Top 10 Must Do Day Trips From Sydney

Are you thinking about going on a day trip away from Sydney?

What exactly is out there once you eventually manage to escape from the never-ending suburbs of Australia’s most populated city?

The Australian bush is what’s out there.

If you’re heart just did a flip at the thought of going past the city limits and into the wild out yonder, take a deep breath of relief and read on because you won’t be bushwhacking on any of these ten must do day trips from Sydney, but you will be discovering the real Australia.

1. Royal National Park Sunrise Photography Tour

Get up before cock crow and drive out to the Royal National Park for a Sunrise Photography Tour. As you arrive at the first photographic stop, you’ll begin to realize that away from urbanity, New South Wales still has a savage edge. Capture that, in still life, as the sun comes up before heading into the park for more photo opportunities of Port Hacking, the sand flats of Maianbar and the Audley rainforests.

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2. Australian Wildlife 4WD Tour

This is a safari Australian style. The 4WD Wildlife Tour drives you, in a luxury four wheel drive, out into the countryside just one and a half hours from Sydney. A professional guide will give you the low down on all the animals you spot and information about the habitat they live in before adjourning to a local pub for a Coldie and a cut lunch.

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After a hard day on the dusty trails, you’ll be scrabbling through the undergrowth at dusk with a spotlight to catch a glimpse of a possum’s posterior as it scuttles away through the scrub.

If a twelve hour sojourn into the wilds of Australia was just too short, why not try one of these longer tours instead.

14 Day Australian East Coast Adventure

Go right off the beaten rack with this amazing adventure tour. Learn to kayak, snorkel or skydive. You can also chill out and watch everyone else do it while you discover the natural side of Australia.

Overnight Wildlife Safari

Get to know Australia in this amazing two day tour. See waterfalls, wombats and the odd wild kangaroo on this two day Dingo tour.

3. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Day Trip

On this day tour from Sydney to the Ku-ring-gai National Park, you can combine spotting Australia’s wildlife with a visit to the Guringai Aborigine Heritage sight. See rock carvings left by the Indigenous tribes, who originally inhabited the wild spaces, then take a boat ride while learning about all the different skills they needed to enable them to survive in such harsh surroundings. Follow that with an attempt to count the penguin population on Lion’s Island and you may be well on the way to understanding just how diverse Australia is.

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4. Port Stephens Beach Barbie

The Port Stephen’s Beach Barbie is a great Australian day out. Head away from Sydney in the early morning to Port Stephens and the amazing stretch of beach which lines the coast in Shoal Bay. Do what ever takes your fancy from snorkeling to surfing, or board a boat for some dolphin spotting, the day is yours unless you get elected to help flip the roo burgers on the barbecue. But don’t worry. There’ll still be time for a swim or even some sandboarding down the dunes.

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5. Figure 8 Pools and Royal National Park Coastal Tour

You’ll need to be up and ready for an energetic day if you take this Figure 8 Pools and Royal National Park Coastal tour. You’ll be doing it all – from exploring the bio-diversity of the park, to taking a six kilometer hike, to swimming in the natural pools, to falling in love with a shack on Burning Palms Beach. It’s an active, but interesting day made even better by a picnic lunch eaten in a superbly picturesque location.

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6. Aussie Farm, Food and Wine Trail

This day will give you a real insight into a drover’s life. On the Aussie Farm, Food and Wine Trail tour, you’ll learn all those essential skills needed to work on an outback farm. How to make tea in a billy can, how to throw a boomerang and shear a sheep. If it’s the right time of year, you’ll even be able to pick fruit. Follow that with an afternoon visit to a winery for a few samples of wine accompanied with home-produced cheese and living in the middle of nowhere is starting to sound, well, not too shabby.

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If you’re not quite ready to hang up your bush hat, why not try one of these day tours from Sydney.

Private Tobruk Sheep Station Day

Take part in a full day interactive sheep farm experience.

  Hunter Valley Wine and Wildlife Tour

Explore Hunter Valley and visit Walkabout Wildlife Park to meet the animals.

7. Blue Mountain 4WD & Helicopter Tour

With the Blue Mountain 4WD and Helicopter Tour, you get to see them from the ground and from the air. During the six hour terrestrial drive, through the rugged mountainscapes of the Blue Mountain National Park, you’ll stress about sheer drops and get dizzy at the staggering altitudes. Then do it all over again as you soar over the craggy peaks in a private helicopter tour. It’s enough to leave anyone breathless.

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8. Blue Mountain Day Trip with Scenic World

At Scenic World you get to choose which way you want to see the Blue Mountains. Be it by Skyway, Cableway, Walkway or Railway, though you’ll need a good dose of courage for the first two. The walkway will let you amble along raised boardwalks through some lush rain forest or the train, as steep a ride as it may be, does allow for a more laid back option which basically means a minor degree of tilt on the track. As for the Skyway – pictures sometimes speak louder than words.

Did we mention the floor is transparent too?

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9. Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves Tour

After taking in some of the Blue Mountain ranges major points such as the rugged rocks aptly named the Three Sisters, it’ll be time to go down under – literally.

When you enter into the Jenolan Caves complex, you’ll discover Australia looks as good below ground as she does above. As well as doing a walking tour amidst the stalagmites and stalactites, there’s an abseiling option to go down even further if you dare. Although the caves are beautifully lit, it’s not recommended if you’re the slightest bit claustrophobic.

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10. Canberra Day Trip

Being in Australia and not visiting the capital city, Canberra, on a day trip is the same as not being in Australia at all – especially when you’re staying in Sydney. The two cities, in Australian measurements, are quite close together and so it’s well worth the four hour trek to take in the sights Canberra has to offer.

Historical monuments, national museums, art galleries and the Anzac Parade dedicated to Australia’s military forces are all things you’ll want to see in Australia’s capital city. But at the end of the day, no visit to Australia is complete without a tour of Canberra and a photo of the Captain Cook Memorial. After all, he’s the man responsible for starting it all.

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What’s a good day trip from Sydney for families?

An hour and a half from Sydney sits The Entrance, a family-friendly resort and park. At the waterfront, wander around the outdoor eateries, cafes, and statues created with kids in mind. Every day at 3:30, you can head to the most popular attraction: pelican feeding. Guides will teach kids and families all about the pelicans and how The Entrance takes care of them. They even provide a breeding ground for them called Pelican Island. If you want to be a bit more active with your family, take your bikes along the Bike Path; there are lots of parks and picture-perfect spots for a picnic. In warmer months, you can even go kayaking and surfing.

  Blue Mountains Nature and Wildlife Day Tour from Sydney

Sydney has so much amazing wildlife and nature just outside the city. In this day trip tour, your family will get picked up from your Sydney hotel and taken on a scenic drive to the Blue Mountains. Take in the cliffside views as you’re driven into Blue Mountain National Park for a visit to Scenic World. Hop on board the Skyway cable car for an aerial view of the park. It gets quite high in the sky, but don’t worry it’s very safe and kid-friendly! Later, you’ll be taken to the town of Leura to have lunch at one of many restaurants and cafes. Then, enjoy teaching the kiddos about animals at Featherdale Wildlife Park- you can even feed the kangaroos! The tour ends where it started, being dropped off safe and sound at your hotel in Sydney.

Private Tobruk Sheep Station Day Tour from Sydney Including BBQ Lunch

To get an up-close look at Australia’s country life, head over to Tobruk Sheet Station. With this tour, your kids will get to watch the sheep being herded by a cattle dog and see the sheep get sheared. You may even get a chance to shear a sheep yourself! This is an awesome opportunity to teach kids about farm life and working with animals. An authentic Aussie BBQ is included in the tour, as is a local tour guide to drive you around the land. Learn how to throw a boomerang, lasso the cattle, and take care of sheep on Australia’s best sheep farm!

 

Where should I go by train from Sydney?

Regular trains from Central Station go to a number of popular tourist regions including Wollongong, Newcastle, Blue Mountains and Canberra, but here are our suggestions:

Canberra Explorer: Australia’s Capital City Tour from Sydney

Canberra is Australia’s capital and should not be missed on your trip! Luckily there are frequent trains that go back and forth from Sydney all day. You could spend 3-4 hours on a train or try this tour that picks you up from your Sydney hotel. Canberra has no shortage of things to do: take a tour of the National Museum of Australia, see the Captain Cook Memorial Fountain, or visit the gardens at Commonwealth Park. Canberra is full of rich history and culture- and it’s only a train ride away from Sydney!

Scenic World Blue Mountains

2 hours west of Sydney by train is the city of Katoomba, home to Scenic World. As the name suggests, Scenic World has 4 attractions to show you the beauty of the Blue Mountain Region. You can take the Scenic Skyway or Scenic Cableway to get over your fear of heights and see Katoomba from the sky with an unlimited 1 day ride pass. Or, you could take the Scenic Railway for an adrenaline-pumping ride through Jameson Valley and into the rainforest. For a more casual stride, take the Scenic Walkway to see the sights at your own pace. There are 2 dining options in Scenic World, and you can buy your tickets in advance online.

 

Where’s a good place for seniors to take a day trip from Sydney?

Hunter Valley Wine and Wildlife Tour from Sydney Including Walkabout Wildlife Park

Hunter Valley is the food and wine Mecca of Australia. On this tour, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Sydney and driven to Walkabout Wildlife Park where you’ll enjoy your morning tea or coffee with the kangaroos. Then, the next stop is Hunter Valley for winery visits and wine tastings. Take in the beautiful scenery from a pre-chosen restaurant overlooking the vineyards. This tour is perfect for seniors, or those who don’t want to be doing anything too physically strenuous.

One For the Road – Newcastle Pub Walk

2 hours north of Sydney is the thriving town of Newcastle. Known for its parks and beaches, Newcastle has no shortage of wildlife to see. For a more urban experience, check out the downtown streets on this food tour. From quirky independent bars to bumping sports pubs, the dining scene in Newcastle is alive and well. The tour is 3 hours long and in addition to sampling some amazing cuisine, your guide will teach you all about the beer-brewing process. Did we mention you get to sample the beers too?

 

Where should we go for a Day Trip during Winter from Sydney?

The Snowy Mountains are the perfect day trip for anyone who loves to carve some snow on the hills. A 5-hour drive South will take you to the mountains where you can take your pick of beginner to expert level hills. Forget your board at home? There are vendors renting skis and snowboards on the mountain. There are even thermal springs you can take a brisk dip in at the Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa. When the cold isn’t too harsh, take a guided horseback riding tour of the park. It’s common for many Australians to spend a weekend in the Snowy Mountains.

Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves Motorcoach Day Tour

Cold weather certainly shouldn’t stop you from taking your Sydney vacation outdoors. There’s plenty to do in New South Wales in the winter, like this tour of the Jenolan Caves. After being picked up from your hotel in Sydney, admire the scenery en route to the Blue Mountains National Park. Get your picture taken with the Three Sisters monument, and carefully peer down the cliffs of the Megalong Valley. Then, explore the underground caves with your guide and notice how the farther underground you go, the warmer it gets.

 

What’s a good place to visit 1 hour drive from Sydney?

For a chance to be immersed in nature and escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney, head north one hour to Marramarra National Park. Choose the Smugglers Ridge Walking Trail for scenic views of cliffs, heritage sites, and picnic stops along the way. There are hundreds of wildflowers growing along the path you’ll rarely see in the city. Admission to the park is free, so don’t bother packing your wallet. Just pack a lunch, some water, and prepared to be amazed by nature’s beauty.

Royal National Park Sunrise Photography Tour from Sutherland

One-hour Southwest of Sydney is the town of Sutherland, one the most picturesque places in Australia. Known for being a quaint and sleepy seaside town, there are dozens of quiet beaches and coves to explore or relax in the sun. The biggest attraction in Sutherland is the Royal National Park. On this tour, you’ll meet up with your guide before sunrise and they’ll lead you to the best viewpoints in the park to watch the sun come up. This tour is certainly for those who like to take pictures since you will be taken to all of Sutherland’s best vantage points.

 

What’s a good place to visit 2 hours drive from Sydney?

Sydney has dozens of interesting and beautiful destinations only two hours away, but here are our suggestions…

145kms South of Sydney is the sleepy coastal town of Berry. You won’t find amusement rides or skydiving here, but you will find the perfect place to take a deep breath and relax. Go for a casual stroll down the white sands of the Seven Mile Beach National Park. Have lunch at one of the many cozy cafes and restaurants on the coast. Spend a quiet afternoon exploring the Berry Museum, stroll the streets and live like the locals do. Visiting a farmer’s market should be at the top of your list of things to do in Berry since so much of the produce is grown in local farms.

Jervis Bay Beach Day Trip for Backpackers from Sydney

If you’re looking to get a tan and breathe in the ocean air, then look no further than Jervis Bay. On this tour, a local guide will take you and the other travelers to Jervis Bay National Park where you’ll spend 90 minutes on a cruise looking for wild dolphins and taking Instagram-worthy pictures. Then, enjoy a traditional Aussie BBQ on the beach. Eat to your heart’s desire, then soak up some rays or cool off in the crystal-clear water. After exploring the bay, your tour guide will take you back into the city where you’ll have one last drink together at a local bar.

 

Where should we go for a two-day trip from Sydney?

Most of the places already mentioned have enough attractions to fill 2 full days of exploring, including the famous Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Newcastle (or further north), Wollongong (or further south), and Canberra. However, if you don’t want to stress about an itinerary, here are our suggestions…

2-Day Combo: Sydney City Tour, Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise and Blue Mountains Day Trip

This 2-Day combo tour is perfect for those who can’t decide whether they want to stay in Sydney or explore outside the city. You’ll start by getting picked up from your Sydney hotel, and be driven in an air-conditioned coach to all the big Sydney landmarks (Hyde Park, the Opera House, etc.). Then, hop on a boat for a lunchtime cruise around the harbor. After seeing the sights from the water, you’ll be returned to your hotel. On the second day of the tour, you’re picked up and taken to Blue Mountains National Park. Explore Scenic World in Katoomba and visit the rainforest. Have lunch at a restaurant that overlooks lots of important sights, like the Three Sisters monument. On the way home, you’ll stop in at Featherdale Wildlife Park and have the chance to feed kangaroos and take pictures with the koalas. All you entrance fees are included in this tour, as is your transport from place to place.

Inside the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage – A Wildlife Safari Overnight

In this tour, A Wildlife Safari, you’ll spend two days and one night being adventurous in the Australian outback. Start by getting picked up at your hotel and driven to Australia’s version of the Grand Canyon where you’ll witness wild animals deep in the bush. You’ll get to hike through Jameson Valley, and later Grose Valley, so make sure you’re wearing durable shoes! Explore the Jenolan Caves, and then spend the night at the Jenolan Caves House. On the second day, you’ll see even more of nature’s beauty in the Kanangra-Boyd National Park. Then, wander through the grassy meadows of Luther and Spring Creek. This tour offers so many perfect photo-ops, it would be a waste not to bring a camera. Enjoy your lunch in Hartley Village, before slowing beginning the road back to Sydney. Rest assured there will be many more stops along the way to watch wild wallabies graze or to take in the beauty of one of many waterfalls.

 

What are the best scenic drives near Sydney?

The Legendary Pacific Coast drive is one of the most scenic in Australia. It’s recommended to allow four days to do the full drive from Sydney to Byron, but even just driving part of the way is sure to amaze. The first major stop you’ll want to make is The Entrance where you can feed wild pelicans by hand. Further down the road, you’ll hit Port Stevens where you can see bottle-nosed dolphins and whales off the coast. This area is also known for its banana industry so make sure you stop for a sample! Eventually, you’ll end up in Byron Bay, a hotspot for surfing and restaurant hopping. Whether you hire a tour guide or do the drive on your own, The Legendary Pacific Coast won’t disappoint.

If you drive south away from Sydney, you’ll find yourself on The Grand Pacific drive which is no second-runner up to the Legendary; and it’s shorter and easier to navigate. First stop is the Royal National Park for some bushwalking and birdwatching. Further south you’ll pass the grandiose cliffs of Bald Hill in Stanwell Park. You’ll find picturesque beaches and art exhibits when you get to Wollongong where you’ll want to stop and have a bite to eat. Or maybe you’d like to try skydiving to get your blood pressure up. Once your stomach has settled, check out the Kiama Blowhole and Minnamurra rainforest. The Grand Pacific drive offers lots of opportunities to be adventurous, while also showing you some of Australia’s most tranquil views.

What ever you do while you’re in Sydney, we hope you have a good day.

If you’ve had a rip snorter of a tour or have a fantastic photo of your time in and around Sydney, we want to hear about it, so post your photos and comments in the spaces below.

3 Comments

  1. Leanne Emily
    Leanne Emily
    United Kingdom 25 Comments
     -  04 Mar 2018

    Excellent

    One thing that should be on your list is a visit to Palm Beach NSW (the set for Home and Away!) We hired out a car for $40 and it took us just over an hour to drive there. (Once we had navigated our way out of Sydney, be warned the roads can be confusing if this is your first time).
    It is free to park and there are lots of fish and chip shops along the way!
    We went at the beginning of March and thought it would be really busy, but we were the only people there.
    Take a walk up to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, but be careful it can get really hot at this time of year – take plenty of water!

    Keep an eye out for a rock that you can sit on that gives the illusion you are hanging into sea! (See picture!)

  2. alina
    alina
    Ukraine 26 Comments
     -  09 Dec 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    I thought I saw so many things in Australia, but how much remained unexplored! I definitely need to return to this country to visit all the places listed in this article! Thanks to the author for inspiring ideas!

  3. infinitesundays
    infinitesundays
    Philippines 25 Comments
     -  27 Nov 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    I was able to do the following day trips: Canberra and Blue Mountains. Also spent a lovely weekend in Port Stephens. Just goes to show how you will never ran out of things to do in Sydney. Sandboarding in Port Stephens is quite an experience, bring your sunglasses because getting sand in your eye is no fun. You can also ride the camels and admire the sand dunes.

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