- Regions close to Sydney include the Hawkesbury River, Central Coast, The Hunter, Blue Mountains, Illawarra, Port Stephens and Southern Highlands
- Mountains, rivers, eucalypt-filled valleys, rich tablelands – all within a two-and-a-half-hour drive of Sydney
- Two World Heritage-listed areas, the second oldest national park in the world, 40 national parks and reserves, renowned wine regions
Why go there
This region is a grand spectrum of delights. Here you’ll find sparkling waterways, World Heritage-listed national parks, age-old mountains and ravines, cascading waterfalls and some of the most stunning beaches on the planet.
Freshwater explorations compete with marine delights. You can easily arrange reef- and game-fishing charters – or hire a sailboard, kayak or catamaran to get the feel of local lakes. Or you can ride a horse (or camel), play 18 holes of golf or tackle giant sand dunes on a quad bike.
The region has gentle, rolling green hills and little historic villages nestled between rainforest and beach. For simple relaxation, lie back and enjoy a luxuriant spa, try the largest ocean baths in the southern hemisphere, explore sleepy mountainside villages or laze on the beach with a good book. At sunset, dine alfresco. Sip some of the wine that has made the Hunter Valley famous.
- Walking on air, 270 m above the valley of the Kedumba River in a glass-floored, aerial gondola in the Blue Mountains.
- Kayaking with dolphins at Nelson Bay.
- Re-energising and relaxing at a luxury spa in the Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains or Southern Highlands.
- Tasting the world’s best Semillon in the Hunter Valley and the Southern Highland’s cool-climate varieties.
- Driving the Grand Pacific Drive from the Royal National Park to North Wollongong – with its landmark Sea Cliff Bridge.
- Cruising the laid-back Hawkesbury River on a houseboat.
- Discovering Australia’s largest collection of reptiles at the Australian Reptile Park.