Sydney Surrounds Holidays
As Sydney covers an area of approximately 70 km by 55 km, it has been split into two separate information pages. This page generally covers that part of the greater Sydney area beyond a 25-30km radius from the city centre.
The areas surrounding Sydney are host to some of the earliest history of New South Wales and have some wonderful natural attractions that make the area a popular holiday destination. To the north are the lovely waterways of Pittwater and Broken Bay where the Hawkesbury River reaches the ocean.
The nearby northern beaches and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park are popular destinations for day trips from Sydney.
The areas to the west and north-west are home to some of the small towns and settlements dating from the days of earliest settlement. To the south west is a corridor of several small towns and the road networks that traverse the available coastal belt between the Great Dividing Range and the ocean. The southern coastline features rugged coastal cliffs dropping to the ocean below and excellent National Parks.
Sydney, and especially the surrounding suburban areas, continue to grow rapidly. Some of the outer suburbs are now considered satellite cities in their own right and the choice of hotels and apartments is second to none in both the central and surrounding areas.
Places of Interest Surrounding Sydney
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park - the most popular of the near city national parks and situated north of the city. 15,000 hectares located on the southern shores of Broken bay, a maze of bushy cliffs and small coves, where the Hawkesbury River reaches the ocean. Walking tracks, horse riding trails and picnic spots. Aboriginal rock engravings and spectacular views of Broken Bay from West Head.
Hawkesbury River - to the north of Sydney and a favourite spot for water sports and home of the several bridge-to-bridge races involving power boats, skiiing and canoe racing. The widest parts of the river are flanked by national parks with very little in the way of settlements.
For something a little different, visitors to the Hawkesbury River region can join the riverboat postman on a three hour trip on the mail boat to deliver mail and supplies to isolated residents along the river. The fit and adventurous may want to check out a section of the Great North Walk, a 250 km walking track between Sydney and Newcastle. The Hawkesbury region provides attractive countryside, numerous access points and connections to transport.
Windsor - situated on the Hawkesbury River some 55km to the north-west of Sydney and the third oldest of the British settlements in Australia, with first settlement dating to around 1790. The town was established by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in the early 1800's on rich farm land in the upper Hawkesbury Valley.
The town is a favoured destination for lovers of history and early Australian architecture with many of the oldest surviving buildings dating from early settlement located here . The town is a popular day trip destination from Sydney. The adjoining town of Richmond is also well known for the colonial buildings that still exist in the town.
Camden - an historic town located some 65 klms to the south west of Sydney and dating from approximately 1840. The town is promoted as the birthplace of the nation's wealth. This is where John Macarthur started the sheep breeding experiments that led to the foundations of Australia's wool industry.
Agriculture still aplays an important role in modern-day Camden which has external research facilities for the veterinary and agricultural schools of the University Of Sydney. There are several boarding schools in the town.
Picton - a little town in the Camden area, and home to many historic buildings and two unique bridges. Victoria Bridge a timber trestle bridge that crosses Stonequarry Creek, and the Picton Railway Viaduct is a stone viaduct still in use by the railways. Ghost tours are conducted in some of the historic buildings and inside an abandoned railway tunnel. The George IV Inn, said to date from 1839, is one of the oldest hotels in Australia. The cellar contains remnants of convict shackles.
Royal National Park - the coastline south of Sydney featuring rugged coastal cliffs and the first proclaimed National Park in Australia. This highly recommended park has excellent vantage points to see whales during their annual migration, which takes place from June to November. Visitors can hire boats at Audley and row the Hacking River. The park has some popular beaches, excellent walking trails and camping sites.