Looking to escape to an idyllic town not far from Sydney?
Life moves at a slower pace in most NSW heritage towns. Abundantly lined with quaint little cafes, winding streets and clear blue waters, these towns offer a perfect escape away from the noise of the city. Here are five of our favourite small towns near Sydney which will provide for a refreshing change of pace this long weekend.
1. Katoomba, Blue Mountains
If you’re after a town with some character and spirit, Katoomba will not disappoint. A 1.5-hour drive from Sydney, Katoomba delivers both in views and experience. Apart from the town’s most essential sightings – Echo Point and The Three Sisters lookout, there are a number of charming cafes to choose from. Make sure to visit the Hominy Bakery for some brilliant pies and sandwiches and True to the Bean café if you’re keen for some sweet local treats and a caffeine fix. If you’re planning a trip to the Blue Mountains, check out our extensive guide here.
Just 2 hours from the CDB and nestled comfortably between the sea and the mountains, you should be berry excited for this trip (pun very much intended.). Warm, welcoming and very chic, Berry provides a great alternative when the city gets too much. Be sure to visit the Seven Mile Beach National Park for some sun, sea and sand. For all the foodies, Salmon & Co. is the place to visit for their delightful waffles and fantastic coffee. Figbird Café and Deli is another option for some delicious lunch and drinks along with some very cosy vibes.
When it comes to coastal towns, Kiama takes the cake. It is a charming little seaside town with a strong sense of community and views to die for. Known primarily for its blowhole, quirky little eateries and many lookouts, you can visit Kiama at any time of the year and enjoy its many offerings. Attractions to look out for include The Hungry Monkey and Penny Whistlers for mouth-watering eats along with the art galleries and Bombo Headland for the art aficionados.
4. Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley is a lovely town, replete with wineries and vineyards; if you’re on the hunt for a wine tour, we have the perfect one for you here. You will find friendly locals at every corner and quaint little bookstores and teashops with a crackling fireplace. Make sure to visit the Wollombi Tavern for some heart-warming hospitality and its ever-popular bar menu. Another must-see is the Finchley Lookout with some stunning views of the bush.
5. Port Stephens
A personal favourite of mine, there’s something for everyone at Port Stephens. Whale watching, sand boarding, swimming with dolphins, camel rides and quad biking – the town is a haven for adventure seekers. Make sure to keep some time aside for the exhaustive, yet so very satisfying trek to the Tomaree Mountain. Stockton Beach is another fascinating place for adults and kids alike, with a beach on one side and desert on another. The Little Nel café for its outstanding views and eats is the perfect way to end your adventure.