DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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Weekenders from Sydney

WITH NISSAN

With our partners at Nissan, we’re highlighting inviting NSW locations that create the ideal weekend road trip from Sydney.

Bawley Point has a barrel-load of appeal. More below. Credit: Destination NSW.

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Port Stephens

In a sentence: Perched around a massive bay and featuring a cluster of enticing townships, this scenic sub-region possesses all the ingredients for a fun-filled break.

The drive: A 185km journey north that follows the Pacific Motorway before steering towards the water just beyond Newcastle.

Paradisaical Port Stephens. Credit: Jarryd Salem.

Top attractions in Port Stephens

  • Tomaree National Park: The summit walk is a must.
  • Gan Gan Hill Lookout: More sensational views revealed.
  • Beautiful beaches: Literally dozens to choose from.
  • Port Stephens–Great Lakes Marine Park: A snorkelling and diving mecca along with dolphin swim tours.
  • Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton Sand Dunes): Quad biking tours, sand boarding, Indigenous history, and incredible scenery combine.
  • Fighter World museum: Amazing assortment of aircraft and memorabilia.
  • Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters: Thrilling up-close interactions with captivating marine life.
  • Oakvale Wildlife Park: Encounters with native and exotic animals equals extensive family fun.

What’s nearby: The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens in Heatherbrae are a delight, or head to neighbouring Newcastle and enjoy its many and varied attractions.

Stay at: BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Soldiers Point or BIG4 Karuah Jetty Holiday Park.

Worimi Conservation Lands are a must-visit. Credit: Destination NSW. 

Mudgee

In a sentence: This charming Central West city has instant appeal, planted at the heart of a historical wine region.

The drive: A 265km path that heads northwest, cutting through the famed Blue Mountains before passing a succession of small towns.

Mudgee shines no matter the season. Credit: Destination NSW. 

Top attractions in Mudgee

  • Mudgee Wine Region: Cellar doors abound; Logan and Lowe are two solid recommendations.
  • Mudgee Heritage Walking Tours: A Saturday morning history lesson on the move.
  • Lawson Park: Relaxing riverside setting perfect for picnics.
  • Mudgee Water Park: Epic kids’ fun at a small fee.
  • Mudgee Honey Haven: Enjoy tastings, a live bee exhibit, mini-golf, and more.
  • Mudgee Museum: Diverse collection to reignite the past.
  • Zin House: Top-class dining experience.
  • Mudgee Brewing Co: Tasty beers and food in a great space.

What’s nearby: Mudgee Observatory offers excellent viewing of the night sky not too far from the CBD. Elsewhere, Gulgong is an instantly likeable old-gold town that’s home to the Henry Lawson Centre. And Goulburn River National Park is a gem.

Stay at: BIG4 Mudgee Holiday Park.

Fall in love with Mudgee's charms. Credit: Destination NSW. 

Bawley Point

In a sentence: This alluring south coast hamlet is sandwiched between sublime beaches and sprawling national parks, making it ideal for a getaway from the city.

The drive: A pleasant 260km southbound path that never strays too far from the coast. There are various ‘distractions’ along the way, including Nan Tien Buddhist temple at Wollongong, the ferocious blowhole at Kiama and nearby Saddleback Mountain Lookout, and charming Ulladulla.

Saddleback Mountain Lookout in Kiama creates a tempting diversion.

Top attractions in and around Bawley Point

  • Racecourse Beach: One of many beauties in these parts.
  • Meroo National Park: Walks and aquatic activity combine.
  • Milton: Pretty heritage village.
  • Murramarang National Park: More brilliant beaches.

What’s further afield: Head further south past Murramarang to explore Batemans Bay.

Stay at: BIG4 Racecourse Beach Tourist Park.

Don't skip a visit to Murramarang National Park. Credit: Destination NSW. 

Bulahdelah

In a sentence: A historical and relaxing riverside town on the mid-north coast that’s within easy reach of epic lakes and other waterways.

The drive: A 250km largely straight stretch northwards that invites diversions to popular destinations such as Newcastle, the Hunter Valley, and Port Stephens.

Bulahdelah is engulfed by wondrous waterways. Credit: Kate Miles.

Top attractions in and around Bulahdelah

  • Myall River: Enter water play.
  • Bulahdelah Mountain Aboriginal Place: Ripe for scenic walks to lookouts.
  • Myall Lakes National Park: Serious eye candy and epic adventures.
  • Wallingat National Park: More pretty panoramas to discover.

What’s further afield: Head further inland to explore Barrington Tops National Park, part of the impressive Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

Stay at: BIG4 River Myall Holiday Resort.

Magical: Myall Lakes National Park. Credit: Destination Barrington Coast.

Want more? All BIG4 parks in NSW are here.

For weekender ideas in other state capitals, head here.

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