The 5 Essential Day Trips From Sydney
Looking for the best day trips from Sydney as you plan your perfect Australian travel itinerary? Look no further! Being a local tour guide means I am always looking for the best Sydney day trip ideas so rest assured the list below is well researched and very well travelled. Sydney has amazing regions to explore in all directions and with one of the best climates in the world for being outdoors the toughest choice will be what to leave out.
Before I get started it’s worth mentioning that your choice of Sydney day trip might be affected by the time of year you visit. We enjoy relatively mild winters with short days and very hot summers with long days with light till after 8pm. To learn more about that you might want to read another article I wrote recently about the best time to visit Sydney.
1. Northern Beaches and Ku-Ring-Gai National Park
Okay, with this one you are technically still within Sydney but outside the city for the most part and it is absolutely worth including. So why do it? Great Sydney tour itinerary for maximum sightseeing with minimum travel time. Escape the bustle of the city to the north and find stunning harbour and ocean views, secluded waterways, accessible national parks, ancient Aboriginal rock art, great hiking options, sumptuous local food and wine away from the crowds and plenty of time in the afternoon to take in the harbour, Bondi Beach and other Sydney icons. Time needed: 5 – 8 hours.
2. Blue Mountains Day Trip
The Blue Mountains are one of the all time classic day trips from Sydney and for good reason. 1 million hectares of UNESCO protected national park on the doorstep of the city and famous for its breathtaking valleys, cool temperate rain forests, crisp elevated air, quaint villages like Leura and array of easy short hikes. Take a private tour with someone who knows what their doing (like me) and find kangaroos in the wild and get to remote viewpoints that will take your breath away. There is even the possibility of visiting a spectacular local winery in the region and of course there is no shortage of amazing lunch options. Finish the day with a private harbour cruise back into the city and this is truly a perfect Sydney day trip. Time needed: 9 – 10 hours or overnight as extended option.
3. Southern Highlands Day Trip
Looking to visit one of the best wine regions near Sydney but without the crowds and long travel times? The Southern Highlands are a fantastic choice for the more discerning traveller as they offer a ‘road less travelled’ experience with plenty of upside. The region is much closer than the Hunter Valley and the drive there is a highlight of the day if taken along the scenic coastal road through the Royal National Park and South Coast. Once you have climbed from the coast into the Southern Highlands you will find charming villages, lush countryside, cool climate wineries, world class cuisine, award winning gardens and much more. Sydney day touring at its best. Time needed: 10 hours or overnight as extended option.
4. Royal National Park Day Trip
The Royal National Park or ‘The Royal’ as it’s affectionately known by locals, is another of the Sydney day trip gems that flies under the radar. Officially the oldest national park in Australia (and the second oldest in the world) this is an amazing region to explore that is very close to Sydney, less than an hour of driving time. Famous for pristine beaches, coastal rainforest, dramatic sea cliffs and amazing hiking options the Royal is a great option for the more adventurous but can equally be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace too. Start the day with some serenity having a short paddle at Audley, head to Wattamolla for a swim or short walk, stop at Otford for sweeping views down the coast, meet some cuddly natives at Symbio Zoo and have lunch above the Pacific Ocean at the famous Scarborough Hotel. Great option to escape the crowds and get close to nature. Time needed: 6 – 9 hours.
5. Hunter Valley Private Day Tour
The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest and one of the largest wine regions and is around 2 hours drive north of Sydney city. There are over 120 wineries to explore and it can be enjoyed in a day trip or can be extended into an overnight trip which could include a day spent in the stunning Port Stephens nearby. The varietals you can enjoy in the Hunter region would be whites like semillon, chardonnay, verdelho and reds like Australia’s famous shiraz. To add to the enjoyment of the day there is some amazing local cuisine to enjoy at places like Bistro Molines, Leaves and Fishes and Muse Kitchen. Add a hot air balloon or scenic heli flight or get deeper into the wine scene with an in depth winemaking and tasting tour. A Hunter Valley private tour will reveal the best local experiences in way that can be tailored to suit. Time needed: 11 hours or overnight as extended option, could also include Port Stephens on day 2
Can the above options be booked as a private guided day tour from Sydney?
Okay shameless plug time…yes they can. I provide Sydney city tours for discerning travellers from around the world and can cater for solo travellers, couples, families and groups of up to 20. Use the live chat function in the bottom right to ask a question or send an email through to [email protected] and one of the team will be back in touch ASAP.