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Australia is known for its beaches, and there are a plenty of them all around. Sydney is no different for that, and it's known for some of the world famous beaches including the Bondi beach. But at times it's also good to try places other than beaches. Here is a list of such places around Sydney that is perfect for a day trip and not just limited to beaches.
- Grand Pacific Drive
- Fitzroy Falls
- Kangaroo Valley
- Audley Boating
- Morriset Park
- Mandarin Picking
- Animal Farm (Kids)
- Taronga Zoo
- Illawarra Fly Treetops
- Nan tien temple
- Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
- The Entrance, Central Coast
The Grand Pacific Drive makes a perfect day out with one of the best drives and perfect scenery along the route. It starts from Royal National Park through Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven, Southern Highlands, Eurobodalla and ending at Sapphire Coast. Each one of those places have things enough to spend a whole day. You can either choose to do the entire drive or do each of these places on separate day trips. The Grand Pacific Drive site has all the details that you need to plan your trip. It also has a trip planner that makes planning easier.
Do make it one day for the sun rise at the Sea Cliff bridge. It's amazing and worth waking up early enough to make it up there on time.
As the name suggests, the Fitzroy Falls spots a magnificent waterfall with a nice walking track along the sides. There are various lookouts to the waterfall along the walking track. There is also a cycling track from the falls to Kangaroo Valley for those interested.
Kangaroo Valley is a two-hour drive from Sydney and is popular for kayaking, canoeing, golf and wine tasting. You can take a break and play on the banks of the Kangaroo River. Do check out the Fudge House if you have a sweet tooth and the pie shop for a quick snack.
Situated in the Royal National Park, Audley boating provides a great experience along the Kangaroo Creek. You can hire a boat or ride a bike and enjoy the magnificent views.
If you want to see Kangaroos, then this is the place you should be. You can get close up with kangaroos and hundreds of them. It's an experience that no zoo can provide. One of the Kangaroo spotting points is near the Morriset Hospital. Even on a rainy day, there were plenty of them so I am sure you would not miss out on it. There are a few other parks and places as well nearby where you can take a stroll and stand a chance of spotting one.
Situated on the banks of Hawkesbury River at Wisemans Ferry there are a couple of farms where you can go picking mandarins. I had been to the Watkins Family Farm and enjoyed every bit of it. It's great fun for kids and equally for adults. We ended up going back there twice in the same season. Make sure you check the farm sites for details on timing and months they are open.
There are a few other picnic spots as well around the area. There is a vehicle ferry service to take your vehicle across the river and explore that side as well.
If you have kids, then a day out at one of the animal farms around Sydney is an excellent way to spend your day. Google should help you find the farms around you. The Calmsley Hill animal farm is a family friendly environment with daily shows, picnic and BBQ area. They often run some online offers so make sure you check that out before you head off.
The zoo is always a great place to spend time. The Taronga Zoo experience is no different. If you have not taken the Sydney Ferries before this is a good excuse to do that. It's really big, and there are a lot of shows as well. Do check out the show times prior and plan for it upfront. It can be crowded at times. If you have kids getting an annual pass to the zoo might be worth.
Escape into the trees at the Illawarra Fly Treetops and enjoy the stunning views and the zipline experience. It is a perfect place for a day trip and equal fun for families. It offers a breath taking views and a great experience. Check out for online offers!
The Nan Tien Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere. It's a calm and peaceful place and a nice spot to take your day off and relax. The temple offers many services including a guided tour. They run various retreats and meditation classes if you are interested. You can either choose to spend a whole day here or spend a few hours on the way to Illawarra Fly Tree Tops.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park combines important history with scenic beauty, making it perfect for a day out for families and kids. There are great picnic areas, heritage walks, lighthouse, boating, etc. There are not many shops around so get all that you need on the way.
Even though the main attraction here is a beach, there still are enough things other than that to make your trip worth while. Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway is an off-road, scenic 12-kilometre ride and is perfect to spend some time. Don't miss out on the Pelican Feeding which happens at 3:30 pm every day all round the year.
These places make a perfect getaway for a day. Mix it up with some of the awesome beaches - Bondi, Palm, Wattamolla, La Perouse, Coogee, Ramsgate, Cronulla, etc. and it should be enough to keep all your weekends busy. What places did I miss? Sound off in the comments.
Have great weekends ahead!
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