Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia | 2023 Guide

Sydney is an unmissable destination for anyone visiting Australia. From the famous Sydney Harbor to Bondi Beach to the iconic Opera House, you could spend weeks going on Sydney tours without getting bored.

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Sydney day trip ideas include something for everyone, whether you’re into sandboarding and fishing in Port Stephens, spotting whales along the coast, or enjoying wildlife in untouched national parks.

However, it would be a shame not to venture outside of Sydney to take advantage of all that the surrounding area has to offer. From Aboriginal sites, Blue Mountains, and idyllic beaches, to countless national parks, there’s really something to be discovered in each corner of the greater Sydney area.

Sydney is a gateway to endless possibilities. To help you get started on planning your itinerary, we put together a list of our recommended day trips from Sydney, Australia.

The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
Sydney Harbour NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia
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The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
Sydney Harbour NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

The Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia

Blue Mountains National Park Tour

Cost: $182 USD per person
Length: 11 hours
Tour type: Nature

Located just a short 2-hour drive inland from Sydney, the Blue Mountains National Park has been enticing nature lovers out of the city and into the wilderness. A fun fact about Blue Mountains is that it gets its name from the blue haze from hundreds of thousands of Eucalyptus plants surrounding the area.

The Blue Mountains themselves are approximately 300 million years old, but the rocks beneath them are estimated to be around 470 million years old, that’s roughly ten times older than the Grand Canyon!

This tour will give you an opportunity to visit many highlights of the Blue Mountains National Park, such as Echo Point, Jamison Valley, Featherdale Wildlife Park, and the Three Sisters Lookout. 

On your journey, you’ll also pass by Mount Tomah, where you can catch magnificent views of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is the only botanical garden in Australia situated within a UNESCO World Heritage Area.

For a unique take on the area, you can opt for an upgrade that includes a ride on the railway or cableway at Scenic World.

This place is like a huge stretch of untouched nature, filled with canyons, hiking trails, gum tree forests, and ancient Aboriginal rock art, as the Blue Mountains have been home to the Gundungurra and Darug indigenous people for thousands of years.

You’ll take a couple of easy nature walks, a scenic railway and cable car ride, and eat a lunch prepared by a local chef during this Blue Mountains tour. 

To top it all off, this tour features a river cruise on the Parramatta River, making it one of the most popular Sydney day trips.

What’s more, the tour is organized by Anderson’s Tours, a local provider that provides multiple different Blue Mountain day trips, with an emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendliness.

blue mountains day trip
Blue Mountains waterfall
The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
The Three Sisters from Echo Point, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Click HERE To Check The Availability For A Blue Mountains National Park Tour

Hunter Valley Wine Tour

Cost: $153 USD per person
Length: 12 hours
Tour type: Food & Drink

The Hunter Valley, located just an hour’s drive north of Sydney, is a world-famous wine region known for beautiful scenery, great produce, and of course, great wine. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a completely different world compared to the city life you’ve left behind. This NSW’s wine country is a region that’s worth visiting, even if just for a day.

On this wine tour from Sydney, you’ll explore the region’s lovely wineries and distilleries, many of which are organic. 

Here, not only will you get to try local wine, beer, cheese, chocolate, and spirits, but you’ll also get a fun lesson on how these delicacies are produced. It’s interesting to learn that in Australia and New Zealand, wineries are often classified as ’boutique’ if they produce under 350 tonnes of fruit or less than 10,000 cases of wine. Plus, they should use no more than 10% of fruit that is not their own in their winemaking process.

We suggest grabbing a bite at a nearby restaurant and exploring your DIY wine-tasting tour in your free time.

The tour is organized by Zepher Tours, a reliable, local, and ethically conscious tour company committed to the advancement of sustainable tourism in Australia.

The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
Vineyards in Hunter Valley, NSW
Rolling vineyards in Hunter Valley
Rolling vineyards in Hunter Valley

Click HERE To Check The Availability For Hunter Valley Tours From Sydney

Northern Beaches And Ku-Ring-Gai National Park Tour

Cost: $208 USD per person
Length: 7 hours
Tour type: Beach

Directly north of the city, you’ll find the dreamy and historic Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, a place most famous for its stunning beach and hundreds of significant Aboriginal locations. Ku-ring-gai Chase has something for every nature lover, whether you’re into coastal landscapes, lush rainforests, or rugged bushland. 

Ku-ring-gai Chase is a sought-after tourist spot known for its picturesque location along the Hawkesbury River and Pittwater. It’s home to valuable plant and animal ecosystems, Aboriginal heritage sites, and historical European landmarks. The park is dotted with picnic areas and offers opportunities for boating and fishing.

On this trip, you’ll enjoy bush walks to ancient rock carvings considered sacred to the Aboriginals. You can truly immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage here by taking a bushwalk on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk. Along the way, you’ll come across ancient rock paintings, engravings, and handprints at various indigenous sites.

Being the second oldest national park in Australia, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a rich blend of wildlife and history. 

After lunch, you’ll take a short walk along the pristine beaches and enjoy views of some of the best surfing in the country. Here, soak in the spectacular ocean vistas at Manly Beach, the Spit, West Head, Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Long Reef, North Head, Palm Beach, Summer Bay, and Palm Beach Lighthouse. Plus, you’ll see amazing views of the Central Coast from the nearby Ku-Ring-Gai Chase West Head Lookout, which is often regarded as one of the best lookouts in Sydney. 

If the other Sydney day trips seem a bit too involved for your taste, consider taking this one as it is perhaps the most relaxed out of all these Sydney day trips.

Best Day Trips From Sydney
Sydney’s northern beaches. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Click HERE To Check The Availability For A Northern Beaches And Ku-Ring-Gai National Park Tour

Whale Watching Tour

Cost: $63 USD per person
Length: 4 hours
Tour type: Cruise

Australia is quite famous for its underwater wildlife, but you don’t have to get in the water yourself to experience it. A whale-watching cruise out of the harbour is one the best Sydney day trips that you could take.

From May to November, humpback whales are migrating past Sydney and are often quite active, with lots of breaching, spy hopping, and tail slapping to be expected. 

During your journey, you’ll come across Jervis Bay, which has the world’s whitest sand beach. It is voted as one of the most beautiful coastal walks in Australia. 

The tour organizer, Oz Whale Watching, has multiple eco-certifications, contributes to a number of marine wildlife conservation funds, and uses daily sustainable practices such as recycling and the tracking of carbon emissions.

The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
MV Ocean Blue, Sydney Harbour. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia
The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
Humpback Whale, Sydney. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Click HERE To Check The Availability For A Whale Watching Cruise

Australian Bushland Wildlife Tour

Cost: $179 USD per person
Length: 10 hours
Tour type: Wildlife

If you’re keen on witnessing some of the weird and wonderful wildlife species that Australia boasts, then this tour is one of the best Sydney day tours you could take. Located less than two hours south of the city, the Southern Highlands are famous for their populations of koalas, platypuses, emus, wombats, possums, and of course, kangaroos.

The Southern Highlands are well known for their spectacular waterfalls and lush green rainforests. As you climb out of the valley, you’ll pass by Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, where Wides Meadow Creek drops a staggering 81 metres into the valley below.

The tour includes two meals and wildlife watching during both daylight hours and at night. You’ll experience it all with a 4WD safari vehicle using the provided binoculars. This is one of the most unique day trips around Sydney that you could take.

Kangaroo, spotted on a day trip outside of Sydney
Kangaroo, spotted on a day trip outside of Sydney

Click HERE To Check The Availability For An Australian Bushland Wildlife Tour

City Highlights Guided Bus Tour with Bondi Beach

Cost: $26 USD per person
Length: 3 hours
Tour type: Bus Tour

On this trip, you’ll enjoy the best attractions with insightful commentary from your guide on a scenic bus tour. You’ll visit iconic places like Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, The Gap at Watsons Bay, and the famous Bondi Beach. 

The tour route was just perfect, it begins at Hyde Park in the city centre, where you’ll receive valuable insights into Sydney’s history and culture, and as you make your way back, you’ll get to enjoy views of so many heritage buildings, including Sydney Harbour Bridge, the National Museum of Australia, and Sydney Opera House from the bus. The tour organizer, Locl Tour Sydney, has been providing walking and bus tours since 2013.

You’ll also see the Sydney Harbour Bridge, an Aussie icon. This bridge is one of the longest steel arch bridges on the planet. Opened in 1932, this bridge has eight lanes for cars, train tracks, a walkway, and even a spot for riding your bike.

The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
Bondi Beach, NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Click HERE To Check City Highlights Guided Bus Tour With Bondi Beach

Sydney South Coast Nature Tour

Cost: $166 USD per person
Length: 11 hours
Tour type: Nature

While there is some wonderful nature to experience near the city, Sydney has even more to offer just a couple of hours south on the coast. You’ll travel south via the Grand Pacific Drive, a gorgeous cliffside drive, and arrive at the Minnamurra Rainforest for an elevated canopy walk

After a barbeque lunch, they’ll drive about two hours, passing by the famous Sea Cliff Bridge, which stretches out over the ocean, following the curves of the rugged, expansive coastal cliffs. You’ll end up visiting the Kiama Blowhole and the Sea Cliff Bridge, two famous landmarks of the area. 

The final adventure will be a short hike around the Royal National Park to the Wattamolla Falls before you head back to Sydney.

Wattamolla Falls, Royal National Park, NSW.
Wattamolla Falls, Royal National Park, NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Click HERE To Check The Availability For A Sydney South Coast Nature Tour.

Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Cost: $41.80 USD per person
Length: 1 – 2 Days
Tour type: Bus Tour

If you’re keen on strolling around the city, this tour will take you to explore Sydney at your own pace on this hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. Here, you’ll discover the city’s highlights, including the iconic Sydney Harbour, beautiful beaches, lush gardens, and more from the comfort of a double-decker bus. 

With plenty of free time, you’ll have the freedom to roam the city as you please. Do note that they can’t accommodate suitcases or carry-on luggage on the bus, so if you have one with you, you’ll have to look for storage facilities to store your luggage.

Sydney included on the best place to live in Australia
Sydney Opera House

Click HERE To Check The Availability For Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Harbor Cruise with Buffet Lunch

Cost: $45 USD per person
Length: 2.5 hours
Tour type: Cruise

Indulge in a delightful buffet lunch with a tempting selection of over 13 food options once you’re onboard. This excursion is highly recommended for a couple of hours of relaxation on the water. It’s among Sydney’s most popular buffet cruises and makes for a fantastic introduction to the city on your first visit.

where to stay in sydney australia
Sydney Harbour NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Click HERE To Check The Availability For Harbor Cruise with Buffet Lunch

Manly and Shelly Beach Snorkeling Tour

Cost: $70 USD per person
Length: 2.5 hours
Tour type: Water Activity

If you’re up for some fascinating underwater adventures in Australia, this Sydney eco-tour is just right for you. On this tour, you’ll explore the vibrant Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve with a snorkelling adventure, where you’ll encounter a diverse range of marine life among the seagrass meadows and rocky reefs. 

Many people come to Manly Beach to chill out, snorkel, or ride some waves. We were interested to know that this place made history because it hosted the very first world surfing competition. If snorkelling isn’t your thing, you can choose to discover Manly by renting a bike and cruising along the designated bike paths and off-road trails.

Shelly Beach is an excellent choice for a sheltered beach picnic, and if you’re into snorkelling or scuba diving, this tour is a great place to start your underwater adventures.

You’ll enjoy a nature walk with stunning views of the Northern Beaches’ golden sands while learning about Sydney’s rich heritage and culture. If you have extra time, they will bring you to see the Northern Beaches view from the West Head Lookout. 

Feast your eyes on views of the sandstone viewing area at West Head Lookout, with panoramic views spanning from Pittwater to the Central Coast.

Next, the tour will take you to the Black Cave, or Manly Cave as the locals call it, a popular choice for outdoor rock climbing due to the climbable crack systems formed by natural fracturing. The rock’s hardness makes it well-suited for using chocks, nuts, and camming devices.

Manly Cave
Manly Cave

Click HERE To Check The Availability For Manly and Shelly Beach Snorkeling Tour

Guided Kayak Tour of Manly Cove Beaches

Cost: $61 USD per person
Length: 2.5 hours
Tour type: Water Activity

During this tour, you’ll join a leisurely kayaking tour to discover the picturesque hidden beaches of Manly Cove with your friendly guide. 

We were interested to learn that Manly got its name from Captain Arthur Phillip of the British Royal Navy. He was quite impressed with the confidence and dignified demeanour of the local Aboriginal people living there, so he decided to call the area “Manly Cove” in their honour.

This tour provides complimentary coffee or tea to kickstart your adventure. You’ll stop at local beaches for refreshments and stories about the area’s history. 

There’s even time for a swim or kayak if you want it. No need to worry if you’re new to kayaking. This tour is designed to be relaxed and beginner-friendly. Just keep in mind that to participate, you should be able to swim 100 metres.

manly beach, day trips from sydney
Manly Beach, Sydney, New South Wales

Click HERE To Check The Availability For Guided Kayak Tour of Manly Cove Beaches

Private Day Trip to Royal National Park

Cost: $200 USD per person
Length: 10 hours
Tour type: Nature

If you’re up for seeing some of Australia’s unique and amazing wildlife, this day trip is one of the great day tours you can do in Sydney. Just over an hour’s drive south of Sydney, here you can witness the natural beauty of the Royal National Park and see a diverse range of native plants and animals. 

As the world’s second oldest National Park, the Royal National Park offers a mix of gorgeous beaches and forested cliffs, a true paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventurers. During this tour, you can also check out the heathland by renting a canoe and exploring the Hacking River. 

Get up close with kangaroos and see koalas and other native species at Symbio Wildlife Park. Plus, enjoy fresh sandwiches and salads during your tour, as well as photos taken by your guide for a fantastic day trip in Sydney. 

The Seven Best Day Trips From Sydney, Australia
Wattamolla Falls, Royal National Park, NSW. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Click HERE To Check The Availability For Private Day Trip to Royal National Park

Wildlife, Waterfalls and Wine Small Group Tour

Cost: $206 USD per person
Length: 11 hours
Tour type: Adventure

While you can find some fantastic nature close to Sydney, the city has a lot more to offer. You can join a small group of up to 11 travellers and cruise around in a comfy minibus to explore it all. This tour is a fantastic one day trip from Sydney to observe native Australian animals in their natural habitat.

On this tour, you’ll head south along Botany Bay’s beaches into Royal National Park, winding through the forest. At Bald Hill Lookout, you’ll catch views of Illawarra’s coastline and the famous Sea Cliff Bridge.

Starting with a private koala encounter, you’ll have a chance to snap photos with these beloved marsupials. Then you’ll head to a famous hang glider launch point for some thrills. 

Follow the scenic Grand Pacific Drive, cruising over the bridge with stunning ocean views, and reach Bulli Beach. Enjoy a beachside lunch at a local cafe along the scenic Grand Pacific Drive, followed by a short hike to beautiful sandstone gorges on these amazing day trips near Sydney. If the sun’s shining, bring your swimsuit for a pre-lunch dip!

In the afternoon, wander into the Southern Highlands, passing through temperate rainforest. An easy hike leads to viewpoints offering beautiful views of Morton National Park’s sandstone gorges and majestic waterfalls.

Wrap up one of Sydney’s must-do tours with a taste of locally-produced wines at a charming Southern Highlands winery.

Grand Pacific Drive
Grand Pacific Drive

Click HERE To Check The Availability For Wildlife, Waterfalls and Wine Small Group Tour

 

Although there are countless Sydney day tours you can take, these top seven are an awesome place to start! Tell us below, which of these Sydney day trips would you most like to take?

 

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