Sydney is amazing, we all know it. Beaches, bars, burgers, we know how to do things. But sometimes, when the sun is shining and the cabin fever is sinking in, the only thing to do is hit the road with a fresh playlist, a top crew, and an unquenchable thirst for adventure. And wine.
Here are six of our favourite spots for a summer road trip. Send us snaps with vintage filters because obviously they’re mandatory.
A favourite spot for hikers, antiquing experts, lovers of food, and romantics alike, The Blue Mountains is the perfect escape from Sydney in the warmer months. Apart from being well under two hours from the city, it’s chock full of adorable little towns (like the picturesque Leura), has some of the best hikes in Australia and countless eateries. If you’re feeling flashy or want to celebrate an occasion, check out Darley’s restaurant, or try Leura Garage for something a little more casual. When it comes to accommodation, go for an AirBnB. Want a touch of luxury? Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges is ripped straight from the pages of Vogue Living, and you won’t find more ‘Grammable accommodation.
The four-and-a-bit hour drive to Port Macquarie is full of wonderful places, so make sure you leave early or do it in two days. You can stop into the Central Coast along the way, pop into the Hunter Valley for wine supplies, or bask in the glory of the surf at Blueys Beach. Once you get there, it’s all about sun, water, and food. So go spot some pelicans, take a stroll along the painted rocks at the Breakwall or do the coastal walk, and then cap it off with a frosty beer at The Beach House pub. Heaven.
If you head here, it’s imperative that you sing Kokamo by The Beach Boys the whole way, but say “Narooma, Australia’. Now that we’ve covered that, Narooma is the perfect road trip for getting to know the NSW coast on a deeper, more personal level. Think pit stops in Berry for some sugary doughnut goodness, a swim at Hyams Beach, and kayaking at Bateman’s Bay. When you make it to Narooma, be prepared for some of the most beautiful water you’ve ever seen. Also, you can legitimately swim with seals.
These guys are a little closer to Sydney than others on this list. Obviously The Blue Mountains is on the way, and good ol’ Bathurst. Don’t laugh, there are some top pubs and of course Mount Panorama there. Once you get to Orange, however, it’s all about darling guest houses, endless winery visits, and so much damn food. Racine’s is where it’s at for one of the best restaurants in Orange, so be sure to book in advance. When the time comes to hit up Dubbo, make sure to pull into Mudgee on the way for, you guessed it, wine. Yup, stock up. When you finally hit Dubbo, it’s all about the Botanic Gardens, checking out the local hangs, and a whole lot of relaxing with your Orange and Mudgee wines.
Crystal clear blue water, white sand beaches, and some of the friendliest locals you could hope for. If you haven’t hit up Jervis Bay yet, then make it the top of your list. There are countless beaches to hit on your way down, so make a pit stop at the beautiful Shellharbour (near Wollongong), take a walk down Seven Mile Beach, and stopping for Paul’s Famous Hamburgers in Sylvania is mandatory, do you hear? Once you’re in Jervis Bay, sit your ass down, relax, and do absolutely nothing. Unless you’re into dolphin tours, delicious local seafood, and pristine beaches, that is.
If you’re not drinking wine in the sun, you’re not doing Summer right. The best way to do The Hunter is to convoy with some like-minded (i.e. wine-loving) friends and book yourselves a wine tour. No designated drivers allowed. Be sure to pop by the famous Smelly Cheese Shop or Hunter Valley Cheese Co. so you can have a little party with all of your goodies when you return. If it’s an occasion, be sure to stop by some of the incredible restaurants in the area, Muse, 1876, or The Cellar will make sure your stomachs are well and truly lined for all that delicious wine you’re going to sample. No spit buckets allowed.
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