It took more than 340 million years for geological processes to carve these cathedral-esque caverns from the soft limestone of the Blue Mountains, making the Jenolan Caves the oldest open cave system in the world. Fortunately, it’ll take you a lot less time to make the 175-kilometre drive from Sydney to see them for yourself. Currently underway, major upgrades to the caves’ visitor facilities, walkways and lookouts are due to be completed by 2021. In the meantime, there are still breathtaking tours open to the public, revealing the dramatic rock formations, towering stalactites and crystal pools that make the Jenolan Caves one of the state’s most visited attractions.
Time Out tip: If the subterranean splendour of the caves only whets your appetite for yet more nature, Kanangra-Boyd National Park is just a 10-minute drive away, where you’ll find a spectacular look-out point with views of the Kanangra Walls and Mount Cloudmaker.
Mother Nature sure did bless Sydney with an abundance of beauty. Look, beaches! Over there, parklands! And hubba hubba, how about that harbour? But head out in just about any direction beyond the city limits and you’ll find natural attractions that put Sydney’s citybound sights to shame.
We’ve cherry-picked a selection of the state's most beautiful nature spots that you can visit in a day and be back home by bedtime. So grab some supplies, some sun cream, and your sense of adventure and get into it.
RECCOMENDED: Keep up to date with the latest travel advice.