Sydney-siders are spoilt for choice when it comes time to leave the city and hit the roads for a short break. And winter is a wonderful time to get out and explore the many regions right on your doorstep. Not only is the state bursting with incredible scenery – from world-class wine regions to gorgeous hinterland towns – but New South Wales also offers beautiful and unique accommodation just perfect for a weekend getaway with the one you love (or want to get to know better!).
So, if you are living in Sydney and need a relaxing and refreshing weekend getaway head to one of these top five winter weekend spots, all within two hours driving time of Sydney.
Just under two hours’ drive south from Sydney is Bowral, a gorgeous destination brimming with country-style gardens and fields of flowers. Sydney-siders have been flocking here since the late 1800s.
Today, there is more to do in Bowral than back then with a thriving cafe and restaurant scene, supported by incredible local produce, antique stores and quaint bookstores and one-off specialtiy shops. In winter, you never have to go too far to find a fire-place to cuddle up in front of.
Wander the town, gazing at the old estates and taking in the gorgeous bright surrounds. If you want to venture further, there are plenty of gorgeous towns not too far away.
Discover more: read our travel article on a Highland Fling at beautiful Bowral or for a more in-depth Southern New South Wales short break itinerary, discover some of the southern New South Wales’ prettiest towns and what to do and see.
Cessnock is the gateway to the Hunter Valley region, bursting with row upon row of grapevines and stunning vineyard grounds. You’ll want to spend at least 48 hours in the Hunter Valley – it’s a truly stunning part of Australia.
Visit some of the dozens of wineries, take part in cellar door tastings and dine at the gourmet restaurants on offer. All the while, you’ll be treated to gorgeous countryside views. Perhaps you could even enjoy a romantic hot air balloon ride over the vineyards?
Looking for beautiful accommodation in the Hunter Valley or elsewhere in New South Wales? You’ll find the best escapes for two in the New South Wales Travel Directory.
Wollongong is just one and a half hours’ drive from Sydney, and it offers up some truly beautiful beaches. Whilst you won’t be swimming in winter, there are few things more romantic than a long walk on the sand with the one you love, and there is lots to be said for the convenience of Wollongong. Head to one of the 17 patrolled surf beach favourites including Stanwell Park, Woonnona, Fairy Meadow and Wollongong City for a stroll, or make your way to one of the awe-inspiring ocean rock pools dotted along the coast for gorgeous photos and memories. There’s also a wonderful range of gourmet and culturally diverse food in town, so you and your lover can enjoy a feast made for two.
4. The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are a favourite getaway destination, and many say it is at its best in winter. From the annual Yulefest (also known as Christmas in July) to the bespoke shopping in Leura, and the incredible outdoors just waiting to be explored – think stunning mountain vistas, and natural attractions such as hikes with plenty of things to see and do on your way. Plus, the region has attracted plenty of foodies and chefs so it is oozing with a great cuisine culture – rest assured, there will be plenty of good food and wine to choose from.
5. Palm Beach
Just an hour from Sydney, Palm Beach is as gorgeous as it is accessible.
It has great beaches for lounging, surfing and sunset strolls, while its wharf is picturesque and great for cafe dining.
Visit the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, take to the seas on a charter yacht and enjoy the relaxed ambience.
Discover more: Still looking for the perfect location to woo someone special? Chances are it is right here … We’ve spent 27 years unearthing the best romantic getaways, so why not save yourself hours of research and pop on over to our Travel Directory for New South Wales?