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Last updated : Nov 2009
Sydney Getting Around
Getting Around Sydney - TravelPuppy.com
Public Transport

Sydney’s large transit system, incorporating bus, ferry and various rail services, is well developed, cheap and efficient. The Transport Infoline (telephone: 131 500, Australia only) provides route, timetable and fare information for all buses, trains and ferries.

State Transit operates Sydney’s buses:
Telephone: 131 500 (info line) or (02) 9245 57777
Email: info@sydneybuses.nsw.gov.au
Website address: www.sydneybuses.nsw.gov.au

Buses run daily from 6.00 am to 12.00 pm and night buses operate on selected routes thereafter. The fares starts at A $1.60 for inner city journeys and is available for purchase from the driver.

Sydney Ferries runs the commuter ferry network that crisscrosses Sydney Harbour. Ferries ply between Circular Quay and approximately 30 destinations, daily from 6.00 am to 12.00 pm. Fares start at A $4.50 and tickets are available for purchase at ticket offices and machines situated at the ferry stops or, if there is no office or machine, on board.

CityRail operates the network of trains designed mainly for rapid transit between the suburbs and the city. The stops are not necessarily convenient for tourists, who tend to remain around the city centre.

Trains generally operate daily from 4.30 am to 1.00 am with varying times on the different routes and a limited service or no service on some routes on the weekend. Fares start at A $2.20 and tickets are on sale from the railway stations.

Connex Sydney operates the monorail and light rail services.
Telephone: (02) 9285 5600
Facsimile: (02) 9267 4846
Email address: info@connexsydney.com.au
Website address: www.metrolightrail.com.au

The monorail shuttles between the city centre, Darling Harbour and the Chinatown areas, operating every 3 to 5 minutes Monday to Thursday from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 7.00 am to 12.00 pm and Sundays 8.00 am to 10.00 pm. Fares are A $4.

The light rail service operates 24 hours between Central Station and Star City, Sunday to Thursday from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 6.00 am to 12.00 pm between Central Station and Lilyfield. Fares start at A $2.80 and tickets are available for purchase on the trains.

Several money saving passes are available, including the SydneyPass, a 3, 5 or 7 day pass costing A $100, A $130 and A $150 respectively. This pass allows unlimited travel on public buses, harbour ferries, the Sydney Explorer bus and the Bondi Explorer bus as well as the 3 sightseeing cruises operated by the State Transit authority and train travel within the red (city and inner suburban) travel pass zone. A return trip on the AirportLink train is additionally included.

Passes are available on sale from TransitShops at Circular Quay and Wynyard Station and from:

Address: The Sydney Visitor Centre, 106 George Street, The Rocks.

The colour coded TravelPass, valid for 1 week or more, allows for unlimited travel on public transport within a designated area. For example, a weekly red bus, ferry and train TravelPass, costs A $32.

A FerryTen ticket is valid for 10 ferry trips and starts at A $28.50. A TravelTen bus pass is valid for 10 bus journeys and starts at A $11.80. A DayTripper pass is valid for travel on all regular buses, ferries and metropolitan area trains and costs A $15.

There are also travel passes for the Sydney Metro, the Monorail Supervoucher Day Pass gives a full day of unlimited use for A $9, while the Metro Light Rail Day Pass costs A $8.40 and the Weekly Unlimited Trips Pass is A $20. A METROConnect pass is A $28 and allows for unlimited travel on both the light rail and monorail for 1 week.

All passes are available for purchase from the railway and bus stations, as well as from newspaper stands on bus routes.


Taxi ranks can be found outside most bus and railway stations, as well as the larger well known hotels. The initial charge is A $2.65 and a 3 kilometre (2 mile) trip costs approximately A $7.25.

Fares are subject to surcharges for telephone bookings, crossing the Harbour Bridge and using certain parts of the Eastern Distributor, where toll systems operate.

Travel between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm costs an extra 20 %. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, although fares are normally rounded up to the nearest dollar.

Operators include Taxis Combined Services (telephone: (02) 8332 8888) and Premier Cabs (telephone: 131 017, Australia only).


Chauffeur driven limousines are available for trips around Sydney, with an elective commentary.

Operators include First National Limousines (telephone: (02) 9948 2728) and Astra Chauffeured Limousines of Australia (telephone: 132 121).

Transport from the airport to the city costs from A $66.

Driving in the City

The construction of a new road network for the 2000 Olympic Games left many Sydney routes greatly improved. The Eastern Distributor tunnel, for instance, has made driving to the airport a lot easier.

The Cross City Tunnel, due to open in late 2005, will help reduce city congestion by allowing travel from Kings Cross to Darling Harbour, under the CBD. However, Sydney drivers are notorious for speed and intolerance and parking is regularly difficult and / or expensive.

Parking restrictions are obviously signposted and usually specify an hour or 2 of metered parking during business hours. There are clearway zones that apply at certain times of day, and vehicles will be towed away and impounded if they are found parked there during the times shown.

It is possibly easiest for visitors to park in 1 of the car parks situated around the city centre and take public transport from there. A well located central car park is the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) Car Park in York Street. Metered parking usually costs A $2.40 per hour, whilst parking stations in the city can charge up to A $50 per day on weekdays.

Car Hire

A national driving licence printed in English is necessary for driving in Sydney, although some hire firms prefer an International Driving Permit. The minimum age for hiring a car is sometimes 25 years old. Minimum 3rd party insurance is required. Hire rates for a small car start from roughly A $68 per day.

Major operators include:

(telephone: (02) 9353 9033 or 136 333, Australia only)

Budget (telephone: (1300) 362 848 or 132 727, Australia only)

Hertz (telephone: (1800) 550 067 or 133 039, Australia only)

Thrifty (tel: (1300) 367 277).

Bicycle Hire and Scooter Hire

Sydney has many steep hills, causing uncomfortable rides and limited (and often dangerous) designated cycle lanes. Manly has better paths for cycling, however, best of all is the popular Centennial Park.

Hire companies include:

Woolys Wheels
Address: 82 Oxford Street, Paddington
Telephone: (02) 9331 2671
Website address: www.woolyswheels.com

Inner City Cycles
Address: 151 Glebe Point Road
Telephone: (02) 9660 6605
Website address: www.innercitycycles.com.au

Hire rates start from approximately A $39 for 24 hours.