Sydney’s allure is such that you might not be inclined to venture beyond Darling Harbour and Bondi beach, but you’d be missing out on some of Australia’s epic scenery. In this travel info post we look at several great destinations within driving distance of the New South Wales’ capital….

Although Sydney has a wide variety for any tourist seeking the sights, you can’t see everything in Australia’s lush countryside by staying in the city. Indeed, much of Australia’s appeal can only be experienced outside of the city limits. When you start to pine for something other than the night life and cityscape, consider some of these excellent locations within driving range of Sydney; you won’t be disappointed. If you are hiring a car, don’t forget to sort out some excess insurance when travelling to any of these excellent destinations. Car Excess Insurance Direct can help you with this so that you don’t end up coughing up a fortune if you have a prang.

The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. Photo credit: Corey Leopold.

Blue Mountains

For anyone seeking a picturesque landscape worthy of postcards, the Blue Mountains are not to be missed. Close enough to Sydney to drive, the short distance will seem to transport you to a different world filled with quaint villages and towering mountains with breathtaking waterfalls and plenty of hiking. Start with the Blue Mountain Cultural centre in Katoomba to learn about the area, then head out to take in the scenic beauty with names like ‘Echo Point’, ‘Wentworth Falls’ and ‘Three Sisters’. Exploring this corner of Australia is well worth the trip out from beneath the city lights.

Hunter Valley Wineries

For those with a taste for the finer things, then a trip to Hunter Valley and their world famous Wineries is an absolute must. Located a good couple hours North of Syndey, the Valley holds the towns of Singleton, Cessnock, Muswellbrook and Scone that produce Chardonnay white wine, Semillon white wine, Shiraz red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon red wine that rival the best of the world. Catering to tourists are services like horse back trail rides, hot air balloon rides and even helicopter air service from Sydney and back again, all with wine tastings of course. Wine isn’t the area’s only export either; the Valley has lush orchards and extravagant gardens producing excellent produce of a wide variety. Hunter valley; come for the wine and enjoy everything else.

Port Stephens

The North Coast region of Australia is within easy reach of Sydney and many tourist services offer tours to that region. Highlights include dolphin watching while taking a boat ride out into the bay, sand boarding or renting 4×4’s to explore the sand dunes in a more exciting way. To slow things down, take the kids to the Australian Reptile Park filled with wildlife from all corners of the globe, not just from the Australian outback. From the giant, sprawling dunes prime for sand boarding and 4×4’ing on the land to swimming with dolphins in the water, Port Stephen has something for every age and is an excellent family destination.

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