Get back to nature: The best spots for outdoor day trips near Sydney
With the bustle of city life injecting itself into our daily lives, it’s easy to take Sydney for granted. But it’s a gorgeous city in one of the most picturesque natural environments in the world.
If you’re keen for a getaway this weekend, you’re spoiled for choice. Jump in a GoGet and take a day trip to any one of these cracker country locales and immerse yourself in nature.
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Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park lies where the Hawkesbury River meets the sea. It’s a melting pot of winding creeks, sheltered beaches, hidden coves and wide expanses of deep blue water. Here you’ll see everything from wildflowers, sandstone ridges, dense forests and mangroves. The scenery has a rich Aboriginal heritage and a strong sense of history. Aboriginal rock engravings can be found at the Basin Aboriginal art site, found along the Basin walking track. Go in the early morning or late afternoon for the best viewing.
The park is just 40mins north of Sydney CBD, and accessible via walking tracks from Bobbin Head, Berowra, Cowan, Brooklyn, or from the northern beaches peninsula. If you’re keen for a picnic but not a walk, try Bobbin Head or Brooklyn’s Flat Point Rock.
Lane Cove National Park is one of Sydney’s best kept secrets. Despite being well within the Sydney city limits, it is too often forgotten about as a destination. Only 20 minutes’ drive from the Sydney CBD, Lane Cove National Park is a great day out for picnicking, bushwalking, and kayaking along the peaceful Lane Cove River. Kayaks, rowboats and pedal boats can be hired in the national park on weekends and school holidays.
The Lane Cove River Tourist Park offers camping, well-set-up cabins or tent sites, with barbecues and camp kitchens if you’d like to stay overnight to soak up the atmosphere.
The Blue Mountains:
90 minutes’ drive from Sydney CBD is one of Australia’s most famous national parks. There are walks suited to every fitness level, as well as places to hike, cycle, canoe and sleep under the stars at camping grounds if you want to make a weekend of it. The Blue Mountains get their characteristic blue haze from the mixing of sunlight with drops of oil released by the eucalypts that blanket the region’s vast tablelands and valleys, just to inspire you further!
If you’re keen to camp, here’s a handy list of the best places to camp in the Blue Mountains which could help get you on your way. Otherwise, head to Katoomba for a day of sightseeing, or hit the many antique stores on your way along the highway, from Faulconbridge to Blackheath to grab a bargain.
Want to skip the Sydney traffic on your way out there? Why not relax on the train and pick up a GoGet from Katoomba station.
The Royal National Park
The Royal National Park was the second national park ever declared in the world and is a Sydney must do! Walk the coast for magnificent views (there are some great ideas for hikes here), or explore temperate rainforests, open woodlands, and estuarine systems. The famous Coast Track is a GoGet fave! The full 26km hike might be a bit much for a day trip, but it can be broken up into shorter sections. Or why not break it up over 2 days and camp overnight? The walk offers white-cliff coasts in the north and gorgeous beaches in the south.
This park is situated only 45mins south of the Sydney CBD, the perfect day trip or long weekend getaway.
If, like us, you’re a sucker for Autumn leaves or spring blooms, look no further than a trip to Breenhold Gardens. Located a 2 hour drive from Sydney in Mount Wilson, Breenhold Gardens has 45 hectares of gorgeous gardens, parkland and native bushland to enjoy.
Plus it’s dog friendly so you can bring your best mate along for a walk, just be sure to keep them on a lead (and book a pet-friendly GoGet). The gardens are only open in Autumn and Spring so check the opening dates before you go!