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There’s something enticing about getting away from the city lights and fog over a weekend. It rejuvenates us all. Jump in the car and within just a few hours you can feel world's away from the stresses of city life.

Whether you're in need of a getaway with your better half or a long weekend with the kids in tow, escaping the hustle and bustle of Sydney is a great way to get back to nature. Fresh air, clear skies and no traffic are just a few of the reasons you should get out of the city.

With no need to book flights and spend hours in an airport queue or to take extended leave from work, there's plenty of perks to being able to head on a quick escape to switch off and relax.

Within just a few hours of Sydney you can find some of the best hikes and whale watching in NSW - and then there’s the surf to match.

So, whether you are looking for a way to kick back for a relaxing escape or raise your heart rate with some adventure, we’ve got some of the best spots for a break in NSW to enjoy.

Shellharbour

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Just 1 hour and 20 minutes from Sydney, Shellharbour boasts some of the best places to surf on Australia’s east coast.

Killalea Beach, better known as ‘The Farm’ is famous with surfers near and far, so look no further if you want to hit the waves - it’s one of the best holiday destinations close to Sydney.

Stretch the legs a little more with hike at the Bass Point coastal loop, followed by a Toby’s Estate coffee at Naturally Tasty just up the road on your return. If you’re look for natural beauty for miles, Shellharbour should be your pick for a weekend away.

Set up camp at Reflections Killalea Reserve or reserve a dorm style room in the bunkhouse for a chilled backpacker experience. The ground boasts pristine coastal views and all the facilities for a great camp or bunkhouse stay.

Hawks Nest - Jimmys Beach

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Hit the road and head north on the M1 towards Hawks Nest where you’ll find a sleepy coastal town with the best of what nature has to offer to keep you entertained.

2 hours and 30 minutes from Sydney, Hawks Nest is a tranquil slice of paradise.

Enjoy Bennetts Beach, or the nearby town of Tea Gardens where you can visit the art gallery or take a trip to Nelson Bay on the ferry.

If you are looking for a challenge then take on the Yacaaba Headland walking track for a 7km return hike while taking in the best view of both Myall Lakes and Port Stephens.

Nearby you can kick your heels up and relax at one of Reflections Holiday Parks (and take your furry friends along as well, these parks are dog friendly). If you are looking for accommodation with all the bells and whistles, go glamping in a Deluxe Beach Tent or Villa at Jimmys Beach. For all rigs great and small and deluxe cabins, book into Reflections Hawks Nest.

Booti Booti National Park – Seal Rocks and Forster

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Head to Booti Booti National Park for a long weekend if you have an extra day to get away or a long weekend to experiences one of the most diverse landscapes on Australia’s East Coast.

The 8km peninsula stretching between Forster and Pacific Palms is the perfect location for bird watching, hiking, swimming or whale watching, and offers an abundance of nature’s best so you’ll have every activity at your finger tips during a weekend away. With such a large abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy, this area is one of the best cheap weekend getaways in NSW.

Enjoy the view at Cape Hawke and take in the scenery, or check out the Green Cathedral at Wallis Lake and you might even catch a glimpse of a wedding. The best hike in the area is Booti Hill where you can enjoy both the ocean and the lake on a 7 kilometre loop where you’ll spot wildlife and even some whales in winter.

Stay beachfront at Reflections Forster to be close to town for cafes and restaurants, and keep your eyes open for the nearby markets.

Just over the bridge you can also stay at Reflections Tuncurry and get surfing at 9 mile beach or a more leisurely pace in the rock pool. Both parks offer plenty of amenities and practically sit on the water for a seaside escape.

If you're looking to book your next back-to-nature getaway, head here.

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