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Weekend Trips and Getaways From Sydney

Animated nightlife and worldly landmarks lie within Sydney’s sun-kissed streets, but the real adventures are beyond its outskirts. Hugged by untamed wilderness, serpentine rivers, historic villages, and vineyards on rolling hills, the picturesque areas surrounding the city are just a short drive or train journey away. Escape the crowds and embrace nature as you embark on boat tours, bush hikes, and the signature Australian experience of wine-tasting.

1. Batemans Bay: Finding fame with its oyster farming scene, this seaside city has given birth to a wealth of seafood restaurants enticing enough to attract weekend trippers from the big city. Snorkellers will love the otherworldly depths of its beaches, which are luminescent with reefs and fish. On land, the expanse of wild bush punctures foamy tide, offering an endless stretch of nature to explore on both sides. At the day’s end, get some rest in this modern two-bedroom apartment and dream about doing it all again the next day.

2. Newcastle: An enduring harbor city built on the bones of a steel town, Newcastle’s storied past is reflected in its 19th-century architecture and historic sites such as the Convict Lumber Yard. Just a two-hour drive from Sydney, the city is rife with eccentric coffee shops that pair seamlessly with the chilled vibes of its many beaches. Matthew McConaughey's Surfer Dude would feel right at home on the sands of Merewether, which is the annual location of Australia’s largest surf festival. If you’re traveling as a couple, this romantic hideaway – complete with a sea-facing balcony – is the perfect place to watch the sunrise in the morning.

3. Hunter Valley: Hunter Valley’s cascade of hills is lined with rows of gnarled trees sprouting twisting vines – the sign of a flourishing wine industry. Its viticultural roots date all the way back to the early 1800s when its proximity to Sydney helped fuel the trade (particularly with Semillon and Shiraz). A blend of family-owned and world-class wineries, the area offers up an array of tours sure to please any palate. If you’re traveling as a group, push the boat out with a stay at this luxury bungalow in Cessnock – you’ll have your very own pool in which to cool off after a day of exploring the region.

4. Blue Mountains: Tinged with a cosmic-blue hue when spied from afar, the Blue Mountains appear like a Bob Ross painting brought to life. The never-ending eucalyptus trees stretch into the horizon, hiding native wildlife, twisting trails, and spellbinding underground glow worm caves. Watching over the land is the famous Three Sisters rock formation – Aboriginal legend has it that they were three beautiful sisters turned to stone by a village elder. Stay close to the heart of this stunning national park with a stay at this cozy eco-cabin on the edge of the Kanimbla Valley – there’s a balcony for dining al fresco and a wood fire to keep you warm during winter.

5. Jervis Bay: Dig your toes into the whitest sand in the world and gaze out over the postcard-worthy haven of Jervis Bay. Sitting on the south coast of New South Wales, this idyllic spot seems to be torn from the set of Castaway (but with much better connections to civilization). The clear waters and two national parks are alive with chattering wildlife, while the area is also fringed by numerous villages and sea-inspired eateries. With space for up to four people, this waterfront studio apartment boasts spectacular views over Jervis Bay.

How long does it take a trip to  the Blue Mountain?
Should I do 2 or 3 days?