With a population of 5.25 million in January 2016, the road network around Sydney and Paramatta is necessarily extensive. The Sydney Orbital Network has 10 motorways moving traffic in and out of the city centre, and it’s definitely the fastest way to get around the city.
If you’re travelling within the city, then chances are it’ll will be just as quick to get public transport, and your ticket will cost no more than the fees you’ll otherwise pay in tolls and parking.
However, as soon as you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, you’re going to find that having a car in Sydney will mean you can get out into nature, take the family, and really relax on the weekend.
To get to the Blue Mountains, you’ll be able to see and do a lot more with a car than if you join a bus tour - and it means your time is your own.
And if it’s the beach that you want, unless you want to stick to busy Bondi or Manly, you’ll need a car to get to Narrabeen, Palm Beach, Cronulla, Wanda or Garie (in the national park).
The National Park is less than an hour from Sydney, so you can easily make it a day trip.
The Royal Coastal Walk is 26 kilometres and takes 2 days, but you can do smaller sections of it. Take some water and snacks, and you can spend a day or an afternoon on the coastline above the sandstone cliffs.
Wattamolla is a gorgeous place for a daytrip - enjoy a picnic and swimming in the lagoon. If you’re game, you can even jump from a high rock into the lake below. Another beautiful place to relax in is Marley Beach where rock pools and a freshwater stream. It’s not patrolled so if you’re swimming be careful.
From the visitor centre at Audley, you can hire a canoe and paddle up to Ironbark Flat or Wattleforest for your picnic. There’s also more difficult hikes to explore, like the Curracurrong Falls - totally worth the effort if you can take it.
This drive is popular in car sales ads - and when you get there you will see why! You’ll begin in the Royal National Park and drive 140km along the coast to Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. You’ll cross the Sea Cliff Bridge, 665m structure curving around the cliff face and over the ocean, above the churning surf.Katoomba
Just 90 minutes from Sydney, the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba is best in winter. It was originally a coal mining town, and features the Scenic Railway, the steepest railway incline in the world, passing through a tunnel and past Orphan Rock. You can come back up by the Scenic Cableway which runs adjacent to the train line and climbs 545 m back to the top.
The Three Sisters are a beautiful, unique rock formation you can view by day or at night when they are floodlit. Also at Echo Point is the Giant Stairway, 800 steps down into the valley right near the Visitor Information Centre.
Back in the town you can visit the ‘Great Western Hotel’ built in 1882, now known as the ‘Carrington’. And you can visit the largest cinema screen in the southern hemisphere at the Edge Cinema to watch a 40 minute film featuring places in the Blue Mountains you might not find on your own. For shopping, check out the Katoomba Heritage Walk.
The destination for wine and cheese is found just 2 hours drive north of Sydney. There’s lots of cellar doors and a huge variety of accommodation, so make a full weekend of it if you have the time.
In the Southern Highlands of NSW, 153km from Sydney, you’ll find this charming town with rich architecture, interesting places to eat, vintage and specialty shops, right up in the mountain air surrounded by stunning scenery.
You can try horse-riding to get the best views of the Moreton National Park and the Kangaroo River. It’s okay if you’re a beginner, the patient instructor will teach you to interact with their well-trained horses.
Then enjoy the excellent local pub for dinner at the Berry Hotel (try the alpaca burger!). Or for a mid-afternoon snack there’s The Famous Berry Donut Van. Kids will also love Maxwell’s Treats, where in the school holidays they hold chocolate-making classesPort Macquarie
4 hours drive from Sydney this coastal destination is a good place to a family holiday.
Kids and adults will enjoy a visit to the Koala Hospital, a clinic run entirely by volunteers and funded 100% by donations. You can visit any day from 8.30-4.30pm, but to catch a tour try to arrive at 3pm.
Your next key stop is the Bago Vineyards, where you can explore 2 kilometers of pathways through the largest hedge maze in NSW. On the second Sunday of each month ‘Jazz in the Vineyards’ - you can enjoy a locally sourced cafe style meal, let the kids run loose in the maze and relax to the jazz band of the month.
At Ricardoes Tomatoes and Strawberries, you can pick your own fruit all year round due to state of the art hydroponic technology. Entry is free, and you just pay for what you pick.
A final stop before you leave the area might be the Sea Acres National Park where you can take the gentle 1.3km guided boardwalk to see the forest birds and animals. There are local art exhibitions and eco-displays explaining the rainforest and Aboriginal culture, as well as a gift shop and cafe where you can get a bite before driving back to busy Sydney.
Here you’ll find the highest mountain peak in Australia, Mt Koscuisko (2228m). It’s always cooler up it so Kosiusko National Park is a nice place to escape the summer heat. The hike to the summit is 9km, and can take up to 6 hours, so you’ll want to go prepared.
The Snowy River is ideal for fishing with Atlantic Salmon, Brook, Brown and Rainbow Trout. In cold weather there will be snow so get out the skiis and snowboards.
Yarrangobilly Caves offer the opportunity for guided or self-guided cave experiences, and are a great chance to learn about the geological formations before taking a swim in the thermal pool which stays a constant 27 degrees even through winter.
If you’re driving through the city, you’ll need to register for an e-Toll tag or pass, depending on how much driving you’ll be doing along the toll routes.
To ensure that you spend the minimal amount of time stuck in traffic, the NSW government’s Live Traffic App will keep you updated on hazards to avoid.
To find out more about how to get a car loan, call a car loan broker on 1300 722 210. If you’re not sure exactly what kind of car loan you need, you can browse our website to find out about:
Once you’ve got a Sydney car loan, weekends will become truly relaxing with your own easy, last minute escape route to wherever you want to go.