BEST DAY TRIP FROM SYDNEY: THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

Most people would say their ’must see’ attractions in Sydney are the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge or Bondi Beach. Those are all great but for me, no visit to Sydney would be complete without a trip to the Blue Mountains. 

It is MASSIVE so there are so many great bushwalks (Australian for hikes) of all lengths and skill level. Also, it’s only about an hour and a half drive or two hours by train. That's not bad considering that’s the same amount of time it takes to travel around inner Sydney. 

My first visit was to Katoomba - this is the starting point for the Three Sisters, probably one of the most famous site of the Blue Mountains. First piece of advice - never go on a public holiday! When we went during Easter Weekend, there were crowds clogging up the paths and viewing points and even a 15 minute line to actually get down to the Three Sisters - not that fun. Nevertheless, still absolutely stunning. 

We did an easy trail wrapping around the area of the Three Sisters. All you see are rolling, eucalyptus forests-filled mountains that seem to never end with pockets of waterfalls. The eucalyptus gives off a blue hue in the sun from afar which is why it’s named the Blue Mountains. There are also plenty of other activities to do if you’re not an avid hiker like abseiling, cycling or even horse riding. 

My second time visiting the Blue Mountains was to Wentworth Falls. Again, there are hikes of all lengths but I chose the easy 30 minute route this time as it was winter. Only in Sydney can you go hiking in the winter... 

I’m super stoked that these mountains are so easily accessible from Sydney and there’s always something new to see every visit. Can’t wait for more bushwalks before I leave. 

GETTING THERE: Car (~90 minutes) or public transport (~2 hours) 

DIFFICULTY: All levels available - lots of options 

VIEWS: Lush mountainous ranges forever 

WHY GO: Close proximity to Sydney, nature that’s not a beach, loads of different activities, the unique and refreshing smell of eucalyptus :) 

WEEKEND TRIP: SYDNEY TO BERRARA

I turned 25 a couple weeks ago and my boyfriend surprised me with a weekend getaway to Jervis Bay & Berrara. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the this area which is about three hours drive south of Sydney…I couldn't quite manage driving on the opposite side of the road yet so I was just a backseat driver the whole time :). 

Along our way, we made little pit stops anytime we felt it was picture worthy. Our first stop was Kiama to see the blowhole. The tides were quite low and calm that day so no action from the blowhole but it was still a nice stop. 

Next, we had lunch overlooking a cute little town surrounded by lush greenery and what looked like a never ending coastline. This part of the drive was full of rolling hills - it felt like I was back in the UK. We drove a bit more after lunch but noticed that what we were looking at while eating lunch was the start of what’s called the Seven Mile Beach. Pretty self explanatory but we had to check it out for ourselves. SEVEN MILES?! Yeah, it’s huge. Looks even bigger when I’m so tiny in the photos. That was honestly one of the nicest beaches I’ve been - hardly anyone was there, which is a nice break from Bondi. 

Finally, we got to our destination: Berrara. It’s a small town just south of Jervis Bay. I felt like we were driving to the middle of nowhere because it was so quiet. We stayed at Berrara Bed & Breakfast, which was like a big share house but felt like our own and only a 5 minute walk to the beach.

sunset australia

The owner mentioned we would see wild kangaroos hanging around so we decided to go on the hunt. We didn’t have to look hard - they were right outside our B&B. Now, we felt like we were actually in Australia. 

There’s not loads to do in Berrara but I would definitely recommend the stand up paddle boarding in Sussex Inlet - we went with Sussex Inlet Stand Up Paddle. We got the entire inlet to ourselves and paddled around until sunset. There were spots with rope swings that we attempted to jump off of but failed. 

We only spent a day there but could’ve easily stayed longer. It was a nice little getaway from Sydney but we were off to visit Hyams Beach (with the whitest sand in the world apparently) in Jervis Bay next, which you can read about in my next post!

BONDI TO COOGEE COASTAL WALK

After living in Sydney for 3 months now, the Eastern coastline is probably my favourite part so far. 

Luckily, I chose a sunny day in Sydney to do the infamous coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee. I know, shock! Sydney actually rains a lot more than I expected…I think it’s been raining non stop for almost two weeks now. Who knew an umbrella would be my best friend in Sydney? 

There are loads of coastal walks in Sydney to choose from. This one was pretty easy to get to from where I’m based and it was a tourist attraction I wanted to check off my list. 

It’s actually not well marked but maybe it’s because you just follow the coastline. The entire walk, which took me about two hours more or less, was beautiful and really refreshing - a nice break from the city. It was busy but since the path is so long and splits into parks and beaches, there’s a lot of space to walk around people. You get to pass through Bondi Beach, Tamarama Beach, Bronte Beach, Clovelly Beach and Coogee Beach. 

The walk is close to the city but still far enough so you forget about the craziness that usually comes with a city. That’s the thing about Sydney - you can be completely immersed into a chaotic busy city or find yourself with your toes in the sandy beaches just around the corner. If you wanted to, you could easily use this path to beach hop - I would! 

DURATION: Around 2 hours (including time to take some photos) 

DIFFICULTY: Easy

ROUTE: Paths, rocky patches, mostly flat, passing through beaches and parks

VIEW: Ocean to your right and residential city to your left