Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Hidden Gems outside of Sydney that are absolutely worth Including in your Itinerary

Sydney is undoubtedly home to the most iconic sights and landscapes in the world, a city embedded within nature, fringed by water. But did you know that the surrounding regions around the city hold their own little hidden gems that are well worth the drive out and spending a day or two at? Go beyond Sydney, and explore the state of New South Wales!

Varying from a two to three hours' drive from Sydney, these spots around New South Wales truly shine a spotlight on the natural wonders of the state with something for everyone. Be it for the solo traveller, a getaway with friends or a family vacay, grab a pen and paper (or just save this post) and add them to your itinerary!
1. Ride along the Grand Pacific Drive
Credit: Australian Traveller

Rent a car and take ride along one of Australia’s most iconic drives, easily accessible from Sydney. The Grand Pacific Drive takes in the pristine expanses of the city’s southern outskirts before tracing the coast through Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and into the idyllic waterside retreat of Jervis Bay.
  • As Sydney’s only beach skydive, Wollongong has long been a favourite of those in search of a adrenaline rush. Wollongong’s skydiving area, North Wollongong Beach, is located 2 km northeast of the downtown area. If you opt to skydive in Wollongong, prepare to feast your eyes on the view of a lifetime. One of the few beach skydives in the world, you'll be treated to a spectacular view of the stunning North Wollongong beach. The earthy landscape is a beautiful blend of the blue-green beach, hills, and tiny dotted houses.

    Credit: Destination NSW

  • The cosmopolitan seaside hamlet of Kiama has long been a mecca for those looking for a beach break away from the city. Most visitors arriving into town head straight to its famous blowhole, a naturally occurring 2.5-metre hole in the rock platform that shoots water up to 30 metres into the sky when the tide is churning from the south-east. For the possibility of whale sightings from May to November, there’s an elevated platform at Minnamurra Headland and pristine beaches along the way.

    Credit: Destination NSW

  • Kids will enjoy a day out at the family-owned Symbio Wildlife Park. The park is home to some of Australia’s cutest home-grown creatures, as well as a roster of exotic species from around the world including cheetahs and ring-tailed lemurs. There are a number of behind-the-scenes enclosure visits that allow for close encounters with the animals, as well as the opportunity to feed the kangaroos and resident farmyard creatures.
Credit: Symbio Wildlife Park

2. Adrenaline Pumping Outdoors at Port Stephens
Credit: Destination NSW

2.5 hours drive north of Sydney lies Port Stephens. With an abundance of beaches, a vast blue bay and stunning inlets, Port Stephens offers tons of activities from sea to sand to wildlife fresh seafood waiting for you.
  • Experience riding a quad bike across the Worimi Conservation Sand Dunes, the largest moving coastal dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. Located adjacent to Stockton Beach, ride across the desert wilderness from bush to beach and take in the glorious views of the sweeping coastline on your own quad bike. A quad bike cultural tour will take you to ancient sites where you can learn about indigenous culture and traditional food.

                                                              Credit: Port Stephens

  • One of the quirkiest experiences in Port Stephens is camel riding on Birubi Beach, Anna Bay. A guided tour along the soft, silky sand on the beach, and into the sand dunes is a must when you visit Port Stephens. The experience is certainly unique, especially at sunset.

    Credit: Oakwood Field Ranch

  • The Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary focuses on conservation and includes a hospital to tend to sick, injured or orphaned koalas. Visitors can learn more about koala conservation at the tourism centre and enjoy their onsite café.

    Credit: Newly with Kids

  • You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food with freshly caught seafood and waterfront dining available at cafés and restaurants along Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens. For beer fans, Murray’s Craft Brewing Co is a must visit where you can get a taste of craft beers like Whale Ale and Wild Thing.

Credit: Destination NSW

3. Enjoy the countryside at Hunter Valley
Credit: Destination NSW

Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine growing region, famous for its picturesque vistas, relaxing day spas and World Heritage Wilderness areas of Wollemi and Barrington Tops National Parks. Only a 2 hours’ drive from the Sydney city center, you will find something for everyone at Hunter Valley.
  • Horseback riding across the vineyards is a great and romantic way to drink in the region’s unspoiled countryside. You might even spot some of the valley’s resident wildlife along the way, from kangaroos to wombats and more. Hunter Valley Horse Riding and Adventures in Lovedale offers a range of scenic trail rides through the spectacular scenery of the Molly Morgan Range. Choose from picnic rides and private tours to romantic sunset rides.

    Credit: Hunter Resort

  • Definitely one of the best ways to see Hunter Valley’s breathtaking landscapes is from the skies, souring high above in a hot air balloon. From here, you can see the valley unravel in a patchwork of fields and rolling hills at sunrise. In October, the skies of the valley will come alive in colours as 20-plus brightly colored balloons drift over the countryside for the Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta.

    Credit: Hunter Valley Ballooning

  • Wouldn’t it be nice to walk to your own furry llama? Well, in Hunter Valley, you can do exactly just that at Ben Ean Vineyard at Pokolbin. First you will be introduced to your llama, after which you will be given some time to get acquainted. Once you’ve learnt some handling and safety tips, you will head off on an hour’s long walk through the vines against the stunning backdrop of the mountain range.

    Credit: the Llama Collective

  • Experience the process of wine-making with your own two feet! One must-try activity in Hunter Valley is definitely grape stomping – the traditional way of crushing grape to make the wines you love. This is done by repeatedly trampling the grapes in a vat by barefooted participants rather than the modern wine press. The juice is then released to be fermented to make flavourful wines. At Hunter Valley Resort, you can enjoy the experience under the open sky against the lush green setting of the vineyard.

Credit: Pokol Bin Farmstay

4. Venture into the Blue Mountains

Credit: Destination NSW

From bushwalking and hiking in national parks to stargazing, helicopter rides and underground explorations, nature lovers will be spoilt for choice at the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains refers to the mountain range itself as well as the surrounding area located just 90 minutes from Sydney.
  • Stare up at the heavens and embark on a captivating star-gazing journey led by an astrophysicist in the timeless beauty of the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains. You will be treated to a fun, interactive and insightful sky watching nocturnal tour, stargazing experience and fascinating storytelling – a magical learning experience for just about anybody.
    Credit: The Blue Mountains Astronomical Club Inc

  • Of course, when at the Blue Mountains, the Three Sisters is a well-known spot. Eroded by wind, rain and rivers, the Three Sisters is the artwork of Mother Nature. Join the Three Sisters walk to see its amazing sights and make sure you walk over to the Honeymoon Bridge which leads right out to the Three Sisters!
    Credit: Australian Traveller

  • One of the most photographed spots in the Blue Mountains is Hanging Rock in the Blackhealth region. Getting there is about a 30 minutes walk but the distance adds to the experience as you will be treated to sights available nowhere else. The trail then continues to Hanging Rock, which is such a unique sight against a beautiful backdrop.

    Credit: Sydney Uncovered

  • See the Blue Mountains from the skies onboard a helicopter ride. From here, you will be able to see the famous blue haze, which is actually a vapour produced by the numerous eucalypt trees that lined the landscape. Get ready to have your breath taken away during your scenic flight.

Credit: TripAdvisor


Now that you have an idea of what is waiting for you in New South Wales, it’s time to start planning. But wait? Where to start? How to start planning? You could DIY your trip but why not leave the hard work to the experts at Sedunia Travel? Equipped with years of travel experience and a passion for helping travelers make their dream Australia holiday come true, Sedunia Travel has ready-to-go packages to the aforementioned destinations in Sydney and New South Wales.

Want to cover Sydney and the Blue Mountains? Go for this package: 5D4N Sydney + Captain Cook Cruise Combo with Zoo & Cable Car + The Blue Mountains

Looking to experience Hunter Valley too? There is this option too: 6D5N Sydney + Captain Cook Cruise + Hunter Valley + Blue Mountains

Want to add one package with another or add on more side trips around New South Wales? No problem because Sedunia Travel can do just that, taking care of the nitty gritty details from flights to lodging and ground arrangements and car rentals. So when planning to travel to Sydney and New South Wales, be sure to book with Sedunia Travel.

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