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Sydney Surrounds - Places, Attractions, Parks and Things to Do

Sydney Surrounds Map

Sydney was built around its beautiful harbour, yet not far from the city there are large swathes of natural parks, sandy beaches and gorgeous coastal areas on the Central, North and South Coast.

Then there is the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine growing region, while to Sydney’s West, the Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains National Park

About an hour and a half drive from the city today, the Blue Mountains in the surrounds of Sydney has been a popular getaway since the 1860s, when the rail line was first built. In fact, it was popular well before that, with horse drawn coaches from companies such as Cobb & Co. taking people to the little mountain villages dotting the route and further west.

A great place to go bushwalking or even taking in an Aboriginal culture or eco tour, there is dramatic scenery in places like Katoomba and Blackheath:

Blue Mountains NSW with Map

Illawarra

The suberp scenery flows all along the South Coast, starting about an hours drive south east of Sydney on the Illawarra Coast and extending all the way to Victoria. Dotting the coastline are charming fishing villages, stunning beaches and magnificent National Parks. The hinterlands has a thriving dairy industry, with lush pastures on rolling hills set against the backdrop of the rising escarpment of sandstone on one side and the sparkling ocean on the other:

Illawarra Coast

South Coast

Further down to the border of Victoria is the South Coast. Exploring by car is a good way to explore both Illawarra and the South Coast, although there is a train service from Sydney to Wollongong and Kiama - Bomaderry, as well as a number of bus services.

The coast south of Sydney is well suited for a short stay or longer, with plenty of choices in accommodation in places like Wollongong, Port Kembla and Kiama. Explore the South Coast further:

South Coast NSW

Kangaroo Valley

Set between the Southern Highlands NSW and the South Coast, is the scenic Kangaroo Valley. Preserved for posterity, this valley is a wildlife refuge but has also kept its heritage with the early settlers small farms and stony cottages.

Kangaroo Valley NSW

Central Coast

North of Sydney is the compact but scenic Central Coast. Easy to reach via the M1 Motorway, Gosford is the first main stop. From there, it is easy to reach the many beaches, lakes and national parks that grace this region.

Water sports and fishing are big attractions but there is great diving to be had here as well. Visit here to find out why it has been a long favoured holiday spot for Sydneysiders:

Central Coast NSW

Hunter Valley NSW

To the North West, but still only an hours and half drive away, is the Hunter Valley. This region grows superb wines and has developed into a wine and gourmet paradise.

Set in a beautiful valley, here you can find luxurious accommodation for a pampering weekend, or stay in one of the many quaint bed and breakfasts and explore this region in a leisurely style. There are exploratory tours from Sydney:

Sydney Wine Tasting Tours

Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory ACT

Canberra, the capital of Australia, is a six hour’s drive South West of Sydney. You can find a wonderful collection of Australian National Museums and Art Galleries to visit.

Being the capital means also being the centre of Australian politics, while diplomats from all over the world and their entourages live and visit here. With a thriving industry of restaurants, shopping and nightlife to entertain them, Canberra is well worth visiting:

Canberra ACT Australia

Visit the Sydney Beaches

Radiating out from the Sydney center are the many suburbs, from the Northern Beaches in the north, accessible by ferry at Circular Quay and bus services from the city at Wynyard:

Sydney Northern Beaches

The Eastern Beaches, including Bondi and Coogee:

Eastern Beaches

The Southern Beaches, including those at Botany Bay and Cronulla:

East and Southern Beaches

Sydney Outer Suburbs

Sydney Suburbs to Visit

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