Getting around Sydney
An efficient network of transport options makes travelling to attractions in Sydney and regional NSW affordable and enjoyable. The Sydney public transport system, provided by Transport for NSW, consists of trains, buses, ferries and light rail. Use the trip planner at transportnsw.info to plan your travel.
Sydney Public Transport
Opal Card and contactless payment
The Opal card is an easy, convenient way of paying for your travel on public transport in Sydney. It can be used on all public transport including trains, ferries, buses and light rail. There are daily and weekly caps on the Opal network, meaning you can travel as much as you like on metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services within the Opal network and you never pay more than the capped fare. The Sydney Airport station access fee isn’t included in the travel caps. For more information, visit www.opal.com.au
You can also pay with contactless-enabled American Express, Mastercard or Visa credit or debit cards or a linked device, by tapping on and tapping off at Opal readers. Contactless payments are available on all public transport in the Opal network and you will receive the same travel benefits of an Adult Opal card.
Wheelchair Accessible Transport
All ferries, trains and new buses in NSW are wheelchair accessible, providing easy access for prams and other mobility devices. You can ask for assistance boarding or leaving transport. Visit Transport for NSW’s accessible travel web page for more information.
Buses form a key part of Sydney’s public transport system, connecting all areas of the city, including those without rail or water transport. There are also NightRide services replacing most train routes between midnight and 4am.
Key bus routes include:
333 – Connecting Circular Quay to Bondi
L90 – Wynyard to Palm Beach
B1 – Wynyard to Mona Vale
373 – Connecting Circular Quay to Coogee
380 - Watsons Bay to Bondi Junction
Regional Bus Services
Private bus companies run daily services along the coast and to the Blue Mountains from Eddy Avenue, outside Central Station.
Firefly Express: 1300 730 740 within Australia
Greyhound: +61 13 14 99
Murrays: +61 13 22 51
Priors Scenic Express: 1800 816 234 within Australia
Sydney's main terminus for local and regional trains and buses is Central Station at Railway Square, close to Chinatown. Trains operate North to the CBD and across the harbour to North Sydney and beyond, as well as east to Bondi Junction and South past and including Sydney Airport. Sydney train maps and train timetables can be found at Transport NSW.
Intercity and Country NSW Trains
Trains depart Central Station for many NSW destinations, including the South Coast, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, Central Coast, North Coast, Country NSW and Outback NSW. Travelling long distances is easy and affordable on regional train and coach services.
Sydney Light Rail
The Inner West Light Rail network operates in both directions between Central Station and Dulwich Hill in Sydney’s West. The CBD and South East Light Rail is a new light rail network, which includes the L2 Randwick Line connecting Circular Quay to Randwick (already running) and the L3 Kingsford Line between Moore Park and Kingsford at Nine Ways (set to open in March 2020). Visit Transport NSW for more information and for a Sydney Light Rail map.
Ferries provide a fast and convenient way to cross the harbour, as well as offering a fantastic vantage point of the city. From Circular Quay you can take the Manly Fast Ferry or F1 to Manly, the F2 to Taronga Zoo and the F4 to Watsons Bay and Rose Bay.
The river ferry travels up the Parramatta River from Circular Quay to Parramatta, with stops along the way including Cockatoo Island, Cabarita and Sydney Olympic Park. The full journey takes about 90 minutes depending on stops.
A bicycle is a great way to get around Sydney. Cyclists use kerbside bike lanes and are permitted on most of Sydney's multi-lane roads. Find Sydney cycle maps, routes and more information.
Sydney cruise terminals
There are two cruise ship terminals in Sydney Harbour. The main Overseas Passenger Terminal is on Circular Quay’s western side in the historic Rocks and opposite the Sydney Opera House. The White Bay Cruise Terminal is near Anzac Bridge and is best accessed from James Craig Road in Rozelle.
Driving in Sydney
Australians drive on the left hand side of the road. If you’re travelling from overseas, you are able to drive in Australia with your foreign drivers licence for three months, as long as that licence is in English. If your licence is not in English, you will need to attain an International Drivers Permit (IDP) to use in Australia.
Seat belts are compulsory in Australia, with the driver responsible to ensure all passengers are wearing them. Using hand-held mobile phones is prohibited. The blood alcohol limit is 0.05% throughout Australia and is enforced with random breath tests. Pay attention to speed limits – speed cameras are used across Sydney and NSW.
Parking in Sydney
Parking can be limited and expensive in the CBD and close to popular beaches. Many of Sydney’s streets are restricted to permit holders, with time limits applied to non-permit holders or with metered parking. Fees range from $2.50 to $8 per hour depending on the location and time of day.
The cheapest way to park in the city centre is to pre-book online. Secure and Wilson parking offer cheaper advance rates and parkopedia.com is also a useful resource when looking for parking. If parking on the street, ensure you park in line with traffic.
Sydney has a number of toll roads and tunnels, including the Harbour Bridge, Harbour Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel and Eastern Distributor. This is charged via an electronic system. If you have a rental car, it will most likely have an e-tag installed and you will be billed at a later date. If you don’t have an e-tag, you can obtain one from the following websites:
If you pass through a toll road without a tag, ensure you call the number advertised to pay the toll, otherwise, you may incur a fine.
Car rentals in Sydney
You’ll find a range of car rental options in Sydney, including car, 4WD, campervan and classic car hire.
Taxis and private transport
Taxis and water taxis are a convenient way to get around Sydney. Rideshare services also operate in Sydney and include Uber, Ola and Taxify.
Legion Cabs: 13 14 51
Premier Cabs: 13 10 17
Silver Service Cabs: 13 31 00
St George Cabs: 13 21 66
13CABS: 13 22 27
Fantasea Yellow Water Taxis: 1800 326 822
Water Taxis Combined: 02 9555 8888
V.I.P Water Taxis: 0418 847 777
Majestic Water Taxi: 0439 625 377
Sydney Airport is located about 9 kilometres south of Sydney's city centre in the suburb of Mascot.
The three passenger terminals at Sydney Airport are:
T1: International Terminal is used for international flights.
T3: Domestic Terminal is used for Qantas and QantasLink domestic flights.
Transport services such as buses, taxis, car hire, rail and shuttle bus services are conveniently located at Sydney Airport.
Travel apps and information
Live Traffic NSW App
Receive up to the minute news of road incidents and conditions that may affect your journey in Sydney and the NSW regions.
Download the Live Traffic NSW App from the App Store
Download the Live Traffic NSW App from Google Play
TripView displays Sydney train, bus, ferry and light rail timetables, showing your next services. By TripView Pty Ltd.