Short weekend getaways from Sydney

Free weekend? Cheeky mid-weeker? Full-fortnight blowout? We've handpicked great (and close-by) weekend getaways and short trips just for you. Race ya there...
Photograph: Visit Mudgee
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Escape from Sydney to one of NSW (or the ACT's) relaxing retreats. From fantastic local food and wine to shopping, great art, spas or adventure, you'll return to Sydney a new human.

Best driving breaks from Sydney

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A top down shot of a food dish next to an assortment of egg shells as decoration at Biota Dining and Rooms
Photograph: Biota Dining and Rooms
Travel, Short getaways

Bowral

It may be a diminutive country town, but Bowral is buzzing with restaurants, cafés and some of the most beautiful vintage stores in the state. Plus it’s got Biota Dining and Rooms: enough said.
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Visitors overlook the Three Sisters from a lookout
Photograph: James Horan, Destination NSW
Travel, Short getaways

Katoomba

Head to the chief city in the Blue Mountains for heritage-listed restaurants, spa resorts, steep cable car rides and late lunches in Leura.

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Mollymook Beach
Photograph: Andy Hutchinson
Travel, Short getaways

Shoalhaven

This region is seemingly comprised entirely of national parks, white sand beaches, biodynamic farmland and little seaside towns. 

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Terrigal Beach
Photograph: Hamilton Lund
Travel, Short getaways

Central Coast

From wild national parks and epic beaches to slices of suburbia, the Central Coast is Sydney's sprawling, sometimes strange and sometimes charming northern cousin.

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The best wineries in the Hunter Valley: A scenic shot of wine vineyards at a winery in the Hunter Vallery
Photograph: Destination NSW
Travel, Short getaways

Pokolbin, Hunter Valley

Plan a long weekend in the Hunter Valley with our guide to where to eat, drink, stay and play in Pokolbin.

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A shot of the main entrance area at HotelHotel showing The Grand Stair
Photograph: Visit Canberra
Travel, Short getaways

Canberra

Canberra used to be the punchline of jokes: known only for porn, politicians and legal fireworks. Now there are far more stimulating things happening outside the adult shops than on their shelves. Canberra in the twenty-teens boasts hipper hotels than Sydney, excellent cafés, some of the best galleries and museums in the country.

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Skiers Powder
Photograph: Aedan O'Donnell
Travel, Short getaways

Thredbo

Winter is here whether you like it or not – so rather than complain about it – embrace it with awesome scenery and snowy fun.

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Borrowdell Vineyard, Orange
Photograph: Seth Buchanan
Travel, Short getaways

Orange

Head west to the fertile plains, where wine is plentiful, people are friendly and winter frosts mean fresh black truffles on menus everywhere.

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Town beach, Port Macquarie
Travel, Short getaways

Port Macquarie

Things have changed in the Port since your parents dragged you there on a family holiday: a combination of seachange-type entrepreneurs and the realisation that having a location equidistant from Sydney and Brisbane may provide certain advantages.

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Cherry blossoms flower over Bathurst's town centre
Travel, Short getaways

Bathurst

A relaxed, rural uni town that's fast emerging as a proper food and wine destination. Plus: Australia's very own dinosaur!

Short flights from Sydney

The exterior of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania
Supplied
Travel, Short getaways

Tasmania

From pristine wilderness sites to one of the most avant-garde galleries in the world (that'd be “submersive adult Disneyland” Mona, which owner David Walsh reportedly built from his gambling profits), there's a great deal to recommend Tasmania.

Travel, Short getaways

Byron Bay

From sleepy hippy towns, to music festival paradise, to Sydney's favourite beachside haunt, the Byron Bay region has much to recommend it.

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Or stick around...

Royal National Park
Photograph: Klara Kalocsay
Things to do

A guide to the Royal National Park

It's less than an hour's drive from the CBD, yet so many Sydneysiders haven't stepped foot in the pristine 15,091 hectares of bushland that lines the coast south of Sydney. Whether you want to swim, trek, picnic, swim, bike ride, swim or just GTFO of Sydney for the day, the Royal National Park will provide an outdoors, adventure-filled day out.

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