This is the ultimate guide to the best weekend getaways from Sydney

The Ultimate List of the Best Weekend Getaways from Sydney

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Sydney is a great place to live and there is plenty to see and do. If I’m being really honest, Sydney is such a diverse city that you don’t really need to live the metropolitan area to take a break and get away from it all. Still, it’s nice to go somewhere new and get that feeling of renewal. Whether you go away from an overnight trip or for a long weekend, and regardless of how many kilometres you travel, it’s one of the best things you can do feel refreshed. Having lived many years in New South Wales, I have the ultimate list of the best weekend getaways from Sydney to help you plan your next trip. These destinations are amongst the best places to visit in NSW!

The Ultimate List of the Best Weekend Getaways from Sydney

The best weekend getaways don’t have to be far and you can choose some weekends from Sydney less than two hours’ drive away.

The first thing to ascertain when you plan a weekend getaway is how much time you have and how far you want to go. These are perfect for a classic two-night weekend, and can even be done as an overnight getaway. 

I also like the option of driving further away and there are some great options for a four-hour drive. Generally, I like to allow three nights for those, as the drive can take up to half a day. Some of my favourite getaways are in this category as I feel like I’m on holiday and the weekend feels much longer. In this list, I discuss places in NSW I have visited once or more, and how they would suit your needs.

Accommodation in New South Wales

My favourite way to finding accommodation when I travel away from Sydney for a few days is to use holiday rentals. There is plenty of choice and locations and it suits every budget.

Blue Mountains, NSW

Just two hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a very popular day trip if you want to get away from the city. It’s also one of the most popular weekend trips from Sydney. One of the first tourist destinations in New South Wales, the townships of Katoomba, Leura and Blackheath are easy to reach on the train. The Blue Mountains are famous for their blue hues, deep valleys and ubiquitous waterfalls. A Blue Mountains getaway is perfect for those who enjoy hiking, with many trails of various difficulty. 

The Blue Mountains are an easy drive for a weekend away from Sydney
Blue Mountains NSW

One of my favourite things to do in the Blue Mountains is to drive to all the lookouts to capture the endless eucalyptus forest from different angles, one was actually visited by Charles Darwin himself! Echo Point Lookout in Katoomba is a popular spot for the mandatory photo of the Three Sisters rock formation. Finally, Scenic World is one of the best attractions in the Blue Mountains for all ages, utilising some of the old mining infrastructure. 

Why not try the Blue Mountains for your next weekend escapade?
Blue Mountains NSW

You can experience what is one of the best short getaways from Sydney with an overnight trip however if you want to try some Blue Mountains hiking, I would recommend staying two nights minimum.

A weekend in the Blue Mountains is best for those who enjoy a romantic road trip, hiking and are keen to discover some Blue Mountains waterfalls.

Mudgee, NSW

Less famous than the Hunter Valley, Mudgee is actually a fantastic wine town in NSW. Centered around a small country town, Mudgee wineries have been producing some of the best Australian wine since 1850. Mudgee is a four hour drive from Sydney, through the Blue Mountains and the mining towns of Sofala and Hill End. 

Mudgee is a wonderful weekend destination for food and wine
Mudgee NSW

This country town is an ideal destination for those looking for a foodie experience, as well as tasting the Mudgee wines. Paired with the local wines, the food scene is very creative and there are some excellent restaurants in Mudgee. One of my favourite things about Mudgee is that most of the wineries are small and family-owned. You can easily talk to the winemaker and learn about the characteristics of the wines. The town is surrounded by hills and it’s easy to find a place with a view to unwind at the end of the day.

Mudgee wineries are amongst the best in Australia
Mudgee NSW

I love Mudgee for a long weekend. The drive from Sydney to Mudgee is four hours so I recommend staying a minimum of three nights. Other things to do in Mudgee include visiting the olive groves and whisky distillery.

A weekend in Mudgee is best for those who enjoy food and wine.

Orange, NSW

It took some effort to pry me out of my beloved Mudgee for a wine tour but I finally gave Orange a try and it’s one of the best weekend escapes from Sydney. A medium-sized town of the central west area of regional NSW, Orange is famous for its cold climate wines. If you love white wine, you are in for a treat, as Orange produces some of the best ones in Australia. Wineries in Orange encourage you to taste their whole range of wines, meaning you need to pace yourself.

Have a great weekend visiting the wineries in Orange on your next weekend away
Orange, NSW

The food scene is also superb, with some excellent restaurants, showcasing the local fresh produce. Whilst most restaurants in regional NSW tend to follow a European menu, we discovered some excellent Asian restaurants in Orange.

For other things to do in Orange NSW, you will find small towns such as Carcoar and Millthorpe, that don’t seem to have changed much since their 19th century heyday. Orange is where the first discovery of gold was made and the surrounding countryside still bears the marks of field exploration. If you enjoy driving, I highly recommend touring Ophir Road, the views are stunning.

Orange is one of the best weekend getaways I've had in a while
Orange NSW

A weekend in Mudgee is best for those who enjoy food and wine, and some great drives. Sydney to Orange is a four-hour drive so I recommend three nights to enjoy some great NSW wineries and one of best Sydney weekend trips I’ve had recently!

Canberra, ACT

The federal capital of Australia is a three hour drive from Sydney and drags a bit of a boring reputation. Creating a capital ex-nihilo, sort of halfway between Sydney and Melbourne was a daring undertaking. My first visits to Canberra left me a little non-plussed but gradually, I began looking forward to visiting and doing things I don’t normally do in Sydney.

A weekend in the capital of Australia is not as boring as you may think
Canberra ACT

Canberra is quiet and easygoing, which is a nice change from ever-busy Sydney. Over the years, I found some very good restaurants in Canberra but most of all, I enjoy the museums. The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery have rich permanent collections and regularly host unique exhibitions. Canberra is also a great place to learn about the formation of Australia as a colony and a sovereign country. The Australian War Memorial is an extremely well-curated museum detailing the military commitment of Australia throughout various armed conflicts of the past and present.

A weekend in Canberra is best for those who want to visit some museums and learn about the Australian Federation.

Jervis Bay

A marine reserve and a national park, the unique natural harbour of Jervis Bay was once destined to be a naval base. For this reason, Jervis Bay Territory is technically outside of New South Wales. The army still has a firing range, but the rest is pretty much left to nature. Jervis Bay has my heart and is one of the best beach holiday places in NSW. The famous Hyams Beach boasts the whitest sand in Australia and there are many pristine beaches around the bay. The Booderee National Park offers crystal-clear waters, secluded beaches and some historic relics. My favourite place to laze in the semi-shade is Murrays Beach, one of the best beaches in Jervis Bay in my opinion, because the water is perfect and dolphins occasionally swim by… 

Jervis Bay is one of my favourite destinations for a weekend away from Sydney
Jervis Bay

There aren’t many attractions in Jervis per se but there are a few trails to explore and you shouldn’t miss the ruins of Cape George Lighthouse. For a true local experience, pick up some seafood at Huskisson to enjoy with a glass of wine at dusk by the beach… Finally, whale watching in Jervis Bay is one of the best things to do in winter.

A weekend in Jervis Bay is best for those who want a beach getaway. Driving from Sydney to Jervis Bay takes about three hours and my preference is to stay three nights.

Kiama, NSW

The charming little town of Kiama is only two hours south of Sydney. Apart from visiting the lighthouse and the famous blowhole, it took me a while to spend time there and get to know the area. Which is a shame, because when I finally spent a few days in Kiama, I loved my time there. Kiama has a selection of pristine beaches, a volcanic rugged coast perfect for photo opportunities and a well-preserved rainforest.

Kiama Lighthouse is a good spot to start exploring the town
Kiama Lighthouse

If you are into hiking, the absolute highlight is the Kiama Coast Walk, a 22-km coastal walk. I did it in two sections and it’s one of the best coastal walks in NSW in my opinion.

Batemans Bay, NSW

A little further south of Jervis Bay, Batemans Bay is one of the great short breaks from Sydney. A popular town on South Coast NSW with some great beaches: Rosedale Beach and Surf Beach have crystal clear waters. One of the coolest things to do in Batemans Bay is to visit Pebbly Beach a little further out of town. After a drive through a beautiful eucalyptus forest, you may see kangaroos hanging out on the beach, a slightly unusual but very Australian sight…

Batemans Bay is a great weekend destination on the NSW South Coast
Batemans Bay NSW

Near Batemans Bay, I also recommend visiting the Mogo Zoo and the Colonial Gold Rush village, where you can try and find your own gold… Driving from Sydney to Batemans Bay takes about four hours. Alternatively, it’s a great getaway from Canberra, only two hours away and the drive through Monga National Park is beautiful.

A weekend in Batemans Bay is best for those who want a relaxing getaway by the beach.

Mollymook, NSW

The NSW South Coast has no shortage of beautiful beaches and relaxed coastal towns. I spent a very relaxed weekend in Mollymook Beach not long ago and was charmed by the place. It’s a charming, slightly sleepy little town and it’s a great getaway from Sydney.

Enjoy a relaxing long weekend from Sydney in Mollymook
Mollymook NSW

One of the best things to do in Mollymook is to dine at Rick Stein’s Bannisters restaurant, a great destination for foodies. If you fancy some more strenuous activity, I recommend climbing Pigeon House Mountain for some stunning views of the area.

A weekend in Mollymook is perfect for those who are keen on Australia beach holidays with great food and wine! There are plenty of nice places to stay on the South Coast.

Berrima, NSW

Located in the heart of the NSW Southern Highlands, Berrima is a charming Georgian village that comes to life on weekends and is one of my favourite short trips from Sydney. You can visit for a day trip from Sydney, only two hours’ drive away. However, the area has a lot to offer if you are interested in exploring local markets and historic buildings. I love shopping for locally made produce in Berrima and support talented artisans.

Berrima is a charming village in the NSW Southern Highlands and a perfect destination for a weekend away from Sydney
Berrima NSW

Berrima has a few interesting historic buildings, such as the courthouse and the old gaol. Also, don’t miss wine tasting and lunch at Bendooley Estate.

Berrima is one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney for those who want to spend some time in country NSW.

Berry, NSW

On the NSW South Coast, slightly inland, is a lovely yet bustling little village called Berry. Surrounded by lush rolling hills, Berry is the perfect embodiment of the NSW regional town and perfect for a weekend escape. It gets busy with Sydney visitors on the weekend and has some great shopping. If you are looking for homewares or quirky toys, Berry is the perfect place for you.

A weekend escape in Berry is a fun and relaxing experience
Berry NSW

Also, there are some good cafés and restaurants  in Berry for a relaxed lunch. The Berry Donut Van is a local institution and draws crowds from afar for good reason: their donuts are delicious! If you enjoy a good road trip, the drive across Berry Mountain to Kangaroo Valley is one of the best things to do in Berry NSW.

A weekend in Berry is perfect for those looking to experience a lively and charming NSW country town. The drive from Sydney to Berry is only two hours.

Kangaroo Valley, NSW

Close to Berry, just a short yet spectacular drive across the mountain, is the quiet village of Kangaroo Valley. One of the prettiest valleys in NSW, this is the home of pure green peace and quiet. Kangaroo Valley is often favoured for weddings and peaceful getaways. The township of Osborne is small and quiet but you can get a good meal at the General Café. 

Choose Kangaroo Valley for your next weekend away from Sydney
Kangaroo Valley NSW

One of the best things to do in Kangaroo Valley is to visit Fitzroy Falls in the Morton National Park. The drive from Sydney to Kangaroo Valley is only two hours and is perfect for those who want to disconnect for a weekend. You can easily combine a visit to both Berry and Kangaroo Valley for a Sydney long weekend.

What to pack for a Sydney Getaway Weekend

All of these weekend destinations only require a carry-on bag. I always favour packing light as much as possible. Also, I favour comfortable clothing and good walking shoes. And of course, I pack my camera!

Best Weekend Trips from Sydney

So now you have some great options for a romantic getaway from Sydney. This list is yet to be completed, I need to revisit some places and discover new ones. Do you have a preferred destination for a weekend away from Sydney? Tell me in the comments below!

Relaxing Weekend in Mollymook NSW

Best Things to do in Orange NSW

Mudgee Wineries

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This is the ultimate list of the best getaways from Sydney to help you plan your next trip
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The best weekend getaways from Sydney are in this list

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26 thoughts on “The Ultimate List of the Best Weekend Getaways from Sydney”

  1. Gosh there is just so much to explore from Sydney. You really don’t need to travel too far to have a fantastic weekend escape from the big smoke. The Blue Mountains alone provides so much exploring and getting back to nature. I also love going beyond the mountains to Orange and getting out into the country.

  2. I’ve heard a lot about Blue Mountains and they look so charming! I love that you can escape the big city feel of Syndey and there are all these stunning places that are thriving with natural beauty. Next stop; a scenic getaway!

  3. We really hope that we’ll make it to Australia someday! And of course Sydney will be our first destination. So it’s so good to know about all the things to do nearby Sydney, or places that can be visited during weekend getaways! The Blue Mountains look so incredibly beautiful, and the Batemans Bay just like a dream!

  4. Linda (LD Holland)

    We were so sad when we had to cancel our trip to Australia this year. The first time we visited Sydney our family took us to some of the spots on your list. Although we really do want to go back and spend more time hiking around the Blue Mountains. We missed doing any wine tours so good to know that Mudgee is a good place for food and wine. And we will definitey want to plan a weekend in Jervis Bay. I can see why the Kangaroo Valley would be the perfect spot for weddings. I may need to plan to spend longer than I thought exploring from Sydney!

    1. I hope you get a chance to come back to Australia when travel resumes…There are plenty of things to see and do around Sydney, you can really choose a destination according to what you enjoy. A mix of Mudgee and Jervis Bay is one of the best options…

  5. I’ve always wanted to go back to Blue Mountains and enjoy the view of the classic Three Sisters from the Echo Point Lookout in Katoomba. When I go there I will add hiking to the itinerary. I would like to visit Pebbly Beach, too. Where else in the world can you see kangaroo on the beach, right?

  6. The longer I have to wait to go back to Australia, the longer I think I’ll have to stay just to make up for lost time 🙂 It’s amazing to me how much natural beauty surrounds all of the major cities, but especially Sydney. Blue Mountains National Park is a must for me, and it’s interesting to read your thoughts on Canberra too. I would still definitely want to check it out as I’m of the mindset that nation capitals reflect a lot about a country, even if they’re newer planned cities or not as popular among tourists.

  7. Such picture perfect vistas. I am so envious of peeps who live this close to such gorgeous nature. Loved your post a lot and hope to travel to Sydney myself to experience all of this 🙂

  8. Once COVID is more under control and we can travel far again I would live to visit Australia. It’s one of those places so vast that it can get overwhelming to start planning. I think your post gives some very good tips and ideas of where to go so I will definitely use it when preparing, hopefully soon, my trip to Australia. Stay safe for now!

  9. I really want to see Australia. I have two neices and a nephew in Melbourne. When I finally go visit, I want to go to Sydney. Great post #bps

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