To the south of Sydney, the sleepy coastal village of Sussex Inlet offers a unique glimpse of Australian life. During the day, take a fishing boat out on the tranquil waters, enjoy a round of golf (making sure you don’t hit a kangaroo) or walk along the inlet to the entrance and then back across the wild, rugged beach to complete the loop. In the evening, join the locals for dinner at the Bamboo River Chinese restaurant in the RSL Club.
Situated on a scenic back road that leads to the Hunter Valley wine region, the small, historic town of Wollombi is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. You can stay in charming guesthouses and visit local vineyards; awaken to the cry of bell birds, and stroll through misty valleys on your perfect weekend. Make sure to leave time for a counter lunch at the Settlers Arms Inn at St Albans on the way there or back.
At the end of a long and winding road is the historic Caves House, a beautiful Victorian-built, Tudor-style building with accommodations to suit every budget. Located within a World Heritage area, right on its doorstep are the Jenolan Caves, a labyrinth of limestone caves that, at 340 million years old, are by far the oldest yet discovered.
To really escape the city and soak up the peace of the Australian bush, rent a houseboat and enjoy Kur-ring-gai Chase National Park from the water.
Clipper Cruises at Akuna Bay are only 40 minutes north of the city. Moor next to a deserted beach, cast a fishing line and try your luck, or head to Cottage Point Inn for a long, leisurely lunch.
Clipper Cruises at Akuna Bay
Cottage Point Inn
Jenolan Caves Three hours’ drive on the Great Western Highway via the Blue Mountains;
Kur-ring-Gai Chase National Park
Sussex Inlet Three hours’ drive south of Sydney, 6 miles (10 km) off the Princes Highway;
Wollombi Two hours’ drive northwest of Sydney via the Great Northern Road and Wisemans Car Ferry