Get us in your inbox

Search
People admire the Kiama Blowhole
Photograph: Destination NSW

The five best carless day trips from Sydney

Who needs a car when regular ol' PT can connect you with so many great one-day excursions from the city?

Maxim Boon
Written by
Maxim Boon
Advertising

If you’re fortunate enough to own a car, the state is your oyster, with countless sights to see just a few hours on the road out of Sydney. But being without a ride need not stand in the way of a great excursion. Whether you’re wincing at the recently eye-watering prices at the pump, or you just don’t own your own set of wheels, there are many day trips you make from Sydney entirely by public transport, which is not just a wallet saver but a helluva lot more green-minded to boot. Here are five of our favourite one-day carless jaunts out of Sydney that you can do with nothing but public transport as your wheels. 

Happy to keep your hands on the wheel? Check out these beautiful scenic drives near Sydney.

Who needs a car anyways?

Katoomba
Photograph: Destination NSW

Katoomba

Less than three hours on the train from Sydney Central takes you from the heart of the city all the way to the breathtaking and untouched views of the Blue Mountains from Echo Point. This may well rank as one of the most versatile one-day escapes you can make from Sydney. You could book in for a pampering at the Lilianfels Resort and Spa; head to Scenic World for some of the most stunning views in the state; or lace up your walking boots and hit one of the many great bushwalks in this area, including tracks that take you to the Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls. Pro-tip: if you’re up for wander, take the Three Sisters trail heading east and exit at the Leura Cascades, then wind your way through this pleasant neighbourhood and pick up the train back to town from Leura Station.

Tuggerah
Photograph: Chris Court/Destination NSW

Tuggerah

At the gateway to the Central Coast, you’ll find yourself near the shores of Tuggerah Lake in less than two hours from Sydney Central. A 15-minute stroll from the station leads you to the Tuggerah State Conservation Area and Nature Reserve, which offer a very manageable day hike for less experienced walkers. If you’re looking for more of an adrenaline rush, the TreeTop Adventure Park is just a $20 uber ride away, with aerial walkways and flying foxes that zip through the forest canopies of the Ourimbah State Park. Tuggerah is also the perfect launching point for a longer stay on the Central Coast so you can explore tourist destinations like the Entrance and Shelly Beach.

Advertising
Windsor
Photograph: Destination NSW

Windsor

If history is your jam, this is the day trip for you. Welcome to one of Australia’s oldest towns, first established in the 1790s. Some of the most well-preserved examples of Georgian sandstone buildings in the country can be found here, the oldest of which is the Macquarie Arms Inn (1815), which is purported to have a tunnel to the Hawkesbury River which was supposedly used for smuggling. Other buildings of note include the work of master architect Francis Greenway, such as St Matthew's Anglican Church and Rectory built in 1817, which also has a cemetery containing the graves of numerous First Fleeter convicts. Keep an eye out for the Hawkesbury Paddlewheeler too, which cruises the local river waters.

Waterfall
Photograph: Shutterstock

Waterfall

One of the most extraordinary things about Sydney is that you can board a train in the heart of the city, and in next to no time find yourself surrounded by nature. Take Waterfall, for example. Less than an hour from Sydney Central, you’ll disembark in the heart of the Royal National Park, and then you can choose your own adventure. Perhaps you’ll visit the National Falls, just a 20 minute wander up McKell Avenue (be sure to keep well over on the side of the road for safety). If you’re up for a more ambitious hike, a two-hour bushwalk will take you to Garie Beach, one of the Royal National Park’s best shores (and the 8th best beach in Greater Sydney according to Time Out’s 50 best beaches rankings). Or why not head north on the Uloola Firetrail towards Karloo Pool for a swim, before making the short trek to Heathcoat where you can catch the next train back into town?

Advertising
Kiama
Photograph: Destination NSW

Kiama

Two hours and 20 minutes south of Sydney brings to one of the state’s most breathtaking natural wonders, but we’ll get to that. First, dedicate a few solid hours to simply wandering around this adorable seaside village, stopping in at cute cafés and the famous Ice Creamery, Kiama (aaaaaaah). A trip here wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Kiama Blowhole, where waves spurt out through a crevasse in the cliff, forming a fabulous salty fountain. Then you can take a stroll along the Kiama Coast Walk for views of lush green cliffs overlooking rocky shores, rivers and private beaches. There are also plenty of surrounding coastal towns connected by cycleways for fitness fanatics to conquer, and you can also book activities like dolphin watching cruises, outdoor rock climbing and kayaking tours of Lake Illawarra.

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!