- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Sydney Guide (PDF)
The first few months of weekends in Sydney often fly by in a whirlwind for new expats. Sydney’s beautiful harbour, amazing hidden beaches and sprawling parks waiting to be explored are more than enough to fill what can initially seem like endless amounts of time.
However, after a few months, the thrill of discovery can subside as newcomers settle into real life and find themselves, once again, swept away by the daily grind. A quick weekend escape from the city can bring back that original sense of adventure that every expat craves.
The surrounding areas of Sydney make a weekend getaway easy and exceptional. Just a few hours away, adventurers are treated to stunning scenery and the chance to glimpse amazing wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats, platypuses and dolphins, not to mention miles of empty beaches.
Weekend breaks from Sydney
A trip to the Blue Mountains is probably the most popular weekend getaway from Sydney as it’s a short drive and can easily make for a quick day trip or a longer stay, if preferred.
The bluish haze that surrounds the soaring crags is the result of the oil produced from the many eucalyptus trees and, on a nice crisp sunny morning, visitors will also notice the wonderfully refreshing smell of eucalyptus in the air.
A drive to Katoomba, the largest town in the upper mountains, affords expats the chance to explore amazing bushwalking trails, ranging from the easy and family-friendly to more challenging rock climbing routes.
The most popular attractions in the Blue Mountains are a distinct rock formation known as the Three Sisters and Scenic World, where visitors can hop on a train or cable car to better view the area. Expats shouldn't miss the Jenolan Caves, rich with both Aboriginal and local Australian history. The large network of caves dazzles with brilliant crystal formations and pristine underground rivers. And, if expats are very lucky and plan the day right, they just might see one of the platypuses which live along the Blue Lake next to the main entrance of the caves.
Hunter Valley is a dream come true for any foodie looking to spend an indulgent weekend away from Sydney’s own culinary delights. It is one of Australia's oldest wine regions and is best known for superb Semillon. Visitors can sip on the region's famous wines while taking in the view of the seemingly endless vineyards.
There are a number of great spots in the Southern Highlands, all offering something unique. Visit the tulips and enjoy lunch in a cosy cafe in Bowral or explore Berrima, a historic and well-preserved Georgian village.
On the other hand, nature lovers or those simply looking for a respite in the outdoors would do well to rent a cabin in the country. The deeper into the wilderness one goes, the better the chances of seeing wallabies, wombats and kangaroos.