Happy new year friends! I hope the start of January has been pleasant so far. I’ve just come back from a girl’s trip to the Hunter Valley for 3 days and it was relaxing and well-needed just before work starts up again. I live in Sydney and I do appreciate that there are so many nice places to visit that are only hours away by car making it really accessible to have a mini holiday.
With Covid-19 restrictions still in place, it’s still really important to remain safe and monitor for any symptoms. States have all shut their borders to NSW again (but are we surprised?) so here are just 5 short holiday getaways from Sydney (that you can still go to during current Covid-19 restrictions) that are perfect for a quick weekend trip away.
1. Hunter Valley
Needs no explanation. I’ll be documenting my holiday including places to visit, food recommendations and recommendations of what to pack and a two and three day itinerary. If you’re interested, I would love if you subscribed so you can be notified of any future new posts because I most likely will scatter these in the coming weeks.
The Hunter Valley is about 2 hours north from Sydney and is known for its wineries so it’s perfect for a girl’s trip where you can explore the wineries, get ‘drunk’ and just escape the chaotic city for a bit. Hunter Valley is blessed with so much green landscape everywhere you go. It is very calming and the perfect place for a quiet retreat.
2. Byron Bay
Byron Bay is about an 8 hour drive north from Sydney which is totally doable if you want the road trip experience. I flew into Ballina to get to Byron Bay. You can also fly into the Gold Coast as well and drive about 1.5 hour south to Byron Bay since it’s in northern NSW and basically at the QLD-NSW border.
If you’re considering going to the Gold Coast for a while and have extra time, I would highly recommend renting a car to Byron Bay.
Byron Bay is known for its relaxing beaches and has really seen a spike in tourists mainly because it’s a great destination for us Sydney folk since we can’t leave the state. More famously, Byron Bay is known for the Hemsworths (Chris and Liam Hemsworth) who do frequent from time to time. Our Uber driver from the airport said he’s seen them. Zac Efron is also living there so there is some serious eye candy on offer.
There are some really nice beaches and hikes to explore. There is also the Cape Byron Lighthouse which is a great walk with a really nice lookout. There is great food and bars and if you’re feeling outdoorsy there are a lot of activities available. I did stand up paddleboarding (hungover which was not fun) but you can also go surfing, kayaking and scuba diving.
3. Blue Mountains
Whilst technically in Greater Sydney, it’s west enough for me to classify as a getaway from Sydney. It is most famous for the Three Sisters which is a historic rock formation. There are also amazing lookouts, trails and waterfalls to explore. Try the cablecar as well.
I think this would be great as a girl’s trip or a romantic getaway because there are some amazing airbnb accomodation options. You can get a really romantic little cottage, cabin or even a little treehouse with some amazing views.
4. Jervis Bay and the South Coast
I haven’t been to Jervis Bay in years but their beaches are known to have the most pristine white sand. It is absolutely gorgeous. You can also go whale watching and scuba diving as well. Jervis Bay is about a 2.5-3 hour drive south of Sydney but I would definitely recommend doing stopovers on the way and back.
Sea Cliff Bridge is a very iconic location near Stanwell Park along the Grand Pacific Drive and it is one of the most scenic coastal roads. If I see one more person post a picture of them here on Instagram I will scream. There are also places like Wollongong, Nowra and Kiama to check out along the way. The vibe is very laidback and it will be a very relaxing getaway.
5. Central Coast
The Central Coast is also a great location due to its close proximity with Sydney only being about a 1 hour drive away. I went here so many times when I was younger because it was so close to Sydney that my family would often do day trips there.
There are some fantastic coastal walks and beaches. We made a stopover at Lake Macquarie on the way back from the Hunter Valley and the lakes are gorgeous. People were on kayaks, boats and jetskis and the weather was perfectly sunny and it was just a beautiful day out.
Caves Beach is absolutely stunning with amazing caves. There is also Avoca Beach, Terrigal Beach and Soldiers Beach (pictured) among many others. I have very fond memories of The Entrance which also has beaches and is famous for the pelicans.
Also the Central Coast is all on coast so don’t forget to eat your heart out in seafood. Oysters, fish and chips, mussels, prawns and salt and pepper squid. Yum!
Have you been to any of these places before?