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Ultimate Guide To The Best Scenic 4WD Drives In Sydney
Whether in a 4WD or a 2WD, feeling the power from the engine vibrating along the steering wheel as you glide around each turn, the smell of the fresh air with the windows down, hearing the car roar as you accelerate - these little moments are what make driving special, as if you are 'one with the machine'.
Much like camping in the great outdoors, there is an enormous sense of freedom when it comes to driving on the open road, and what greater place to go for a drive than Sydney. Gorgeous sun-kissed beaches, exciting tourist attractions and fun national parks are just a few of the many sights and places in store for you on our ultimate list of the best scenic drives in Sydney.
- The Blue Mountains
- Kangaroo Valley
- Royal National Park
- Upper Hawkesbury Drive
- Bradleys Head
- Minnamurra Rainforest Centre
- Cottage Point
- La Perouse
The Blue Mountains
Covering around 1,200km of winding road, the Greater Blue Mountains drive is a very popular scenic drive in Sydney and has plenty of hidden gems to discover. This scenic drive will take you past incredible sights such as Gardens of Stone, Goulbourn River, Yengo, Three Sisters Rock, Blue Lake and a natural waterhole called Jellybean Pool (which is perfect for a midday swim). If your legs start aching, then pull over at Katoomba and hit up the Three Sisters Walk. Then once you have stretched your legs, drive up to Govetts Leap Lookout and drink in the stunning views of magnificent waterfalls and vast valleys below.
Why you'll love The Blue Mountains:
- 1,200km of winding road
- Packed with heaps of attractions to discover
- Lots of nearby hiking trails
Head about two hours south of the Sydney CBD and you will find one of the best scenic drives in Sydney: Kangaroo Valley route. Totalling about 100km, this awesome scenic drive will take you on a mystical journey through one of only seven enclosed valleys that can be found in the world. If you are bringing your camera, make sure you go early in the morning to catch the morning mist as it slowly engulfs the lush rainforest and surrounding landscape of Morton National Park. With plenty of wildlife such as cute wombats, breathtaking views of the Southern Highlands and lots of cafes along the way, Kangaroo Valley scenic drive is definitely worth a visit.
Why you'll love Kangaroo Valley:
- A relatively shorter scenic drive
- One of only seven enclosed valleys in the world
- An abundance of wildlife
Berrima is located about two hours from Sydney along the Old Hume Highway and is dripping with rich history and jaw-dropping sights. Known for its iconic colonial sandstone buildings and Australia's oldest pub, The Surveyor General Inn, the historic town of Berrima is like jumping in the DeLorean and driving back in time. Apart from a haunted courthouse that dates back to the 1840s, you can enjoy the lush greenery of the endless hills and gullies that make this such a special and beautiful route to drive.
Why you'll love Berrima:
- Great excuse to explore outside of Sydney
- Features Australia's oldest pub
- Rich in Australia's history
Royal National Park
Royal National Park is located around 50 minutes drive from Sydney CBD and is a very popular spot to escape to with both locals and tourists who flock to the area. One of the biggest attractions of this scenic drive in Sydney is driving past the beautiful but equally dangerous Garie Beach, as huge waves rise up from their dark blue depths and crash onto the rocks along the shore. There's the ancient Aboriginal rock engraving site located in Jibbon Headland, as well as bushwalks in Audley that are great for breaking up the drive and getting amongst nature.
Why you'll love Royal National Park:
- Not too far from Sydney
- Spectacular views of Garie Beach
- Lots of nearby attractions like ancient Aboriginal rock engraving sites
Upper Hawkesbury Drive
For a scenic drive in Sydney that is jam-packed with history and impressive views, Upper Hawkesbury Drive is for you. Stretching over 200km and beginning at Windsor, this is an incredible scenic drive in Sydney, laced with charming colonial-era villages and plenty of magical views. Originally established all the way back in 1794, the sleepy river town of Windsor provides a grandiose backdrop of luscious green hills, tranquil rivers rolling by, giant old churches and cute picnic areas that are perfect for enjoying a well-deserved pit stop. To make sure it is a picnic to remember, check out our guide on how to plan the best picnic.
Why you'll love Upper Hawkesbury Drive:
- Awesome long drive to spend the day
- Lots of spots for a picnic
- Incredible views of rural NSW
Bradleys Head is another perfect example of one of the best scenic drives in Sydney. It has got everything - incredible coastal views, a skyline filled to the brim with skyscrapers and lots of fishing spots to explore if you feel like pulling over and stretching your legs. Just around half an hour outside of the Sydney CBD, there is plenty to see and do along this magnificent scenic drive in Sydney, including driving over to the Bradleys Head Amphitheatre for some awesome photo ops, driving past the many great fishing piers and hiking up the iconic Bradleys Head Trail.
Why you'll love Bradleys Head:
- Lots of fantastic fishing spots
- Just outside the Sydney CBD
- Lots of nearby activities to do
Minnamurra Rainforest Centre
Just under two hours from the centre of the Sydney CBD, the drive to Minnamurra Rainforest Centre is akin to taking a majestic drive through the famous Jurassic Park. The drive from Sydney will take you on a scenic adventure through major attractions such as the grand Lake Illawarra, Botany Bay, Garawarra State Conservation Area, Jamberoo Action Park and many more. And once you arrive at your destination - the fun doesn't stop there. The Minnamurra Rainforest Centre is packed with exciting things to do including spotting lyrebirds and water dragons, beautiful walking tracks, viewing the stunning Minnamurra Falls and so much more.
Why you'll love Minnamurra Rainforest Centre:
- Best way to explore the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre
- Views of a landscape like no other
- Jam-packed with nearby attractions to see along the way
For something a bit different, the Cottage Point scenic drive in Sydney will take you on an amazing journey to an isolated and tranquil paradise unlike anything you have ever experienced before. About 38km north of Sydney, Cottage Point is a quiet waterside town completely surrounded by lush bushland as far as the eye can see. And because it's a listed heritage conservation area, it is also teeming with adorable wildlife such as wallabies and echidnas. When lunchtime rolls around, there is plenty of delicious eateries scattered around that will tame any hunger.
Why you'll love Cottage Point:
- A listed heritage conservation area
- Has heaps of wildlife to see
- Lots of rustic bakeries that you can't get in the Sydney CBD
The last scenic drive in Sydney on our list the La Perouse scenic drive. Only 17km drive from Circular Quay, this is a great scenic drive for when you don't want to drive too far from the Sydney CBD. As part of the northern headland of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, La Perouse drive is bursting at the seams with stunning views such as humpback whales swimming by (if you drive down during spring), the Bare Island Fort (originally built in 1885 to protect Botany Bay from a Russian invasion), stunning views of the ocean and plenty of walking tracks for when you feel the need to pull over and take in the sights. For adventure seekers, there is also plenty of rocky reefs that offer the perfect opportunity for a bit of scuba diving and snorkelling.
Why you'll love La Perouse:
- Close to the Sydney CBD
- Excellent for spotting whales
- Plenty of nearby walking tracks to explore
Enjoy the Best of Sydney on a Scenic Drive That Will Leave You Breathless
When it comes to the best scenic drives in Sydney, you will be spoilt for choice as the options are endless - each with its own unique flavour with plenty of activities to enjoy outside of the car as well. Ensure you're prepared for your 4WD adventure by shopping the range of 4WD gear and accessories at Anaconda. Make your drive a comfortable and fun experience with great 4WD electrical accessories and navigation gadgets. For more scenic drive destinations such as the Best Self Drives In The Top End and plenty more, check out our Adventure Centre for everything you need to know.
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