Sydney enjoys one of the best locations imaginable, and we’re not just talking about that incredible harbour-front positioning.
More so, the city is engulfed by astounding scenery and experiences that ensure it is the perfect platform to enjoy a weekend escape. In fact, a string of magnificent NSW destinations with BIG4 parks are perfect for a short break from Sydney.
Prepare to be tempted...
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Enjoy a leisure-filled weekend away from Sydney in an area that boasts the largest coastal saltwater lake in the country, combined with easy access to sparkling beaches. While water recreation abounds, Lake Macquarie also has land-based attractions with equal allure.
Best outdoor attraction: That oh-so-versatile lake. Kayak or sail on it, fish in it, or walk or cycle around it.
Best rainy-day attraction: A brilliant collection of classic cars is on show at the nearby Lost in the 50's Car Museum. Or indulge your creative side at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery.
Underrated attraction: The rainforest-cloaked surrounds of Watagans National Park are spectacular.
Budget tip: Enjoy the facilities of Speers Point Park. It’s particularly appealing for families.
Book now: BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Lake Macquarie.
Claiming an enviable patch of land that overlooks spectacular coastline is just one part of Kiama’s elevated appeal. This Illawarra region town is also within a stone’s throw of sublime national parks that showcase the astounding natural beauty that this country offers.
Best outdoor attraction: The Kiama Blowhole. More entertaining than a circus; more ferocious than a dragon. Little Blowhole is worth a look, too.
Best rainy-day attraction: If the weather spoils your plans, Crooked River Wines at nearby Gerringong will brighten your mood.
Underrated attraction: Budderoo National Park is not exactly radar dodging, but with so much jaw-dropping scenery on display it deserves more footprints than it receives.
Budget tip: Stroll the Kiama Coast Walk for 22km of awesome scenery. Or picnic near Insta-worthy Cathedral Rocks.
Book now: BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park.
Goulburn is billed as the first inland city in Australia and tangible signs of its rich history are scattered throughout. Many of Goulburn’s leading attractions are heritage based, including the unmissable Big Merino (yes, it’s more than just a giant sheep). The laidback vibe makes this spot the ideal location for a weekend getaway from Sydney.
Best outdoor attraction: You can’t go past the views from Rocky Hill Lookout on a sunny day (it's also a war memorial), followed by a picnic in Belmore Park.
Best rainy-day attraction: Retrace Australia’s extensive wool history at the Big Merino, and hope the rain clears so you can admire more sensational views from the top.
Underrated attraction: Goulburn Historic Waterworks Museum – more than meets the eye, beautiful setting.
Budget tip: Grab a map from the visitor info centre and take a self-guided heritage walking tour to admire striking old structures.
Book now: BIG4 Governor's Hill Carapark.
Go nuts with aquatic-based fun in a region where water is the key focus. Port Stephens is concentrated around a humungous bay and boasts a bevy of beautiful beaches as well as inviting inlets. But there’s so much more in this sub-region - part of the wider North Coast region - that includes bushland, sand dunes, and entertaining indoor attractions.
Best outdoor attraction: A visit to Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton sand dunes) is highly recommended.
Best rainy-day attraction: Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters. Enthralling all-age entertainment.
Underrated attraction: Fighter World museum has a brilliant range of aircraft to view.
Budget tip: Burn calories and not cash along the sensational Tomaree Head Summit walk.
Spend a bit longer on the road, and a handful of alluring destinations with BIG4 parks await. The following places are all roughly 3.5 hours from Sydney, and they're all surrounded by water.
Welcome to a North Coast NSW destination that visitors gravitate to with ease. These twin towns have one of the most enviable locations imaginable, planted at the point where Wallis Lake meets the ocean and surrounded by national park. Clearly water activity abounds, but alluring land-based leisure is served up in equal amounts.
Book now: BIG4 Great Lakes at Forster-Tuncurry.
Escape it all and feel relaxed in no time with a visit to Hallidays Point. This quiet village is perched on the sparkling NSW mid-north coast and offers easy access to beautiful beaches that come minus the crowds. Warning: a few days here will likely not be enough.
Book now: BIG4 Happy Hallidays.
Small town, big appeal. Lake Conjola township occupies a fabulous vantage point on the edge of the lake of the same name, complete with the easiest of access to beaches overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. This NSW South Coast hotspot mixes a plethora of water-based fun with rewarding walks through neighbouring national park and nature reserves.
Book now: BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Lake Conjola.