Best day trips from Sydney

Want to venture out of Sydney for a day? Looking for some fun and excitement or fancy a country walk and breath of fresh air? Discover our recommendations and ideas on the best day trips from Sydney.

Succumb to all the sumptuous landscapes Australia has to offer and get a change of atmosphere for a day. Sydney is an exciting city but there is so much more to see in Australia. From the Blue Mountains to the Hunter Valley, you just need to pick your next favorite destination.

1 – Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Situated in a World Heritage area, the Blue Mountains are very close to Sydney, just 50 kilometres away. The name derives from the blue tone the mountains show when viewed from a distance, also due to the eucalyptus plants growing in the area. Deep forests, uncontaminated wilderness, waterfalls, sandstone walls, and aboriginal rock paintings are part of the things you would experience once there. The main highlights of this iconic location are the Three Sisters, the Echo Point, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Wentworth Falls. Discover the Scenic World if you want to enjoy those fantastic panoramas, you have only to choose among skyway, cableway and more.

How to get there?

By car. It takes only 1 hour by car. Take the A4 and follow to Western Motorway. Take the M4 to Great Western Hwy/A32 and drive to Bruce Road.

By train. Take the train from Central Station to Katoomba Station. It takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. From Katoomba Station takes the bus to the Lookout Echo Point.

2 – The Hunter Valley 

Hunter Valley day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

A trip to the Hunter Valley wine region is the perfect excuse to taste some of Australia’s finest wines, in Australia’s oldest wine producing area. The vineyards constitute the charming scenery of this land, whose main gems are the Semillon and Shiraz varietals. This fertile rural region offers also a vast variety of artisan foods, such as cheese, olives, oils or chocolate. Moreover, you can visit the Wollemi National Park and the Hunter Valley Gardens. Also, the Hunter Valley presents a lot of festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Hope Estate for instance. Check the calendar event, it is worth experiencing it!

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and follow the Cessnock/Hunter Valley Vineyards exit sign to Cessnock for a journey of 2 hours and a half or more.

By train. Cityrail service to Maitland or Morisset with connecting buses from each of these stations to Cessnock. As an alternative, take the train from Sydney Central to Singleton Station. Once in Singleton, there is a 20 minutes taxi ride until the Wine region.

3 – Palm Beach

Palm beach day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

For a perfect relaxing break from the city, what better than a sunny day on the beach? Palm Beach is one of the best and most famous spots among the Northern Beaches. Crystal clear waters and golden sands are part of this panoramic coastal side. Once there, you can do a lot of activities, such as hire a board or a SUP, or reach the Barrenjoy Lighthouse for a 360 degrees view of the coast. Take a look at the Mona Vale Beach: its highlight is the incredible rock pool on the sea, it will impress you! For a culinary stop, do not miss the Boathouse, the most popular restaurant in the area.

How to get there?

By car. It is very close, at only 1 hour from Sydney. Take the M1 and the A38 following to Barrenjoey Road.

By bus. The L90 from Wynyard Station takes you directly to Palm Beach.

4 – Royal National Park

Royal National Park day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Among the natural beauty nearby Sydney, you should definitely check the Royal National Park. Known also as “Nasho” among locals, it is the world’s second oldest national park, after Yellowstone in the US. The park hosts many beaches, hidden waterfalls, forests on the cliffs and fantastic ocean views. Make sure to not miss the Figure Eight pools, whose particular shape will surprise you. Besides, the park offers a variety of activities, such as kayak, canoe, rowboat, and surf, for which it is a famous site. Further, this is also an excellent spot to catch the passing of whales in the period between May and November, during their migration.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and the A1 following to Farnell Ave. It takes only 40 minutes.

By train/bus. Take the train from Town Hall Station to Sutherland Station (40 min). Once there, take the bus to National Av After Cranberry St, that is only 5 minutes away.

5 – Port Stephens 

Port Stephens day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Twice the size of Sydney Harbour, Port Stephens has a lot to offer. You can explore the beautiful beaches, taking the opportunity to do one of the many water sports: paddle, surf, sail, kayak and more. It is an excellent spot to see dolphins and whales in the right period of the year. To get your adrenaline, you could sandboarding down these sand dunes on the coast, or explore them comfortably on camel-back or horseback. What is more, there is over 50 Km of cycleways here, thus rent a bike and discover the places. For a superb overview, take a walk to Gan Gan Lookout or hike to the top of Tomaree Headland lookout to admire the views over the bay.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and the A1 and the Pacific Hwy to Richardson Rd in Campvale. The journey takes more than 2 hours.

By train/bus. Take the train from Central Station in Sydney to Hamilton (2 hours and a half). Then a bus from Hamilton to Shoal Bay Road in Nelson Bay.

6 – Manly Beach

Manly Beach day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Named also the Surf City, this surfer’s paradise with golden sand is among the best beaches in the area. It’s a place worth visiting for the ferry ride alone: it passes just between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Let’s imagine the view and the great pictures you could take. Do not miss the beautiful Shelly Beach, in the protected marine reserve of Cabbage Tree Bay. Moreover, you should walk on Manly’s first street, The Corso, full of bars, shops, and restaurants. Mandatory the stop at one of the many fish and chips shops. You could also visit the Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, for a closer encounter with sharks, turtles, and tropical fishes.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and the A8 following to N Steyne in Manly. It is at only 26 minutes away.

By ferry. The best and most beautiful way to go there is by Manly ferry, with its scenic trip. As an alternative, there are Fast ferries water taxis.

7 – Newcastle 

Newcastle day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

If you prefer to visit a city, you can opt for Newcastle, Australia’s 7th biggest city. It is a University city that is famous for its pubs, foods and beaches lifestyle. Take your time to relish the relaxing vibes and visit Nobby’s Light House and Newcastle Memorial walk. Grab the chance to appreciate the Bogey Hole, the natural rock pool near Newcastle with an incredible view on the coastline.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 to Newcastle Link Rd/A15 in Cameron Park. Continue on A15. Drive to King St in Newcastle. 

By train. From Central Station take the train to Newcastle Interchange (2 hours and 35 minutes).

By bus. There are buses from Central Station to Newcastle (3 hours).

8 – Kangaroo Valley

Kangaroo Valley day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Not too far from Sydney, in the Southern Highlands, there is the beautiful Kangaroo Valley.  The area is famous for its local specialities, because of the farms, and manual activities as fruit picking. Stop at the Flavours of the Valley Foodie Trail for gourmet cooking or do one of the many events that this fertile land can offer. Go wine tasting at the Yarrawa Estate Winery, admire the Hampden Suspension Bridge, go on horseback in the forest or consider to take one of the bushwalking ways. A must-see destination in the Southern Highlands is the Morton National Park, with amazing falls, such as the famous Fitzroy Falls.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1, the M5 and Hume Motorway/M31 to Old Hume Hwy/B73 in Aylmerton. Take the Old Hume Hwy/B73 exit and follow it and B73 to Mount Scanzi Rd in Kangaroo Valley.

By train/bus. From Central Station take the train to Moss Vale Station (1 hour and 42 minutes). From Leighton Gardens, take the bus to Church Of The Good Sheperd, Moss Vale Rd.

9 – Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

For a perfect escape to nature, the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is the choice. This beautiful place will capture you with its landscapes, scenic view and many waterways, including Hawkesbury River, Pittwater and Cowan Water. Take a walk on the Aboriginal Heritage walk and discover Indigenous sites. The place is also full of history, as you will see from the ancient rock engravings and handprints made by the Guringai people. There are numerous sporting activities you could do here, including water sports as well.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and the A1. Drive to Bobbin Head Rd in North Turramurra.

10 – Mermaid Pools

Mermaid pools day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Probably the same name, Mermaid Pools, may raise your interest. If you like hiking adventures, this is a must-do experience towards one of the hidden gems near Sydney. This beautiful natural water hole locates on the Bargo River at the start of Tahmoor Gorge. Holy land for Aborigines, it is now open to bushwalkers, fisherman, and people who like to swim in the rivers or discover waterfalls.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1, the M5 and the Hume Motorway/M31 to Avon Dam Rd in Pheasants Nest. Take the Avon Dam Rd exit towards Tahmoor. Parking is available right next to the Rockford Road Bridge.

11 – Kiama 

Kiama day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Kiama is the perfect place to escape from the city, with its green coastal cliffs, rocky shores, private beaches. It has an unusual place to visit: the Kiama Blowhole, where waves blow out through a hole in the cliff, forming a fountain. You will see the typical lighthouse as well. Take a walk on the Kiama Coast Walk to enjoy excellent views.

If you want to experience one of the best road trips from Sydney with spectacular stops, take a car and drive to Kiama via the Grand Pacific Drive. On the way, you have to stop at the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout at Bald Hill for an incredible panorama on the ocean. Likewise, of course, there is the well-known Sea Cliff Bridge, that gives you another stunning view with the possibility to see also the coastal village of Stanwell Park.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 to take the Grand Pacific Drive that starts in the Royal National Park.

By bus. From Central Station take the bus to Kiama Station for a journey of 2 hours and 14 minutes.

12 – Canberra

Canberra day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

While considering the possible destinations for a day trip from Sydney, why not opting for the capital of this nation? Canberra is just in between the cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Mainly, the prosperous city offers art galleries, museums, memorials, and gardens. A masterpiece of the city is the artificial Lake Burley Griffin. Moreover, to appreciate the geometric layout of the town, visit the summit of 843-meter-high Mount Ainslie.

By car. The journey takes 3 hours, but it deserves the visit. Take the M5 and then the M31 to Federal Hwy/M23 in Yarra. Continue on this street and take the exit to Canberra.

By train. From Central Station take the train to Canberra Railway Station. The journey takes 4 hours.

13 – Breenhold gardens

Breenhold gardens day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

For the real gardens lovers, the Breenhold gardens are a fantastic spot to see. Located in Mount Wilson near the Blue Mountains, these gardens of 45 hectares can make you feel in a completely different world. They are only open during Spring and Autumn, however, it is worth visiting them in these periods to be delighted by their autumn and spring colours.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and the M7. Take B59 to Mount Wilson Rd in Blue Mountains National Park. Follow Mount Wilson Rd to The Avenue in Mount Wilson.

14 – Jenolan Caves

Jenolan caves day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

For a perfect adventure not far from Sydney, a day in the caves could be a good idea. The Jenolan Caves are among the most famous and beautiful caves in Australia. They are composed of nine caves, with underground rivers and limestone formations. Go and explore them, enjoying adventure caving and scenic walks. However, the only way to go there is by participating in a tour, thus choose the most suitable to you and live this incredible adventure!

How to get there?

By car. It is the most suitable and easy way. Take the M1 and the M7. Take the M4 and the Great Western Hwy/A32. Follow to Jenolan Caves Road.

By train/bus. At Sydney’s Central Station, catch a train to Katoomba. Then, in Katoomba, get on a CDC Tours coach to Jenolan.

15 – Tobruk Sheep Station

Tobruk sheep station day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Tobruk Sheep Station is a working sheep station at one hour from Sydney, in the Hawkesbury Valley, and is surrounded by state forest and bushland. Spending a day there will let you live a real experience in a genuine Australian farm. Here you’ll have a taste of the typical Aussie culture, filling your day with the activities of the Australian ranch. You will watch them mustering the sheep, throwing boomerang or shearing sheep. What is more, you can enjoy a barbecue and learn to cook the damper, the traditional Australian bread. It is one of the best alternatives for a day trip for families.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1, the M2 and the Pennant Hills Rd/A28 exit toward Castle Hill/Newcastle. Continue on the Old Northern Rd to your destination in Maroota. 

16 – Jervis Bay 

Jervis bay day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Located in the New South Wales, Jervis Bay is a real gem of the territory. Surrounded by a National Park and with a Marine Park, this place is known to have the whitest sand in the world. While paddling, snorkelling or doing other water sports, you could meet dolphins, rays, weedy sea dragons and Port Jackson sharks. On land, you could take the White Sands Walk, one of the most beautiful coastal walks. Otherwise, visit the Booderee National Park, or admire the Scottish Rocks.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and the Princes Highway to Forest Road in Nowra Hill. Continue on Forest Rd. Take Currarong Road to Honeymoon Bay Road in Beecroft Peninsula.

By bus. Take a bus to Bomaderry and, once there, take a bus to Bay St At Morton St.

17 – Wollongong

Wollongong day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

The coastal city of Wollongong is the third-largest city of New South Wales. It is the perfect destination not only to relax on the beach or to discover the city and admire its lighthouse. It is also a great place for adventurers since it is full of possibilities to do many activities: surfing, cycling, fishing and sky diving. You could even swim in the outdoor saltwater pool of North Beach. Visit also Austinmer and its two rock pools on the ocean.

How to get there?

By car. The best and touristic way to get there is by driving along the Grand Pacific Drive, with a stop at the Sea Cliff Bridge.

By train. From Central Station take the train to Wollongong Station for a journey of 1 hour and 52 minutes.

18 – Garigal National Park

Garigal National Park day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

The Garigal National Park locates in the North part of NSW, close to Sydney. It is the perfect place if you want to spend a day in the middle of nature, doing sports or just chilling and exploring beautiful scenarios. It is plenty of bushwalking, such as The Cascade track, and bike rides to make while exploring the many rock pools of this hidden gem. As an alternative, you can enjoy a picnic with the family in one of the many picnic areas.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and then take Cascades Trail to Bare Creek Trail. The journey takes only 35 minutes.

By train/bus. It is one of Sydney’s most accessible by public transport. Jump on the T1 Northern and Western line train from Central station and alight at Gordon. From there it’s a short 10-minute bus ride on the 582 to Acron Road bus stop in St Ives.

19 – Lane Cove National Park

Lane Cove National Park day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Within the city limits, Lane Cove National Park represents an excellent option for your day out of the city chaos. It has a lot of picnic spots, bushwalks, fishing spots, cafe, and camping, with tent sites, wood barbeque and camp kitchens along Lane Cove River. Moreover, it is also well prepared for a family day, with many playgrounds for kids. The park is the perfect place for canoeing, kayaking, and boating as well.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 to Chatswood West and turn to Riverside Dr. The journey takes only 17 minutes.

By train/bus. From Central Station take the train to Chatswood (25 minutes). Once there, take the bus to Delhi Rd at River Ave (7 minutes).

20 – Centennial Parklands

Centennial Parklands day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Centennial Parklands is a popular destination among families, and it is easily accessible from the city centre by bus. It is the largest park near Sydney, and it includes three parks: Moore Park, Centennial Park, and Queens Park. Indeed, there are many activities you can do, including a picnic, riding the bike or horse riding, but also school holidays, tours and Workshops.

How to get there?

By car. Take the Anzac Parade and Alison Rd to Randwick. Drive to Grand Dr in Centennial Park.

By bus. From the Museum Station, Elizabeth St, take the bus to Alison Rd opp Royal Randwick Racecourse.

21 – Jamberoo Action Park

Jamberoo Action Park day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Are you looking for a good and funny alternative among the day trips from Sydney? The Jamberoo Action Park is waiting for you. The waterpark is located at Curramore, in the New South Wales, at only one hour and a half from Sydney. There is no doubt that you’ll have a fun day.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and the A1. Follow M1 to Illawarra Hwy/A48 in Albion Park Rail. Follow Illawarra Hwy/A48Terry St and Jamberoo Rd to your destination in Curramore.

By train/bus. From Redfern Station take the train to Albion Park Station and, once there, a bus to the Jamberoo Action Park.

22 – Wet’n’Wild Sydney

Wet'n'Wild Sydney day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

If all you want is to have fun and not suffer for the hot wheater on a summer day, hit the road to Wet’ n’Wild! It is among the best water theme park in Australia and has over 40 rides, slides, and attractions for everyone, including a big area for kids. In addition, the water park hosts even special events and dining options. Check the calendar before going there.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M4 to Prospect Hwy in Prospect. Take the Prospect Hwy exit from M4. Continue to your destination. The journey takes 34 minutes. 

23 – Featherdale Wildlife Park

Featherdale Wildlife Park day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

The Australian zoo Featherdale Wildlife Park, located in Doonside, offers an interactive wildlife experience to its guests. It is among the best tourist attraction, and it hosts over 1,700 animals, among which mammals, marsupials, birds, and reptiles. You can feed kangaroos and wallabies, meet Koalas and more. One of the best alternative for a family day trip!

How to get there?

By car. Take the M1 and the M2 tAbbott Rd/Prospect Hwy in Baulkham Hills. Take the A40/Abbott Rd exit from M2. Continue on Prospect Hwy. Take Newton Rd to Kildare Rd in Doonside. 

By train/bus. Take the train to Blacktown Station using the Western Line or the Blue Mountains Line. After arriving at Blacktown Station, follow the signs for Buses and head to Bus Stop 9.

24 – Cables Wake Park

Cables Wake Park day trips from Sydney

What to see? What to do?

Spend a day at Cables Wake Park if you want to do something different while having fun or relaxing. It locates near Penrith Panthers, and it has something for everyone. Barbeque facilities, picnic areas, playground, the Aqua Park but its main characteristic is the possibility to cable skiing, wakeboarding, and knee-boarding. The park has two lakes offering these activities, providing all the necessary equipment too. Just think about it.

How to get there?

By car. Take the M4 to Mulgoa Rd in Regentville. Take the Mulgoa Rd exit from M4. Take Blaikie Rd to Jamison Rd in Penrith. 

By train/bus. From Central Station take the train to Penrith (48 minutes). Once there, take the bus to Station St at Jamison Rd (4 minutes).