A quintessential day trip to the Blue Mountains of Australia is best made in the winter months of June through to August, when the local townsfolk are embracing cold season temperatures with mountain winter festivals and hot delicious chocolate.
You’ll find the Blue Mountains just 2 hours drive inland from Sydney’s coast, an unmissable lush high mountain range radiantly glowing of a beautiful blue-gum haze. Most famous in the Blue Mountains are the hiking and bushwalking tracks with views of beautiful rock formations called the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters consist of three enormous sized peaks on the highest rocky mountainside, beside a gully of never-ending rainforest. This is a spectacular view, having inspiring many artists and writers for centuries. Close by to the Three Sisters is Orphan rock, standing along, hence the name, and also sitting by the never-ending gully of trees and wildlife.
There are several viewing points to take advantage of these sights, with Sublime lookout definitely worth a short walk to see the Three Sisters. Often clouds will form around the height of the rocks, making for the most photographic sight (and ‘selfies’ opp) you’ll see.
The small Aussie vintage town of Milton put their name on the map with a festival dedicated to the farmers scarecrow. On any other day you'd likely drive through the main street of the country coastal town of Milton without batting an eyelid, but on the weekend of Scarecrow festival it's another story. Held anually in the first weekend of June, neighbours and shopkeepers display scarecrow magnificence! Mostly stuffed with straw, and sometimes appearing as tiny dolls, or even real people, you'd believe the locals had been thinking about their creations for the entire year, for scarecrow costumes are extravagant!
Waving at you from frontyards and window displays are pirate scarecrows, mermaids, footballers, celebrity scarecrows - the attention to details is uncanny. Perfect and hilarious photo point and Instagram opportunities await!
A fabulous marketing ploy from the local council, the idea attracts people looking for a great weekend day out, such a Sydneysiders. Take a coastal drive past beautiful beaches and country side to view the town of scarecrows, and also visit the market, listen to outdoor live music, see local dance routines, and wonder through wonderful gift stores. An aussie day trip not to be missed.
Sydney boasts a fabulously scenic zoo with animals from around the world living on grounds sitting majestically opposite the Sydney Harbour Bridge skyline.
A trip to the zoo is a definitely a great day out in Sydney. You'll walk through the entrance and see giraffes posing against this amazing skyline – a sight made infamous thanks to instagram, and because these giraffes sure know how to pose. You'll then stroll through the park observing animals in re-created living environments.
A great idea is to jump on the aerial pods on arrival, which take approx ten minutes to move over the park. You’ll get an idea of the entire zoo space, take iPhone snapshots of elephants from the air, and perhaps a selfie of yourself in the pod with that spectacular horizon in the background.
You can plan your day to the Zoo’s busy schedule of animal talks. Perhaps a seal show, or the koala encounter, and then inbetween shows visit your favourite animals. The Australian native black cockatoos with fancy yellow tips are a beautiful sight, and the gorillas are intriguing to watch with such adorable human expressions. Perhaps you'll choose to stroll past the playful seals 'barking' and splashing about in outdoor pools. The seals then dive below the surface into what is the underground viewing pool, if you wander underground to watch them swimming it is a very peaceful moment. Or maybe you'll want to visit the stylish looking zebras in the African Safari section, next to the mountain rams sunning themselves on rocky outdoor slopes.
If you’re more of a reptile person than a cuddly koala fan, head to the reptile centre. Through the safety of glass walls, see the most colourful reptiles living in their own little worlds. Some are ridiculously cute, and some are slithery and … well, snakes. If you are a snake fan you’re in for a real treat – every kind; giant sized pythons, underwater sea snakes, bright green tree snakes, and more. Watch them sleep, slither, and eat.
A trip to the zoo is a full day's activity. If you don't bring your own lunch, the cafe's and eateries are modern, moderately priced, and a nice environment to sit in. Be prepared to fall in love with a milion stuffed animals in the gift stores. There's plenty of paid parking, or nearby residency street parking. And expect to be spending the day with lots of children, the zoo is obviously a popular day trip!
Australia's annual Taste of Manly - food, wine and sustainability festival in Winter is well worth a visit if you're hungry, thirsty and like the beach. At this outdoor gathering of local restaurateurs, you can sample various food and wine from stalls set up along Manly's famous main beach, and then ponder over to the adjacent beachside craft markets. Visit local farmers showing healthy produce, hold chicks or see the bright pink silky bantams, talk to local chefs, and taste wines from nearby regions like the Hunter Valley. Three stages set up at each end of the festival have live music with hay bales or outdoor table seating, and cooking shows are scheduled throughout the day. The festival is free, annual, goes over a two day weekend, and usually held in the first week of Winter.
Check the manly council website to find out when the next festival is scheduled: