Sydney is a spectacular city, sprawling its magic and diversity around the largest natural harbour in the world. I am a huge fan of it and very grateful to be living here. There is plenty to see and do in Sydney, however it is a busy city. Every now and then, I like to escape and take a day off from my daily life. Keeping the driving time from the CBD under two hours, this is my ultimate list of the best day trips from Sydney.
Sydney day trips can take you to mountains or beaches. I also include some coastal walks in Sydney, because they are so inspiring! This list is growing, I have many more short trips from Sydney in mind!
The Blue Mountains NSW
Day trips to the Blue Mountains from Sydney are a popular getaway and with good reason. This mountain range is famous for its blue hues high cliffs and deep valleys. Waterfalls dot the landscape and hiking trails meander through the forest, making Blue Mountains bushwalking a popular activity. Whether you are checking out the many Blue Mountains lookouts or simply enjoying a Blue Mountains drive, this is the place to unwind.
For an ideal Blue Mountains day trip, I recommend visiting Echo Point and the Three Sisters, having lunch in Leura and having fun at Scenic World. If you are not driving, this is one of the easiest day trips from Sydney by train. There are also some great tour options.
Bouddi National Park
One of the best day trips from Sydney if you want to get away from it all. Bouddi is less than two hours’ drive from Sydney, in the heart of Central Coast NSW. The Bouddi National Park coastal walk is a great central coast walking track, with some amazing views over the ocean.
The walk is 8 km long, along the coast and the beaches. Because public transport will take a while, I prefer to drive myself and if you do the whole coastal walk, you may have to backtrack all the way. But it is absolutely worth it!
The Basin, Sydney
The Basin is one of the secret beaches in Sydney. Still in the metropolitan area but one of the best day trips in Sydney, The Basin is ideal for a picnic and a day of swimming on the edge of Ku-Ring-Gai National Park.
A vehicle is not essential for this trip, you can take the L90 bus from the city and reach the Palm Beach ferry wharf in an hour or so. You then take a charming little ferry to the secluded beach of The Basin. It is possible to camp there if you want to stay longer.
Palm Beach, NSW is one a famous beach in Sydney, due to the TV show Home & Away. True enough, it is one of the best beaches in Sydney and a dreamy location. Not far from The Basin, it is also worth a day trip, to enjoy the beach where dolphins come to surf.
I highly recommend the Palm Beach lighthouse walk. Barrenjoey Headland is the northernmost point in Sydney and you get some great views of the Central Coast and south towards Sydney. This is one of the must-do bush walks in Sydney.
Sydney to Palm Beach takes an hour to drive, and a bit longer on the L90 bus.
West Head Lookout
Again in the north of the metropolitan area, West Head Lookout is one of my favourite Sydney secret spots. It’s a great drive through Ku-Ring-Gai National Park and the views over Pittwater and Barrenjoey Head are simply stunning.
There are a few Sydney bush walks in this area and this is a place where I love to take overseas visitors.
Berry is a lovely little rural town south of Sydney. Set in a beautiful bucolic setting, surrounded by rolling green hills, its proximity and easy access makes an ideal choice for a day trip from Sydney. Things to do in Berry NSW include a mix of busy cafe life and great shopping. Berry’s proximity to the NSW South Coast’s breathtaking beaches makes it a diverse destination for a day.
Driving from Sydney to Berry only takes two hours and I also recommend making a stop at Fitzroy Falls on the way back.
Kangaroo Valley is a most beautiful valley, nestling between two mountains in regional NSW. Developed thanks to the dairy industry, Kangaroo Valley NSW offers a gorgeous combination of rolling hills, green fields, quaint farms and a charming village, all quietly secluded in wilderness. The relative isolation of Kangaroo Valley means time has somewhat stopped, the village of Osborne hasn’t changed much in over a hundred years.
One of the best things to do in Kangaroo Valley is to drive across Berry Mountain for some beautiful views. Sydney to Kangaroo Valley is about two hours’ drive.
Less than 2 hours south of Sydney, Berrima is a charming and Georgian village in the NSW Southern Highlands. First established in the 1830s and mostly built by convict labour, Berrima NSW is rich in heritage buildings: the Courthouse, the Prison, and the Church all have historic value. Furthermore, there are plenty of well-preserved stone cottages. Nestled on the Wingecarribee River, it’s a small historic town on the way to Canberra and a delightful destination for a day trip.
Sydney Coastal Walk
You don’t need to leave the metropolitan area for a great day trip. Some of the best coastal walks in Sydney will keep you busy for a day and make you feel as though you’ve travelled far from the city…
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is one of the most famous and not too difficult. I also recommend walking from Malabar Beach to La Perouse or exploring Malabar Headland National Park.
Trips from Sydney
There are many more destinations for Sydney day tours. I have more exploring to do, where should I go next? Tell me in the comments below!
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