One of my few regrets in the last few years was only getting to spend a couple of days in Sydney. Raki, an experienced local tour guide, asked if he could share his recommendations of the best sightseeing day trips from Sydney which only sparked my wanderlust even more.
With an iconic skyline familiar the world over, a serene and picturesque harbor, botanical gardens, numerous landmarks and accompanied by architecture befitting its iconic status, Sydney is a must to visit destination for a holiday in the land down under.
To support that, Sydney draws in the most tourists in Australia. With its distinctive and unique Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, the Sydney Harbor is one that is unmistakable to any other, never failing to entice the wonder and awe of visitors. It is of no concern if you are an Australian from the other side of the country, or an overseas visitor from an entirely different continent, this city will undoubtably capture your attention and leave you to marvel at its energy and vibrance. What drives this variety in the city is it’s unique personality. To really feel Sydney, these places are must visit in order to understand what the city encapsulates.
When you’re visiting Sydney, you have to climb the Harbor Bridge, visit and view the city from the Tower Eye, and join a cruise of the harbor to complete your city exploration. There are quite a few Australian travelers, also in their first visit to the city, who take city tours as well. It’s just as a popular option for locals as well as, it is, for foreign tourists. A helpful benefit of such a tour is that uncomfortably high vehicle renting costs and parking fees can be avoided entirely.
A tour of Sydney city will enthrall anyone from a simple sightseer, a history enthusiast, and even the more adventurous with its different and varying locations in and outside the city. Choice picks of many tours are outings to the Blue Mountains as well as the Jenolan Caves, if you’re feeling energetic, or if that’s not to your liking, a Hunter Valley winery tour will be sure to satisfy your palette if wine tasting is more your speed. While these are outside the immediate city, within it you can enjoy a Taronga zoo and ferry adventure, hop on/off tour by bus, along with a tour on foot around the Opera house and the rocks.
Image by – Britannica
Visit the Blue Mountains
Stunning waterfalls, eucalyptus forests, and a commanding landscape are all on display for the enthusiastic visitor to Australia’s Blue Mountains, known the word over for its natural splendor – and one of the most popular sightseeing day trips from Sydney. They are situated in New South Wales and is one location that you must visit if natural beauty is to your liking. With the Blue Mountain tours and a host of different activities to participate in you could find yourself easily able to use up more than a few days there. A distinct feature of the range are the deep valleys resulting from the sheer cliffs and are a sight to behold. It is just is a must to visit on a tour of Sydney, for any traveler.
Echo Point lookout (Three Sisters), Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: David Finnigan
With the Blue Mountains the scenery takes center stage. However, there is the chance of rain or haze that might shroud the mountains, so it’s advised to lookup the forecast for a day trip. The mountains not only attract sightseers, but climbers as well to challenge the sheer cliffs. Additionally, short and long multi-day trails, from which you can observe the serene waterfalls and capture wonderful pictures from amazing viewpoints.
Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour
In contrast to its name, rather than a predators’ playground in a savannah, this area has vineyards stretching out across the foothills of the Brokenback Range. Add in some kangaroos in the woods, gold beams of sunshine and the Hunter river in the north and you’ll get an image of what the valley is really like. You can indulge in the iconic white wine Semillon, following a three-hour ride by train while passing through scenic countryside. The area is also Australia’s oldest wine region and located north of Sydney. As such, the Hunter Valley wine tours are definitely an item to cross off the list.
Image by – Qantas
Grand Pacific Drive
You may have heard of the Great Ocean Road, but there is another breathtaking drive awaiting you on the Grand Pacific drive. At a manageable 140 km long, the road takes you through rainforests, stunning views of the ocean, intriguing coastal cities and towns, with much more in store. What makes it even more worthwhile is that once finished its possible to go back to Sydney through more picturesque locations. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you could continue on south. We recommend getting yourself a tour guide, and so being able to enjoy the trip at your leisure.
Image from NewSouthWales.com
Port Stephens for a Rush
Get away from the buzz of the crowds drawn in to the commercialized and famous beaches. Port Stephen offers wonderful stretches of coast with large sand dunes as well as waterways with far less people. An ideal location for marine enthusiasts and families alike the area is just two and a half hours north of Sydney. If your leaving from Newcastle it’s an hour away and if it’s the Newcastle airport its twenty minutes.
Known for its harbor which is teaming with marine life, port Stephens further offers great weather, is aimed at an outdoor experience, with tours like the Port Stephens tours, and you get a great way to help remove oneself from the flurry of urban life. If you look inland, there are great wineries to check out. You can also find some seafood, which are quite reasonably priced, and is famous for its freshness. There are also many walks and drives leading to beautiful scenery. With all these things to do, and since it’s still not as well known as the Port, it’s a definite go to place. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, why are you waiting? Book a Port Stephens tour here.
Which of these sightseeing day trips from Sydney would you start with? (If you want to see what I got up to during my 48 hours in Sydney click here.