This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.

For those of us lucky enough to live in Sydney, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to amazing nearby holiday destinations. The wealth of both inland and coastal scenery in NSW gives us a wide range of options for weekend getaways.

With the weather warming up and a public holiday looming, I’m sure many of you are starting to think about getting out of the city on an exciting long-weekend escape. But with so many amazing places to visit near Sydney, the problem is where to choose!

Since I’m slightly addicted to exploring my adopted home and its surrounds, I’ve got plenty of recommendations. The list below gives an overview of my 10 best weekend getaways from Sydney.

So whether you’re after city excitement, a lazy beach weekend or beautiful walks through national parks, you should find a destination to suit you needs. So get planning!

PIN IT FOR LATER!

Discover the best weekend getaways from Sydney Australia with this list of 10 amazing destinations in NSW.

1. Wollongong

Situated about as beachfront as a city can get, Wollongong not only has shops, bars and restaurants to keep you entertained, but a choice of stunning beaches just a short walk from the centre.

The leafy backdrop of the Illawarra escarpment gives The Gong a uniquely mountainous setting for a coastal city, and has some amazing lookout points accessible by car or walking tracks.

If you’re after a weekend getaway from Sydney with stunning scenery, beachside cafes, coastal walks and the facilities of a fairly compact city, Wollongong ticks all the boxes.

The best things to do in Wollongong Australia on a trip from Sydney. Discover Wollongong beaches, botanic gardens, restaurants and more.
Wollongong Beach and Illawarra escarpment

How to get there:

1 hour 20 minutes by car from Sydney CBD (90km)

1 hour 30 minutes by train from Town Hall Station

Further reading:

Things to Do in Wollongong on a Weekend Trip from Sydney


2. Newcastle

If you’re looking for a more of a big-city feel with a wider choice of cafés, restaurants and nightlife, Newcastle, the second-largest city in New South Wales, could be a great weekend trip for you.

While it looks pretty industrial on first sight, Newcastle has some brilliant beaches and coastal walks, as well as the nearby Worimi Sand Dunes, which are well worth a visit. It’s a great destination for those who want a varied and lively trip away.

Newcastle, Australia. A great weekend trip from Sydney or east coast Australia road trip destination.
Newcastle foreshore

How to get there:

2 hours 30 minutes by car from Sydney CBD (162km)

3 hours by train from Central Station

Further reading:

10 Things to Do in Newcastle, NSW


3. Kiama

If a combination of beaches and rolling green hills are your sort of thing, Kiama, about half an hour south of Wollongong is a great holiday hotspot to pencil in.

Kiama not only has a decent choice of shops and restaurants in its pleasant town centre, but amazing coastal scenery and walks as well as a blowhole! I’ve only stopped off here briefly on my travels before, but it’s high on my list of places to revisit for longer.

The beautiful Kiama coastline, a scenic weekend getaway from Sydney.
Kiama coastline

How to get there:

1 hour 45 minutes by car from Sydney CBD (141km)

2 hours 20 minutes by train from Central Station


4. Hunter Valley

Slightly inland from Newcastle lies the sprawling green expanse of the Hunter Valley. Famous for its vineyards, wine tours are a popular way to spend the day in The Hunter, as well as watching the sunrise from the soaring heights of a hot air balloon.

The Hunter Valley Gardens is another popular attraction, and the surrounding national parks such as Yango and Werakata offer a choice of walking tracks.

The road trip from Sydney is a treat in itself if you take Tourist Drive 33, which winds its way through the New South Wales countryside, passing quaint little villages such as Laguna and Wollombi.

Enjoy one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney with a visit to the Hunter Valley.
Bimbadeen Lookout, Hunter Valley

How to get there:

2 hours by car from Sydney CBD to Cessnock (158km)

Between 3 hours 30 minutes and 4 hours 20 minutes by train and bus from Central Station to Cessnock


5. The Entrance, Central Coast NSW

The NSW Central Coast is an ideal spot for a quiet weekend getaway from Sydney. Base yourself up at The Entrance and you’ll have easy access to beautiful walks and coastal areas such as Norah Heads, as well as shops and restaurants in the town itself.

As you can see from the picture below, The Entrance Beach is beautiful, and there are also ocean baths and a daily pelican feeding show.

The Entrance, NSW, one of the top road trips from Sydney.
The Entrance Beach looking across to The Entrance North

How to get there:

1 hour 30 minutes by car from Sydney CBD (105km)

2 hours 30 minutes by train and bus from Central Station (change at Tuggerah)

Further reading:

How to Spend a Weekend at The Entrance


6. Kangaroo Valley

While the northern regions of the Southern Highlands are easily reached on a day trip, the slow, scenic drive down the winding country road to Kangaroo Valley make it better suited for a weekend trip from Sydney.

With cute heritage buildings, lush green surroundings and plenty of outdoor activities on offer, such as river kayaking, this area is perfect for nature lovers.

Kangaroo Valley: near Sydney weekend getaways.
Pretty Kangaroo Valley in the Southern Highlands

How to get there:

2 hours by car from Sydney CBD (153km)

4 hours 45 minutes by train and bus from Central Station


7. Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is a popular destination for a day trip from Sydney, but with its huge range of walking trails, as well as quaint towns, there’s plenty to keep you occupied for a whole weekend or more.

Pay a visit to Wentworth Falls and Echo Point for walks with stunning views, and Leura and Katoomba for quaint little shops and cafes.

Enjoy one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney in the Blue Mountains.
The beautiful Blue Mountains, one of the best weekend getaways from Sydney

How to get there:

2 hours by car from Sydney CBD to Katoomba (102km)

2 hours by train from Central Station

Further Reading:

Nine Beautiful Blue Mountains Lookouts 


Best Long Weekend Trips from Sydney

My final three best weekend getaways from Sydney are three to four hours’ drive away, so better suited to a long weekend.

8. Jervis Bay

For all my fellow beach lovers out there, who are looking for serenity without the big-city lights, Jervis Bay is my top recommendation. 

With a small selection of shops and restaurants in Huskisson town centre, a huge selection of bright white, pristine beaches running from the town all the way across the edge of Booderee National Park, and plenty of beautiful walks, Jervis Bay is a true beach lovers’ paradise.

Beautiful Jervis Bay, one of the top weekend trips from Sydney for beach lovers.
Nelson Beach in Jervis Bay

How to get there:

3 hours by car from Sydney CBD (171km)

Between 3 hours 40 mins and 4 hours 20 minutes by train and bus from Central Station

Further reading:

Explore Jervis Bay: Beach Lovers’ Paradise in NSW


9. Port Stephens

The low, green hills that lie between the beautiful beaches of Port Stephens give it a very different look to Sydney, with its craggy headlands. You can hike up to the lookout in Tomaree National Park to see the view below, or simply laze around on a different beach each day.

There are shops and restaurants in Nelson Bay, dolphin tours on offer, and lots of drives into the surrounding bushland. Since it’s a few hours north of Sydney, the weather should be a bit warmer than the southern spots like Jervis Bay, if you’re visiting outside of the summer.

Port Stephens, one of the best Sydney weekend getaways.
Tomaree National Park, Port Stephens

How to get there:

3 hours by car from Sydney CBD to Nelson Bay (210km)

4 hours 20 minutes by train and bus from Central Station


10. Canberra

For a cultural weekend getaway from Sydney that doesn’t involve the coastline, Canberra, the capital city of Australia has plenty of options to keep you entertained.

Lose a few hours exploring the museums, wander through art galleries, pay a visit to Parliament House or hike to Telstra Tower from the beautiful botanic gardens. Canberra has plenty to fill a long weekend, and is a great choice if the weather’s wet.

Discover the best things to do in Canberra Australia on a weekend getaway from Sydney.
View of Canberra from Telstra Tower

How to get there:

3 hours 30 minutes by car from Sydney CBD (286km)

4 hours 20 minutes by train from Central Station

Further reading:

Things to Do in Canberra: 3-Day Itinerary


Those are my top 10 best weekend getaways from Sydney! To browse accommodation options, including hotels, hostels and caravan parks, click on the link below:

Find accommodation on Booking.com

For more destinations from Sydney, take a look at my recommended scenic day trips. Many of these would make great weekend getaways too!

10 Scenic Day Trips from Sydney