My favourite thing about Sydney is that there are so many things to see that are only just a day trip from the city. There are so many beaches along the coast to visit and the Blue Mountains are less than a two-hour drive away.
A great day trip out of the city is Jervis Bay and Hyams Beach. Hyams Beach is considered the whitest beach in the world. It’s about a three-hour drive from Sydney and we took a leisurely drive down stopping at several spots. Starting quite early in the morning our first pit stop was Stanwell Tops (first picture above). If you need to sort out any reminder of how beautiful Australia is Stanwell Tops is ideal. The view was stunning! We sat for a good ten minutes and I went to go get an affogato at the local ice cream truck. The picture explains it all really. The next stop was the Cathedral Rocks in Kiama Downs. We decided to do a bit more exploring here climbing the rocks and walking around the area. It was a beautiful sunny day so wanted to take advantage of the weather. Do watch the water as the waves can get quite big around the area. Our feet were pretty soaked after walking on the rocks.
Or last pit stop before Jervis Bay was the Kiama Blowhole. It was a bit underwhelming and there were heaps of people. However, it was a good time to get lunch. We ate at the Neptune Café as the Wharf Restaurant had a line out of the door. I got a really good burger. They have gluten free options and as a person allergic to wheat this is always ideal. I loved the quirky décor of the café.
After a solid lunch we were off to our final destination, Jervis Bay. We stopped to get food to have a dinner bbq when we arrived at camp. Then we jetted off to make camp. I would defo suggest going camping for a night at least like we did. It was super convenient and close to the Hyams Beach. Also, it was reasonably cheap which is hard to come by in Australia.
We had an amazing group bbq and talked. It was a great night of beers, talking, and dance parties at the beach.
The next day we spent at Hyams Beach and truly the sand is so white. The water was a bit too cold for me so I think I spent a total of five minutes in it. We only stayed a night but you could definitely do two if you wanted. After a few hours at the beach and lunch we jetted back straight to Sydney.
Norman Lindsay’s Gallery
If you’re into art and up for an hour drive out of the city, Norman Lindsay’s Gallery is a great spot. It’s located in Faulconbridge up in the Blue Mountains. After feeling quite drained from city life it was a relief to head out to the Blue Mountains. I had never heard of Norman Lindsay but my partner had gone to the gallery a few times and liked his work. We headed out quite late in the day and took a leisurely drive out. We started the day at the café on site and had lunch before heading to the gallery. The gallery is relatively small and can be seen in an hour. Here, however, is where I learned about the Magic Pudding. I felt at a loss since it seemed like something most Aussie kids grew up with. So it was something eye opening for this American. It was cool to see the original sculptures.
We even got to talk to an artist at the gallery that was currently working on prints and etchings. The staff was extremely friendly and answered as many questions as we had. The grounds are really lovely and honestly were my favourite part. We walked around to look at all the sculptures and fountains outside.
It was so tranquil and by closing time of the gallery we were the only one’s walking around. It was good little side trip up to the mountains to escape city life. I would definitely suggest this little spot for anyone interested in Australian art.
Another good day trip away from Sydney city life is Palm Beach home of the filming of Home and Away. I won’t lie, I still haven’t seen an episode of the show. However, the beach is really beautiful. Honestly, I can’t pass up an opportunity to head to the beach. It’s about an hour drive away from Sydney. My partner and I went a few days after Christmas and surprisingly it wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be. Still a struggle to find parking but a few spots were straggling about so I can imagine it could get busier.
It was the height of summer so it was incredibly hot. The sand was at least ten degrees hotter than the air. This required us to run back to the stairs to head to the car as our feet felt on fire. Don’t forget to apply suncream more often then you think. We made that mistake applying twice and burnt to a crisp for being out in sun for a total of three hours. The Aussie sun plays no games. Luckily, the water was super refreshing and after a short swim we head to get lunch. We ended up at the local fish and chips shop. I had a really amazing seafood salad that hit the spot. Across from the shop was another bit of beach and we watched the boats for a bit before heading back to Sydney.
This is the great thing about Sydney really, there are so many places close by that are worth the trip to see. It is a great city for anyone that likes to explore nature and the beach is never too far away. And sometimes an escape out of the city is necessary to refresh and rejuvenate.