Your Sydney transport options in a nutshell.
Spread out across over 12,000 square kilometres, you might feel overwhelmed visiting Australia’s largest city, but it’s interesting to note that the city’s CBD, which is home to the majority of Sydney’s tourist attractions, is relatively compact.
The city centre itself is highly walkable. However, if you’re seeking public or private transport throughout the city, this guide can help you navigate your way around with ease, so that you can maximise your holiday and minimise your stress.
Sydney public transport
Types of transport: Sydney has a vast network of trains and buses across the city and to surrounding areas like Wollongong, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains. Trams and ferries also service the CBD and certain outer suburbs. Expand the sections below for coverage maps.
Paying for transport: The Opal card is Sydney’s electronic transport ticket. It can be purchased from train stations as well as select convenience stores and 7-Elevens and is free to obtain with a minimum load amount. The Opal card allows you to ride all forms of public transport (trains, buses, trams and ferries) by pre-loading it with funds. Individual tickets can still be purchased, however, these are priced higher than what you will be charged for using an Opal card. Certain services will not issue on-the-spot paper tickets during peak periods, so the Opal card is a good investment to avoid this potential hassle. You can find more information about the Opal card here.
Best apps for getting around: There is no official app for Sydney Transport, however, is a popular trip planning app that features timetables for both Sydney and Melbourne’s transport systems.
Taxis and Uber
Taxi: Taxis can be hailed off the street or pre-booked for a fee. Look out for taxis with their lights on, as this symbolises that they are available to hail. Designated taxi ranks can be found outside the terminal at Sydney Airport with fares to the CBD estimated at $45-$55 in addition to an airport toll.
Uber: The ride-sharing service Uber is available throughout Sydney and can be used to get to and from the airport. The Uber website estimates fares from Sydney Airport to the CBD at $34-$37.
Sydney car hire rental companies
Rental car desks for major car hire services including Avis, Hertz and Europcar can be found on the arrivals level at both the domestic and international terminals of Sydney Airport. Redspot is also available in addition to the car hire options above.
While you can hire a car on the spot, it’s recommended that you book in advance to ensure you get the car you prefer and to ensure a car will be waiting for you when you arrive.
Sydney car hire deals
If you'd prefer not to drive yourself or to take public transport, you can pre-book airport transfers for a smoother move from the airport right to the door of your accommodation.