Much like my co-elsie girls, the Covid induced lockdowns and lockouts have starved me and my wanderlust. So, in order to cope, I have spent the last year embarking on little road trips around New South Wales. Here are my top picks x 

The Figure 8 Pools

figure 8 pools

| image courtesy of pinterest |

The Figure 8 Pools are a collection of little dipping pools, some of which are shaped like figure 8s. The pools are located south of Burning Palms Beach in the Royal National Park, roughly a 50 minute drive from Sydney. After you park your car, it is a beautiful 6 km hike down to the water and another 6 km back up, making your dip in the pools all the more refreshing. Throughout the hike you will enjoy amazing views of the cliffs, the coast and the greenery, with no cell reception, allowing you to really disconnect. The pools are only visible at low tide, so make sure to check the tides before you go. Other than that, make sure to bring your swimmers, snacks and lots of water as there are no stops along the way. 

Palm Beach


| image courtesy of pinterest |

Palm Beach or 'Palmy' is a small suburb in Sydney's northern beaches, roughly an hour drive from the CBD. Palm Beach sits at the end of a long peninsula, with still water on one side, and surf on the other. The best of both worlds. If you decide to make the trip, I recommend going on the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk. It is only a 30 minute walk up, and offers stunning views of the peninsula. If you get hungry, the Palm Beach Boathouse is a great stop for breakfast or lunch. It sits right on the water and the food is *chefs kiss.* When you are done, spend the rest of the day lying on the beach like a local.  

The Blue Mountains

cliff with trees

| image courtesy of pinterest |

The Blue Mountains is a mountain range that is located an hour drive from Sydney. It is known for its dramatic scenery, and breathtaking views. You can take your pick from various hikes and lookouts, depending on the duration and difficulty level that you are looking for. Throughout the region, you will experience beautiful waterfalls, rainforests, canyons, valleys and unique flora & fauna. It is truly such a special place. 

The Hunter Valley

hot air balloons

| image courtesy of @ali_condon |

Hunter Valley is the Napa Valley of New South Wales. Wine Country. Located 3 hours away from Sydney, Hunter Valley could work as either a very long day trip, or a little weekend getaway. In the winter months especially, many Sydney-siders escape the city for a weekend of wine tasting and hot-air balloon riding over the vineyards. 

March 10, 2022 — Laurie Furber