Best Weekend Getaways from Sydney
Sydneysiders are blessed with proximity to some of the most beautiful parts of the country, but how many of us are actually taking advantage of it? Life is too short to waste those weekends at home, especially when you could be exploring some of New South Wales' best wine regions, beaches and country towns. So to help you do just that, we've rounded up the five best weekend getaways from Sydney.
Oh, and in case you forgot, there's a long weekend coming up. Time to get planning!
1. Hunter Valley
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Located around a three-and-a-half-hour drive northwest of the CBD, the Hunter Valley is a favourite among Sydney wine lovers and foodies.
Known for its many vineyards, gourmet eateries and glamorous estates, the Hunter is the perfect choice for a romantic couple's escape or girls' get-together.
You can't come to the Hunter without doing a tour of the region's many wineries, distilleries and breweries. Two Fat Blokes operate daily tours (both half-day and full-day tours) that include wine and beer tastings, cheese and snacks, and even lunch upgrades.
The Hunter Valley is home to a number of beautiful boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts and private estates, making it a popular wedding location. The five-star, multi-award-winning Chateau Elan is the perfect base for your wine tasting adventures.
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Read more: 5 Aussie Wine Regions You Need to Visit
2. Southern Highlands
Just a 90-minute drive southwest from Sydney and northeast from Canberra, the spectacular Southern Highlands region is also accessible by train, with rides from Central to Bowral taking as little as two hours. No wonder it's one of the most popular weekend getaways from Sydney!
With its rich history and beautiful scenery, the Southern Highlands is ideal for romantic getaways or for treating the parents to some quality time with their favourite son or daughter.
The Southern Highlands is a bushwalker's paradise, so don those hiking boots and take in the area's incredible natural beauty. From Fitzroy Falls in the Morton National Park to the breathtaking views atop Mt Gibraltar, this place is an absolute feast for the eyes.
Bowral, Moss Vale, Mittagong and surrounding areas are chock full of characterful historical homesteads, but our favourite is Peppers Manor House. Located in Sutton Forest (just 15 minutes from Bowral), this 1920s grand country home oozes charm and tranquility.
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Drive for three and a half hours south of Sydney and you'll find yourself in the magnificent South Coast town of Mollymook, famed for its beautiful sandy beach and great surf.
Mollymook is the perfect winter beachside holiday destination for families, couples, or perhaps even just a surf break with mates.
Whether you're a budding pro or a total beginner, everyone will enjoy a day on the greens at Mollymook Golf Club. With two courses to choose from (the 18-hole championship Hilltop Course and the more casual nine-hole Beachside Course) there's plenty to keep you busy. The club itself is also great for a meal and some drinks overlooking the beach.
Mollymook boasts dozens of holiday homes, but if you want to do it in style, you can't stay anywhere other than Bannisters Pavillion. With its relaxed setting and bright, modern rooms, it's the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. Oh, and don't even think about leaving without enjoying a meal at Rick Stein's only Aussie restaurant, conveniently located just down the road at Bannisters by the Sea!
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Come on, you know where our capital city is, right?! Hop in the car and drive three and a half hours southwest and you'll probably find it. Or, for the more bougie among us, you can fly there for a couple of hundred bucks.
Canberra isn't just for people who like politics! With an eclectic nightlife, great cafe scene and nearby wineries, there's also plenty of fun to be had with friends. While you're at it, bring the kids along - our capital is full of fun activities for littlies (hello, Questacon!).
Yes, Canberra is bursting at the seams with national monuments and museums to keep you occupied, but if you ask us, the area's most underrated attraction is its wine region. The Yass Valley (a 40-minute drive north of the CBD) is home to a collection of boutique wine producers that are sure to blow you away, including the beautiful Dionysus Winery.
Sure, you could stay in the city, but why not take the opportunity to reconnect with nature at the chic Abode Murrumbateman. Situated in the heart of Canberra's wine country, this boutique hotel offers comfortable, modern accommodation with gorgeous nature views.
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Sounds good? Pop over to Scoopon now to enjoy a night at Abode Murrumbateman from just $109 for two, including a bottle of wine on arrival!
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How could we talk about relaxing weekend getaways from Sydney without mentioning Dubbo? At just over five hours' drive from the CBD, it's the furthest destination on our list, but honestly, it's worth it!
Dubbo literally has something for everyone, from history buffs and science geeks to animal lovers and nature addicts.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is widely regarded as one of the best in the country, boasting over 4,000 animals from more than 350 species. You can get up close and personal with African lions, witness the majestic Asian Elephant and catch-up with your favourite Aussie critters.
Dubbo is all about peace, tranquility and getting back to nature, and if you ask us, there's nowhere better to do just that than at the quaint, romantic Pericoe Retreat. With four charming suites to choose from, plus that famous country hospitality and breathtaking surroundings, it's easy to see why this place has a five-star average rating on TripAdvisor.
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Keen for your own country escape? Head to Dubbo's Pericoe Retreat with Scoopon from just $369 for two nights per couple, including a bottle of bubbly on arrival!
For more amazing weekend getaways from Sydney, head to Scoopon now! From the snowfields of Perisher to quaint country retreats of Mudgee, we have your next mini-break well and truly taken care of.
Read more: The Best Road Trip From Your Capital City