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Sydney Staycation [2024]

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We all love a holiday, a change of scenery that allows us to clear our minds and unwind for a few days. The biggest problem is that the weekend goes so fast, and if you have to spend half that time travelling to the destination, then if you are currently in Sydney, Australia, a Sydney staycation is the answer. This article will help you decide on the location, accomodation and things to do while you are there.

With 12,368 km of Sydney to discover, Sydney has many weekend getaways to choose from. So whether you are looking for a romantic, luxury escape or family getaway, this guide will cover them all.

This Sydney Staycation guide will allow you to easily plan your short stay in Sydney, with various destinations and hotel recommendations for this weekend in Sydney.

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Weekend Getaways Sydney

Chippendale

For most, Chippendale would not be on your list of locations, but let me explain why it should be a destination for your weekend getaway in Sydney.

Chippendale is an area known for its converted warehouses and the fresh creative trendy scene where your weekend away in Sydney will jam-pack with things to do, from galleries to shopping and loads of happening entertainment.

So if you are after a busy short-stay destination in Sydney, you have found it nestled between well-known Broadway and busy Cleaveland Street.

chippendale

3 Things to do at Chippendale

1 East at Spice Alley – Asian food, for me, is my go-to favourite, and Spice Alley does not disappoint. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from here, so check out Spice Alley online before you go, or rock up and enjoy the little taste of Asia in the heart of Sydney.

2 Spend time at the White RabbitIf you like art, then you will like White Rabbit. This four-floor gallery of Chinese contemporary art can have you wondering about this building for hours. Although White Rabbit has only been around since 2009, it is now one of the largest collections of Contemporary Chinese Art in the world. 

3 Visit Kensington StreetYou may be mistaken to think that all there is to do in Chippendale is to eat all weekend, but can I say there are too many choices, not to mention another great location to eat while you are on your staycation in Sydney? 

Kensington Street, which is within walking distance of Old Clare Hotel, is a must-visit location for anyone who is a foodie (actually, anyone who loves a great vibe and delicious food). 

Chippendale Accomodation

The Old Clare Hotel – The Old Clare hotel is in a great location, within walking distance of all the exciting areas in Chippendale. The hotel caters for everyone (including your pets); this hotel is excellent for your one-night getaway location in Sydney and allows you to make the most of this cool, arty area.

sydney staycation

Drummoyne

Drummoyne is a beautiful part of Sydney and has gorgeous harbour views. There is also plenty of things to fill your weekend away in Sydney. Great places to eat, fabulous places to shop and excellent walking locations make it the perfect spot to spend a short stay in Sydney.

3 Things to do at Drummoyne

1 Take in the scenery on the Bay Run The Bay Run is always busy, and you can see why once you start walking it. However, on a sunny day, you can run, walk, or bike, and there are many places to stop for coffee on the way. To walk the loop it is 7 km, so if you are daring, you can loop it twice; it will make for the perfect morning on your weekend getaway in Sydney.

2 Do a spot of shopping at Birkenhead pointBirkenhead Point is a factory outlet with everything from high-end international brands to well-known local brands. The place is a little hit-and-miss, but I find, on average, it is more of a hit these days. There are also some great cafes and a food court with one of the best views in Australia.

Birkenhead point weekend away

3 Dine at Drummoyne Sailing ClubDrummoyne Sailing Club is within walking distance from Birkenhead point, overlooking the harbour. You can choose to eat casually downstairs (without any reservations) or make a reservation with the Italian restaurant Ecco Ristorante upstairs. Try and arrive before the sun sets because the harbour view is impressive.

Drummoyne Accomodation

If you want something a little different, Drummoyne Furnished apartments offers apartments, homes, and hotels. Drummoyne would be an ideal location to rent a home for your weekend getaway in Sydney. 

sydney staycation

Darling Harbour

There is always something going on at Darling Harbour, from morning to night. Have you ever considered spending an entire weekend dedicated to Darling Harbour and its activities? Why not spend your weekend exploring, dining, drinking and shopping this weekend in Sydney?

3 Things to do in Darling Harbour

1 Visit the Chinese Garden of friendship – The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a family-friendly location in Darling Harbour. This little bit of sanctuary, right in the middle of busy Darling Harbour, pays respect to the nearby Chinatown and its heritage. It doesn’t take long to walk through it, but it does somehow give you that absolute zen when you leave.

2 Spend the day cruising around the harbour – There are many types of cruises, so you can pick the one that suits you best. You can head out on a lunch cruise, dinner cruise or a party-type cruise (where you will find a DJ and dance floor). So it is your pick on the weekend away in Sydney, chill out and relax or let your hair down and dance the day/night out – no matter what type of cruise you choose, you will have beautiful harbour views from every angle. 

sydney weekend getaway

3 Dine at Nick’s restaurant and bar Nick’s Restaurant and Bar has been our favourite for years, and we keep coming back each time. There are also many restaurants in Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour, and Barangaroo. However, this restaurant has survived the test of time. Nick’s restaurant has a classic feel to its ingredients, and do not worry if you don’t eat seafood; there are other dishes on the menu to choose from.

Darling Harbour Accomodation

Novotel Darling Harbour

Novotel Darling Harbour Novotel Darling Harbour is a convenient location in the heart of Darling Harbour. With gorgeous views and friendly staff, this is an ideal place to stay this weekend in Sydney. There is ample parking, which is great because it is the one thing that is difficult in Darling Harbour.

darling harbour

Romantic Getaways

The Rocks

Picture this, a romantic candlelit dinner for two overlooking Sydney Harbour. Better still, imagine waking up to that gorgeous view on a lazy Sunday morning. Well, The Rocks area in Sydney is by far the most romantic place to spend your Sydney staycation. This location is perfect for a couples getaway in Sydney as there is plenty to do at The Rocks, Sydney.

3 Things to do at The Rocks

1 See a show at the Opera House There is always something on in Sydney, especially on the weekend, but nothing is more romantic than getting dressed up and seeing a show at the Opera House. But, of course, there is more than Opera at the Opera House, so check out what events are this weekend in Sydney.

2 Stop by for a drink at Sydneys Oldest Pub The thing I love most about The Rocks area is the history that surrounds it. So why not stop by for a glass of bubbly at the fortune of War? The pub has a cosy, traditional vibe, making it the perfect location for your weekend getaway as a couple. 

the rocks

3 Bring out your photography skillsWhether you take photos during the day or at night, the backdrop around the rocks is the perfect location. So what better way to remember this romantic getaway than to take photos around this area? 

The Rocks Accomodation

The Park Hyatt Sydney – The Park Hyatt Sydney is the perfect location for your Romantic Getaway in Sydney. Whether you choose to stay two nights or opt for a one-night getaway, this location allows you the flexibility to enjoy all your activities within walking distance. 

OPERA HOUSE

Bondi

There is nowhere in Sydney more iconic than Bondi Beach. So this is the perfect location for your romantic getaway in Sydney. Whether you walk along the beach, take a picnic overlooking the beach or spend the afternoon at the spa, there is plenty to do during your short stay in Sydney.

3 Things to do at Bondi for your romantic getaway

1 Enjoy a late afternoon meal at Bondi – Let me set the scene for you, gazing into each other eyes, overlooking the beautiful Bondi Beach, and enjoying a delicious meal. Yep, that is what you could do if you head to Bondi Icebergs for a late afternoon meal. You can choose either the more formal option at Icebergs or the casual dining experience (food and view are just as good) at Bondi Icebergs.

2 Explore the Federation Walk Most people will have either walked or at least heard of the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, but the Bondi To Dover Height walk is just as pretty. The Federation Cliff walk will have you walk through some of Sydney’s most beautiful views. Your weekend getaway as a couple just got a little bit more spectacular; words can’t explain how gorgeous this walk is, so get your camera out, start making memories, and let the photos do all the talking.

sydney staycation at bondi beach

3 Watch the sunrise by the waters edge Grab a blanket and a coffee (if you can find somewhere open early enough) and watch the sunrise. Sit anywhere along the water’s edge for this spectacular view of Sydney’s most iconic beach. This romantic getaway just rose a notch and did not cost you a bomb to do it. 

Accomodation Bondi

QT Bondi QT Bondi is in a great location, within walking distance of everything Bondi Beach offers. These modern rooms are clean, large and comfortable, and the staff are friendly, exactly what you want on a couples getaway in Sydney.

bondi icebergs

 Cronulla

Most people would spend their Sydney Staycation along the eastern beaches or head to the city. Why don’t you run in the opposite direction and enjoy this beautiful piece of Sydney that the locals claim is “God’s country” for your romantic getaway in Sydney?

3 Things to do at Cronulla on your weekend getaway as a couple 

1 Walk from Wanda to Oak Park Beach This part of the coastal shoreline has you wondering why you hadn’t come sooner. With spectacular views of Sydney’s Southern Beaches at every corner and many people walking along this path daily, it is the perfect place to spend your romantic getaway. Of course, you can keep walking as there is so much to see along this coastline, but I recommend the easy route to Oak Park Beach.

2 Catch a ferry to BundeenaBundeena (although technically no longer in Sydney) is only a ferry ride away from Cronulla. Spend the afternoon exploring this little town; take a picnic, sit and enjoy some lunch, or continue exploring the walking paths on foot. There is plenty to do during your short stay in Bundeena. 

sydney weekend away

3 Stop by Sealevel for a romantic dinnerThere are many great locations to eat at Cronulla, but nothing is more special than feeling right on the beachfront. If seafood is your thing (as it is mine!), enjoy your night by dining at Sealevel restaurant, where romance and delicious food go hand in hand.

Cronulla Accomodation

Rydges Cronulla Beachside Rydes Cronulla Beachside is an ideal location for your weekend getaway in Sydney. Right across the road from the beach and ample parking, you will be able to enjoy your stay without the fuss of transport, as everything is within walking distance.

cronulla beach

Circular Quay

Circular Quay is a stunning place to visit any time of the year. If you want luxury, imagine waking up to a view of Sydney Harbour. Why not dine by candlelight at one of Sydney’s most iconic locations with the Sydney Harbour as a backdrop? Nothing but pure luxury on your weekend getaway. 

3 Things to do at Circular Quay

1 Dine at Bennelong Restaurant Why not dine at one of Sydney’s well-known restaurants? Bennelong Restaurant is located in the Sydney Opera House, with its reputation for great food and a view to die for; this is the perfect location for a luxury weekend escape in Sydney.

2 Enjoy a glass of bubbly with a backdrop of the HarbourEnjoy a glass of bubbly at the Opera Bar, sit under the stars and marvel at the gorgeous Sydney harbour views. Is there anywhere else you would rather be for a romantic weekend getaway? 

romantic getaway

3 Pamper yourself with a spa treatment Okay, so this is not quite at Circular Quay, but it is close (approximately a 15-minute walk), and it will be worth every step you take. The Langham Hotel spa treatments are some of the best around the world. 

Circular Quay Accomodation

The Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel Circular Quay is in the perfect location for your weekend stay in Sydney. With harbour views to wake up to a delicious Buffett breakfast to get you started for the day, this is an excellent hotel in an even better spot. Walking distance to Circular Quay and the city, although they do have parking, will cost extra. 

Langham Hotel sydney staycation

Family Getaway Sydney

Coogee

Coogee is slowly becoming as busy as Bondi, as there are many restaurants, bars and great walking trails. I find myself spending more and more time and this smaller eastern suburbs beach. Although Coogee is known for its many backpack facilities, it also boasts excellent beachside hotels for your Sydney Staycation.

3 Things to do at Coogee on a family getaway in Sydney

1 Coogee to Bondi Walk We have all heard of it, but have we walked the iconic Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk? You can walk as far as Bondi or stop at Clovelly, Bronte or Tamarama; it is your choice; however, if you want to be a little more daring, keep walking to Dover Heights! It might be far, but it is worth the sore legs in the morning. 

coogee weekend away

2 Enjoy a bike ride at Centennial Park Okay, so this is not technically within walking distance, but Centennial Park is an excellent place for the kids. With Horse riding options and bicycle rentals (tandem if you dare), walking and kicking the ball around is also a great option at Centennial Park.

3 Cook a BBQ on the Beach Why not buy meat from the butchers and throw it at public BBQs? Nothing tempts the kids more than a smell of a good BBQ cooking. So whether they choose to play in the park while they wait or brave the cold weather with a swim at the beach, this is an excellent location for an afternoon BBQ.

Accomodation Coogee

Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach – Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach is across the road from Coogee Beach. With beautiful views of the beachfront from most rooms, this hotel is the ideal location for your weekend away in Sydney. Although it is a bit tired looking, it is in a great place!!

coogee beach

Sydney CBD

Enjoy the much more laid-back weekend away in Sydney CBD. During the week, the CBD is packed to the brim, with packed-out restaurants and shopping malls, but on the weekend, it becomes much less hectic and much more fun.

3 Things to do in the Sydney CBD

1 Visit the UNESCO World heritage listed site The Hyde Park Barracks was initially built to house convicts; it also served as an immigration depot, law courts and, at one stage, an asylum. Find out about the history of the Hyde Park Barracks on a self-guided tour, enjoyable for any age for your Sydney Staycation.

2 Enjoy a birds-eye view of Sydney The Sydney tower Observation Deck has been a favourite with children for years. I remember loving it myself as a child! The view from the observation deck is fantastic and will have you and your children pointing out areas they know! 

While at the Sydney Tower, why not have lunch at the revolving buffet, where you get to enjoy this fantastic view?

sydney tower weekend away

3 Walk down to Royal Botanic Garden – The walk down to Botanic Gardens Sydney isn’t far from Hyde Park. Once there, you can join one of the free guided walks or learn more about the Aboriginal experiences they offer. Check The Royal Botanic Garden online before you go and see for yourself what there is to do in this beautiful part of the city. 

Accomodation Sydney CBD

Hyde Park Inn – Hyde Park Inn is in a great location that won’t break the bank balance! For an affordable, clean hotel, this is highly recommended. It is within walking distance of all the activities I have mentioned, and parking is available. 

royal botanical gardens

Castle Hill

When you think of family getaways in Sydney, The Hills District isn’t usually one that pops up! But can I say this area is full of family-friendly places to visit that cater mainly to the little people in the family? Your family will thank you for choosing this area for your short stay in Sydney.

3 Things to do in Castle Hill

1 Get up close and personal with our favourite locals The Koala Park Sydney Is a great place to visit with little kids (and big kids). It is a park dedicated to Australian wildlife. Plan your visit before you go so that you get to see all the shows and feeding of animals. It is a great place to spend your weekend getaway.

2 Discover a rope course from the treetops Treetops is a great day out that will have the little (and big) kids amused for hours. Treetop Adventure Park is for all ages, starting at three years of age and a range of difficulty levels. Treetops offers two rope courses, but you can also enjoy the fastest rollercoaster zip line in the world! Combine that with other outdoor activities, and the kids will sleep well on your family getaway. 

cumberland state forest

3 Have lunch among nature – Spend the full day at Cumberland State Forest, with many walking trails that will have you busy for hours. Treetops is also here! So stop by the Cafe Saligna and enjoy a great lunch spot among nature. There is something about the fresh air that makes the weekend away in Sydney a little bit more special.

Accomodation Hills District

Nesuto Pennant Hills – Nesuto Pennant Hills is an ideal location for your family getaway in Sydney. It is only a few minutes’ drives to the Koala Park Sanctuary and the Cumberland State Forest. These apartments are perfect for families as they cater for larger rooms and facilities that meet the needs of the little ones, so it makes it the ideal location for your Sydney staycation.

cumberland state forest

Manly

Manly is excellent for any time of year; most will be familiar with the ferry ride from Circular Quay. But have you thought of spending an entire weekend on the Northern Beaches? It is the perfect location for your family getaway in Sydney, as there is plenty to keep the family busy.

3 Things to do in Manly

1 Walk the Manly to Spit BridgeOkay, so for little legs, this might be a challenge as it is approximately 3 hours one way! However, the significant part about this walk is you can go as far as you like. There are spectacular views from every corner and a few hidden gems along the way (which I won’t disclose and allow you to discover on your own!). The Manly to Spit Bridge is an excellent activity for your short stay in Sydney. 

Take a tour of the old Quarantine Station.

2 Take a tour of the old Quarantine StationIf your children are older, then take one of the ghost tours! Be spooked about a time long ago when the Q Station was once a Quarantine Station, where many lives were lost and still linger today. Otherwise, there are history tours that you can explore during the day and will have you and your family talking about for hours. 

Manly sydney staycation

3 Hop on a ferry You have to do it when you are in Manly, even if it means you have done it a million times before as a kid yourself! Manly is iconic for its ferry service to and from Circular Quay, so even if you catch the ferry and then jump on the next one back – the kids will enjoy this part of your Sydney Staycation.

Accomodation Manly

Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific -Staying at the Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific is the perfect location for your Sydney staycation in Manly. The rooms are big enough to accommodate a family, the views overlook Manly beach, and the activities I have mentioned are all within walking distance for your Sydney Staycation. 

sydney ferry

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Important Information

Visa – If you looking for an easy way to get a visa, or if you aren’t sure if you really need one in the first place.  Ivisa makes the process easy, with a click of a button and few simple steps you will be able to sort out your visa requirements in a flash!

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E-sim– If you want to know the most affordable way to be connected when travelling, it is with an e-sim. I have to admit I have come late to the party on this one, and I wish I had known earlier as it would have saved me hundreds of dollars in the past. I have been using Airalo for the past few months now and it has been so easy to set up and use while I am away. 

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  • Paula Barreca Barnes

    So 17 years ago, my husband and I set off with our little family in tow, embarking on a short-term assignment in Taiwan. Although without any knowledge of expat life or the Taiwanese culture, we took the chance and decided this would be an exciting little adventure; little did we know it changed the direction of our lives forever.

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