Great Weekend Getaways NSW - From Sydney


"Find great weekend getaways NSW from Sydney!"

Sometimes you just want to get out of the city and getaway for the weekend, especially over a long weekend. This page hopes to share with you some of my favourite weekends away.

Most are within an easy drive of Sydney but there are some ideas for those long weekends where you probably have a bit more time to justify a 3 hour drive or even a flight.

Here are my ideas for great weekend getaways NSW from Sydney. They are tried and tested! Travel times are indicative as getting out of Sydney on a Friday night can be hard work - it can add another 45 minutes to your journey...


Kiama


The first of my great weekend getaways NSW is Kiama. This is a 2 hour drive from Sydney heading south along the coastal road to Melbourne, not far after Wollongong.

It's a peaceful seaside town with a good selection of boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. This is a great place to come and relax, enjoy some beach life and quiet time.

There are plenty of walking tracks, markets most weekends, lovely coastal drives around the area and even a few wineries.

It also has its famous blow hole of course...

Accommodation is of good quality too. There are nice cabins that overlook the ocean which are well equipped.

Try Cargo Wharf Restaurant too for a lazy long lunch or evening meal.

I'd also consider a day trip to Jamberoo - hop on a train or bus from Kiama to visit the Jamberoo Action Park - It's essentially a big water park with some other activities including go-karts and a cool mountain toboggan.

Or you can go a bit futher than Jamberoo and experience the the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk. It offers great views along a 1.5km walkway right in the middle of the rainforest. The Knights Tower at the end offers a great view of the whole area.

See kiama nsw for all the details



Jervis Bay


Probably one of my all time favourite great weekend getaways in NSW!

This is a 3 hour drive from Sydney so you may decide that this is best kept as a destination for a long weekend.

Situated on the Sydney to Melbourne drive, this gorgeous area is well worth a visit.

I'd say this has to be a summer weekend away from Sydney as it is predominantly about the fabulous beaches.

Did you know that Hyams Beach has been voted to have the whitest sand in the world? That coupled with turquoise water makes for a breath taking view.

You have to stay in either Huskisson or Vicentia to experience these beaches which are inside the National Park. You can camp at Green Patch (inside the national park) but facilities are limited. It might be worth it though to wake up on Hyams beach every day!

The area has some great B&B's and beach houses rather than hotels. Try Huskisson B&B or The Jervis Bay Guesthouse. Alternatively go through www.stayz.com.au THE place to stay to ensure this is one of the great weekend getaways is Paperbark Camp. Here you will find luxury tents right in the middle of the rainforest. If you can't afford to stay here, consider booking here for dinner as the restaurant is supposed to be amazing.

Another good option for food is in Huskisson. The best restaurant there is Sea Grass at 13 Currambene Street. Great Australian cuisine with an emphasis on fish.



Bowral


Great weekend getaways from Sydney don't get much better than this...This is another quaint little town, more inland this time, on the way to Canberra from Sydney. It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes to get here and is full of lovely boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and pie shops!

This would be a good destination for the winter months, where you could enjoy staying in a quaint B&B or place with a fire.

Bowral is probably most famous for its flowers. So a spring or Autumn weekend getaway from Sydney would be ideal. There are plenty of beautiful gardens to explore, usually as part of grand old estates - we went when the tulips were all out in Spring and it really was very pretty.

To make sure this is one of the great weekend getaways for the men, there's the Sir Donald Bradman Oval and the Cricket Hall of Fame - this famous cricketer was actually from here and the museum is actually quite modern and well worth a visit. The cafe overlooking the oval is very nice too.

You can even take a horse drawn carriage ride around the tiny town and passed the oval and get some commentary from the driver - all very twee!

If you want to stay in a hotel then try

Gibraltar Hotel - Nice size rooms, good outlook across the golf course and the restaurant is quite good too.

Grand Mercure Apartments - This one is a good option if you want an apartment. But it is near a busy road which means you can't really have the patio door open. Still walking distance to the town and Cricket Museum though.

I'd have a look at

www.stayz.com.au

and try and find yourself a cute little cottage or house in this area.



Berry


If you like the sound of Bowral,as one of the great weekend getaways NSW then you'll probably like Berry. This is along the Sydney to Melbourne drive and is another quaint village about a 2 hour drive from Sydney.

With a backdrop of rolling green hills, this delightful town has a lovely village feel with boutique shops, gorgeous cafes and restaurants. Think afternoon teas, antique stores, handicrafts and unique homewares.

There is a market on the first weekend of the month (but not in February) and you'll find plenty of B&B's and holiday homes to choose from.

Try The Drawing Rooms of Berry - amazing views, awesome breakfasts and friendly hosts.

Or look on

www.stayz.com.au

for holiday homes in Berry.

Gerringong


Another of the great weekend getaways from Sydney that is just off the Sydney to Melbourne drive and a 2 hour drive from Sydney (just after Kiama) There is very little to do here but kick back and enjoy the beautiful beach and a couple of shops/places to eat.

If you decide to stay here it will probably be about the accommodation and a few walks on the beach as there isn't much actually in Gerringong. That said, you have Kiama and Berry on your door step for you to take day trips to. This makes it one of the great weekend getaways from Sydney.

We had a lovely weekend staying at the boutique hotel called Bellachara. They have spa facilities, a pool, a lovely restaurant and it's only a short stroll down to the beach for pleasant walks.

Another good alternative is Mercure Resort Gerringong by the Sea - not strictly by the sea (it's 5 minutes away) but good facilities, nice restaurant and a spa.



Wollongong


Probably not the first place that comes to mind for one of your great weekend getaways, but "The Gong" might just surprise you. It's probably the first major "city" along the Sydney to Melbourne drive and only about an hour from Sydney.

It's a university town so that makes it fairly vibrant with lots of arts and culture going on. You'll find theatres, museums, lots of restaurants, plenty of accommodation and it's right on the beach.

It's a great place to skydive and the views are pretty stunning from up there.

Just outside of town is the Nan Tien Temple - the Biggest Buddha temple in the Southern Hemisphere and you can have guided tours over the weekend.

For other ideas see Activities in Wollongong .

Best places to stay to ensure this trip is one of the great weekend getaways from Sydney, would be Medina Executive - a good location near the shopping mall and there are plenty of restaurants on Market Street which is right outside the hotel.

A more apartment type option and good value for money is Belmore All Suite Hotel - good facilities and good location but more like a motel.

Try the Lebanese restaurant on Market Street for some good food - It's called Samara's.



Canberra


Now I know Canberra has a reputation for being a bit boring, but seriously, it is worth a visit and is a serious contender for great weekend getaways. It's a 3 hour trip from Sydney so might be one to save for a long weekend.

You can enjoy a culture weekend and visit the museums, or you can stay in one of its well to do suburbs and enjoy lovely food, walks around Lake Burley Griffin or hire a bike and explore the city.

For more details go to Things to do in Canberra



The Blue Mountains


This is obviously one of the great weekend getaways from Sydney given it is only an hour away. It really does feel like you are a million miles from Sydney when you get here - beautiful country scenery and quaint towns.

I think this is a great place to come in the winter providing that your accommodation is well heated. In the summer it can get quite hot (a few degrees higher than the temperature in Sydney usually)

Come and enjoy some bushwalking, afternoon teas in Leura or Katoomba. Do the tourist thing and visit Wentworth Falls, The Three Sisters and the Scenic Railway. Or just buy a good book, stay in some fab accommodation and totally relax in this peaceful paradise.

For more details go to Blue Mountains National Park



Port Stephens


A 3 hour drive north of Sydney on the coastal road up towards Brisbane, you will find Port Stephens. Rated as one of the great weekend getaways due to its frequently passing sea visitors....

This is a great place for whale watching during the migration season, which is between May and August and then again as they head back south between August and mid November.

It is also home to a large colony of dolphins so a boat trip is highly recommended and there are plenty to choose from.

This is a nice seaside town with a few restaurants and bars and of course plenty of dolphin and whale cruises. But you will also find Koalas here and some more adventurous pursuits like dune racing, horse riding on the beach and there's also a stingray visitor centre.

See Port Stephens Activities . for more ideas.

Accommodation

Peppers Anchorage $$$ Right on the waterfront in nearby Anna Bay so you’d need a car to get in and out of Port Stephens. Peaceful, nice spacious rooms and beautiful views.

Samurai Beach Resort - $$($) Good location yet still peaceful, Koalas, small pool, short walk to Samurai Beach

Look at

www.stayz.com.au

for other options as other hotels in the area are a bit disappointing. But don't let that comment put you off - Port Stephens really is one of the great weekend getaways from Sydney.

Hawkesbury River


Only 45 minutes from Sydney, this is perhaps one of the great weekend getaways as it is a hidden gem. It's a perfect getaway for anyone who fancies a go at sailing - Most of my friends have had a go at hiring a boat house and have cruised along this tranquil river. Try www.holidaysafloat.com.au for more details. Expect to pay about $600 for a 2 berth for the weekend and about $900 for a 4 berth.

There's houses and restaurants right on the river if a boat house isn't your thing. You can hire kayaks, take skippered boat trips and visit the many towns and villages along the river.

You can take a drive along the farm gate trail (you can get a map from the visitors centre on Ham Common Park Hawkesbury Valley Way, Clarendon) where the local farmers will invite you to stop at their establishments and try their strawberries, peaches, meat, cheese etc.

There is a famous restaurant right on the river called Cottage Point Inn. It offers stunning views, the food is amazing and you can also stay here.

Best place to find accommodation is at www.stayz.com.au

and search under hawkesbury river. Windsor and Brooklyn are popular areas but anywhere right on the river is sure to make for one of the great weekend getaways you've ever had. From here, you can drive around the other villages.

For activities whilst you are there try Hawkesbury River Activities .

The Central Coast


Just an hour north of Sydney you will find the Central Coast. It is a selection of small towns right on the beach. Some have extensive facilities where as others have very little. It just depends what you fancy.

To be honest, don't come for the towns as they are just "OK" Come for a relaxing beach getaway in tranquil surrounds. You'll be able to enjoy the odd coffee and nice brunch but that will be about it!

Activities tend to focus around the water - think surfing, fishing, kayaking, water skiing.

Recently a dive site was created at Avoca beach with the sinking of HMS Adelaide. It has proven most popular and is reason along that it is one of the great weekend getaways from Sydney - if you are into diving of course!

Some of the well known beaches include Avoca, Ettalong and Copacabana all of which have small townships with their own markets once a month.

Terrigal is perhaps one of the busiest places with 4 star hotels with swimming pools and a wider range of restaurants and bars available.

The entrance is another option but we were severely disappointed with the restaurants etc on offer. The resort here is great (see below) but don't expect there to be heaps to do at the Entrance itself.

Places to stay:

Crowne Plaza Terrigal - very central and lots of facilities including gym, pool etc.

Tiarri Terrigal Beach - bit of a steep hill to get to it but a good option - near the beach and town

Quay West Resort Magenta Shores - This is just outside the Entrance which I don't particularly rate but this hotel resort was GREAT. It has an indoor and outdoor pool, play areas, walks around the wonderful golf course and very modern apartments. Expensive but try and get a deal on line.

Or check out www.stayz.com.au for some beach houses, particularly around Avoca, Copacabana etc.

The Hunter Valley


Another of the great weekend getaways from Sydney and one that I can keep going back to without getting tired of the place.

This is the closest wine region to Sydney, specialising particularly in Shiraz, a rather heavy red wine.

Here you will find wonderful wineries with cellar doors where you can try their wine, as well as great restaurants.

Accommodation is plentiful ranging from tiny cottages and cabins to 5 star hotels.

You can even time your visit with one of the many concerts that happen up him - but make sure you book your accommodation early as otherwise it becomes a very expensive weekend away.

Here is a link to Hunter Valley Activities .

Here are a few places to stay but see my page on Australia Tours From Sydney for more information on the Hunter Valley.

It's hard not to come again and again - one of the great weekend getaways for sure!



Orange NSW


If you really are over the Hunter Valley but love your wine, then consider a trip to Orange. We had a great weekend here and it so deserves to be on the list for great weekend getaways.

The drive will take you about 3 hours but you can fly here with Regional Express in under an hour.

The area itself is lovely with historic buildings, cafes, restaurants and of course wineries. The town itself is just OK with a few beautiful boutiques - you just have to look for them.

The area has a cool climate which means it produces wonderful Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz grapes, even some liqueurs from apples and cherries and a non-alcoholic cooking product called Verjus. Look out for special events like their Wine Week in October where the place really comes to life.

We enjoyed a trip to Mayfields Winery (pictured below) for a sumptuous dinner and some wine tasting at the cellar door. Picture postcard beautiful.

If you fancy a wine tour with a difference check out Simmo's Off Road Trail - a wine and produce tour in a 4 WD vehicle where you get to see some great views and plenty of wildlife.

There's nice drives around the surrounding areas where you can visit more towns too as well as Lake Canobolas, a great spot for a picnic.

The Adventure playground in the Botanical Gardens was also a great treat for the kids with a lovely cafe next door too.

Accommodation is a bit limited in terms of 5 star hotels (!) but there are plenty of lovely B&B's and my particular favourite De Russie Suites where you will feel very pampered with the little extras they provide. You can also find holiday homes through www.stayz.com.au



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