The 10 Best Weekend Getaways From Sydney

things to do in bowral
Quirky Bowral

There are loads of great weekend getaways near Sydney. Sydney does have so much to offer – check out my Sydney Highlights and Watsons Bay posts – but it is nice to experience something not so big city and a bit more non-urban Australia. Here are the 10 Best Weekend Getaways from Sydney:

1. Mt Kosciuszko Walk

Why Go?

To climb Australia’s highest mountain of course! And to see the little-discussed ski fields of Australia. Yes, it does snow in Australia!

Mt Kosciuszko Summit
Heading to the summit

Mt Kosciuszko Things to do

-Mt Kosciuszko Walk

I did quite a bit of pre-research on this and it was quite hard to figure out which route to take for the Mt Kosciuszko Walk. As always it was much easier once you arrived and then all the brochures you needed were at the Valley chairlifts! But here is a good link that I found.

We began our walk in Thredbo at the bottom of the chairlift and went up the Meadows Nature Track. This was a lovely peaceful walk – hardly anyone on it. We followed the path to where it meets the more challenging Merits track. This stretch was steep! Lots of water needed. This walk takes you up to the top of the chairlift where you join the Mt Kosciuszko Summit Walk.

mount kosciuszko walk
Gorgeous Lake

From here the track got busy. We did the walk on Easter Saturday so I guess that is to be expected. From the top of the chairlift, it is 9km round trip and relatively steepish. There was every type of nationality and language being spoken as we passed people along the way to the Mt Kosciuszko Summit. And very brave people with prams!!!

We decided to take the chairlift town as round trip from the village it had been a 24km walk up and down Mt Kosciuszko and we were rather weary.

mt kosciuszko walk
Which way?

We had a beautiful blue sky day and the scenery was stunning. Such a beautiful walk and so peaceful if you could ignore the many others seek serenity!

In hindsight, another nice option for the Mount Kosciuszko walk would have been to take the Merritts Traverse vs the Meadows walk. The more full on option is to hop in the car and start the walk at Charlotte’s Pass. At the very top, this connects with the Mt Kosciuszko Summit Walk. This one is about 42km round trip.

We did a packed lunch which was perfect. The only place to eat is the restaurant at the top of the chairlift. Which was nice (see the highest section) but I’m sure would have been busy and is a bit slow. Much nicer to stop and sit on the trail and eat and watch the world go by.

mt kosciuszko walk
The highest toilet in Australia!

-Enjoy the Highest

So there is a lot of The Highest in Australia action here! Of course, the summit of Mt Kosciuszko is the Highest Point in Australia. If you then head to the very nice Eagles Nest restaurant you can enjoy the highest coffee in Australia, the highest beer, the highest scones – anything you can consume can be posted on facebook as the highest of its kind in Australia! And when you get to Rawson’s Pass you can also visit the highest toilet in Australia!

mount kosciuszko restaurants
Eagles Nest Bar

Mt Kosciuszko Restaurants

So apparently this used to be a pretty average region for coffee. That is until Central Road 2625 opened up. It is in the main village square in Thredbo and has a very inner suburban feel and the fab coffee to match! We also did breakfast here on our final morning and it was fantastic. As I had burnt so many calories the day before I went all in with the pancakes, banana, bacon and maple syrup. A fantastic breakfast!

mount kosciuszko restaurants
A brilliant breakfast at Central Road

Mt Kosciuszko Accommodation

Thredbo Village is the main place to stay for the Mount Kosciuszko walk and it is very cute. Loads of lovely chalets and a nice little main square and road. It was much nicer than what we could see driving through Jindabyne which is the town at the bottom of the mountain.

mount kosciuszko accommodation
Our chalet

We got a chalet which was fab – over 3 floors and massive. It even had a sauna! We ended up cooking and staying in both nights as we had nice wine and the living room was so big and comfy! We found our place through this link and the chalet was owned by Visit Snowy Mountains. Ours was called Knickerbocker. It has a lovely terrace with a bbq and everything you could possibly need.

In Thredbo boutique hotel options are rather limited. Well, there aren’t really any and a chalet is the best option. However, if you definitely want to stay in a hotel there are some absolutely fine options – they just aren’t boutique. Imagine more that typical ski accommodation set up of the light wood and tiled floors and you will get what I mean!

The best options that are in Thredbo Village so have good access are:

The Denman Hotel – Check Latest Prices

Alpenhorn Lodge – Check Prices & Availability

Rydges – Check it out & the Latest Deals

Candlelight Lodge – Check Latest Prices

thredbo village
Thredbo Village

Getting There

Make it a road trip! It is the best way to get around and see stuff. We started from Sydney and headed South. We had a lovely lunch in Mittagong – The Glass Café – where I had a very tasty hamburger and a chocolate milkshake (going to burn all those calories climbing the next day)!.

weekend getaways from sydney
Time for a pie

On the way back we headed into Bungendore and enjoyed a great lunch at Gunnadoo pies. What a fantastic name for a pie shop! And the pies were outstanding.

2. Bowral Weekend Getaway

Why Go?

NSW’s Cutest Country Town!

Things to do in Bowral

-Hit the wineries

The Southern Highlands is quite a big area for wine – and drinking it is one of the best things to do in Bowral! First up after passing Canberra is Lark Winery – it is very well signed from the Hume highway. They have a fabulous Rose that is heavy on the shiraz and the restaurant looked lovely (I didn’t think to book and they were full up when we got there). Much closer to Bowral we headed to the lovely Artemis where I picked up some lovely chardonnay.

wineries nsw
Lark Winery

However, the highlight was Centennial. It does appear to be the main winery in the area. There is a large cellar door area where I discovered their sparkling shiraz which was fantastic. We then went on to have a wonderful lunch in their restaurant. Everything we ate was lovely but the highlight was the fig, walnut and blue cheese salad. The cauliflower gratin was pretty sensational as well. All washed down with some pinot noir..

We did a brief stop at the Artemis winery and picked up some pinot noir. It is worth visit.

bowral wineries
Wine time

-Go Bra and Antiques Shopping

It’s all happening in Bowral. And some of the purchases are not as you might expect. There is a great Bendon outlet on the main street – so a bit of bra shopping in Bowral! There a couple of fantastic classic bookshops and loads of lovely shops selling candles etc. One of the big Bowral attractions is antiques and they have loads.

things to do in bowral
Quirky Bowral

There is a fantastic antique warren called Dirty Jane’s just off the main street which is like entering another world. I’m not that into antiques but I loved exploring this place. Every nook and cranny is filled and it appears every stall holder is also a stylist in their spare time as they all look fabulous! My favourite was Suzie Anderson Home – visiting her “stall” (it is much more than that) is like a mini trip to Southern France. Her taste is immaculate.

bowral things to do
Antiques Shopping

Bowral Restaurants

Our hotel recommended the Bowral Hotel for dinner. We did have a lovely meal – a delicious lamb rump with polenta and spinach for me – but the pub was dead. It was easter Sunday so I guess it was only going to go one way or the other! There is a nice outdoor seating area at the Bowral Hotel that is also smoking friendly. The outdoor area is pretty much on the Bowral main street so we enjoyed a bottle of Veuve sitting on the wonderfully named Bong Bong Road!

bowral hotel
Time for some Veuve

On one of your trips into town make sure you get a coffee at Elephant Boy. This little café is fantastic. The whole place is decked out like a library or bookshop and also has lots of you guessed it elephants all over the place. And then it has this sort of Indian feel to it as well – and some amazing looking cakes. And most importantly fab coffee!

Bowral Hotels

You must stay at Links House – this is one of my favourite places I’ve stayed in a long time. Links House Bowral is boutique adventurer heaven – high thread count and loads of character! The rooms are lovely but the best thing is the shared spaces and fabulous service. There is a lovely outside courtyard/winery that begs for wine to be drunk.

bowral hotel
Bedroom at Links

There are also sitting rooms in the front of Links house where port is suggested. The manager is an absolute delight and the night manager was the same. So genuinely friendly and helpful. I can’t say enough good things about this place! Oh, and there is also a great dvd selection and a fabulous breakfast.

Click here for the latest prices and availability for Links House

bowral restaurants
Breakfast at Links

If you would like to check out some other Boutique Hotel options in Bowral try The Gibraltar Hotel which is in town and has a pool. Click here for latest prices and availability.

For full country house glamour, you might like the Milton Park – prices and availability here.

If you are happy to stay a bit out of Bowral have a look at the Peppers Craigieburn Resort – latest prices and availability.

Getting to Bowral

It takes about 1 ½ hours to drive from Sydney to Bowral traffic dependent of course.

For another great electic Australian weekend getaway have a look at my post on a Daylesford Weekend in Victoria.

3. Blue Mountains Getaway

Why Go?

Stunning mountain ranges only one hour from Sydney. Possibly the most popular Sydney day trip – but even better as a weekend.

Things to do in the Blue Mountains

The Three Sisters

A Blue Mountains getaway is not complete without seeing the Three Sisters. These 3 rocks form the iconic image most associated with the Blue Mountains. They are absolutely stunning. I highly recommend going to see The Three Sisters at the end of the day in the magic light the hour before sunset when they positively glow.

blue mountains getaway
The Three Sisters

You can see the Three Sisters from Katoomba’s Echo Point. It is well signed and has a huge car park. Once you’ve arrived there it is a 5-minute walk to get to the viewing deck. You can decide from there how far down you want to walk to get shots

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls are lovely! You can park not too far away and then head down to see them. This is the easy option. The better option is to include Wentworth Falls in a hike – see below! Several hikes around the Blue Mountains involve visiting Wentworth Falls.

blue mountain weekend getaway
Wentworth Falls

Do a hike

We started our hike from the Conservation Hut – also where we were able to park although it was a bit of a walk to get from the car to the start of the track. We took the overcliff and undercliff paths – walking to Wentworth Falls and then heading back. It was a relatively easy going walk but a decent workout. There were quite a few steps and ups and downs! It took about 3 hours. Definitely, take water and snacks with you as once you start walking there isn’t anything on the way.

blue mountain weekend getaway
Lyrebird Lookout

Blue Mountains Restaurants

Head to the super cute town of Katoomba for Blue Mountains restaurants. It is filled with art deco buildings, antique stores and generally cute restaurants, shops and galleries. The highlight is the Paragon, a heritage listed 1916 art deco café. And its speciality is handmade chocolates which are delicious! You will have earnt your chocolate after doing all those walks during your Blue Mountain weekend getaway!

blue mountains restaurants
The Paragon

Have a wander around the town as there are many interesting shops and cafes that are worth a visit. This is heaven if you are into antiques.

Blue Mountains Accommodation

For somewhere quite different and rustic check out the Old Leura Dairy. The property consists of 6 lodges, each of which sleeps between 2 and 11. Click here to check out the Old Leura Dairy and see prices

If you’re after a more traditional luxury country getaway try Lilianfells Resort and Spa. This stunning property is right on the edge of the national park making full on day walks and evening luxury very compatible! Click here to see more and get prices.

blue mountains getaway
Looking over the blue mountains

Somewhere Extra Special

For the ultimate in luxury combined with the quintessential Australian bush experience, you cannot beat the stunning Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. The resort is located on a 7000-acre conservation area and consists of 40 private villas, each with a private pool and fireplace. You can also enjoy fantastic treatments at the on-site Spa.

One & Only Wolgan Valley
The Stunning One & Only Wolgan Valley – Photo Credit Luxury Lodges Australia

Click here for prices and availability on the One & Only Wolgan Valley

How to get there

We drove there which took about a good hour but there are lots of public transport options and a hop on hop off bus once you get there

4. The Golden Door Getaway

Why go?

To detox and relax

Things to do at The Golden Door

The Golden Door is one of Australia’s top health spas. It has a stunning location in the Hunter Valley. However, you won’t really be exploring the Hunter Valley as it is full of wine and there is no wine at the Golden Door. And no caffeine.

But there are many fantastic things to do from early morning classes of Tai Chi Qi Gong to interesting and different seminars from all types of practitioners. Different types of classes are then held throughout the day. The Golden Door spa is open and ready for you to come and have treatments. And there are loads of kangaroos just hopping around the property which I really enjoyed!

Hunter Valley getaway
Morning workout spot at the Golden Door

I highly recommend the deep water running in the pool. Good fun and a great work out you don’t really feel till after.

I took a cooking class with their chef whilst there which was excellent. I picked up on some great tips on cooking with lower fat/calories without compromising taste which I am still using to this day.

Click here for Golden Door Reviews and Latest Prices

For another great Australian spa option check out my post on The Hepburn Spa & Bathhouse Victoria

What to Eat at The Golden Door:

The food is absolutely delicious – albeit the portions can feel a little small if you decided to go down the heavy exercise route.

How to get there:

The Golden Door is 2 ½ hours from Sydney. It is an easy drive or they run a shuttle service.

weekend getaways
Gum Trees

6. Northern Beaches Getaway

Why go?

This is where Home and Away is set and filmed. Need I say more?

best weekend getaways from sydney
Typical Australian beach

Things to do in the Northern Beaches

Visiting the Northern Beaches is a very easy thing to do from Sydney – depending on which ones you want to visit it is only about an hour’s drive. But much nicer to experience them properly with a weekend. This area is all about visiting beaches – here are a few to get you started:

Palm Beach is the home of Home & Away and has the fabulous Barrenjoey Lighthouse which provides amazing views.

Avalon is the classic aussie surf beach

Narrabeen is for hard core surfers, not so great for swimmers. There is a fantastic walk between Narrabeen and Warriewood Beach.

Northern Beaches Accommodation

In Palm Beach, you can stay and eat at Jonah’s. Miramare Gardens in Terrey Hills is a relatively new boutique hotel.

Find more about Jonah’s and check prices.

Find out more about Miramare Gardens and see latest prices.

weekend getaways from sydney
Waves up close

Northern Beaches Restaurants

In Palm Beach check out the Boathouse for great views and food. Narrabeen has several interesting restaurants clustered around the water – Barbuto for meat, Limani for seafood and Ocean’s for a great breakfast.

How to Get There

Like most of Australia, the easiest option is to drive. The Northern Beaches begin only 20km north of the Sydney CBD.

6. Kangaroo Valley Getaways

Why go?

It’s called Kangaroo Valley! It’s a stunning inland valley located along Kangaroo Lake.

kangaroo valley getaways
A familiar site in Australia

Kangaroo Valley Things to do

-Explore the Kangaroo River

Use a kayak or a canoe to explore the lovely Kangaroo River

-See Some Waterfalls

Fitzroy Falls and Gerringong Falls are both only about 20km from Kangaroo Valley

-Go Walking

Kangaroo Valley is surrounded by Morton National Park which has loads of great walks.

Kangaroo Valley Accommodation

Crystal Creek Meadows features boutique cottage accommodation in a lovely 16-acre garden. For a cosy cabin experience have a look at Little Pig Creek.

Find out more about Crystal Creek Meadows including prices here

Explore Little Pig Creek and its latest prices

weekend getaways sydney
Fields on the road

Kangaroo Valley Restaurants

The Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop is at the Barengerry Old Store and claims to have the best pies in the world! For a good old aussie pub atmosphere visit The Friendly Inn Hotel. Head to the Woolshed Restaurant at the Kangaroo Valley golf club for a decadent dinner. The Yarrawa Estate has a cellar door as well as crops from macadamias to avocados.

How to Get There

Kangaroo Valley is about a 2-hour drive from Sydney.

7. Jervis Bay Getaway

Why go?

The stunning white sand Australian beaches of which you have dreamed.

weekend getaways near sydney
Deep sigh

Things to do in Jervis Bay

See whales and dolphins

The annual whale migration takes places May through November when they visit the sanctuary. Huskisson is the centre for whale and dolphin watching cruises as well as deep sea fishing.

-Go to the Beach

Jervis Bay is filled with perfect beaches with crystal clear waters that are perfect for snorkelling, scuba and swimming.

-Go bush at Booderee National Park

Go swimming, bushwalking or bird watching in this beautiful National Park.

Accommodation Jervis Bay

Experience luxurious glamping at the lovely Paperbark Camp. That is pretty much it when it comes to boutique hotels. If that doesn’t suit have a look at taking an apartment or a villa/cottage – this is a great link to use  – or have a look at these lovely cottages.

Find out more about Paperbark Camp including prices here

weekend getaways
Heading down to the beach

Jervis Bay Restaurants

Jervis Bay has become quite the foodie destination! Even if you aren’t staying at Paperbark Camp try their treehouse style restaurant The Gunyah. In town, if you are after Italian head to Faro Bianco. Asian highlights are Wildginger or The Waterhouse.

If you’re after a cafe check out 5 Little Pigs. 

If you have a car check out the fishing village Greenwell Point, about 20 miles south of Jervis Bay. Have lunch at Pelican Rocks for some great fish and chips.

How to Get There

Jervis Bay is about a 3 hour drive from Sydney.

8. Hunter Valley Getaways

Why go?

Wine, wine and more wine.

hunter valley getaway
The lovely Hunter Valley

Things to do in the Hunter Valley

-take a Wine Tour

When in Rome! The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region. Here are a load of companies that can drive you around so you can relax and enjoy sipping!

-Hot Air Balloon Ride

Float over vineyards as the sunrises

-Gastronomy Shopping

There are loads of wonderful little shops crammed full of delicious gourmet cheeses, relishes, chocolate etc etc etc. Try the Lovedale Smokehouse and the wonderfully named Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop.

Hunter Valley Accommodation

Spicers Vineyard Estates is the most luxurious option in the Hunter Valley. If you would like to stay at an actual vineyard have a look at Harkham Wines. A cosy option is Little Orchard Cottage.

Find out more about Spicers Vineyard Estates and Prices.

Check out Harkham Wines and latest prices.

More information on Little Orchard Cottage

If you’re after more than a weekend you could fill yourself with wine and cheese for a couple of nights and then head to the Golden Door to work it off!

weekend getaways from sydney
Somewhere to sleep

 Hunter Valley Restaurants

The Hunter Valley has a fantastic range of delicious eating options. Starting with breakfast check out Margan, Café Enzo or Two Fat Blokes.

If you’re after some local steak try Circa 1876. The flagship Hunter Valley Restaurant is Muse Restaurant.

How to Get There

The Hunter Valley is about a 2 ½ hour drive from Sydney. If you don’t have time to stay overnight there are quite a few day tour options from Sydney.

For more wine check out my post on The Mornington Peninsula in Victoria

9. Lord Howe Island Getaways

Why go?

Have a World Heritage Island experience close to Sydney – only 400 visitors are allowed on this 11km long island at a time.

weekend getaways sydney
Some stunning water

Things to do on Lord Howe Island

-Dive, snorkel and swim

-Take long walks across the island and hang out with the seabirds

-Go Fishing

Lord Howe Island Accommodation

Capella Lodge Lord Howe Island
Infinity Pool at Capella Lodge – Photo Credit Luxury Lodges Australia

The stunning Capella Lodge is the top of the range option on the island. It is the ultimate in barefoot luxury with its 9 suites. The lodge boasts amazing views of both the sea and the mountains.

Pinetrees Lodge and Arajilla Resort are also lovely boutique options.

Find out more about Capella Lodge and prices.

Prices and availability for Pinetrees Lodge.

Prices and availability for Arajilla Resort

Lord Howe Island Restaurants

Anchorage is the number one restaurant on the island. Greenback Eatery is the choice for seafood. The restaurants at Capella Lodge and Arajilla Resort are also both highly rated.

How to Get There

If you have a yacht then this is one of the two ways to get to Lord Howe Island! Otherwise, Qantas Link runs out of Sydney most days and Brisbane on weekends. Lord Howe Island is a two-hour flight from Sydney.

10. Mudgee Getaways

Why go?

Eating and drinking heaven – Mudgee is NSW’s latest gastronomy hotspot.

best weekend getaways from sydney
Wind farms on the road

Things to do in Mudgee

-Winery tour

-Mudgee Farmers Market

Held the 3rd Saturday of every month. There is a food and wine festival that takes place in September.

-Explore Wollemi National Park

Mudgee Accommodation

There are loads of gorgeous boutique hotel options in Mudgee. At the more stylish end is Trelawney Farm, or try Mudgee’s Getaway Cottages for something more rustic. Two great guesthouse options are Mudgee Homestead and Rosby.

Find out more about Trelawney Farm and prices.

Mudgee Getaway Cottage prices and availability.

Latest prices for Mudgee Homestead.

Check prices here for Rosby Guesthouse

weekend getaways near sydney
The big sky of Australia

Mudgee Restaurants

Starting with breakfast and/or coffee check out Market Street Cafe, The Butcher Shop Café and/or Elton’s. The top two options for lunch and/or dinner are Pipeclay Pumphouse and The Zin House.

If you’re heading to Melbourne and want more great meals check out my post on The Best Brunches in Melbourne.

And have a look at my post on Melbourne’s Hidden Gems.

How to Get There

Mudgee is a 3 ½ hour drive north west of Sydney.

And finally, another great option for a weekend getaway from Sydney is WollongongClick here to read all about Things to do in Wollongong

Weekend Getaways from Sydney Useful Links:

Heading to Australia? Read my other Australia posts here.

If you’re going to be in Sydney check out my post on Barangaroo:

Barangaroo Restaurants: Sydney’s Hottest New Eating Neighborhood

Heading to Melbourne? Read my Melbourne posts here

Flights to Sydney:

Yes, I am afraid it is a very long flight and there is no way around that! A stopover in Asia is often a good idea to break things up. Check out some great flight deals on Skyscanner here:


The only way to make the 24-hour flight not a hideous slice of hell is to find a great deal and go business class! Here are some of the airlines that fly business class to Australia:

Click here for Prices and Availability for Etihad Airways

Read my review of Qatar Airways here and check prices here

Read my review of Thai Airways here and check prices here

Read my review of Malaysia Airlines here and check prices here

Read my review of British Airways and check prices here

Check prices on Cathay Pacific here

Check Prices on Singapore Airlines

Check Prices on Emirates 

Check Prices on Qantas

Or how about hiring a car? I drove on both of these getaways

Tours:

Interested in taking some tours while in Sydney? Click here for some sydney tour ideas

And some other New South Wales Tours

Heading to Australia solo? Group tours can be a great option. Here are a few websites worth visiting:  Just You Holidays Australia, Exodus Holidays Australia, Explore Holidays Australia  and G Adventures Australia

Need travel insurance? Click here for a good deal  

Like this post? Why not Pin it?Looking for the best weekend getaways from Sydney? Here are ten fantastic options from Bowral to the Blue Mountains to Mt Kosciuszko #weekendgetawaysfromsydney#weekendgetawayssydney#bestweekendgetawaysfromsydney#bowralthingstodo#mtkosciuszkowalk#bluemountainsgetaway#weekendgetaways

Click here for my Pinterest Board on Australia

If you click through on the links that appear on my blog posts around flights, accommodation, tours, travel insurance etc. I get a small commission if you end up buying on these sites. Just wanted to let you know

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The 10 Best Weekend Getaways from Sydney
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The 10 Best Weekend Getaways from Sydney
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Looking for the best weekend getaways from Sydney? Here are ten fantastic options from Australia's highest mountain to Australia's oldest wine area to Australia's most well known spa
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The Boutique Adventurer
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There are loads of great weekend getaways near Sydney. Sydney does have so much to offer – check out my Sydney Highlights and Watsons...
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