Are you looking for the very best day trips from Sydney NSW for families? If yes – then read on, because in this guide we have listed all the best Sydney day trips.
Whether you’re a Sydney local, looking for weekend or school holiday ideas or visiting from out of town, we can help! After reading this detailed guide, you’ll have plenty of inspiration for some one-day Sydney excursions the whole family will love.
20 of the Best Day Trips from Sydney for Families
With most of our suggestions for day trips from Sydney, Australia, you can choose to make it a DIY and drive yourself or sit back and relax by booking one of the awesome Sydney day tours.
1. Blue Mountains Day Trip
A Blue Mountains tour is one of the most well known day trips out of Sydney and for good reason! With lush green rainforests and steep ravines, the scenery is spectacular.
With attractions as close as a 2 hour drive away, it’s easy to take a self drive Blue Mountains day trip from Sydney. The best way to see everything on your Blue Mountains trip is to get a scenic pass that bundles together entry to the skywalk, cableways, railway and walkways. With this pass you can see all the best attractions, plus you can even up grade to the hop on hop off bus pass so you don’t have to worry about parking at all the different attractions.
If you don’t have a vehicle in Sydney, there are some great Blue Mountains bus tours available which let you hop on and off at your own leisure. You can also keep the kids entertained, and make the most of your Blue Mountains one day trip, with a tour of the Jenolan caves, or a wildlife day tour.
If you’re looking for extra special Blue Mountains excursions, take the Parramatta River cruise from Sydney. Or even go for the all-inclusive Blue Mountains day tour that includes the railway, river cruise, cableways, walkways, skywalk and even a delicious two course lunch!
2. Hunter Valley Tours from Sydney
A Hunter Valley day trip from Sydney is a great way to get out of the city and see some of the surrounding countryside. Take a drive around and stop at some of the great wineries the region has to offer.
The easiest way to find the best spots to visit is on one of the many guided Hunter Valley tours from Sydney. A wine experience tour is one of the top Sydney day trip ideas for adults but the kids are welcome to tag along too. Better still, why not take the kids on a gourmet food tour and let a professional chef guide you around some of the best spots to eat in the Hunter Valley.
3. One Day in Sydney City Tour
If you only have one day in Sydney – don’t panic – you can still see the highlights of Sydney in a day. If you only have one day in Sydney a Sydney bus tour is a great way to see some of the most popular sights. Take one of the jam packed Sydney sightseeing tours and you’ll see things like the Opera House, North Head lookout, Milsons Point, Bondi beach and much more.
Treat yourself to an all inclusive Sydney city tour and you’ll even get entry into the Sea Life Aquarium and Wildlife Zoo.
4. Taronga Zoo
One of the best Sydney day trips for kids has to be a visit to Taronga Zoo. With over 350 animal species there is something for the whole family at this iconic Sydney attraction. The kids will love seeing all the animals as well as the various shows on offer.
Taronga Zoo is only a 12 minute ferry ride from the CBD, making it a super easy one day trip from Sydney CBD. Make sure to book an all inclusive ticket to bundle your admission, ferry pass and sky safari tickets to get the best deal.
If you’re an animal lover and are on the lookout for more zoos, check out our article detailing the best kid-friendly zoos in Australia.
5. Illawara Fly Zip Line
The Illawara walkway makes for a great stop on self drive day trips around Sydney. It’s just 2 hours from the CBD and easy to find. The walkway is 30 meters above the ground and has impressive views over the rainforest canopy.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous the zipline tour will have you soaring through the treetops for over 2 hours of adrenaline filled fun.
If you’re in Sydney for a while you could even take the kids to Canberra for a day trip. At 3.5 hours from Sydney, while it does make for a long day trip, Canberra is still an achievable 1 day trip from Sydney.
While you could take a leisurely drive yourself, given it is such a long day trip why not sit back and let someone else do the hard work for you. Taking one of the guided day tours from Sydney means you will get to see all the main attractions like the Australian War Museum, National Museum, Parliament House and more.
7. Port Stephens
Port Stephens shouldn’t be overlooked when planning your self-drive day tours from Sydney. Things to do in Port Stephens include a visit to the Australian reptile park, a dolphin watching cruise, sandboarding and just enjoying the sites of the picturesque coastal town.
For the adventurous family, be sure to try the sandboarding experience. No need to be an expert as the staff here will teach you everything you need to know.
You’re sure to have one of your top day trips from Sydney when you book a guided Port Stephens tour. This guided tour includes all the best attractions in Port Stephens as well as transfers from Sydney.
8. Jervis Bay South Coast Cruise
A Jervis Bay coastal cruise is one of the best trips from Sydney for families that love being out on the water. Take in the beautiful coastline, unspoilt beaches and clear waters on your cruise down the southern coast.
Kids love animals and an eco dolphin tour is a great chance for them to keep a keen eye out for the hundreds of bottle nose dolphins living in the bay. During the months of May to November you may even be lucky enough to sot migrating humpback whales.
9. Worimi Sand Dune Quad Bike Adventure Tour
If you’re a thrill seeking family, a Worimi sand dune quad bike tour will make one of the greatest family day trips from Sydney. It’s just a 2.5 hour drive from the CBD and is totally family friendly (kids from the age of 7 can join) with an expert guide and child sized quad bikes available.
When cruising along on the quad bikes you will learn about the local landscape and the aboriginal culture in the area. The kids will love getting to use aboriginal tools to dig for fresh water as well as learn about bush medicine and food.
The tour also includes sandboarding too!
10. Australian Reptile Park
Another good day trip from Sydney for kids who love animals, that’s only an hours drive away, is the Australian Reptile Park.
Kids will love learning all about the exotic reptiles at the park and enjoy the chance to hand feed the resident kangaroos. With an adventure playground, café and BBQ facilities onsite, it’s one of the great places around Sydney for day trips with the kids.
11. Featherdale Wildlife Park
If you’re looking for a wildlife park that’s committed to conservation, Featherdale Wildlife Park is another one of the fun day trips Sydney has to offer.
Have a fun filled day watching native Australian animals and why not treat the kids to an up close encounter while you’re at it.
12. Symbio Wildlife Park
If you’re looking for attractions that are only short trips from Sydney, Symbio Wildlife Park is less than 50 minutes from the airport and has some of the best Australian and exotic wildlife.
The kids will love getting up close with the native species during one of the live presentations and the splash park is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
13. Snow Tour
From June to September, Thredbo Ski and Snowboard park can be reached by bus trips from Sydney. Leave the night before and arrive early in the morning in order to make the most of the one day tours from Sydney.
The park is perfect for beginners and equipment can be rented onsite. The whole family can take to the slopes to try their hand and skiing or snowboarding.
If you wanted to drive yourself to the park we would advise spending the night at a nearby hotel as you’re sure to be exhausted after a big day on the slopes.
14. Ku-ring-Gai Chase National Park
Fun day trips from Sydney should be jam packed with things to see and the Ku-ring-Gai Chase tour is just that. The national park is about an hour drive from Sydney. When you arrive you’ll take a 2.5 hour cruise to beaches only accessible by boat.
Enjoy exploring aboriginal heritage sights and learning about the culture and arts of the arks traditional people.
It’s one of the great day trips from Sydney for families who want to see something unique.
15. Whale Watching
A whale watching cruise is one of the easiest short day trips from Sydney. This cruise begins just a 5 minute walk from Circular Quay station. For instance, even if you just have 1 day in Sydney, this cruise is easy to fit into your itinerary.
Indoor and outdoor viewing areas are offered on this comfortable catamaran, therefore it’s a great all weather option.
16. Horse Riding in the Snowy Mountains
If you have slightly older kids, a full days guided horse riding tour in the Snowy Mountains is one of the more unique day excursions from Sydney.
Spend a day exploring the rugged mountain terrain with an exert guide to show you around the many beautiful trails in the area.
17. Royal National Park
Royal National Park is the second oldest national park in the world and, if you’re looking for trips out of Sydney surrounded by nature, it’s a great option.
You could take a self drive tour along the Grand Pacific Drive or, better yet, take the pressure off and a guided day trip. You’ll get an expert guide who can take you on a 6km hike and show you some of the best waterfalls and native species.
18. Dangar Island
Just 55 minutes north of the city is Dangar Island, in the Hawkesbury River, where you can spend the day swimming, kayaking and hiking.
Days out from Sydney don’t get much better and you’ll feel like the city is a million miles away.
If the kids can manage a longer car trip, Kiama is a 2 hour drive south of the city and one of the lesser known day trips outside Sydney.
With treetop walks, quiet uncrowded beaches and lush rainforest it’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Only 45kms south of Sydney is the small, friendly community of Helensburgh. This tiny town is surrounded by National Parks and a great spot for walks and getting back to nature.
The nearby Stanwell Park (10km away) is a great spot to enjoy a swim on one of the many beautiful beaches set against steep cliffs.
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