- BLUE MOUNTAINS
Distance: 1.5-2 hours from Sydney
What you'll see: Home to some of NSW's most stunning
scenery, it's not surprising that the Blue Mountains is
Australia's most recently listed World Heritage site. The
blue haze in the air is caused by the evaporation of oil
from the eucalyptus trees.
Things to do: Bushwalks, abseiling, rafting, canyoning
and horse riding are all available in the region. Don't
miss the awe-inspiring Three Sisters, the Sceniscender which
descends to the bottom of the Jamison Valley, or the many
caves and walks of the Jenolan Caves. For a more sedate
experience, enjoy the village life of Katoomba and Leura,
with their old style cafes and shops just waiting to tempt
Our verdict: An easy day trip from Sydney but be
tempted to stay overnight.
- HUNTER VALLEY WINE COUNTRY
Distance: 2 hours from Sydney
What you'll see: Hunter Valley Wine Country is Australia's
oldest wine producing region specialising in Semillon, Chardonnay,
Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz varieties.
Things to do: Enjoy a tipple (or ten) in the boutique
wineries and vineyards just hope that your designated
driver waits for you! Or enjoy a picnic while you drink
in the view: the stunning landscape is as varied as it is
beautiful and you'll see everything from farmland,
pastures and rocky outcrops to sandstone cliffs, rugged
mountains and spectacular rainforests of the Barrington
Tops National Park. Explore Hunter Valley Wine Country on
horseback, mountain biking, bush walking or a 4WD safari.
Our verdict: Makes a great day trip, but an even
better weekend or mid week break!
- SOUTH COAST
Distance: 2-3 hours from Sydney
What you'll see: The South Coast is a unique combination
of unspoiled beaches, picturesque seaside towns, rainforests,
spectacular scenery and quaint rural villages.
Things to do: Explore the pristine and uncrowded
beaches that are perfect for scuba diving, snorkelling,
fishing and swimming. Get the sand between your toes on
Hyams Beach (which boasts the whitest sand in the world),
and don't miss a visit to the nearby Murray's Beach, a fantastic
snorkelling spot. Other options include bush-walking, mountain
biking or four-wheel driving through the national parks,
or you can head inland to check out the arts and craft shops
in the historic town of Berry.
Our verdict: You'll need a few days to relax and
explore the region properly.
- THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
Distance: 2 hours from Sydney
What you'll see: The Southern Highlands is well known
for its history, scenery, waterfalls, bushwalks, gardens,
shopping and welcoming accommodation.
Things to do:: The country towns of Mittagong, Bowral
and Moss Vale are abundant with craft shops, antiques, galleries,
nurseries waiting to be explored. Enjoy the warm country
hospitality of the local restaurants, cafes and coffee shops,
or wander through the weekend country markets where you
can purchase an array of old wares, craft, cooking, preserves
Our verdict: Perfect destination if you're after
a weekend in the country or mid week break.
- THE PACIFIC COAST
Distance: Minimum 1 day drive
What you'll see: For those with a little more time
on their hands, take the Pacific Coast Touring Route linking
Sydney and Brisbane. Travel along the stunning coastline
with its all year-round temperate climate.
Things to do:: Don't miss whale watching at any one
of the many beaches or on a cruise from May-July and September-October.
Tour the Aboriginal galleries and cultural centres at Singleton,
Forster, Tinonee, Nambucca Heads, New Italy and South Tweed
Heads, or take a rainforest walk and spectacular skywalk
at Dorrigo World Heritage National Park. If you get peckish,
head to Wallis Lake where you can sample rock oysters fresh
from the rack or cast your reel for some of the world's
best fishing in the many beaches, rivers and estuaries along
the Pacific Coast route.
Our verdict: A little further afield, this region
has plenty to tempt.
- SYDNEY TO MELBOURNE - COASTAL
Distance: Minimum 1 day drive; allow 2 days with
What you'll see: Experience the best of Australia's
heritage, untouched wilderness and unique coastal lifestyle
when travelling from Sydney to Melbourne.
Things to do:: Indulge yourself with the freshest
seafood straight from the trawlers at Ulladulla. Visit the
surfing kangaroos on Pebbly Beach, or take a cruise to Montague
Island Nature Reserve to see the fur seals, seabirds and
little penguins. There's also the chance to sample the boutique
wines and award winning cheeses at Bega, or (at certain
times of the year) you can go whale-watching at Eden.
Our verdict: If you're after incredible scenery,
there's no better way to cross the state.