Yeah there's the Blue Mountains in the west, and the North Coast beaches to name. But what about some creative ideas of places to get away to in and around Sydney otherwise? We all need to leave home behind for a couple of days and get some new perspective. So how about it? Any ideas? I'm looking forward to trying some of them out.
If you're after a gorgeous location with lots of activities available, I highly recommend the Hunter Valley. It's only about a two hour drive away, the vineyards are beautiful and you can drink and eat to your hearts content! I also love Terrigal for a quiet, low-cost, beach-filled getaway.
When I need some time out to unwind, I love going to the Blue Mountains - even on a silent meditation retreat there. Love Blackheath, Katoomba, Medlow Bath and Leura. Otherwise the Central Coast is awesome - I have family up there. Also equally awesome as I live right near the M5 - grab the car and go driving and skydiving in Picton, or drive further to Mittagong. Go to the farm for a day. That is what I also love about living in Sydney - we're only 1-2 hours drive away from the farm. We can just escape on a Sunday and be all fine for work on Monday. Great question Lisa :)
For using the train, New Castle, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains are perfect.
The hunter valley is an amazing place with great rain forests as well as food, wine and places to stay.
I also like the Southern Highlands. This is where they filmed the movie Babe. Lots of great hikes as well as some of the best B&Bs I have stayed in around Sydney.
One forgotten location is Jenolan Caves. You can actually book a train/bus connection so that you get there and back without the hassle of driving (especially avoiding the Sunday night traffic back into Sydney). It is a great family destination as it is for both high and low end travellers. There is plenty of cheap accommodation with shared bathrooms, but you get full access to the lodge facilities (light a fire in one of the side rooms and relax).
The Central Coast is also pretty cool as a place to visit, especially around the Entrance. Normally we have gone there as a day trip but friends with kids often have a weekend away there.
To the south people often head to Port Kembla and Kiama.
If you have a long weekend why not try Jervis bay further to the south.
Living in the suburbs in Sydney with a family means that when me and Mr Lisa W can get away we have often headed into the city rather than away from it. One memorable trip was to a B&B in Bronte. Being able to walk to both Bronte and Tamarama beaches and also enjoy the coastal hike from Bondi to Coogee just a few minutes away was magnificent. Bronte beach is one of the most scenic southern beaches in Sydney. Bronte has the feeling of a quite escape with the benefit of being of the city and nightlight being within easy reach.
One of my favourite spots is Wollombi, a small village in the Hunter Valley. Surrounded by mountains, it's very picturesque and has several antique shops, galleries and cute little cafes. A great spot to simply relax surrounded by nature.
Another favourite is Toronto on Lake Macquarie. Many people say it's one of the best-kept secrets in the Hunter region! Newcastle is also gorgeous (the beaches and the ocean baths are awesome!) as are the pretty little towns of Dungog and Gloucester, near the Barrington Tops.