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11 Peaceful Places In Sydney To Escape The Buzzing City



We all love the buzz of Sydney city, but once in a while we also crave some peace and quiet. If you’ve always wanted to escape the bustling and buzzing atmosphere of Sydney but dread the long drives out of the city, you’re not alone.

The beauty of a city like Sydney is that you do not need to travel far at all in order to experience peace and tranquility. Little pockets of space are all just a short drive or train ride away, or may even be hidden in the busy city itself!

Check out this list of 11 places to escape Sydney’s buzzing city for ideas on where you can head to this weekend.


1. Blues Point Reserve



Situated directly opposite of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, Blues Point Reserve is the perfect spot to capture fireworks at the harbour, or just to admire the beautiful views. There are not many places in Sydney that has unobstructed views of two of Sydney’s main icons. 

Blues Point Reserve is only a 10-15min walk from North Sydney station and is peaceful and quiet, contrasting to the buzzing atmosphere of Sydney’s central business district. 


This spot is perfect for families with young kids as there is also a playground to keep the young ones occupied and entertained.  It is a lovely spot for a picnic, but for those who are too lazy to prepare food for a picnic, North Sydney is home to an abundant number of eateries.

Take away a burger from the well-known Five Points Burger (124 Walker St) located near North Sydney station and enjoy it by the grassy areas of Blues Point Reserve. 

Address: McMahons Point, cnr Blues Point Road & Henry Lawson Drive, North Sydney, NSW 2060


2. Wattamolla Beach



Wattamolla Beach is one of Sydney’s most treasured gems. The Cove is situated in Sydney’s Royal National Park, which is located 30kms south of Sydney’s CBD. During the drive down the Princes Highway, you will be accompanied by endless rows of trees and beautiful scenery.

The name ‘Wattamolla’ is derived from the Aboriginal language meaning a ‘place near running water’. The meaning could not be more appropriate as the beach consists of waterfalls along a stretch of fine sand that separates the lagoon and the beach.


Wattamolla Beach is famous spot for cliff diving, but it is important to take note that the depth of the waters varies so it is essential to check the depth before proceeding to dive. There is a picnic area near the beach, where families can enjoy the calm waters of the cove for some swimming, fishing, and snorkelling. 

Address: Royal National Park, Audley Rd, Audley NSW 2232


3. Wedding Cake Rock



Located on the coastal walk of Sydney’s Royal National Park, Wedding Cake Rock can be accessed via Big Marley Trail or via the track starting at Beachcomber Avenue in Bundeena. Wedding Cake Rock is a slice of shimmering white limestone cut out of the cliffs about an hour’s walk into the Coast Track from Bundeena. It was named for its resemblance to the squared silky layers of a white wedding cake.


This remarkable formation is definitely a main tourist attraction and is what most people term the most ‘Instagrammable’ place to visit. Known for its flawless white appearance owing to the lack of iron in the sandstone, the rock is also very brittle. Hence, please be advised that drawing on the rock with chalk is actually harmful to the rock.

It is an amazing experience to be able to sit on the edge of the rock and witness the breathtaking view of waves crashing onto the rocks below you. 

Address: Bundeena Drive, Royal National Park, Bundeena, NSW 2232


4. MacCallum Pool



This is the ultimate hidden gem, sitting on the harbour in beautiful Cremorne Point Reserve. It was originally just a rock pool created by local residents to form a safe swimming hole but is now a popular swimming spot. The pool uses filtered harbour water and offers spectacular views from Watson’s Bay to the Harbour Bridge. It is not often you are able to find a pool where you can watch yachts and ferries simply glide by. There is a small shallow shelf at one end of the pool where children can paddle and sit down.


One of the best features of the this secret pool is that entry is free. Framed by timber decking and shaded by trees, it’s an ideal place to relax, sunbathe and fritter away a summer’s day. It is also worth taking a stroll to Cremorne Point walk, which is often overlooked thanks to the hype around the more glamorous and – certainly busier – alternatives such as the Bondi to Coogee walk or the Bondi to Bronte walk.

But, for killer views and quiet, sloping lawns that look over Sydney’s beautiful harbour, this private spot is definitely a lovely escape.

Address: Cremorne Reserve, Milson Road, Cremorne Point, NSW 2090


5. Centennial Park



Centennial Park is only 10mins from the city, and is a great spot to take part in fun activities that can enjoyed by the whole family.


It is a popular experience for kids to participate in the Pony Rides, which  is a weekly activity in Centennial Park, operating every Saturday and Sunday (and public holidays) from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm.

Kids aged 2-11 years of age will enjoy this hand–led short pony rides that provides a wonderful introductory horse riding experience at $15 per person. 


For those who just simply want to relax, you’ll find endless space to have a picnic with friends or to read a book under one of the 15,000 trees! Beautifully maintained lawns, ponds, flower beds and statues, as well as a great cafe, provide a stunning backdrop for a lazy day or an action-packed get-together. Many visitors bring some bread to feed the birds or ducks and swans in the pond, so be sure to do that the next time you visit! 

Address: Oxford Street and Parkes Drive, NSW 2021


6. The Grounds of Alexandria



The Grounds of Alexandria is one of Sydney’s most famous brunch spots. However, they do not just offer top quality food. The Grounds is a quaint venue consisting of lush plants and fairy lights, giving this place a charming atmosphere. 

Transformed from an old pie shop which existed from the 1920s, The Grounds is home to a mega cafe split into two, weekend food markets, a bakery, a bar, kitchen garden, florist and a mini-farm all rolled in one.


What defines this space is its mood – electrifying, almost carnival-like, yet easy-going. Everyone seemed laid back and contented, enjoying a simple cup of coffee or tucking into their food. This homely environment will make everyone feel like they’re in their own backyard.


Just a tip, The Grounds has a takeaway menu which is a couple of dollars cheaper than the dine in menu. So for those who are on a tight budget but want to try their delicious food, take it away and sit outside at this charming outdoor area.

Address: 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW 2015


7. Royal Botanic Gardens



The Royal Botanic Gardens allows you to witness Sydney from a different perspective. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty of the gardens, and also get to see views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Visitors can easily get lost in the Gardens due to its massive grounds, so for those who don’t want to wander around themselves, if you enter the gardens from the Opera House side, you can hop on and off the complimentary ‘train’ that passes through the scenic routes of the park.


The peaceful environment of the Gardens is a great place to go for a stroll or a quiet read. The Royal Botanic Gardens opens daily at 6:30am till sunset and will continue to remain an icon of the Sydney’s busy city free for everyone to enjoy. 

Address: Mrs Macquaries Rd, NSW 2000


8. Angel Place Birdcages



Step into a certain alleyway in Sydney’s Angel Place and you’ll find a whimsical installation that’s meant to be both seen and heard. Situated in the heart of Sydney’s central business district, this hidden gem adds a unique touch to the city.

This mesmerising installation is called Forgotten Songs and was put together by artist Michael Thomas Hill, who stated that this installation “explores how Sydney’s fauna has evolved and adapted to co-exist with increased urbanisation”.

The Angel Place Birdcages were originally installed as a temporary exhibition, but they became so popular they have been kept in place. Another element of the installation is a recording of beautiful bird sounds that serve as yet another reminder of species not inhabiting the area any longer.

Address: Angel Place, NSW 2000


9. Burrows Park



Burrows Park is a relaxation hub that stays unknown to many tourists who visit Sydney. It gives you stunning ocean views that even the famous beaches like Bondi or Manly Beach can’t offer. The park is located between Waverley Cemetery and Clovelly Beach along the coastal walk, which extends from Bondi south to Maroubra. The path hits all the major sites and offers spectacular view of Sydney’s eastern coast.


It is a perfect spot to organise picnics, catch the sunrise, take in the fresh crisp air, and if you’re lucky, to spot some dolphins. This cave-like cliff in Burrows Park remains a quiet and peaceful place, providing uninterrupted views of the vast horizon that stretches beyond the ocean. 

Address: Ocean Street, Clovelly, NSW 2031


10. Bardwell Valley Parklands



At the heart of the Southern suburbs of Sydney, Bardwell Valley Parklands contains creeks, grasslands, caves, constructed paths, and walking and cycling tracks for anyone who wants to embrace Sydney’s flora and fauna. The forests of the valley create a spectacular scene for visitors to enjoy. 


The Valley offers a walking trail that is 4kms long and consists of grassland tracks and paths that make it suitable for both walking, running, or cycling. Alongside the trail are plagues commemorating Australia’s Prime Ministers, leading the trail to be termed “The Prime Minister’s’ Walk”.

Crowded by ferns and crossed by creeks, the thickly wooded Bardwell Valley Parklands is a sprawling retreat, studded with shady copses, caves and rock faces. There is also a golf course within Bardwell Park boasts luscious green hills and marks the end of the valley. At the centre of this landscape unfolds a magical scene where the valley, city and suburb all meet. 

Address: 98C Preddys Rd, Bexley North NSW 2207


11. St Mary’s Cathedral



Located in the heart of Sydney’s bustling city, St Mary’s Cathedral is tucked in between Hyde Park and The Royal Botanic Gardens. The Cathedral is a gothic-style Catholic Cathedral dedicated to Saint Mary, the patroness of Australia.

The architecture of the building is majestic, and every aspect consists of great detail in workmanship. Once you step inside the Cathedral, everything that surrounds you is absolutely mesmerising.


You can practically hear a pin drop in the Cathedral’s peaceful, and almost silent atmosphere. It is worth visiting just to admire the intricate details of the magnificent structure, with the splendid interior consisting of sandstone arches, beautiful wooden ceilings and spectacular colored glass windows. The St Mary’s Cathedral is undoubtedly an architectural beauty where you can go to escape the noise of traffic and to just tune your ears to silence.


Escape the city but stay in Sydney


These places all have one thing in common – they are not far from the busy city, (with some even tucked away in the city itself) and elicit a tranquil atmosphere. The beauty of these peaceful places being easily accessible adds to the charm of Sydney, where you get the best of both the city life and secret getaways.