Top 5 Weekend Getaways from Sydney
The city of Sydney is known for its stunning beaches, historic neighborhoods, vibrant cultural scene, and iconic landmarks. Sometimes, though, you need a break from this bustling city life to enjoy that of another, or an entirely different landscape altogether.
Below you can find some of the best spots to run off to for a weekend away from Sydney. Whether you want to fly or drive, some various cities and regions listed below will make you refreshed and serve as the perfect weekend getaway you didn’t know you needed!
While Cairns may not be your first choice in thinking of where to go on a weekend getaway from Sydney, it should be. If you can take a Friday off, and leave Thursday evening from Sydney airport, you will touch down in Cairns in under 3 hours! It is the perfect city to escape to if you want to go diving or snorkeling with the family or surround yourself in the Daintree rainforest
while viewing indigenous plants and wildlife. Not to mention, Cairns offers no shortage of outdoor activities to enjoy, whether that be a helicopter ride, bungee jumping, or staying for a few hours at the Cairns esplanade where you can BBQ, picnic, or swim in the lagoon.
An additional unique attraction worth exploring in Cairns is Paranella Park if you are a fan of whimsical ruins, gardens, and a captivating history to tie the whole experience together. Atherton Tablelands, Barron Gorge National Park, and Kuranda Village are all worth visiting, too, if you find the time as they are remarkable, authentic parts of Cairns that aren’t too touristy, but are definitely recommended for the nature-lover or explorative traveller.
Sydney Airport Parking
Flying from Sydney Airport may seem like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. If you plan to fly from Sydney Airport for any of your weekend getaways and wish to keep your car at the airport and have it waiting for you upon your return, you can book secure airport parking Sydney with Flyparks. Flyparks only works with reputable airport car parks so you can rest assured that your car is in good hands whilst away.
If you are Australian, there is no doubt you have travelled to Melbourne before. But, there is also no doubt you have also not experienced all the city has to offer. Known for its thriving bar
culture, there remain hundreds of lesser-known, high-quality bars and speak easy’s to experience that really only the locals know about. Some of the must-dos for grabbing a drink are Eau De Vie, Berlin Bar, and Fall from Grace. If you are not a drinker, and want more of a chill, laid-back environment to relax in, opt for seeing a cinema on one of Melbourne’s many rooftops like Lido on the Roof or The Deck at the Prince Hotel. What else is fabulous to experience, especially for the foodies, is the Queen Victoria Night Market which is open all summer long. Last but certainly not least, the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is an award-winning park that animal lovers will be sure to love.
- Jervis Bay
Located about 3 hours away from Sydney, Jervis Bay has a lot to offer for those who want to explore stunning beaches like Greenpatch Beach and Cave Beach. In Jervis Bay, you can even meet some new friends while snorkeling with seals or taking a cruise to watch the famous
bottlenose dolphins. From May - November, you can witness the great whale migration happen. Just book a tour during this time and leave the rest up to the experts!
Kayaking through the mangroves or paddle boarding alongside the coast of Hukkison is a beloved attraction in this region. Hukkison is Jervis Bay’s central city where you can tour local art galleries, visit the Hukkison Market for live music, experience great food and shopping, or simply stroll across the waterfront. Aside from Hukkison, the Booderee Bonatic Gardens is a great place to visit, especially if you are a plant lover. Here you will witness a diverse plant life and learn about all the indigenous species in the area.
- Blue Mountains
Located a little under an hour's drive away from Sydney, the crisp air of the Blue Mountains awaits you. If you don’t have a full weekend to get away, you can spend only a day in the Blue
Mountains and feel like you have seen enough. The Jenolan Caves are worth the visit, especially if you are the least bit interested in geology; and, even if you are not, the views of the stalactites and stalagmites that you will see upon visiting and taking a tour inside the caves will have your interest piqued, even if it’s just the slightest. Want to experience nature? Head to Wentworth Falls via the National Pass to bask in the beauty of the luscious forests and picturesque overlooks. Another cool activity that is worth doing at least once is visiting the Glow Worm Tunnel and seeing thousands of glowing worms illuminating the caves as you walk through. On your way out of the mountains, try to stop into Leura Village, which offers visitors and locals cozy cafes, local art stores, and delicious stops for food.
- Hunter Valley
If you are a wine lover, Hunter Valley Gardens should be your stop for a weekend getaway as it is Australia’s oldest wine-growing region, known specifically for its Semillon and Shiraz variations. If you can, it is best to visit Hunter Valley in March-May as these months bring optimal weather conditions with low rainfall. If you are not much of a wine lover but are travelling with someone who is, don’t worry, there is still plenty for you to enjoy. Try out a hot air balloon ride, particularly at sunrise and you will not be disappointed. Additionally, Hunter Valley is well-known for its delicious cuisine and has quite the farm-to-table restaurant experience. Great restaurants not to be missed in the valley are EXP, Bistro Molines, Margan Restaurant & Winery, and Circa 1876. While these restaurants are a bit more on the expensive side, they are well worth splurging at for at least one night. Don’t forget to visit the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company while in the area after lunch or dinner to see firsthand the chocolate-making process and indulge in a wide variety of chocolates.
By now, you have a good idea of where to visit to make the most out of your weekend getaway from Sydney. Whether you are a nature lover or want to simply get out of the city to visit another, Sydney is the perfect hub to reach great cities and regions within a few hours. Don’t forget to book your flights in advance if you are flying, because while the flights are only a short way away, they still do increase in price the closer you get to your trip departure date.