Next time you're looking for an excuse to get out and take in some nature, make a day trip to one of these natural wonders.Less
There's no shortage of extraordinary vistas in Sydney, but West Head Lookout is one of the best. This mind-blowing spot gives you panoramas to the south over Pittwater, east over Barrenjoey Head and north to Broken Bay. Smack bang in the middle of it all is Lion Island, backdropped by the Central Coast's uncrowded beaches. You could easily spend a day here, so it's a good idea to pack a picnic. To add some art, take a wander on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, along which is Red Hands Cave.
To see several of the Central Coast's wildest and most beautiful beaches, take the Bouddi Coastal Walk. This eight-kilometre adventure hugs the coastal edge of Bouddi National Park, beginning at Putty Beach in the south and ending at MacMasters in the north. Stop by lookouts affording sweeping ocean views and rest at rainforest-encircled picnic spots. If it's low tide, see if you can spot the shipwreck of the PS Maitland at Maitland Bay.
The 4200 hectares that make up Stockton Sand Dunes form the biggest system of sand dunes in Australia. Some are as high as 40 metres. You'll find them in the Worimi Conservation Lands, about 190 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD, just beyond Newcastle. Adding to their beauty is their stunning location, foregrounded by Stockton Beach — which, at 32 kilometres, is the longest beach in New South Wales — and backdropped by 1800 hectares of forest.
A classic for a reason, the Jenolan Caves are a long winding collection of stunning passageways. Located 175km west of Sydney, here you'll discover some of the most ridiculously beautiful rocks on the planet. There are nine caves altogether, filled with limestone formations, pristine underground rivers and secret chambers. The only way to visit is by tour — choose the cave that most appeals to you, take it easy with a one hour Imperial Cave Tour or get an adrenaline hit on an abseiling escapade.
The area surrounding Kangaroo Valley is a haven for incredible waterfalls with both Fitzroy Falls and this towering beauty. Belmore Falls offers a wall of tall sandstone cliffs, plus a rewarding two-kilometre walking track with endless views of the surrounding bushland. On your walk around the waterfall, take in the beauty of Australia's local flora and keep a lookout for sandstone flowers like the honey flower, banksia and wattle.