Top 10 places to escape Sydney
Queen and Milk Beaches, Vaucluse
These are by far my favourite places in Sydney. Hidden away but not too far from the city, the two adjacent beaches are in the perfect spot to admire the beauty of the city from the peaceful wilderness.
There is also a path along the coast, the Hermitage Shore Walk which is a must-do! Make sure to come early in summer because even this supposedly “secret” spot has more and more people liking the area.
Only an hour away from Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer a wonderful landscape and really nice walks. Although some parts are very touristy, the main roads have little offshoots leading into the massive forest and incredible sightseeing. A must-see and do!
The name sounds French and so was Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse who landed in the area in 1788. La Perouse makes you feel like you are on the bottom of the Sydney world! Although the coast seems far away, it is also only an hour away from the city. The beaches around are incredibly white and blue and it is said to be one of the best spots to dive.
The Sydney Observatory
Now this is probably not a typical escape as the Observatory is in the middle of the city - but if you are interested in stars, space or just curious, have a look at the Observatory and take a night tour. There is nothing more incredible than looking at planets and stars that are far, far away.
Walking through the Marine Parade to Shelly Beach from Manly is definitely worth it. Arriving on this little beach, it feels like you’ve landed in another paradise with white sand and blue water. This is also a good spot to dive. You can get a nice panorama of Manly Beach, and to go back to the city the ferry trip is always fun.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cockatoo Island was used as a prison and a shipyard. It is thrilling to go on such a mysterious island full or surprises. Cockatoo Island definitely has the vintage touch and offers the most beautiful sunsets in winter. This is also an unusual place with lots of interesting things such as the Underbelly Art Festival.
Further after Milk Beach, Watson’s Bay is another place to enjoy and escape the city. There are many walks around - whether it is near the harbour, in the little streets or further near the ocean and lighthouse. As a bonus, going to Watson's Bay by ferry is definitely worth the trip. Watson's Bay has my heart and I hope to live there one day!
Only a few hours away from Sydney, Palm Beach is a wonderful place to spend the day. The beach is incredibly beautiful and you can even hike up to the lighthouse and discover an amazing view. Palm Beach is also famous for Home and Away, a popular TV show in Australia.
Royal National Park
South of Sydney, The Royal National Park is a giant beast of forest and wild beaches. With more than 15 000 hectares, it is very impressive. You need to drive to get there but once in it you can hike, surf, kayak or just relax on the beach. A really wild place to be!
The Chinese Garden of Friendship
Even if in the middle of the city, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is a really nice place to peace out. The perfect place to take a walk by the water, relax and see beautiful Chinese architecture. There is also a traditional tea house for an even more relaxed experience.