Sydney is lucky to have so many interesting and attractive regions within close proximity for a weekend trip. You’ll surely want to visit them all. A dream trip away usually goes according to plan, but at least there’s travel insurance should something unfortunate occur.
The following great locations are all different, but similar in their ability to be easily reached for a short trip away from Sydney.
While Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth succeeded in crossing the Blue Mountains in 1813, after many other white explorers had failed, today the trip to the Blue Mountains is a much easier one. Acknowledgement of these early pioneers, however, is seen in the naming of Blue Mountains suburbs, namely Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth Falls. Loads of bushwalking options make the Blue Mountains a great escape, although the Katoomba Scenic Railway, Zig Zag railway, Jenolan Caves and panoramic Edge Cinema ensure that there’s plenty of attractions to fill out a weekend. The natural beauty of the Blue Mountains has led to the region being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Area.
Australia produces many world class wines, and the Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s premier wine growing regions. How fortunate is Sydney to have such a place, right on her doorstep? Naturally, this proximity lends itself favourably to weekends away amongst the vineyards. Indeed, around two and a half million people visit the area annually. Most wineries open their doors for wine tastings, with some wine varieties available exclusively here at the source. There are also cheese tastings, and for those looking to add a sporting slant to their weekend away, great golf courses and accompanying resorts.
A pleasant city break away without the Sydney crowds, Newcastle has grown out of its former image as an industrial city, however its colourful past may enthuse this history buffs. The steelworks may have closed, but Newcastle remains the biggest coal exporting port in the world. Newcastle, however, is much more than this, with beautiful beaches, good dining, a jazz festival and a solid live music scene that has spawned popular acts like Silverchair and the Screaming Jets. Sports fans may want to take in the strong feelings of local pride at a Newcastle Knights rugby league game. Take the train up from Sydney, for a pleasant journey that crosses the Hawkesbury river and winds along next to the water for part of the trip.
Wedged between Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and Sydney is the Central Coast. The main town in the region is Gosford, a pleasant spot for a lunch on the attractive lake. Boat cruises also run on certain days, including weekends. The Central Coast also has magnificent beaches. Avoca beach has long been a popular getaway for Sydneysiders. Reasonable surf and a pleasant family atmosphere make it a good choice. Further north, The Entrance also has a lovely beach. Not only this, but behind the beach is a large lagoon, home to scores and scores of pelicans. Don’t miss the daily feeding times, when staff from the fish shop across the road bring across plenty of tucker for the eagerly awaiting birds.