If you’re in Sydney for longer than 3/4 days, I would recommend taking a day trip to explore outside of the city limits. With the unparalleled beauty of the mountains in one direction and countless stunning beaches in the other, there are so many great options – here are my top suggestions!
The Blue Mountains are one of Australia’s main highlights so definitely worth adding this to your itinerary. The area is packed with forests, gorges, and hiking trails so great for an active day out.The blueish haze that blankets the mountains (and gives them their name) comes from a mist of oil exuded by huge numbers of eucalyptus plants that cover the valleys and the chiselled sandstone outcrops.
I did a day trip with an organised tour as I was short on time but would have liked to have stayed a night to explore the area at a slower pace.
The tour included a visit to the town of Leura as well as stopping at scenic view points like Echo Point and Scenic World. At Scenic World, you can ride a glass-floored Skyway gondola across the valley gorge and then the extremely steep Scenic Railway, with a 52 degree incline. Definitely worth doing in my opinion!
The tour also included a visit to the Featherdale Wildlife Park which was totally worth it for the cuddly Koalas.Manly
Manly is an excellent option for a day trip. Easy to reach via ferry, it has beautiful, sandy beaches, good eateries and a small town centre to explore. It’s also a good spot for surfing and is a gateway to many of the Northern beaches.Palm Beach
Famous as the setting of the Australian soap drama ‘Home and Away’, this is a stunning beach to visit.You can do a short, but strenuous hike to the 1881 Barrenjoey Lighthouse for spectacular views of the peninsula.After your hike, head to Boat House for some well earned grub! Take the L90 bus from Sydney’s CBD which goes direct to Palm Beach but takes about 1.5 hours. If you can drive, it would be a lot quicker! Also be prepared for the bus to be extremely busy so you may have to be quick to grab a seat!
Watsons Bay and Rose Bay
Once a small fishing village, Watsons Bay is a picturesque suburb of Sydney and can be reached via ferry from circular quay in Sydney Harbour.
I didn’t have time to visit but it looked like a great place to relax by the beach or go on one of the many walks on offer.
I’ve also heard good things about Rose Bay.
Hope you found this post helpful. Let me know if you have any recommendations for day trips in the comments below!