Sydney isn’t an unfamiliar place. Almost everyone in the world knows about it, and its charm is undeniable. This Aussie city is one of the most popular tourist destinations for foreign visitors, but it also attracts a fair number of locals.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that this metropolis in the Land Down Under has quite a number of attractions to impress you. Besides its many beauties, like the Sydney Opera, Botanical Garden and various museums dedicated to the Aboriginal culture, you shouldn’t miss exploring its surrounding areas. With that in mind, here are several places to visit around Sydney.
1. Hunter Valley
If you like wine, then you’ll certainly want to visit Hunter Valley. This is one of the most famous wine regions in Australia, and the number of wineries exceeds 150. Sommeliers and oenologists often praise the Shiraz and Sémillon produced right in this region.
Hunter Valley is located two hours from Sydney, and it’s included in many day trips organised from the city. Tours offer visits to some of the most famous Australian wine producers like Audrey Wilkinson and Mount Pleasant. You can spend the night in one of the available manors or participate in tours that offer cheese and wine pairing.
2. Blue Mountains
When you’re in Sydney, you should definitely visit the Blue Mountains. Only two hours away, the area will leave you breathless and feeling free. If you want to enjoy some amazing Australian nature, the Blue Mountains offer rich and interesting scenery, especially for hikers.
The easy one-kilometer-return hike along the Three Sisters Walk from Echo Point will bring you close enough to admire the sandstone turrets of the Three Sisters, a famous landmark with a mythological background. Additional walks, which take longer to hike and have a higher grade of difficulty, are also accessible.
Other fantastic attractions include a ride on the Scenic Skyway, a glass-bottom cable car that allows you to see the whole Katoomba Falls, as well as a trip on the Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest passenger railway that runs from the Mountains to Jameson Valley. Those who aren’t too keen on heights can take a bushwalk in the Valley, which can last up to three days.
3. Jervis Bay
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Jervis Bay has the whitest beaches you’ll ever see, like Hyams Beach. Due to the clear waters of the blue ocean, Jervis Bay is a popular place for people to enjoy some water sports. If you want to try surfing, then this is a perfect place to start, along with snorkeling and scuba diving.
The surrounding area is also a sight to remember. Jervis Bay National Park and Booderee National Park offer a unique insight into the Aboriginal culture. Their flora and fauna regularly draw in nature lovers and those who wish to escape the city fuss.
4. Port Stephens
Home to dolphins and gorgeous beaches, Port Stephens is a paradise on Earth. With 26 beaches, this is a wonderful spot to spend time with your family. Kayaking is one of the most popular water sports here, along with snorkeling and swimming. The nearby Stockton Sand Dunes is a favorite place to ride horses and quad-bikes.
Dolphin-watching cruises start from Nelson Bay, while whale watching is available only during migration from May to November. Of course, if you want to swim with dolphins, there’s also a tour specifically designed for that. Local restaurants serve freshly caught seafood, and plenty of craft beers are on tap. You can stay the night or go back to Sydney, since it’s only around two and a half hours away.
To experience a village atmosphere and enjoy vintage architecture, along with some peace and quiet, then visit Berry. This NSW village offers horseback riding, plus there’s interesting art to view in the Berry Museum. The Donut Van is a local attraction, as it’s been serving fresh, cinnamon-sprinkled doughnuts for 55 years.
If you want to do nothing at all and just be somewhere serene and peaceful, find a short-term accommodation and stay a couple of days. The scenery and local market will keep you occupied enough to also leave you time to drink lemonade in the park or simply relish a sunny day.
A final word
When in Sydney, don’t miss an opportunity to see surrounding locations and experience something new. A trip out of the city will do you good, especially after a rich and full tour of Sydney. Just make sure that you mark the places you’d like to visit next time you’re in the neighborhood. Because Australia is a country you see once and will want to come back for more.