, Southern Highlands Wine Trail, and more.

Where to Stay: Hotel, motel & resorts, boutique stays, Bed & Breakfast, camping, lodges, hut stays, farm stays, cottages, heritage stays, and caravan. Click here for details.

Click here for the website.

Tulips in full blossom at Corbett Gardens, Bowral


7. Hunter Valley
Known as the Wine Country, the Hunter Valley is home to world-class wineries, gourmet restaurants, and spa retreats. It is Australia's oldest wine-making region as well as the finest wine regions.

Distance: 2-3 Hours approx. from Sydney CBD.

Why: Winery & foodie weekend escape

Attractions: Hunter Valley Gardens, Hunter Valley Zoo, winery & vineyard trails, including the Wine Country trail, tastings & tours, cheese factories & shops, chocolate factory, scenic drives, National Parks nearby, walking & cycle trails, art galleries & studios, eateries including vineyard restaurants, hot air ballooning, horse riding, breweries & distilleries, market events, golf & aqua golf, Mortels Sheepskin Factory, Segway tours, and more.

Where to Stay: Cottages, Bed & Breakfast, boutique stays, hotel, motel & resorts, fireplace stays, homestead stays, winery & vineyard stays, and guesthouses. Click here for details.

Click here for the website.

Cheese tasting at Hunter Valley


8. Wisemans Ferry & Hawkesbury
The beautiful wilderness of Hawkesbury is home to historic towns, World Heritage convict road, and other historic towns surround the region. There are plenty of outdoor adventures enjoy too, from bushwalking, horseriding, mountain biking, and more.

Distance: 1-2 Hours approx. from Sydney CBD.

Why: Wilderness weekend escape.

Attractions: Wisemans Ferry car crossing, Hawkesbury River, galleries & museums, eco-tourism activities, horse riding, walking & cycling trails, scenic drives, National Parks, historic & heritage activities, tours, gardens, and more.

Where to Stay: Bed & Breakfast, farm stays, hotel, motel & resorts, serviced apartments, executive, health, country & honeymoon retreats, camping, cabins, houseboats, cottages, self-contained, riverside accommodation, and motor inns. Click here for details.

Click here for the website.

9. Central Coast
The Central Coast is a place where beautiful beaches meet lush National Parks and pretty waterways. There is an abundance of nature treasures to explore and experience. Unleash your adventurous side, discover pristine beaches, explore nature trails, or just relax and unwind.

Distance: 45mins-1:20 Hour approx. from Sydney CBD.

Why: Coastal and adventure weekend getaway

Attractions: Australian Reptile Park, Mt Penang Gardens, Chocolate & Nougat Gosford Factory, coastal towns including Terrigal, The Entrance, Woy Woy, and more, Gosford Regional Gallery, Edogawa Commemorative Garden, jet ski safaris, Aboriginal experiences, Norah Head Lighthouse, beaches galore, Pelican Feeding at The Entrance, history tours, National Parks, walking & cycling tours, lookouts, adventure activities, and more.

Where to Stay: Eco cabins, Bed & Breakfast, hotels, motel & resorts, beach houses, retreats including rainforest retreats, executive stays, villas, budget & luxury stays, and camping. Click here for details.

Click here for the website.

Pelican Feeding time at The Entrance


10. Canberra
Not just is Canberra one of the youngest cities in the world, it is ranked third in Lonely Planet's top cities to visit in 2018 and it boasts with nature intruding elegantly into urban spaces, exciting boutique precincts, gastronomic delights, cultural must-dos, and must-visit attractions.

Distance: 3- 3 Hours approx. from Sydney CBD.

Why: History and culture weekend escape.

Attractions: Cockington Green Gardens, Gold Creek Village, gardens including Australian National Botanic Gardens, National Dinosaur Museum, Lake Burley Griffin, Parliament House, Old Parliament House, museums & galleries, Questacon, wetlands including Jerrabomberra Wetlands, National Parks, heritage-listed sites, Australian National Zoo & Aquarium, vineyards & cellar doors, Australian War Memorial & Museum, nature reserves, lookouts, Telstra Tower, Mt Ainslie Lookout, walking & cycling trails, Royal Australian Mint, Anzac Parade, market events, Canberra Reptile Zoo, Commonwealth Park, and more.

Where to Stay: Hip hotels, lodges including wildlife lodge, Bed & Breakfast, one-of-a-kind apartments, glamping, hotel, motel, resorts & apartments, cottages, camping, hut stays, and homestead stays. Click here for details.

Click here for the website.

Telstra Tower can be seen from Mt Ainslie Lookout
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Why? Mini breaks from Sydney
When: All year round
Website: See Above
Where: Sydney surrounds- see above
Your Comment
Thank you, Gloria :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|498) 20 days ago
Great array of short stay/weekend destinations here. The Related Articles too help plan activities and places to see.
Kiama is a favourite for me.
Thanks Gypsy.
by Gloria (score: 2|281) 21 days ago
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