Best Backpacker Day Trips From Sydney

Best Backpacker Day Trips From Sydney Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Looking for an easy day trip from Sydney without committing to a full-blown East Coast tour? On the hunt for a budget-friendly day out in New South Wales? Or hoping to uncover some hidden gems on the outskirts of the dazzling Harbour City? Lucky for you, there are lots of once-in-a-lifetime adventures right at your doorstep.

Sydney is a beautiful city that boasts iconic Australian landmarks, dazzling ocean pools, blossoming botanical gardens, and, of course, the world-famous Bondi Beach. But so much more to be discovered if you set off on a simple day trip. Here are some of the best day trips that backpackers can take from Sydney

Sticking around Sydney for a little longer? Why not book our ultimate Sydney Arrival package?

Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset

Blue Mountains

If you’ve got some time to spare while you’re based in Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a must-do day trip! The World Heritage-listed site is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Embark on an authentic Aussie bushwalk, marvel at magnificent cliffs, valleys and waterfalls, and spot wildlife like kangaroos, koalas and wallabies.

Plus, there’s an option to take a spin on the world’s steepest incline railway, which transports you to breathtaking 360-degree views of Katoomba Falls and the Three Sisters lookout.

A backpacker hiking through the Blue Mountains

Can I go to the Blue Mountains without a car?

The Blue Mountains are just a one hour drive from central Sydney, but if you’re operating without a car, fear not! There are plenty of ways to get out to the beautiful Blue Mountains. Firstly, there are plenty of tours that will take you all the way from Sydney to the national park in an air-conditioned bus. Alternatively, you can get there via public transport and book a NSW Intercity train, which could get you to Sydney to the Blue Mountains in just over two hours.

Best Blue Mountains day tours

Spend a full day trekking through the Blue Mountains, soaking up the sights at the Three Sisters Lookout, and tucking into a picnic lunch with a Full-Day Blue Mountains Tour, or skip the crowds and set off a little later on the stunning Sunset Tour

A rainforest in the Blue Mountains

Nelson Bay, Port Stephens

Just a two-and-a-half hour drive from Sydney is the gorgeous Port Stephens, where you can enjoy swirling sand dunes  and stroll through the awe-inspiring national parks.

Within Port Stephens, you'll find the charming, laid-back coastal town of Nelson Bay, where you'll see dolphin and whale-watching tours set off from the marina. Set off from Sydney and enjoy a day by the beach jam-packed full of activities.

Sunrise on the beach in New South Wales

Can I go to Port Stephens without a car?

There are plenty of ways to set off on a Port Stephens day trip if you’re in Sydney without a car, so you’ll be able to take in the beautiful coastal sights in no time. Or, if you’d rather make your own way, you can take the NSW TrainLink or book a Port Stephens coach in a snap.

Best Port Stephens day tour

Why not have a comfortable air-conditioned bus pick you up from Sydney and take you dolphin-watching and sandboarding for the day? Have an experienced tour guide show you the best bits of Port Stephens including Stockton Sand Dunes and a dolphin and whale-spotting cruise from Nelson Bay before driving you all the way back to Sydney - all included in the price of your tour ticket! 

Two backpackers posing for a picture in New South Wales

Hunter Valley

If you’re a wine-drinker, Hunter Valley is a must while you’re in New South Wales. Just a two-hour drive from Sydney, Hunter Valley is one of Australia's popular wine regions, boasting over 150 local wineries - as well as vineyards, breweries, and distilleries.

Book a tour or make your own way through Hunter to pair wines with cheeses, chocolates and other gourmet delicacies, and maybe even spot some wild kangaroos while you’re sipping! 

Backpacker driving through the Australian countryside

How do I get from Sydney to Hunter Valley without a car?

If you’re without a car or you want to indulge in a few guilt-free glasses of wine on your day trip, you have other options! Hop on a train to Maitland or Singleton and get a connecting bus. Or, let a day tour whisk you comfortably to Hunter Valley and back with ease!

Best Hunter Valley day tour

The Colourful Collective Tours offers a full day Hunter Valley Tour that takes you comfortably from Sydney to Hunter and back. Included in the cost of your ticket, you’ll visit multiple wineries, a brewery, and a distillery - all with a local guide - and have your journey to and from Sydney covered at no extra cost!

Backpackers in Bundaberg Distillery

Plan your own adventure

Not interested in taking a guided day trip? Be the captain of your own ship and organise your own transport around New South Wales and beyond. Rent a car or a campervan for a day or two, book a spot on a coach departing from Sydney and do your tour on your terms.

People gathered on a beach in New South Wales, Australia

Can you rent a campervan in Sydney?

Yes! Make travel plans that suit you and your pals the best - and guarantee a place to rest your head for the night - with a campervan, RV or motorhome. If you’re looking for a proper Aussie road trip, why not reach out to our local experts for the best quote on campervan rentals from Sydney? 

Also, be sure to check out our top tips for travelling Australia in a campervan before you set out on your adventure!

Backpackers in a campervan

Can you hire a car in Sydney?

Would you prefer to rent something a little bit smaller? Why not book a car for the day, pack it up and hit the road with your travel buddies?! Get up to eight people together and book a Transporter People Mover for the ultimate Aussie road trip on your terms - with roadside assistance, basic insurance, and additional drivers included at no extra cost! 

Backpackers renting a car to explore Australia

Can I get a coach from Sydney?

If you’re not up for driving or hoping to stick to a tighter budget, you’re in luck. There are always buses and coaches departing from Sydney and other major cities that can bring you almost anywhere you want to go!

Check out the schedules for bus companies like Greyhound or Premier, pack your bags, and head off on your day trip! Either travel direct to your destination or get a flexible hop-on-hop off bus pass if you’d like to keep your options open for longer.

Backpacker getting onboard a Greyhound Coach

If you're looking for further inspiration, check out our full list of things to do in and around Sydney.

Ready to explore beyond New South Wales? Take a look through our backpacker itineraries, or get in touch with one of our friendly staff to help you plan your dream Aussie adventure.

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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