Top 10 Weekend Breaks from Sydney
Make the most of your weekends and try out some of these fantastic weekend escapes.
I love to travel but like many people I’ve been restricted in the past by annual leave. Just 20 days a year to cram in holidays and if you're planning a big trip sometimes that means a year between travelling.
For me that is the worst! I need to have regular trips to keep me motivated during the year so I started making the most of the weekends. There’s nothing better than getting on the road and escaping the hustle and bustle of Sydney for a weekend away with friends. It’s incredible how much longer your weekend feels when you get away.
Here are my favourites weekender destinations that are all within driving distance from Sydney City Centre:
3 1/2 hrs (280km)
This idyllic beach town is great if you're looking for a quiet weekend away with friends. There’s some great AirBNB options here with stunning sea views or you can opt to camp. I’d recommend taking your own food and drink as there’s not much around unless you want to drive out for each meal. The beaches are quieter than back in Sydney and offer good swimming, snorkelling and surf as well as diving tours that can be booked. A walk up to the lighthouse is a must and offers a stunning 360 view of the region.
3 1/4 hrs (200km)
While there’s plenty of accommodation options in Huskisson nearby, my preference for Jervis Bay is to camp within the National Park itself and listen to the waves crashing as you fall asleep. You’ll need to book in advance as these sites are very popular with campers. Green Patch allows you to park next to your pitch but at Cave Beach you have to carry your kit down a steep hill so pack sensibly for this site. There’s a range of walks and beaches to keep you busy in the park itself or you can head into town where you can organise boat trips and kayaking. The area is home to native bottlenose dolphins so there are a number of dolphin watching cruises available plus from May to November you can also spot humpback whales.
2 1/4 hrs (165 km)
You’ll notice wine regions are a favourite of mine and The Hunter is the most accessible from Sydney. It’s a perfect spot for sydney-siders wishing to indulge in great food and wine for the weekend. It’s popularity means it’s well set up for tourists with ample accommodation, dining and tour options. While you can self drive around the wineries, I think it’s only fair for everyone to have a taste so it’s best to book a wine tour in advance. If you’re a bit more athletic you can hire bikes and pick your own route. My personal favourites are Piggs Peake, Cockfighters Ghost and Audrey Wilkinson. The Hope Estate also hosts concerts each year with big names including the likes of The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen so it’s worth keeping an eye out for whats on.
2 3/4 hrs (210km)
The Port Stephens area is geared up for tourists so there’s lots of accommodation and dining options as well as a wide range of activities available. As the name suggests, there’s a lot of water activities including kayaking, SUP and dolphin and whale watching. There’s even a tour that offers swimming alongside wild dolphins if that’s your bag? And the attraction doesn’t stop on the water. The nearby sand dunes offer the opportunity to go sand-boarding, quad-biking and camel riding.
2 1/4 hrs (160km)
Kangaroo valley is a great spot particularly for those who love camping and the outdoors. There’s some great bushwalks, Fitzroy Falls and watersports to get involved with. If you fancy something a little more active, what about a weekend kayaking? Kangaroo Valley Safari’s have a range of options from a couple of hours to up to 4 days and you’ll get a real bush camping experience beside the water.
3 3/4 hrs (270km)
While the Hunter is the more popular wine region in New South Wales, Mudgee is another great option for wine and walking. There are a number of accommodation options available but for a more memorable stay check out the rail carriage conversions around Mudgee. Being that bit quieter affords you the luxury of great service and a more relaxed experience on a wine tour.
1 3/4 hrs (89km)
The more popular of the towns along the Central Coast, Terrigal boasts a fantastic beach and great restaurants, bars and hotels. It is also a good hub if you want to explore nearby Bouddi National Park. The Bouddi Coastal Walk is the most picturesque of the Central Coast walks, it is 8 km one way or can be split into smaller sections. If you like a secluded beach check out Tallow Beach within the park, a 4WD is recommended to get to the start of this 2km walk or the Box Head walk.
Sydney Royal National Park
1 hr (40km)
The Royal National Park is often a day trip destination but why not stay over and make the most of your weekend. Bonnie Vale campground has sites for tents, camper vans and trailers and there are a few cottage options within the park if you prefer a little more luxury. There’s plenty to keep you busy in the park with beaches, coast walks and bush walks. Wattamolla, Garie Beach and Winifred Falls are great if you want to cool off in the water. Take a walk to Figure 8 pools or Wedding Cake Rock and be rewarded with fantastic photo opportunities.
1 3/4 hrs (100km)
If you struggle to find somewhere that has a range of activities to suit all your group, Glenworth Valley may be for you. With 200 acres of land you can get a secluded camping spot for your group and know theres a range of activities on your doorstep. This outdoor adventure provider offers horse riding, quad biking, kayaking, and abseiling on site so you can do multiple activities or split into groups based on what people want to do each day.
2 hrs (135km)
There are plenty of options around the shores of Lake Macquarie and along the coast. Blacksmiths Beach is great if you kite-surf or you can just watch in awe from the long beach. If you have a 4x4 Redhead Beach is the perfect place to test it out on the sand dunes. You can also camp under the stars within the dunes and listen to the waves crashing as you fall asleep although permits are required.