Single Bay Drives

Upper Hawkesbury Valley

Being the third settlement to be established in the colony of New South Wales, the Upper Hawkesbury is full of history and heritage. During its first 100 years, the colony relied on the Uppper Hawkesbury River for its food. The area is steeped in history, with sleepy colonial era villages, historic cemeteries, Aboriginal habitation sites and convict relics, surrounded by lush farmland and virgin forests, all awaiting discovery. It's the ideal place to explore and experience firsthand the early history of our nation.
Length: 200 km return (from Sydney CBD)

Macarthur District

A drive through Sydney's inner western suburbs to the Macarthur District which has been one of Sydney s most prosperous farming districts since the early 19th century. Pass through the many towns and villages along the upper reaches of the Georges and Nepean Rivers, visiting bushland reserves, wineries, historic farms and homesteads. Take in the panoramic view of man-made Lake Burragorang, then travel along one of Sydney s oldest rural roads to Warragamba Dam, Sydney s main water supply, the construction of which formed the lake. The tour commences from and finishes at Sydney CBD.

Southern Highlands/Illawarra

A wonderful day out in the country for a group, family, couple or an individual. this tour takes in the natural beauty of the Southern Highlands, returning along the scenic Illawarra coast. Along the way are many great picnic spots, parks and gardens, cafes and restaurants, arts and crafts outlets, steam train rides, museums, wineries, rainforest and beachside walks, panoramic vistas across waterfalls, valleys and canyons and the Illawarra coast.
How To Get there: Hume Highway south east via Campbelltown

Great North Road

Colonial Sydney was saved from starvation many times by the farming communities which sprung up along the Hawkesbury River around the turn of the 19th century. This tour travels north to the Hawkesbury along almost the full length of the first road built to the Central Hawkesbury River region, the Great North Road (1826 to 1836). It returns via the original road to Windsor (1792), taking in the many historic farm buildings and settlements which dot the Upper and Middle Hawkesbury valley. Museums and information centres along the way offer a wealth of historical and general interest information.

Blue Mountains Loop

A day trip to the Blue Mountains which takes a different route up and down, incorporating the Nepean River and the town of Windsor, the stone fruit growing towns of Kurrajong and Bilpin, the mining town of Lithgow and the major towns and scenic attractions of the Blue Mountains. Along the way enjoy different views of the Blue Mountains to those traditionally seen, pass the Lithgow Zig Zig railway, local produce stalls, the abandoned Lapstone and Glenbrook railway deviations and travel along the first road across the mountains.

Old Northern Road

When travelling from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, it is so easy to put the brain on auto pilot and take the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway (F3). There is a longer (an additional 32 kms), slower, but far more interesting way that follows the pathway of the pioneer settlers through the Hawkesbury and Macdonald River valleys to Bucketty, Wollombi and on to Cessnock in the Hunter Valley. Along the way are the historic villages of the Hawkesbury district, Heritage-listed convict roadworks and bridges, First Fleeter graves, and numerous sleepy, forgotten farming communities.
Length: 182.4 km

Same Day Destinations

The Central Coast

Though it is the third largest urban area in New South Wales, the Central Coast is a very popular destination for holidays and day trips, particularly for families from Sydney who are drawn here by the region's closeness, its facilities and its natural beauty. Being set among broad sandy beaches, scenic national parks, deepwater inlets and coastal lakes, an endless array of water activities including boating, fishing, surfing, scuba diving and water skiing are possible and facilities have been developed.
How To Get there: Pacific Highway north to Wahrongha, then Sydney-Newcastle Expressway

The Hunter Valley

Like its coastal neighbour, the Central Coast, the Hunter Valley has become a favourite weekend destination for Sydneysiders, offering not only wine tasting, but also fine dining and boutique accommodation, bushland and hillside walks, as well as gardens and historic towns to explore. On a drive through the valley, an every changing variety of scenery unfolds, from rugged mountains at its head, past horse stud farms and grazing cattle, to one of Australia's leading wine regions where vineyards have been planted close to power stations and coal mines.
How To Get there: Pacific Highway north to Wahrongha, then Sydney-Newcastle Expressway

The Illawarra Region

The Illawarra region is conveniently located to the south of Sydney and offers the best of everything - dramatic landscapes, pristine beaches, scenic drives and towns full of character. The Illawarra is overlooked from the spectacular lookouts at the top of the Eastern Escarpment as you approach Wollongong from Sydney. The Illawarra's attractions include fine surfing beaches and magnificent panoramic views along the whole coastline, water sports, and prawning and fishing in many inlets including Lake Illawarra.
How To Get there: Princes Highway south via Sutherland

The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains begin about 64 kms west of Sydney and contain some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in eastern Australia - tremendous sandstone precipices ringing densely wooded valleys which, when viewed from a distance, are of an intense cobalt blue, hence the range's name. It has been extensively developed for tourism and is now criss-crossed by more than 1,100 kms of roads. The terrain, however, is so broken by deep gorges that considerable areas are still rarely visited, except by skilled bush walkers or mountain climbers.
How To Get there: Great Western Highway west via Penrith

The Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands has long been the perfect weekend escape for jaded Sydneysiders looking to get away and unwind for a while. There is something for everyone - markets, antiques books and speciality shops, Cellar Doors Sales, Road Side Farm Produce Stalls, all surrounded by rolling green hills, rain forest and national parks. One of the many special things about the Southern Highlands is that you don't have to travel far to discover the many picturesque towns and villages, each with its own history and identity.
How To Get there: Hume Highway south east via Campbelltown

The Hawkesbury Valley

Few would argue that, after the blazingly spectacular gorges of the far north, the Hawkesbury River is the most beautiful reach of river on the Australian continent. The entire Hawkesbury River system is around 600 kms long, its tributaries virtually encircle the metropolitan region of Sydney to the north and east, making it a perfect recreational playground for the city of Sydney. The country through which the lower tidal reaches of the river pass is particularly beautiful.
How To Get there: Lower Hakesbury: Pacific Highway north via Wahrongha. Middle Hawkesbury: James Ruse Drive via Silverwater, then Windsor Road.

Destinations Beyond Sydney

Driving in Sydney and New South Wales
Sydney is linked to the towns and cities of New South Wales, and to those in other states, by a network of well signposted, well maintained sealed highways and major roads which allow for easy travel between localities. Larger cities are linked by highways that, in the main, bypass the smaller towns on the way, making the journey relatively uninterrupted. There are few parts of the state of interest to visitors that can't be reached in motoring comfort, although lesser roads, whilst sealed, do tend to be narrow.

In New South Wales, the speed limit on the open road is generally 110 kilometres per hour. A driver's licence from your home country or another Australian state will usually suffice for up to three months, as long as it has photo identification and it's for the same class of vehicle you intend to drive. If you're staying more than three months, you'll need to get a NSW drivers licence. Don't forget, in Australia we drive on the left hand side of the road.

Be aware that Australia is a big country, and the distances between Australia's states and territories and their capital cities are great. The closest capital to Sydney is Canberra, and it takes 3 hour to drive there. Brisbane and Melbourne are each a full day's away drive from Sydney, and the other capitals are even further. That said, there is plenty to see and do between capital cities, with the scenery changing constantly and lots of interesting things to see and do. Provided you allow enough time for both the drive, and to take in the sights along the way, there is no better way to see the Australia than by road.

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