You’re probably familiar with the blowhole that has made Kiama an Insta-friendly destination for day trips and adventures in Sydney’s backyard. But this coastal town has a lot more under its sleeve than you might think; just a short drive from its city centre, one can find lush subtropical rainforests at Minnamurra, where a newly-installed suspension bridge walkway meanders for 1.6km through the lush forest canopy. Top that off with a day at Jamberoo and plenty of local markets and festivals, and you’re set for a sweet summer trip with your friends.
About an hour’s drive from Sydney, Glenworth Valley offers an unrivalled landscape for exploring the very best of the Central Coast. Embrace the extra and spend a day riding horseback through sandstone gullies, or kayak your way down the Popran Creek through acres of protected national park. Camping facilities and walking tracks through the forest make this area even more attractive if you want to spend a few nights out in the stars.
Who said the Mountains are only good for winter? As summer brings ever-warmer temperatures to Sydney itself, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains are a fantastic place to beat the heat without travelling too far. Trains from Central can take you right to the heart of Katoomba, from which no less than 81 graded walks provide fantastic experiences for all skill levels. My tip: skip Scenic World, and explore the many lookouts for yourself. The dramatic valleys make for a fine place to vent off steam from exams and finish the semester (and the year) in style.
Glow Worm Tunnel
If you’ve grown weary of light shows like Vivid and the New Year’s Eve fireworks, turn to nature for a more enchanting display. Hidden in Wollemi National Park is a 500m disused railway tunnel which you can now freely walk through. Though the steam trains have long passed this place, huge colonies of bioluminescent (read: glow-in-the-dark) worms have reclaimed the entirety of the tunnel, allowing visitors to witness a natural miracle. Unlike most glow-worm caves, this pitch-black tunnel is completely free and accessible to the public during the day; the cool subterranean environment provides welcome respite if you’ve been sweating it out through the Sydney summer.
The Bridge Climb
Most people have probably seen Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge more than they’ve needed to but the uni break could provide you with the perfect opportunity to experience our iconic landmark from new heights. It’s been on our bucket lists since we were 12 years old so take this opportunity to live out those primary school dreams before trimesters kick in. There is no better way to finish a year than getting into those grey and blue jumpsuits, gathering a few of your mates together and heading up to one of the most breathtaking views our land down under has to offer.
A natural wonder in its own right, Jervis Bay offers the perfect escape from the busy city life. Offering white coastlines and crystal clear waters, the bay is swarming with fun-filled recreational activities including kayaking, dolphin watching tours, surf schools and stand-up paddle boarding. There are even beach huts available to hire out for a relaxing picnic and the ultimate winding down session. Jervis bay also boasts a gorgeous national park and diving spots with nooks and crannies that will allow you to reconnect with nature on an intimate level. With so many adventures awaiting, say g’day to Jervis Bay.
Right in the heart of Sydney Harbour awaits a 5-star glamping adventure that is world-renowned. Take a ferry out to this majestic island that offers exemplary adventures through nature, specialised sunrise tours and haunted history treks that are sure to spice up your uni break. Another great avenue to consider is the New Years Eve Glamping packages where you and your mates can settle into this UNESCO world-heritage listed campsite and enjoy Sydney’s incredible fireworks display. Can’t think of a better way to welcome in the new year.