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Short trips from Sydney - 2nd visit

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I just found out I will be taking a business trip to Sydney in January--my second trip.
Last time I thoroughly explored Sydney and surrounds, the Blue Mountains, and Canberra.
I am looking for ideas for where to travel for short stay before/after my work.

My free time on this second trip will be limited -- I can arrange to fly into Sydney on a Thursday morning and have to be back in town on Sunday evening (so about 2.5-3 days) and I can stay after from Wednesday afternoon until flying out to US on Saturday or Sunday (another 2.5 days or so).

I love nature, history and local culture. I do not enjoy much beach/resort time, shopping, wine or food. I'll be traveling alone, but will consider rural self-drive or day or overnight small tours.
Highlights from last trip excursions were the duck-billed platypus and kangaroos at parks outside of Canberra. Blue Mtns were OK, but not amazing for me.

My immediate thoughts were to look into Melbourne, Tasmania, or Adeleide for one period and then something closer to Sydney for the other. But I am unsure that I could see that much of Tasmania to make it worthwhile in the time frame? Melbourne with access to GOR or Phillip Island or other natural areas may be more reasonable? Too hot for the interior? I think when I planned my last trip that someone on here recommended a drive south from Sydney for a few days, but I will have to search.

I am probably posting this too soon before doing my research, but too excited when I got the news.

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