Sydney City Tours
Blue Mountains Tours
South Coast Tours
North Coast Tours
Southern Highlands Tours
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 traveled. 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 8 pm. To learn more about what you might want to read another article I wrote recently about the best time to visit Sydney.
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. Tour Time needed: 5 – 8 hours.
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 rainforests, crisp elevated air, quaint villages like Leura an array of easy short hikes. Take a private tour with someone who knows what they’re doing (like me) and finds kangaroos in the wild and gets 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 an extended option.
Looking to visit one of the best wine regions near Sydney but without the crowds and long travel times? The Southern Highlands is a fantastic choice for the more discerning traveler as they offer a ‘road less traveled’ experience with plenty of upsides. 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 an extended option.
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.
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 on 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 heliflight 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 a way that can be tailored to suit. Time needed: 11 hours or overnight as an extended option, could also include Port Stephens on day 2
Okay, shameless plug time…yes, they can. I provide Sydney city tours for discerning travelers from around the world and can cater to solo travelers, 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.