Tuesday, January 4, 2011


For when you feel like getting out of Sydney for a night, a weekend, or maybe even longer, here are our top picks all within 3 hours drive from the city.

Palm Beach and Whale Beach (1.5 hrs from Sydney)
If, like most of the population you can’t afford to rent a holiday house up here, do a day trip or just stay for one night. Jonah’s at Whale Beach and Barrenjoey House at Palm Beach are great weekend getaways, both with fantastic restaurants.

Kangaroo Valley
(2.5 hrs from Sydney)
Definitely one of the most beautiful areas of New South Wales. If you’ve got time, take the 40-minute detour through the Budderoo National Park on your way down. Stay for two nights and make sure you check these things off your list: Kayak down the Kangaroo Valley river, drive to Berry for lunch via Kangaroo Valley road, visit Fitzroy Falls, and wind it all up with a romantic dinner at Café Bella.

Bluey’s Beach (3 hrs from Sydney)
This idealic beach spot has it all. The three beaches within the Pacific Palms area all face different directions, perfect for escaping the afternoon breeze. Great surfing spots, cliff walks, dolphin watching, fishing in the lakes, boat hire and only 15 mins drive to Forster/Tuncurry where you will find the typical Australian holiday town with motor inns, caravan parks, supermarkets, cinemas and a bowling alley. In summer they have a carnival  for the kids too.

South Coast
Once you’ve passed Wollongong and reach Kiama, the South Coast is spoiled for its pick of getaway destinations. Amazing beaches, rugged land and far less underdeveloped than the north coast. Here are our favourite spots:

Berry (2 hrs from Sydney)
A peaceful country town surrounded by luscious green land. Only half an hour’s drive to the Kangaroo Valley or 45 mins to the southern highlands. Be sure to go to the Berry Sourdough Bakery for breakfast (and lunch), and then have dinner at the Hungry Duck (ex Tetsuya’s chef).

Jervis Bay
(2.5 hrs from Sydney)
Unique to the rest of the south coast for its pure white sand. This place is paradise. Stay in Vincentia, Husskison or Hyamm’s Beach. Make sure you do the coastal bush walk from Greenfields to Hyamm’s beach.

(3 hours from Sydney)
If you’re a fan of Rick Stein, visit his restaurant at Bannisters, and stay for a weekend of pampering while you’re at it.

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