Australia: Five day trips from Sydney

There’s so much more to New South Wales than its glamorous state capital.

The Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales, Australia. Photo / 123RF
The Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales, Australia. Photo / 123RF

1. Blue Mountains

Handily located two hours up the regional train line from Central station, there are plenty of cute towns on the way to Katoomba, the best place to see the Three Sisters rock formation. At Scenic World there are several ways to explore the area, including via the world's steepest incline railway or the glass-floored Skyway gondola, which is suspended 270m in the air.

2. Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley vineyards. Photo / iStock
Hunter Valley vineyards. Photo / iStock

If wineries are your cup of jarrah, the Hunter Valley, just a couple of hours north of the city, should be first on your day-tripping list. There are more than 150 wineries, vineyards and cellar doors in the region, which is also known for its great food, picturesque scenery, golf courses and day spas.

3. Jervis Bay

 Jervis Bay on the southern New South Wales coast. Photo / Supplied
Jervis Bay on the southern New South Wales coast. Photo / Supplied

The South Coast of NSW is unbelievably beautiful: think white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise water. You'll see plenty of wildlife and marine life at Jervis Bay, a couple of hours south of Sydney, including seals, penguins, whales, dolphins, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, wombats, and many rare birds. Activities on offer range from watersports such as diving, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, to bushwalking, camping and cycling.

4. Palm Beach

Palm Beach is the setting for Home and Away's outdoor scenes. Photo / iStock
Palm Beach is the setting for Home and Away's outdoor scenes. Photo / iStock

Any self-respecting Home and Away fan needs to make a pilgrimage to the real Summer Bay - aka Palm Beach, which is about an hour's drive north of the city. If you're lucky you'll strike one of the filming days and see the action unfold right in front of you, or sign up for a tour with Flamin' Galah Sydney who've teamed up with Channel Seven to offer an official Home and Away experience.

You'll visit the iconic outdoor locations featured on the show, hear stories from those who've worked on it, and you might even get to meet some of the cast. The tour, which costs just over $100, picks you up at The Rocks and drops you at Manly, where you can catch the ferry back to town.

5. Terrigal

Terrigal Beach. Photo / iStock
Terrigal Beach. Photo / iStock

NSW's Central Coast is also a great option for a day trip. Terrigal, 1.5 hours north, is a pretty beachside town known for surfing and the striking Norfolk Island pines that line its esplanade. Also famous is The Skillion, a promontory offering spectacular views of the area, and the wreck of the HMAS Adelaide - a mecca for divers.

CHECKLIST

Further information: See visitnsw.com.

- NZ Herald

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