With so many incredible destinations a road trip montage away from Sydney don’t let your routine schmoutine excuses get in the way of a good time. Here are some of the best spots out of the city to spend this weekend.
Yes, this. Go now.
A one and a half hour drive north of Sydney you’ll find the pine-lined beach of Terrigal and the laid-back town that backs it. Spend your days surfing (or sunbathing if you're more horizontally inclined), hiking up the headland (locally known as the Skillion) or getting pampered at Endota Spa inside the local Crowne Plaza. A nighttime stroll along The Esplanade will offer you plenty of eating and drinking options but the Pocket Bar (for cocktails) and The Beery (for a Sunday sesh in the beer garden) and Reef Restaurant (for amazing seafood) are our recommended stops.
This historically industrial city has transformed into a hipster hub with a slew of trendy dining options and indie boutiques. Add that to their ever-incredible beaches and you’ve got yourself the ideal weekend away just two and a bit hours drive from Sydney. When you’re done with strolling and swimming head to One Penny Black for your daily dose of caffeine, The Edwards for brunch and then for a fancy AF dinner book a table at Subo, the only two-hatted restaurant in town. But if you’re after good ol’ fashioned fish and chips Scottie's has been serving up the goods since 1950.
If you prefer bushwalks to beach fronts then head west to Katoomba, the quaint little town is the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful Blue Mountains. Fans of fitness can tackle the numerous (absolutely stunning) hikes around the region while pampering pros can take advantage of the many day spas. Be sure to make a stop at Carrington Cellars and Deli to stock up on local cheese and wine for a ridiculously picturesque picnic. This Blue Mountains package by Journey Beyond is a fool-proof way to see all that Katoomba has to offer.
Mudgee’s rep is on the rise thanks to its rustic country charm, incredible local drops and make-you-want-to-move there food. Four-ish hours drive west you can spend your days wining and dining (and perhaps pedaling if you feel guilty about aforementioned activities) but you’ll need a year’s worth of weekends to make your way through everything on offer. Start with breakfast at Alby and Esther’s, a lazy long lunch at The Zin House, a stop at family-run Robert Stein Winery and Motorcycle Museum and then a few extra glasses at Roth's Wine Bar.
The only people who still turn their nose up at the mention of Canberra are people who have never been there, because anyone who has knows how much this city exceeds expectations. Three hours south of Sydney you can enjoy our country’s capital and all of the excellent action, history, art and dining it has to offer. Explore the National Gallery, Australian War Memorial and take an obligatory snap of Parliament House; shop vintage gold on Lonsdale Street; brunch at Elk and Pea; drink at the stunning Monster Kitchen and Bar; and stroll around Lake Burley Griffin.
For any destinations close enough to drive, we recommend the Toyota Kluger, which marie claire took to Grassy Head - five hours north of Sydney - for a long weekend. With cruise control and the hugely spacious design (just try to find enough friends to fill it!), the Kluger is second to none as the ultimate road trip companion.