The 4 Best New Years road trips near Sydney

Ah, Sydney. From its beautiful harbour to its iconic beaches and hipster enclaves, it’s the city that is said to have it all. With so many tourists descending on Sydney over the Christmas and New Year period, there’s no doubt that the city is a huge hive of excitement and activity.

But if you’re the kind of person that’s craving some open space, an empty beach, some winding country roads or a quiet bushwalk, then consider hopping in a car and road tripping outside of Sydney for a few days or even a week.

Struggling to decide on where to go? We’ve got you covered with a list of some of the most epic road trips that you can take from Sydney.

The Blue Mountains (1 to 3 days)

The Blue Mountains is a short drive from Sydney, being only 1.5 hours away. It’s a gorgeous part of the world that is well-known for its incredible hikes, dramatic waterfalls, gum forests and some of the best bird-watching in Australia.

There are over 18 trails that you can drive along in the Blue Mountains and plenty of places to camp or book accommodation. From Leura to Katoomba and even the Megalong Valley, there’s so much to do and take in. Not a fan of bushwalking? No problem. The Greater Blue Mountains drive is still a good choice for those who aren’t keen to go hiking or abseiling. There are world-class wineries within the region, delicious restaurants, hip cafes, galleries filled with the work of local artists and even opportunities to go fruit picking in Bilpin.

You might find that car rentals are expensive over the Christmas and New Year period. With DriveMyCar, you won’t be paying ridiculous inflated car rental prices. Search for a car to rent for your road trip from Sydney today.

NSW North Coast ( 7-14 days)

If you’re up for a beautiful beachside adventure, then hire a car for a week or two and head up New South Wales North Coast and choose your eventual destination.

The drive is popular around this time of year, as families and groups of friends wind their way up the coast stopping in spots such as Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Hat Head, Crescent Head and Byron Bay.

Byron Bay is a popular New Year’s Eve destination for music lovers in their 20s and 30s, with plenty of revellers making the trip to this beautiful town for Falls Festival, camping and celebrating on the beach. In fact, ask any young Aussie, and they even tell you that they consider this trip to be one of many Australian New Year traditions.

The Southern Highlands (1-3 days)

Looking for a few days of peace and quiet? Why not head to the serene and picturesque Southern Highlands for a little bit of R&R. Pack a few friends or your family into a stylish luxury rental car, and make the trip south in style. You won’t regret it, with the Southern Highlands being one of the most popular weekend road trips from Sydney.

Popular spots include Bowral, Berry, Kangaroo Valley, Berrima and Moss Vale. Rent a cute little cottage in town or a sprawling country estate and celebrate your New Years break surrounded by green rolling hills, beautiful bushland and within a stone’s throw from some of the best restaurants, cafes and wineries in New South Wales.

The Illawarra (1-3 days)

On the hunt for beautiful national parks, gorgeous beaches and delicious food? Head to the laid-back Illawarra region for a day or two or three.

When it comes to road trips from Sydney, the Illawarra is hard to beat. Being only 1.5 hours from Sydney, the drive south from Sydney through the Royal National Park and along the escarpment is simply breathtaking. The northern suburbs of the region are well-known for having mountains that nearly touch the sea.

Wollongong itself is a vibrant but relaxed regional city with plenty on offer. From its small bar culture through to its hip cafes that rival anything that you’d find in Sydney, the region is brimming with plenty of activities from both young and old.

Fancy a spot of hang-gliding? You can do this at Stanwell Park. There’s a tree-top walk in Minnamurra, a plethora of world-class surf spots, a zoo called Symbio and even the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple. Head further south to Kiama and Gerringong to experience sleepy beach town culture and sample some of the regions local wines.