Sometimes, you just want to escape the city. Sydney may promise to have it all, but if you venture beyond the CBD, there are many natural sights, untouched towns, and other attractions that can offer you a new perspective about life or just give a welcome break amongst a busy schedule.

Whether you’re a Sydney local or visiting for a short time, there are many great places to visit on a day trip from Sydney. Here are five suggestions:

Drink and Dine in Style in the Hunter Valle:

The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s premier wine regions, around a three-hour drive northwest of Sydney. With over 120 cellar doors and dozens more private wineries, the Hunter Valley has become known worldwide, most famously for its Semillon with its Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Verdelho not far behind either. The region is also renowned for its gourmet restaurants and quaint bed and breakfasts, making it a perfect location for a daytrip or overnight getaway for those wanting to stay a bit longer!

Outdoor Outings: 5 Great Day Trips From Sydney

Have Fun with the Family in Central Coast

If you’ve got kids, the Central Coast is a perfect spot for a day trip from Sydney. The Central Coast is approximately an hour north of Sydney and a popular spot for locals looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Beaches are aplenty as are friendly seaside towns such as the beloved Terrigal and The Entrance. Whether you’re after a dozen fresh oysters or a pelican show for the kids, the Central Coast is a win for every member of the family.

Stand in awe at the Blue Mountains

Head around an hour and a half west of Sydney and you will enter the Blue Mountains, a mountainous region home to quaint towns, local arts and crafts, and awe-inspiring World Heritage-listed natural sights. At the centre of it all is the Three Sisters, a rock formation that has been widely photographed as one of Australia’s best-known sites. It’s no wonder that the Blue Mountains region is a bushwalker’s paradise. For the less adventurous or mobile, the historic town of Leura is a wonderful place to explore with its many cafes and shops.

Gaze from above at  Stanwell  Tops

If you’ve already been to the Blue Mountains, then Stanwell Tops is the next natural sight for you to see. Located around 50 minutes from Sydney and half an hour from the city of Wollongong, Stanwell Tops is particularly famous for Bald Hill. Bald Hill is one of the best lookouts in the region providing panoramic views across the region and out to the Tasman Sea. Still want more of the great views? Below Bald Hill is the $52 million Sea Cliff Bridge, an offshore bridge boasting stunning views of the ocean. Look similar to a Ferrari commercial? There’s a reason why.

Take it slow in the Southern Highlands

Another place worth visiting if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city is the Southern Highlands. At a little over an hour south of Sydney, the region is well known for its colourful gardens, historic towns, and welcoming accommodation. The largest town in the region is Bowral, a place home to the elite gentry in the past and now host to the famous Bowral Tulip Time Festival every spring. Berrima is another popular town with its well-preserved Georgian architecture and old-time shops like the beloved Mrs Oldbucks Pantry jam shop.

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Jessica Callahan is a university student and freelance writer who is interested in cars and travel. She can’t wait for her next holidays and is hoping it’ll involve escaping the city in a trusty 2014 Freelander 2!