Beyond Sydney are some great weekend getaways. The coast has some magnificent pristine beaches with decent-sized breaks and there are many beach houses to rent. It’s quite easy to find yourself on a long sandy white beach with no one else around. Perfect for a quiet, family trip.
You cannot live in Sydney and miss a trip to the famous Blue Mountains. It is only a 1.5 hours drive west or you can take a train to Katoomba from the CBD. Gorgeous cafes, quaint shops, and amazing bushwalking and hiking can be found in this area. There are several adventure tourism companies operating in the area for canoeing (going down the waterfalls), rock climbing, abseiling, and hiking.
The area also several nice day spas and boutique lodge accommodation:
- Lilianfels Luxury Accommodation: http://www.lilianfels.com.au
- Blue Mountains Adventure Company http://www.bmac.com.au
- High N Wild http://www.high-n-wild.com.au
North West of Sydney is the Hunter Valley which is a large wine region. It’s an ideal romantic getaway for two or a relaxed, social short holiday for a group of friends. Hunter Valley wines are world-class and the area is known for its Semillons and Shiraz. You can join cellar tours or make your own way to each vineyard to sample and possibly stock up on their wines. It’s a two-hour drive to the Hunter Valley from Sydney. If you prefer not to drive, coaches, trains, and light planes run services to the area.
Towards the coast from the Hunter Valley is an area called the Central Coast. Although this area is an alternative to people who prefer not to live in Sydney, Sydneysiders love coming up here for weekends. Great beaches such as Avoca, McMasters, Terrigal are all close convenient places to visit.
Further north there is Port Stephens only 2.5 hrs drive from Sydney and this area has a wonderful laid-back approach to it. Great for families. Train to Gosford then bus or drive.
- The Hunter Valley http://www.winecountry.com.au
Kangaroo Valley is located only 2.5 hours south of Sydney (inland) and the area has a river running through it with several waterfalls for viewing. Hire kayaks or hike in the valley. Head towards the coast from Kangaroo Valley and you are treated to Kiama and Shoalhaven area where you can surf and walk at Kiama Beach. Fantastic Australian seaside towns with hills coming down to the meet the beaches.
- Kangaroo Valley Canoe Hire http://www.kangaroovalleycanoes.com.au
- South Coast http://www.southcoast.com.au
If you like the snow, a weekend trip to the Snowy Mountains may entice you. Whilst the Snowy Mountains can’t compare to more popular international snow fields, there is ample enough range to ski, snowboard or to just enjoy being surrounded by snow. The Snowy Mountains Music Festival at Perisher Blue has lots of entertainment and activities for children. The snow season is from mid June to October. You can get there by car in about five hours. Coach services are available, too.
The Snowy Mountains http://www.snowymountains.com.au
There are also many choices with holiday accommodation. You can rent a furnished house and also available are serviced accommodation, hotels, motels, caravan parks, and camping sites. Camping for children can be a lot of fun for them in the warmer months. Full of adventure and exploration. It’s also an enjoyable and rewarding learning experience for them. Just make sure you are all aware (but not alarmed) of the dangers. Many Australian species are poisonous. See our section on Children for more information.
Please be aware that driving on Australian country and outback roads can be dangerous at dawn and dusk because this is the time that kangaroos move about. It’s best to avoid driving at these times but if it’s not possible then try to slow down. This will give you a bit more time to break. Kangaroos stop and freeze when they see approaching vehicles. Hitting one can cause a serious accident, injuries, and even fatalities.
- Tourism NSW http://www.visitnsw.com
- Caravan and Camping Grounds http://www.caravanandcampingnsw.com.au
- Online Camping and Bushwalking Guidebook for NSW http://www.wildwalks.com