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Lord Howe Island

New South Wales: Short breaks out of Sydney

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18 December 2019 by Eleanor Kania

While our holidays to Sydney and its surrounds have traditionally been full-blown, flight-inclusive affairs, in recent times my clients have also been seeking out shorter experiences, offering an in-depth appreciation of a region over just a few action-packed days. It’s the perfect way to truly tailor-make your Australian adventure, whether that’s a two-week holiday or part of a longer break staying with friends or family. To help get you started, I have picked out five of these “bolt-on” itineraries, all departing from Sydney. There’s everything from rail trips to self-drives, taking in some of my favourite corners of New South Wales.

Coastal Glamping in Jervis Bay

Beach at Paperbark Camp Jervis Bay

This ultra-scenic road trip brings you out along the Grand Pacific Drive from Sydney to Jervis Bay for a unique glamping experience at Paperbark Camp. You’ll stay in a Deluxe safari tent, complete with a private open-air en suite and wraparound deck to immerse you in the surrounding bushland. As well as exploring well-trodden trails through the bush and relaxing on Jervis Bay’s pristine white sand beaches, there’s also an included Dolphin Cruise, taking you out into the bay to see pods of resident bottlenose dolphins. And every evening in the centre of camp, The Gunyah restaurant serves delicious regional dishes and drinks among the treetops – it’s certainly an upgrade from the usual campfire barbecue. 

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Blue Mountains Discovery

Hanging Rock in the Blue Mountains

Part small-group tour, part independent journey, this three-day itinerary is the perfect add-on to a stay in Sydney. In the company of an expert guide and your fellow travellers, you’ll wind your way through rural New South Wales to the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, pausing at scenic lookouts along the way. You’ll then spend a full day exploring at your own pace, perhaps enjoying a hike, seeking out local wildlife or chilling out by the infinity pool of your luxury hotel. Award-winning restaurants and bars serve up the very best in regional food and fine wines, while an onsite spa offers indulgent treatments to help you truly unwind. It’s then time to rejoin your group for a guided journey back to Sydney. 

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Hunter Valley By Train

Kangaroos at Hunter Valley Sydney

This itinerary begins with a journey on the express train from Sydney to the spectacular Hunter Valley Resort. Located in the heart of Australia’s oldest wine region, surrounded by 70 acres of gardens and vineyards, the resort offers an enchanting escape from the bustle of the city, despite being only two hours away. During your stay, you’ll experience a unique wine theatre experience, taste world-class vintages and, if you like, add on activities such as horseback riding and Segway touring. My tip? Book a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards – there’s no better way to take in one of New South Wales’ prettiest regions. 

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Sydney Insider: City Sights

Harbour Bridge in Sydney

If you're seeking something a little bit different, this itinerary showcases a different side of the city – one the locals know best. You'll stay in a boutique property in the heart of Surry Hills, one of Sydney's hippest neighbourhoods, surrounded by charming cafes and trendy bars. Each day, unique tours such as a boat trip past the Harbour landmarks to a hidden beach, and a guided bike tour of the highlights, help you get acquainted with the city. While tasting regional ales at a classic Aussie pub or sipping wine on your hotel's rooftop terrace, you'll feel like a true Sydneysider.

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New South Wales: Mountains and Beaches in Style

Pretty Beach House Sydney

This is the most exclusive itinerary on the list, featuring three of New South Wales's most luxurious lodges. Pretty Beach House, your first stop, is set on the Bouddi Peninsula, just above the water with stunning views across the bay. You'll spend your time here soaking in your private plunge pool and making use of the included mountain bikes to explore the local trails. In the Blue Mountains, you'll stay in a Heritage Villa at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley and indulge in multi-course feasts with regional wines after days spent among the horses or walking to viewpoints looking out across the peaks. And, you'll round it off with a stay at Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, a sub-tropical World Heritage listed island known for its sparkling waters, colourful reef, unique wildlife and pristine beaches.

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Of course, alongside these shorter breaks, we also offer a range of flight-inclusive holidays, perfect for exploring more of New South Wales in one go. I’ve selected my favourite below, which brings together the highlights of the east coast in one epic self-drive. With flights from the UK included, it encompasses everything from the magic of the Blue Mountains to laid-back Byron Bay.

Australia's East Coast: Sydney to Byron Bay

Aerial view of Byron Bay

The road from Sydney to Brisbane is well-travelled, and for very good reason. A mix of golden beaches, sprawling vineyards and rugged hinterland paint perhaps the ultimate portrait of the country’s celebrated outdoor lifestyle. After exploring the many delights of Sydney, from the iconic Sydney Opera House to its relaxed seaside neighbourhoods, head into the wilderness to explore the spectacular Blue Mountains, taste your way around the award-winning wineries of the Hunter Valley and take in the charms of pretty coastal towns such as Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay. It’s all accompanied by included car hire and stays in hotels handpicked for their outstanding locations.  

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Related offers

Hunter Valley Vineyards, New South Wales, Australia

Hunter Valley By Train

3-day tailor-made itinerary from £270 pp

This 3-day rail and stay journey takes you into the Hunter Valley, one of Australia's best-known wine regions, for everything from vineyard tours to a unique wine theatre experience – the perfect add-on to any Australian vacation.

Paperbark Camp

Coastal Glamping in Jervis Bay

3-day tailor-made itinerary from £375 pp

Enjoy a short self-drive itinerary to the white sand beaches of Jervis Bay, just a couple of hours south of Sydney. View wild bottlenose dolphins on a guided cruise and stay in a luxury tent among the gum trees and paperbarks.

Hanging Rock, Blue Mountains Sydney Australia

Blue Mountains Discovery

3-day tailor-made itinerary from £660 pp

Part small-group tour, part independent journey, this three-day itinerary takes you from Sydney into the Blue Mountains for a stay at a luxury property overlooking the Jamison Valley. Escape into pine forests, swim in a heated infinity pool and taste world-class food and wine.

Lord Howe Island, Australia

New South Wales: Mountains and Beaches in Style

7-day tailor-made holiday from £4,260 pp

This itinerary features a collection of ultra-luxurious lodges on Sydney's doorstep, from the majestic Blue Mountains to the turquoise waters of Lord Howe Island. Included gourmet dining and activities make the most of your unforgettable surroundings.

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney Insider: City Sights

4-day tailor-made itinerary from £540 pp

Experience Sydney like a local with this short break at a boutique property tucked away in the heart of the inner suburbs. With an included quintessential boat cruise and classic bike tour, you'll see the best of Sydney from a new perspective.

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Australia’s East Coast: Sydney to Byron Bay

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,745 pp incl. flights

Be charmed by Sydney before discovering the stunning beaches, coastal towns and lush hinterland of New South Wales' East Coast as you wind your way north.

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0610 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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