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Rediscover NSW with these Short Breaks

23 Jul 2021

Updated May 2024

Explore, wander, and maybe even get a little lost in NSW’s backyard.

If you're overdue for an escape, stop dreaming and start booking your next getaway with us. There’s never been a better time to take a short break to reset and recharge. Get out to the unknown, discover somewhere new, or revisit an old favourite.

Here are some short getaway ideas to inspire your next trip.

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The Hunter Valley

Just a two-hour drive from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is a no-brainer for a quick escape - whether it be a romantic weekend getaway for two, or some family downtime. 

NSW Hunter Region hot air ballooningCouple after a sunrise hot air ballon ride in the Hunter Valley. Credit: Destination NSW

Unwind at a day spa, sample delicious local produce, or explore the region on an e-bike!

Popular highlights:

  • Wine-tasting at any of the Hunter's dozens of wineries
  • Sun rise hot-air balloon ride
  • Explore the Hunter Valley Gardens

Nearest park: Discovery Parks - Harrington Beach or Discovery Parks – Dubbo

The Central Coast

Nsw central coast mooney mooneyGuest examining a freshly farmed pearl on a tour of the Broken Bay Pearl Farm, Mooney Mooney. Credit: Destination NSW

The Central Coast needs no introduction, after all, it’s already a Sydney-sider favourite for an easy weekend getaway. Known for its beautiful harbourside, quaint local villages, and lush national parks, the Central Coast is the perfect destination for families looking to entertain the little ones! 

Popular highlights:

  • Take a Sydney Oyster Farm Tour at Mooney Mooney
  • Experience a Darkinjung Aboriginal Education Tour
  • Participate in a pearl farm experience
  • Explore the Bouddi National Park

Nearest parks: Discovery Parks - Harrington Beach or Discovery Parks – Forster

Lane Cove National Park

Looking to digital detox and unplug for a while? Lane Cove National Park is a great place to do it. Just 10km from Sydney's CBD, pack your bags for the weekend and head to this picturesque bushland. Looking for more than just the great outdoors? The township of Lane Cove is filled with amazing street art and local events. 

Lane Cove Kayaking

Head into town or immerse yourself in nature by exploring the park on foot, kayak, or bike – it’s up to you.

Popular highlights:

  • Go paddling on the Lane Cove River
  • Bushwalking through the national park
  • Birdwatching amongst the trees

Nearest park: Discovery Parks – Lane Cove

Byron Bay

With its stunning beaches and laid-back coastal charm, Byron Bay is a fan favourite. While it’s known for its iconic surf break at The Pass, you don’t need to be a surfer to enjoy this popular seaside village.

NSW byron bay horse riding toursCouple enjoying a horse-riding experience near Tyagarah Beach with Zephyr Horses in Byron Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Beyond the seaside, Byron Bay offers plenty of adventures from guided tours, picturesque hikes, community markets, to a thriving arts and festival scene. 

Popular highlights:

  • Personalised horse-riding tours on the beach
  • Enjoy a Pinot & Picasso (paint and sip) experience
  • Visit the Lord Byron Distillery 
  • Experience the Cape Byron Walking Track

Nearest park: Discovery Parks - Byron Bay

The South Coast

Slow down and enjoy the fresh air with a trip to the South Coast. Within reach from both Sydney & Canberra, it is easy to access and with seemingly endless beaches and lush National Parks.

Mountain bikingEnjoy a day of riding along the 20km Bundadung Trail Network in Tathra.  
Credit: Destination NSW 

If you love food, you'll find something to suit your taste, from world- class wineries in Shoalhaven to fresh oysters on Australia’s Oyster Coast.

The South Coast has an abundance of nature, so take in the scenery by hiking or cycling on one of the many trails. Enjoy pristine beaches with a coastal walk or explore a nearby National Park. For an unforgettable experience, hop on a dolphin or whale watching cruise.

If you have kids in tow, the adventure playground at Discovery Parks - Narooma Beach will be a highlight, even if we do say so ourselves! With zip lines, bouldering walls, a huge slide, swings and more.

Popular highlights:

  • Whale watching
  • Bega cheese heritage centre
  • Tathra bike track
  • Grand pacific drive

Nearest park: Discovery Parks - Eden, Discovery Parks - Pambula Beach, Discovery Parks - Narooma Beach, Discovery Parks - Burrill Lake, Ulladulla, Discovery Parks - Gerroa 

Coffs Harbour

Relax and recharge at Coffs Harbour with the family. Home to the iconic Big Banana (one of Australia’s famous Big Things), stunning beaches, and marine sanctuary, this coastal town will keep everyone busy with its list of attractions! 

Nsw coffs harbour big bananaMother and daughter enjoying a toboggan ride at The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour. Credit: Destination NSW

Go tobogganing at the Big Banana Fun Park, learn about marine wildlife rescue and conservation, or enjoy whale watching at Muttonbird Island Reserve.

Popular highlights:

Nearest park:Discovery Parks – Emerald Beach

Snowy Mountains

Whatever the season, the Snowy Mountains are spectacular. Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak, is located here, while Kosciuszko National Park is the largest national park in Australia. Go skiing in winter, hiking in summer or kayak on Lake Jindabyne! 

JINDABYNE Lifestyle 035Hire a canoe on Lake Jindabyne. Peace and tranquility guaranteed. Credit: Destination NSW

The Yarrangobilly Caves are well worth the trip for their spectacular limestone formations and thermal pool, which sits at a consistent 27 degrees.

Popular highlights:

  • Hike up Mount Kosciuszko
  • A sunset cruise on Lake Jindabyne
  • Enjoy the twists and turns of Thredbo’s alpine Bobsled
  • Have a round at Thredbo Golf Course (Australia's highest altitude layout)

Nearest park: Discovery Parks - Jindabyne


On the historic banks of the Murray River, the charming twin towns of Albury and Wodonga offer delicious restaurants, endless outdoor adventure and a thriving arts scene.

Albury WodongaThrow a line in on hte banks of the Murray. There's worse ways to spend an afternoon! Credit: Destination NSW

Beautifully located on the shores of Lake Hume, we have an option for everyone along with waterfront views that won’t disappoint. Just 15 minutes from Albury’s town centre, you can spend your days discovering local history, meandering through the Albury Botanic Gardens and sampling delicious wines from the nearby Rutherglen region.

Popular Highlights:

  • Visit Murray Art Museum Albury
  • Enjoy a picnic in Albury Botanic Gardens
  • Explore Lake Hume with a day on the water
  • Absorb native flora and fauna with a walk around Monument Hill

Nearest park: Discovery Park - Lake Hume, NSW

The Blue Mountains

Recharge the soul with a trip to the Blue Mountains. A place steeped in ancient cultural history and Dreamtime stories, the Blue Mountains offer the promise of serenity and healing for the weary soul.

Nsw jenolan cavesThe scenic River Cave system at Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains. Credit: Destination NSW

Experience the multi-award-winning Aboriginal walkabout adventure in the Blue Mountains, ride on the world’s steepest railway, and visit Jenolan Caves, one of Australia's most spectacular cave systems.

Popular highlights:

  • Go on an Aboriginal walkabout adventure
  • Visit Scenic World, and ride the Scenic Skyway
  • Visit Jenolan Caves
  • Marvel at the world’s second-largest canyon, Capertee Valley

Nearest park: Discovery Parks – Lane Cove

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