Stuck at home, and just need to get out of the city this weekend? Dive into nature, with a short road trip from Sydney.
As host to many attractive destinations, New South Wales offers a tonne of easily-accessible getaways within a few hours of Sydney – and so – we’ve put together a hand-picked list of the very best day trips for your weekend.
Thinking about the ultimate trip away? Here’s a quick tip – try hiring a campervan, and hit the road for an adventurous weekend. There’s no need to pack a tent or any other gear and the options of where you stay each night are plentiful.
With that in mind, let’s jump into the best 9 weekend road trips from Sydney…
Getaway from the hustle and bustle of Sydney and head to Jervis Bay, in just under three hours you will arrive at the whitest sand you’ll see in the world at Hyams Beach right on the shores of Jervis Bay. In this small village, you will feel the bliss sea breeze and the fresh air that’ll make you sleep like a baby.
Stay at the Green Patch campground in the Booderee National Park, hidden beneath the trees you will wake up to kangaroos all around you which you can hand feed and take advantage of the 5 minute walk to the beach and a 10 minute drive to Hyams Beach. Enjoy the calm before returning to your busy life!
To drive from Sydney to Jervis Bay, it takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Yes! Hyams Beach still sits in the Top 10 for Australia’s whitest beaches.
On the way down to Jervis Bay you will not encounter any toll fees, though entry into some national parks may require a small fee. We would recommend checking all visitor information before planning a trip.
If you want to split up your trip on the way down, consider a quick pit stop in Berry or Kiama – both towns are easily accessible from the motorway.
Isolate yourself within pure serenity, sit back, and watch the world go by with kangaroos as your company all within NSW.
Continue your road trip from Jervis Bay for an extra 2 hours and arrive at Pebbly Beach. Watch the stars with no light pollution, listen to the cicadas sing at sunset, and enjoy the peacock’s flair their feathers in the picnic area. With amazing nature walks where you will find hidden beaches you will truly feel like you are out of Sydney maybe even Australia.
Though it may sound daunting, Pebbly Beach is exactly 274 kilometers from the heart of Sydney. It will take approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes to arrive by car.
You won’t encounter any tolls fees on the way down to Pebbly Beach, but if you want to enter the campground, you will need to pay an $8 AUD entry fee.
For more information on the Yuraygir National Park, consider checking visitor information in advance.
Drive just 2 hours from Sydney and step back in time into the little village of Berry. Spend a night here on the way further south or enjoy the simplicity of life within Berry for a few days. Stay at the Berry showground where they pride themselves on the facilities and cleanliness of the campground and its dog friendly! It is a short two-minute walk into the village so leave the van and just enjoy the fresh air.
Surrounded by beautiful nature walks and hikes you’ll find yourself lost for words looking over the town once you get to the end of the Drawing Room Rocks bushwalk, pack some lunch and enjoy a picnic on the rocks that double as luscious table and chairs. Drive 15 minutes from Berry to Black Head, Gerroa to try spot some whales in their natural habitat during the migrating season which is between May – November.
Berry has a pretty unique, low key food scene they love a treat and a glass of wine. So, after you’ve exhausted yourself with nature go treat yourself and stop by The Treat Factory and then go explore the wineries or find one and make yourself comfortable, remember it’s a little break, enjoy yourself!
Berry is well known for its markets and rural charm – host to a wonderful display of gardens, arts, crafts and antique stores.
Should you stop in at Berry, be sure to visit Milkwood Bakery for some delicious sourdough, or the award-winning Treat Factory for sweets, jams and all sorts of confectionary. If you time it right, the Berry Markets are another highlight – operating on first Sunday of every month.
Every Australian knows Forster, but not everyone knows about the little town just outside called Pacific Palms. This is a proper Australian beach town where the beaches outnumber the shops. It’ll take you a short 3 hours and 15 minutes to feel like you’re genuinely days away from Sydney, from hidden beaches to family-friendly beaches you have everything you could want in a short getaway here.
Do you want to feel like you’re in a scene from Jurassic Park but also relaxing on the beach? Of course, you do, Cellito Beach also known as Sandbar allows you to look at a beautiful blue ocean but if you turn slightly to the left you will also see a huge dense green forest. To actually access the beach, it’s a short walk through what feels like a huge forest where you will see a goanna if you are lucky, then you’ll arrive at the beach, remember to bring your water and snacks with you!
This is only one of the beautiful beaches here, you will also find Blueys and Boomerang beach for the surfers and Elizabeth Beach for the families. Fall asleep to the sea breeze and the sound of waves crashing at the Pacific Palms Caravan Park at Elizabeth Beach.
Forster is approximately 306 kilometers from Sydney. By car, you’ll arrive in 3 hours and 15 minutes.
There is something special about Port Stephens, maybe it’s the fact its amazingly beautiful in winter and summer, or the fact that there are several towns surrounding it that offer amazing beaches, bush walks, and great breakfast spots, it doesn’t matter who you are, Port Stephens will leave an imprint on you like no other.
Port Stephens is about a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney and it’s well worth the drive. Once you arrive at Port Stephens you can explore the surrounding suburbs like Nelsons Bay, Soldiers Point, and Shoal Bay.
Enjoy some of the freshest seafood you can get from the fish markets or local restaurants, who wouldn’t want to enjoy Oysters on the beach whilst watching the sunset?
If that doesn’t interest you, there are surf lessons daily or dolphin and whale watching at certain times of the year, or just take a nice walk to the Point Stephens Lighthouse and look over the beautiful view of the beaches. There is so much diversity within Port Stephens to keep everyone happy, it’s family-friendly as well as offering some great bars and restaurants, there’s something for everyone.
To drive from Sydney to Port Stephens, it will take you 2 hours and 30 minutes via the Motorway.
Do you ever just feel like a spontaneous trip for the weekend? Well, this is the place to go, just a short one hour drive out of Sydney you will arrive in what feels like another world. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park offers bushwalks, rainforests, beautiful beaches, and Aboriginal historical sites. Not only are you relaxing in the clear blue water but also embracing the Aboriginal heritage it has to offer.
Getting to the national park may seem a bit daunting if you aren’t organised. You can either drive and park at the West Head Road car park and walk down a 2.8km incline or park your car and catch the ferry from Palm Beach Wharf and arrive that way to the only campground in the park, the Basin Campground only allows tents.
Once you have arrived, get exploring! Mackerel Beach and the Resolute loop walk offers Aboriginal rock engravings and beaches not many will access as they are off the beaten track, if walking isn’t your thing, go and hire a kayak for the day from The Basin campground.
Ku-ring-gai Chase offers a variety of things to do, spend the day here or spend the night, either way, you’ll love it.
To drive to Ku-Ring-Gai from Sydney, it should take you no more than 45 minutes by car.
Kangaroo Valley is a small village known for its historic bridge, pies and the fudge is amazing! But the nature around the valley is the true winner here, nestled between the Southern Highlands and the NSW South Coast and about a two-hour drive from Sydney you will find yourself among dense trees, early morning fog and a breath of fresh air.
You will find yourself at awe looking at Fitzroy Falls. The 81-metre-high falls with the incredible backdrop of mountains will leave you breathless and wishing you could watch it all day (which of course you could). Fitzroy Falls has nice and easy walks, where you will encounter beautiful wildlife along with trees and plants you would have never seen before if you’re lucky you might even cross paths with an echidna.
Every second Sunday of the month Kangaroo Valley Farmers Market is where you can stock up on fresh produce and enjoy the live music and just immerse yourself in the valley life. Kangaroo Valley is somewhere where you need to take advantage of the quietness and run away from the stresses of life for a moment.
The Holiday Haven Kangaroo Valley will be where you want to stay, it is located right on the Kangaroo River where you can swim and kayak or simply just have a picnic by the water, it is just a short walk to the Friendly Inn Hotel in the village where you can grab a beer and a bite at the heritage-listed pub.
From Sydney to Kangaroo Valley, it will take 2 hours to arrive by car.
Kangaroo Valley is well known for its National Parks, the Hampden Bridge, and its selection of local pies and wine.
Close to a 5 hour drive from Sydney, the Snowy Mountains are full of spectacular views and actives for the families and for the couples. Whether you want to go in summer or winter there is always something to do here.
In winter you can go try your hand at skiing/snowboarding on the mountains of Thredbo or Perisher for the day or just go and look at the landscape that no one expects Australia to have. You need to be sure to have a national park pass before entering the Kosciuszko National Park where Thredbo is situated. Thredbo village will warm you up for tea and coffee from The Bakery in the Village Square once you’ve had enough of the slopes.
If you want a free campground Thredbo Diggings is situated on the Thredbo river with an amazing mountain view to wake up to, keep an eye out for platypus but be careful not to grab them, as they can be venomous.
If winter isn’t your thing, don’t worry summer is just as amazing in the mountains.
If you are a mountain biker or a hiker Mount Kosciusko is a great challenging adventure, it is also the highest mountain in Australia, or you could even try horseback riding for the day.
After a full day of adventure head to Lake Jindabyne for a swim and a picnic, with the abundance of lake you will have no issue finding a quiet private area for your afternoon.
On the drive back to Sydney, you can stop at Bredbo for its famous pancakes or go look at the big trout in Adaminaby, there’s a lot that the area has to offer, you will never get sick of it.
To reach the Snowy Mountains, you’ll need to drive a little over 5 hours from Sydney.
Just under a 2 hour drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are home to Three Sisters and beautiful scenic walks which vary from easy trails to do with the kids, to three-day camping hikes to Jenolan Caves.
Your first stop when arriving at the Blue Mountains should be the Three Sisters, where the information centre is also located for you to really figure out what direction you want to go in. After taking in the remarkable rock formations, head to the Giant Stairway and walk out onto the first sister, it really puts into perspective just how huge they are.
From here you can keep walking around the sisters or choose from a variety of different tracks from Wentworth Falls to Lincolns Rock where you can watch the gorgeous sunset.
Katoomba Cascades hike will have you walking into waterfalls and through half-formed caves, this walk will keep you guessing to what you’ll see around the corner next.
Perrys Lookdown campground which functions on a first-in first-served basis is a free campground will do you just fine for a night with the necessities you need.
The Blue Mountains is a must on the Sydney weekend trips list, it’s an easy drive with luscious views, what more could you ask for?
To reach the Blue Mountains lookout, you’ll need to drive a little under 2 hours from Sydney.
The oils emitted from eucalyptus and gum tree oils create a distinguishable blue haze, which covers the landscape, and results in a stunning panorama of blue mountains.
Road trips offer a perfect mix of food, culture, and sightseeing. Hire a campervan in Sydney, pack your bags, get set, and go! Speak to the team at Travellers Autobarn for more details today.
Looking to explore other areas? Check out our Best Australian Weekend Road Trip Guide.