Best 5 Day Trips for this Long Weekend within 1 hour of Sydney

Sydney, with its iconic Opera House, sprawling harbour, and vibrant city life, is often at the heart of any traveller’s Australian experience. But beyond the metropolitan allure of Sydney lies a treasure trove of destinations, ideal for day trips, especially when you have a long weekend to spare. So if you’re looking to escape the city bustle and explore some enchanting nearby locales, here are the top 5 day trips you can take – all just an hour away from Sydney:


Blue Mountains: A World Heritage Wilderness


Drive Time from Sydney: Approximately 1 hour to Katoomba.

Highlights: Known for its dramatic scenery, the Blue Mountains offers steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls, and villages dotted with guesthouses, galleries, and gardens. The famous Three Sisters rock formation is a must-visit. For the adventurous, there are numerous walking trails, including the challenging but rewarding Wentworth Falls track.

Tip: Hop on the Scenic Railway, the steepest passenger railway in the world, for a unique perspective of this majestic landscape.


Royal National Park: Nature’s Playground

Drive Time from Sydney: Around 50 minutes to the park entrance.

Highlights: This is Australia’s oldest national park, replete with coastal cliffs, secluded beaches, and bushland. Explore the famous Figure 8 Pools, take the scenic walk from Bundeena to Otford, or simply enjoy a picnic by the Hacking River. The park also offers kayaking and cycling opportunities.

Tip: Whale-watching season between May and November is an added bonus.


Palm Beach: A Seaside Gem

Drive Time from Sydney: Roughly 1 hour.

Highlights: Famous for its golden sands and as the filming location for the TV show ‘Home and Away’, Palm Beach offers more than just beach fun. Climb up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse for panoramic views of Broken Bay, the Central Coast, and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The calm waters of Pittwater are perfect for paddleboarding or kayaking.

Tip: Grab a bite at The Boathouse Palm Beach, and enjoy the views.


Hunter Valley: Wine Lover’s Paradise

Drive Time from Sydney: Just under 2 hours, but it’s worth the extra few minutes.

Highlights: Renowned for its wineries, Hunter Valley is a haven for wine aficionados. Wine-tasting tours are abundant, with Semillon and Shiraz being local specialties. The region also offers gourmet eateries, spa retreats, and golf courses.

Tip: Consider booking a wine-tasting tour in advance. Some vineyards also offer grape-stomping experiences.


Wollongong: Coastal Charm Meets Adventure

Drive Time from Sydney: Approximately 1 hour 20 minutes.

Highlights: Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Wollongong offers an eclectic mix of attractions. The Grand Pacific Drive offers stunning coastal views, while the Wollongong Botanic Garden is perfect for a leisurely stroll. For adrenaline junkies, tandem skydiving over the beach is a popular activity.

Tip: Don’t miss the Nan Tien Temple – it’s the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere.



A long weekend presents the perfect opportunity to explore the myriad attractions around Sydney. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or someone who just wants to relax and unwind, there’s a destination waiting for you, just an hour away. So pack a day bag, fill up the tank, and set out on a journey of discovery!