Are you looking for a perfect weekend getaway within a few hours’ drive from Sydney? Whether you’re a nature enthusiast looking for a few days reconnecting with the bush, a beach lover seeking a relaxing long weekend, or a wine lover or foodie looking to expand your palate, we’ve got you covered. Here are some amazing Sydney weekend getaways couples will love.
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4 Amazing Romantic Long Weekend Trips from Sydney
1. The Blue Mountains
Located just 90 minutes west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer breathtaking views, stunning hiking trails, and charming small towns. The Blue Mountains are a great place to spend a few days.
Couples can expect to find everything from quaint villages to five star restaurants, as well as lovely gardens and great boutique accommodations. You won’t find it difficult to fill your days. Blue Mountains National Park is one of Australia’s most popular and most visited National Parks.
Blue Mountain Highlights
Explore the iconic Three Sisters rock formation, Wentworth Falls, Jenolan Caves, or take a scenic ride on the Katoomba Scenic Railway.
Katoomba or Leura have some fabulous eateries ranging from budget options to exclusive five star restaurants.
Darleys Restaurant at Lilianfels Resort & Spa is one of the region’s best fine dining establishments. Their menu is three courses for $145 AUD per person, with four to five choices for each course. Over 80% of their ingredients come from within 100 kilometers of the Blue Mountains so they are huge supporters of the local growers. Make sure to book ahead as they fill up quickly.
Pomegranate is a popular cafe for breakfast, however they do offer lunch as well. Their scrambled eggs with cream are the best! You can find them on Katoomba Street.
If you are feeling like some good wholesome food, try The Yellow Deli for some of the best hot sandwiches and salads in the area. They are also on Katoomba street but just a little further up.
How to get to the Blue Mountains from Sydney
If you are driving, Katoomba, the main village is only an hour and 30 mins drive from central Sydney.
If you don’t feel like driving, the train takes almost 2 hours from Sydney Central station and is a great way to relax and take in the scenery along the way.
Where to Stay in the Blue Mountains
While Katoomba is the main town and home to a wide range of accommodation styles and budgets, Leura is also a great place to stay.
Originally small individual towns, these have almost merged into one neighborhood and are only about one kilometer apart.
When is the Best Time to Visit the Blue Mountains
While the area is perfect to visit year round, the shoulder seasons of March to May and September to November will give you great weather. The temperature sits around 22 degrees (71° F) during the day and only falls to around 9-10 degrees Celsius (48-50°F) at night.
Their winter is cold for Australia but is a great time to visit. It is wonderful hiking weather, the boutique guest houses and hotels have wood fires burning, and it is much quieter than the summer holiday months.
Summer sees temperatures into the high 20s (80° F) and while this doesn’t sound super hot, it can be if you are hiking in this weather. Be sure to have a good hat and plenty of water.
The summer can get quite busy over the weekends but this means everything is operational and day tours are plentiful in both availability and options.
A Blue Mountains Secret Spot That You Shouldn’t Miss
The Street Art Walk in Katoomba is a must visit on a couples trip from Sydney. Located in Beverly Place, it is very easy to find and worth seeing.
From the Katoomba Train station, exit to the Bathurst Road side of the station. Cross the road and walk straight up Katoomba Street until you hit the roundabout on Waratah Street, Turn right and then right again onto Beverly Place where the art works are displayed for the length of this small street.
2. The Hunter Valley
Visiting the Hunter Valley from Sydney offers a great escape into the world of amazing wines, gourmet cuisine, and beautiful landscapes. Just a 2-hour drive north of Sydney, this renowned wine region is a perfect destination for wine enthusiasts and food lovers alike.
The Hunter Valley boasts numerous wineries, each offering a unique tasting experience. Some notable wineries to visit include:
- Tyrrell’s Wines – known for its award-winning Semillon
- Brokenwood Wines – famous for its Shiraz
- Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard – known for their wide range of excellent wines. Try their Liqueur Shiraz – perfect for those winter nights by the fire.
Hunter Valley attractions
In addition to wine tasting, the Hunter Valley has much to offer in terms of activities and attractions. Take a sunrise hot air balloon ride to see the stunning views of the vineyards and farmland from above.
Indulge in gourmet experiences by visiting local cheese factories, chocolate shops, and olive groves. Unlike the Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley is more of a region than small villages.
There are some amazing restaurants and places to eat, but you will need a car to enjoy most of the area’s eateries. Many of the best restaurants are in the vineyards themselves.
For those seeking relaxation, there are luxurious day spas and wellness retreats where you can pamper yourself with massages and treatments.
Additionally, the Hunter Valley hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Lovedale Long Lunch and the Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival.
These are great opportunities to learn about the region’s food and wine culture. Check out the Wine Country events page for info about up and coming events in the Hunter Valley and surrounds.
How to get to the Hunter Valley From Sydney
You can use public transport to get to the Hunter Valley. However, it will require a change of train in Newcastle and a taxi ride from Branxton to Pokolbin. To do it this way does mean that you will leave the driving to someone else but it also means the trip could take up to 5 hours.
The best way to get to the Hunter Valley is to drive. From the center of Sydney it should take under 2 hours to get there.
Best Places to Stay in the Hunter Valley
When it comes to accommodation, the Hunter Valley offers a range of options to suit different preferences. There are luxurious resorts, charming boutique hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts, and even self-contained cottages nestled among the vineyards.
Popular areas to consider staying in include Pokolbin and Lovedale, as they are centrally located and offer easy access to wineries and attractions.
Spicers Vineyard Estate is a popular resort that is centrally located and has a fantastic onsite restaurant and spa.
A Great Secret Activity In The Hunter Valley
Hire a bike or an electric bike and cycle between wineries on the Hermitage Road Cycle Path. Visit the Hermitage Website for more info on the cycleway and where to hire bikes. This experience is probably best outside the summer months as it can get very hot and flies can be prevalent during this time.
3. Royal National Park
For a couple seeking to take advantage of the area’s natural beauty, Royal National Park is one of the best Sydney weekend getaways. Royal National Park offers a diverse range of attractions and activities to explore.
Situated just south of Sydney, the Royal National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. It features stunning coastal cliff walks, secluded beaches, and beautiful rainforest trails.
Royal National Park Highlights
One of the must-see highlights of the Royal National Park is the Figure 8 Pools. These natural rock pools, shaped like the number eight, are located along the park’s stunning coastline.
However, it’s important to plan your visit carefully, as the pools are only accessible during low tide and can be quite challenging to reach. It’s advisable to check the tide times, wear appropriate footwear, and exercise caution when navigating the rocky terrain. It can be slippery and the incoming or outgoing tide is not to be underestimated.
The Royal National Park is also known for its spectacular hiking trails. The Coast Track, a 26-kilometer trail, offers breathtaking views, beaches, and rainforests.
Usually hiked as an out and back trail over 2 days, you could choose to only hike 10-12km and turn around to give you a full day hike and see the best of what the trail has to offer.
For a shorter but equally rewarding hike, the Wedding Cake Rock Trail leads to the iconic white rock formation that resembles a slice of wedding cake. You can no longer climb onto the cake but it is best viewed from a little distance anyway.
The Palm Jungle Loop Trail is another popular choice, winding through a dense forest of cabbage tree palms. These hikes provide opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy amazing sea views.
Where to Stay in or near Royal National Park
When it comes to accommodation, you can choose to stay in the nearby coastal towns of Stanwell Park or Bundeena. Both of these provide a charming and relaxed atmosphere.
There are options ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts to holiday homes with ocean views. There are also multiple campgrounds within the park. Check out NSW Parks for more info on permits and camping facilities.
Secret Food Spot Near Royal National Park
If you choose to stay in Bundeena, try P&P Kitchen for at least one of your meals. The noodle bowls are amazing!
4. Avoca Beach
Avoca Beach is a charming coastal town that offers a perfect blend of sun and surf with a laid-back atmosphere. There are plenty of things to see and do in Avoca.
The town is renowned for its stunning beach which is right in the middle of town. It is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying various water sports.
If you’re a surfing enthusiast, you can catch some waves or head to the southern end of the beach at low tide to check out the rock pools.
For nature lovers, a visit to the nearby Bouddi National Park is highly recommended. It offers scenic coastal walks, picturesque lookouts, and abundant wildlife.
Alternatively you can hire a kayak or canoe and paddle the Avoca Lagoon. This is a saltwater lake at the northern end of Avoca Beach. Aqua Fun can assist with hires of pedal boats, standup paddle boards, or kayaks.
If you would like to learn to surf, there are multiple surf academies that operate in Avoca. Within a few lessons they will have you up on your board on the smaller waves. Try Central Coast Surf Academy for beginner or advanced surfing tuition.
Additional Activities in Avoca Beach for Couples
Avoca has much to offer and if you are looking for a more relaxing weekend, consider
- finding a great spot for watching the sunrise or sunset,
- time your visit to stroll the monthly markets at Heazlett Park, on the 4th Sunday of every month.
- attend Avoca Beach Picture Theater for an alfresco open air cinema night.
- finding a sunny spot in one of the many cafes in the village and catch up with a coffee and some chapters of a great book
Avoca Beach has a vibrant community and a range of dining options, from casual beachside cafes to fine dining restaurants, where you can savor fresh seafood and other delicious cuisines.
Best Time to Visit Avoca Beach
While Avoca is lovely at any time of the year, the summer outside of the school holiday times is the best time to visit.
In comparison to Sydney beaches, in Avoca you will find the holiday makers have for the most part left and you will find the beaches less crowded.
All the facilities will still be open for business so you should be able to have a great few days without the hoards. The shoulder season of late October to early December, or late January to mid March are wonderful times to visit Avoca Beach on the NSW Central Coast.
Where to Stay in Avoca Beach
In terms of accommodation, Avoca offers a variety of options to suit different preferences and budgets. You can find beachfront resorts, boutique hotels, holiday rentals, and cozy bed and breakfasts.
One popular choice is the Avoca Palms Resort, which provides self-contained apartments and is located just a short stroll from the beach.
Another option is The Acreage Luxury Bed and Breakfast, offering elegant rooms, a swimming pool, and lush gardens and is only a very short drive from town.
How To Get To Avoca Beach
Getting to Avoca from Sydney is relatively straightforward. It’s approximately a 90-minute drive north of Sydney, making it an easily accessible destination for a weekend getaway.
Alternatively, you can take a train from Sydney to Gosford and then catch a bus or taxi to Avoca.
Secret Sweet Snack Spot in Avoca Beach
If you have a sweet tooth, check out Ludo’s Gourmet Kitchen. They are closed Mondays, so you will have to visit them Tuesday to Sunday, but their pastries are to die for.
They specialize in larger cakes, however they always have some single sweet pastries and tarts for sale. Try the cherry and almond tart. It’s so good!
Wrapping Up – 4 Amazing locations for Sydney weekend getaways
There are many beautiful destinations that are perfect for Sydney weekend getaways. These choices will enable you to have a beach break, a food and wine weekend or allow you to get back to nature in two of Sydney’s national parks.
About the author: Jenny is an over 50s Australian traveler who has explored 101 countries over 30 years of traveling. Jenny travels mostly solo, is constantly battling her unfashionably frizzy hair, and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes. Read about her adventures on her website: Charge The Globe.