Hello friends! If you’re living in Sydney (or planning on visiting anytime soon) you would have noticed the temperature is dropping. As we are approaching the winter months, it is becoming much cooler and a lot of what Sydney is best known for – the beaches and coastal walks – are becoming less exciting as the rain and dreary clouds set in.
Here are some ideas for weekend getaways from Sydney – some of which are driving distance, and some a short plane ride away (hello cheap Jetstar airfares!)
Eight Sydney Getaways
- Hunter Valley
An annual trip for us is to the Hunter Valley, which is a short 2 hour drive from Sydney. The Hunter Valley is a well known wine region and is the oldest in Australia. A few nights here will take you on a mouth-watering, culinary expedition as you meander through the various wineries, cheese shops, popular restaurants and chocolate factories – Audrey Wilkinson Winery, Cafe Enzo and The Smelly Cheese Shop being some of my favourite. Bistro Molines has also been on my list for a while. I recommend you stay in / nearby Pokolbin which provides easy access to the wineries and food spots – last year we stayed at Chateau Elan which was truly a fairytale.
Most recently, we’ve been to Melbourne twice in the past month. Melbourne is just over an hour plane ride south of Sydney, and many Sydney-siders venture to this bustling city for weekend trips. The brunches, coffee and art scene are just a few reasons why we love visiting and will keep coming back. Melbourne reminds me of Europe due to its incredible shops, coffee culture and history. Last time we visited we stayed at The Stamford Plaza, but you can also venture south to Mornington Peninsula and explore a different side to Melbourne. Definitely recommend you eat at Chin Chin’s (get in early as it gets busy!) and grab a coffee from Brother Baba Budan.
I’m yet to visit Tasmania, but everyone who goes keeps telling me how amazing it is. It’s an incredible part of the world (1.5 hour flight south of Sydney – I saw Jetstar doing $50 airfares there!), with a cutting-edge culture, gourmet cuisines and spectacular natural wonders. Mount Wellington, MONA, Cradle Mountain (Freycinet National Park), Salamanca Market, Bay of Fires, Wine Glass Bay – all very good reasons I am currently planning our trip here for August. The Saffire Freycinet resort looks like an absolute dream, overlooking the endless mountain ranges.
4. Jervis Bay
It can rain, it can be cloudy but there is something cosy about a seaside cottage in the spectacular Jervis Bay. In case you haven’t heard of it, Jervis Bay is home to the whitest sand in the world and clearest turquoise waters. We visited here last year and were mesmerised by this gem on the south coast of Sydney. There’s beautiful walks and national parks to explore, as well as many great food spots and cafes. I would recommend staying at Hyams Beach Seaside Cottages.
Bowral is a rural and idyllic town 2.5 hours south-west of Sydney. It’s a beautiful, quaint country town laced with vintage stores and buzzing cafes and restaurants. The cottages and properties here are to die for and anyone who visits comes back feeling refreshed and inspired by nature. Make sure you explore the Wombeyan Caves, Mount Gilbraltar and Bowral lookout. Check out this cottage.
6. Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay is the eastern most suburb of Port Stephens and a two hour drive north of Sydney. Similar to Jervis Bay, Shoal Bay is known for its beautiful beaches and sand shoals scattered around the area. There are excellent bushwalking tracks, National Parks and Marinas, Dolphin and Whale watching cruises and if you have a surfer husband like mine, plenty of places to surf. The Ramada resort and spa is a beautiful place to stay.
7. Katoomba: The Blue Mountains
Heritage listed restaurants, natural wonders of the world, spa resorts, steep cable car rides… sold yet? Katoomba is the main town nestled in the Blue Mountains, a rugged region a couple hours west of Sydney. The waterfalls and villages dotted with guesthouses are a must see, and you can also explore the sleepy yet beautiful town of Leura (make sure you check out the Flower and Gardens festival). Oh and don’t forget to see the Three Sisters sandstone formation. My bet would be to stay at an Airbnb here – this one looks nice… the view is actually incredible! Or here for a modern yet classic experience.
8. Snowy Mountains
Every year we pack our ski gear and head to the Snowy Mountains region 6 hours south of Sydney. This region is best known for Kosciuszko National Park (my heritage is Polish so this place is quite significant to me) and of course Thredbo and Perisher. My recommendation is to visit in July / August when the slopes are pumping, and to stay in Jindabyne. You can also go mountain biking, horse riding, bobsledding… the list goes on!
What’s your favourite Sydney weekend getaway?
Love A x