Sydney is home to the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, and other famous landmarks. When people think about Sydney, Australia, these are some of the more common things that come to mind, but littler known are the amazing national parks, beaches, and other areas just outside Sydney’s backdoor.
If you find yourself in Sydney and want to check out the lesser known tourist attractions, here is a list of some areas that are well worth a visit.
The Royal National Park
This ancient national park is accessible about an hour and a half outside of Sydney. Although it would be better to hire a car for this trip, it’s very possible to take a train and a short ferry right to Bundeena.
The Royal National Park is the second oldest national park in the world, right behind Yellowstone, and offers amazing ocean views, bush walks with amazing lookouts, waterfalls, camping, and more. If you come at the right time of the year, you will also be able to see whales migrating down the coast.
The Blue Mountains
Although the Blue Mountains are a little better known, they offer spectacular views hard to find elsewhere. The Blue Mountains are located about 2 hours outside of Sydney, and account for more than 10,000 kilometres of predominantly eucalyptus trees.
At the Blue Mountains you can find great bush walks for all levels, aboriginal historical sites, and amazing views. It’s worth checking out the 3 sisters, which is a famous landmark at the Blue Mountains.
The Hunter Valley is located a little further outside of Sydney, at about 3 hours. The Valley offers more of a relaxing break from the city and is home to some of the best wine country in Australia.
There are more than 150 wineries in Hunter, accompanied by golf courses, great winery tours, spas, and other relaxing events. If you’re looking for a peaceful adult get away, Hunter Valley is perfect.
Just 41 Kilometers outside of Sydney city, you’ll run into one Palm Beach. This northern most beach of Sydney is famous with Sydney goers, as it offers great scenery and beautiful waters.
The name Palm Beach originates from the trees located near the harbour around the beach.
Palm beach offers an array of activities for the whole family. The beach is great for snorkeling, practicing your surfing, and relaxing. It’s also not too far from various shops and cafes, so you can grab some fish and chips.
Kosciuszko National Park
Kosciuszko National Park is a little further outside of Sydney than most places in New South Wales. It may be worth catching a flight, which will take you about an hour. If you do choose to drive it can take 5 to 6 hours.
Kosciuszko is alpine landscape that is home to the Snowy Mountains region. If you visit this area in the winter, you can find the best skiing in Australia. The park is also home to the tallest peak in Australia, which is Mount Kosciuszko.
During the summer months you can find great walks, wildflowers, waterfalls, caves, and other great adventurous activities.
Want to explore even more? A comprehensive guide to even more things to do in Australia can be found here.
Contributor: Liam Barrett
Liam is an expat currently living in Sydney, Australia, originally from Idaho. When he’s not working online, you can find him exploring Australia and working on his photography skills. You can contact Liam on Instagram and through his blog greatlost.com.