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8 Best Road Trips from Sydney

Embarking on a road trip is always exciting, whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or with family. There’s so much to explore in Australia, and New South Wales is a perfect place to start.  A campervan holiday allows you the flexibility to either drive where the road takes you, or plan out your destinations in advance. To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of the 8 best road trips from Sydney.

bridge in sydney australia

Moss Vale Road

Just 2 hours and 10 minutes from Sydney, Moss Vale Road gives you the chance to escape the city and enjoy some rest and relaxation. Moss vale Road is in the Southern Highlands and the route is renowned for its scenery.  You can get there by following Highway 1 and then Princes Highway along the coast. Once you get to Berry, look out for Kangaroo Valley Road and stay on it for another 15km. 

If you follow Moss Vale Road, you’ll pass over the gorgeous Hampden Bridge where you can stop to have a gander at the KV Pioneer Village or keep on going towards the Barrengary Nature Reserve where the road ends. 

Related Read: Tips for a Family Road Trip

Newcastle

Around 2 hours and 15 minutes from Sydney, Newcastle combines urban life with a beachside vibe. Newcastle was originally settled as a coal export town, and named after its United Kingdom counterpart. The city has numerous beaches, scenic parks, and cultural events that are worth checking out at the Civic Theater. 

Blackbutt Reserve is a great spot for a picnic or if you want to go for a swim the Merewether Ocean baths are a great choice. You can also tour Fort Scratchley, where you can learn about its history and admire the incredible views.

As you make your way from Sydney to Newcastle, stop at Broken Bay Pearl Farm, where the owners will share their knowledge about pearls. You can also go for a dip at Lake Macquarie, which is the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere – and a must-see destination.

The Hunter Valley boasts some of Australia’s best wineries, so you’re sure to experience chardonnay like never before.

Blue Mountains

Conveniently close to Sydney, the Blue Mountains National Park is just 2 hours and 20 minutes drive from Sydney. It offers some of the world’s most beautiful, and most photographed, scenery. One of the major attractions of the park is the Three Sisters, which is a trio of rock formations that are accessible from the Giant Stairway in Katoomba.

Katoomba is also home to Scenic World, which has an incline railway system, where you can hop on a cable car from Doppelmayr to see the spectacular eagle-eye view of the Jameson Valley. There are so many hiking options in the region, and at the end of the day, you can have dinner nearby in Wentworth, Katoomba, or Gordon Falls.

Lithgow is also close by and combines a small-town atmosphere with beautiful Australian scenery.

Related Read: Things to pack for Family Road Trip 

Grand Pacific Drive to Jervis Bay

If you want to drive a bit further, then Jervis Bay is just three hours from Sydney, and you’ll pass through some of the most magnificent coastlines that are dotted with white sand. It’s even said to be the whitest in the entire world. You can park your campervan at one of the nearby beaches. White Sands Park, Jervis Bay Marine Park, Cave Beach, and Greenfield Beach are highlighted. Jervis Bay is incredible for anyone who loves the water and you can take part in water-based activities like sailing, kayaking, or diving. 

The Booderee National Park offers beaches, high cliffs, and botanic gardens. Point Perpendicular Lighthouse is splashed with waves and you can take in the sea breeze.

The drive is a destination in itself. You can also stop at Royal National Park, Shellharbour, and Wollongong on your way.

Canberra

Canberra, the capital of Australia, is three hours from Sydney and home to Parliament House. Drive through Campbelltown and follow the M31 and Federal Highway all the way through to Canberra.

Unlike Sydney, Canberra was a planned city and won against Sydney and Melbourne for the title of capital.

It features amazing landscapes like the National Arboretum and the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens feature native plants from all around Australia and were established in 1949. 

To conclude your visit to Canberra you should visit the Parliamentary Triangle. It was designed with tourists in mind and is a must-see for any visitor.

Jindabyne and Kosciuszko National Park

A bit further from Sydney, you can expect to drive for six hours. Australia’s known for its beaches and hot weather but seeing its mountains is something else entirely. You’ll follow Monaro Highway and Boboyan Road past Canberra and then connect with Snowy Mountain Highway. Mount Kosciuszko stands tall at over 2200 meters and is home to a number of rivers including Eucumbene and Snowy Rivers. There are plenty of hiking opportunities.

It’s also incredible for skiing and is home to the Perisher and Selwyn Snow Resorts. Before you make your way to the slopes, check out Jindabyne and enjoy a relaxed walk along the shoreline.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is not just home to celebrities like Chris Hemsworth… it is also a beach-lover’s paradise, located on the easternmost point of mainland Australia. It takes around 8 hours and 30 minutes to drive here from Sydney. 

Originally a logging town, Byron Bay has soared in popularity over the last few years and now attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, due to its wonderful landmarks and relaxed friendly vibe.

Farming has also been a dominant industry and there are numerous bakeries, restaurants, and cafés that serve local produce. 

Make your way to the Cape Byron Lightstation where you will see what the appeal is. With its glorious ocean views, the lighthouse is also home to a museum where you can learn about the region’s history.

cape byron lighthouse on a cliff in Australia

Melbourne

A 9-hour drive from Sydney, you can arrive in the cultural metropolis of Melbourne, which was formerly Australia’s capital city. The drive is relatively simple: Just take the Hume Freeway and then the Craigieburn Bypass. 

Melbourne is home to amazing beaches and the beautiful domed Flinders Street Station, an incredible network of trams, No and St Kilda Beach. The Royal Botanic Gardens and the historical Old Melbourne Goal are must-see locations on your visit to Melbourne, as is the Shrine of Remembrance in the CBD which acts as a memorial to Australian soldiers who served in World War I.

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