With COVID putting a halt on international travel, planning some weekend getaways near Sydney can inject your year with a bit of fun, if you venture off with friends, or romance, if you choose to take a significant other and spend all your time in a bubble bath.
Below are our favourite weekend getaways near Sydney, from sunny beachside spots to wintry, cosy regions.
Just an hour-and-a-half out of the Sydney CBD, the Blue Mountains have been a popular spot for a weekend getaway since the 1800s, can you believe. Tipped as an area of health thanks to the high altitude and crisp mountain air, these days the Blue Mountains is predominantly known as a winter getaway spot - but did you know it's equally as gorgeous year-round? Think falling leaves in autumn, blooming flowers in Spring and temperate conditions for bushwalking in summer.
Read our edit of the area here.
Another region that's super close to Sydney (between an hour or two), the Southern Highlands is a fantastic spot for gathering friends and family. Wineries abound, as do adorable, historic country towns like Robertson and Bundanoon, filled with boutiques, vintage wares and providores.
Our edit of the Southern Highlands can be found here.
Yes, you can venture out of Sydney for a weekend and enter a whole other state! Canberra has had a makeover in recent years - where once it was considered a city that had been too planned and therefore dull, these days you'll find quaint cafes, a huge foodie culture and all the art, history and outdoorsy energy you can handle.
Read our guide of the best Canberra spots here.
The perfect spot for wine enthusiasts, Orange boasts some amazing wineries and many have fantastic menus to match. This is a region for foodies, offering reputable restaurants, farm-to-table fodder and stunning views while you quaff a vino or snack on mezze.
Our guide to Orange can be found here.
A few hours north of Sydney, Port Stephens might be that little bit further, but you'll be enthralled by the stunning beaches and beautiful bushwalks. A great getaway spot for summer, in winter you'll enjoy empty shorelines and views worth Instagramming.
The Hunter Valley
THE region near Sydney for a winery weekend getaway, the Hunter Valley has more to offer than its delectable vineyard fare. Cheese, charcuterie and top restaurants are dotted around the region, and half the fun is cruising the winding country roads discovering new gems.
The South Coast
Down south you'll find the whitest sand in the world at Hyam's Beach, just a few hours from Sydney. Don't finish your trip there, though - the national park in Jervis Bay offers many more stunning beaches, beautiful bushwalks and when you're finished, you'll find plenty of wonderful cafes and restaurants in nearby towns like Berry, Vincentia and Huskisson.
The Central Coast
A short 1-1.5 hour drive up from Sydney, you'll feel far enough away in the relaxed towns of the Central Coast. Terrigal offers boutique shopping, beachfront dining and Airbnbs with a view, while other towns like Avoca and Pearl Beach feel tucked away from the world.
Technically *in* Sydney, Palm Beach is far enough north to feel like you've left the daily grind for good. Situated at the top of the Northern Beaches region, you'll find a cruisy, laid-back lifestyle with jaw-dropping views and some great bushwalks.
Just outside of Sydney you'll find Bundeena, situated amidst the Royal National Park. Essentially a sleepy beach town of just a handful of shops and homes, this is the ideal place for a simple, relaxing getaway for you and your family.
Pass the Blue Mountains and you'll eventually end up in the Mudgee region, known for its wineries and stunning history. The town is filled with lovely cafes and restaurants, while vineyards are scattered around the region, offering on-site dining or lazy, relaxing wine tastings.
If you love adventure, the Snowy Mountains region is your perfect weekend getaway near Sydney. Obviously, during snow season you'll have all the action of the slopes - but visit in spring or summer and discover the breathtaking scenery of Mount Kosciuszko National Park.