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5 Weekend Escapes for Students

Weekend breaks present the perfect opportunity for international students to explore the regions surrounding Sydney.

When studying, taking short breaks can help you focus and remain productive. During the period between trimesters, taking short breaks can help you reset and return to your studies with a refreshed mindset.


Here are five ideas for the perfect weekend escape in New South Wales.


Snowy Mountains

The Snowy Mountains is the place to go for a bit of adventure. In the winter months, the mountains are home to ski fields however, in the summer months, there are numerous outdoor activities.


The Snowy Mountains are a 5-hour drive south of Sydney however, during the winter months, the drive can be up to 8 hours. For those who wish to use public transport, NSW TrainLink operates trains and buses to the nearby towns of Cooma, Jindabyne and Bombala.

Person skiing down a mountain

The ski fields at Perisher and Thredbo are some of the most popular in Australia. It is recommended you book in advance as there are limited spots available and usually they book out fast. If you have not been skiing or snowboarding before and would like to give it a go, lessons are available at Perisher and Thredbo. Skiing and snowboarding lessons, equipment and clothes rental can be booked via the Perisher website and Thredbo Website.


There are numerous activities on offer for visits outsides of the ski season, including hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.


The Kosciuszko National Park Summit Walk takes you to the top of Australia’s highest point on Mount Kosciuszko. There are two ways to reach the peak, the short hike from Thredbo and the long hike from Charlotte’s pass. The short walk is 13kms return in length and takes approximately 4-5 while the long walk is almost 19kms return taking 6-8 hours. If you prefer, you can take the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift can get you to the summit in 15 minutes or the Alpine Bobsled down the mountain.


Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia. In recent years, the town has become home to many celebrities, with the area used in many movie productions. However, while Hollywood has come to town, Byron Bay has stayed true to its roots with its laidback alternative beach culture.


Byron Bay is the most eastern point on the Australian Mainland. The lighthouse at Byron Bay has been used since the early 1900s to minimise shipping hazards along the dangerous stretch of coastline.

View overlooking the coast at Byron Bay

Byron Bay’s relaxed culture makes it the perfect place to disconnect and revitalise before returning to Sydney. Byron has a lot to offer, from hiking, mountain biking, surfing, snorkelling, kayaking, whale watching, sky diving, yoga classes, arts and crafts classes, and shopping.


To get to Byron Bay, you can fly to nearby Ballina airport or drive north from Sydney.  The drive from Sydney is 9 hours along the Pacific Highway, with plenty of places to stop for a break along the way.


Jenolan Caves

Jenolan caves are one of the most unique attractions in Australia. The limestone caves have been carved out over thousands of years by underground rivers running through the southern end of the Blue Mountains.


Located in the town of Jenolan, the network consists of 11 caves. At present, there are tours available in five caves. Each cave is different, with tours ranging from 1 hour to 2 ½ hours. Tickets for tours of the caves must be booked online via the Jenolan Caves website before your visit. Tours cost between $49 and $149, depending on the cave. While tours are only available for five of the caves, private tours of the other caves are available.

The view inside one of the caves at Jenolan

While Jenolan has limited accommodation options, the surrounding areas of Katoomba, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, and Oberon all have numerous options for accommodation and are home to other tourist attractions.


Wine Regions

Surrounding Sydney, numerous regions produce wine, with the Hunter Valley, Orange, and Mudgee being the most well-known. These areas have grown to become home to some of the best wine producers in Australia throughout the years.


The regions have numerous festivals, events, and attractions throughout the year. Hunter Valley has become the place to go for outdoor concerts. There are multiple tours offered throughout the region with all modes of transport, from cars and buses to horses, tractors and Segways. The Hunter Valley also provides the opportunity to explore the area from above with sunrise Hot Air Balloon tours.

Sunrise Hot Air Ballon over the Hunter Valley

In Mudgee, the annual Wine Festival takes place each September with tastings and tours. And Orange is home to a long-running regional food and wine festival each April.



From camping on the beach to bushland areas and the luxury of glamping, camping presents the most excellent opportunity to escape Sydney for a short break. Camping can be an incredibly budget-friendly holiday for students.


Camping is the perfect opportunity to take in nature and explore the outdoors. There is an incredible number of locations available for camping, along the coastline and in regional inland areas. There is a camping destination for everyone, from the white sand beaches surrounding Jervis Bay to the country campgrounds in regional NSW, there is a camping destination for everyone.

The white sand beaches at Jervis Bay

If you like the idea of camping but do not want to stay in a tent, glamping is for you. Glamping is a luxurious form of camping. Usually, glamping involves staying in a permanent tent or cabin. Cabins can be found in almost all camping locations and offer more comforts than tents.


Extra Tips

Budgets can be tight for students, and sacrifices must be made. However, taking a short break can be affordable.


Car hire does not need to be expensive or challenging. Car hire services such as GoGet and Car Next Door make gaining access to a car easy and inexpensive.


Platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz offer various types of accommodation that can help make travel more affordable.


If you want to go camping in a tent but don’t have the equipment you need, Overnight Adventures and Sydney Camping Hire provide rental services for all the equipment you need.


It is easy to lose focus and become distracted from your studies as a student. Taking the perfect weekend break can help you re-energise and regain focus on your studies.


To find out more about the courses offered at SISTC, visit our course information page.


Disclaimer: Before signing contracts for the lease or hiring accommodation, vehicles, or camping equipment, ensure you read the Terms and Conditions to avoid additional expenses.