Sydney offers endless opportunities within the city, but it’s also a great spot to explore smaller towns on the NSW coastline. There are heaps of stunning day trips around town loaded with gorgeous landscapes, brilliant cafes and innovative street art. Whether you’re after a secluded spot or a small town by the beach, you’ll find a variety of spots for when you need a break from the city life. Here are some of our favourite day trips from Sydney.
1. Scotland Island
If you don’t want to go too far from the city, plan a trip to Scotland Island. Just about a forty-minute drive north of Sydney, we highly recommend getting the ferry to Scotland Island from Church Point In Pittwater. The route is lovely with picturesque views all around. Scotland Island is pretty small but a great getaway if you’re just looking to unwind and get close to nature. There’s also a walking track around the entire island which doesn’t take longer than an hour.
2. Long Jetty
When it comes to day trips from Sydney, the town of Long Jetty is an essential destination. Located on the Central Coast it’s trendy little town, filled with cafes, souvenir shops and some amazing street art. Long Jetty is also relatively close to Sydney by public transport. The best option would be to take the Newcastle train to Gosford and then transfer to a B21 to Long Jetty. The entire journey shouldn’t take longer than 2.5-3 hours. If you’re driving, you’ll be there in less than 1.5 hours.
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Warm, welcoming and gorgeous, Berry is the perfect country getaway not far from Sydney. 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 cosy vibes. Take the train from Town Hall Station to Wolli Creek and then change to the train to Kiama transferring to Berry Station if you’re taking public transport. By road, the journey is just 2 hours.
4. Glow worm tunnel in Lithgow
For a magical escape, we highly recommend the Lithgow Glow Worm Tunnel. The tunnel is located in the expansive area of the Blue Mountains and there are only a small number of ways to get there. The best way to make the most of the adventure, however, is by joining a guided night tour with a certified instructor. The experience inside the caves is absolutely magical with hundreds of glow worms lighting up the tunnel.
If you’re in the process of planning some exciting day trips out of Sydney, you’ll want to add Newcastle to your list. It is an incredibly popular getaway and rightfully so. It has a great food and café scene, lots of fun outdoor activities, stunning beaches and a rich historical landscape. Jump on the train at Central and it will take you to Broadmeadow Station. From there, you just have to walk a few minutes to reach Newcastle. By road, this popular destination takes just about 2 hours to reach.
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6. Port Stephens
Port Stephens is an absolute paradise for sports lovers and adventure enthusiasts and a must-visit when it comes to day trips from Sydney. When you’re in town, make sure to stop by Nelson Bay for some spectacular sunset views. Australia’s largest sand dunes are also located in Port Stephens and you can explore them on camelback or on quad bikes. It’s a thrilling adventure and a surreal feeling to see the beach on one side and the desert on another. The drive from the CBD just takes about 2.5 hours.
7. Wollongong and the Grand Pacific Drive
Day trips from Sydney don’t get better than this. The Grand Pacific Drive is probably one of the most Instagrammed destinations in NSW.
Just about 80 kms from Sydney, Wollongong is the perfect getaway and the route takes you along the Grand Pacific Drive which is an added bonus to visit. Pristine beaches, stunning coasts and great food, it’s also close enough to do the trip out of town and back. By road you would reach Wollongong in about 1.5 hours. You could also get a direct train from Town Hall to Wollongong Station and get there in under two hours.
8. Figure 8 Pools
Located just south of Sydney at the Royal National Park, the Figure 8 Pools are quite an experience.
Figure Eight Pools are on a rock ledge south of Burning Palms Beach in Royal National Park. You can’t drive straight to the pools, so you need to be ready for a long walk. We have a complete guide on what to do at the Figure 8 Pools, where to go and how to get there.