Links to help you plan your use of Sydney’s Public Transport

There is really no need to hire a car for your time in the city.  Sydney’s public transport is easy to use, and once you work out the basics, I am sure you will find it really convenient.

Sydney Airport Link

So for most people, the airport train will be your first taste of the network.  Depending on the time you arrive this could be a pleasant or a pretty stressful experience.  Have a read of my airport train tips and decide if it’s right for you before we go any further.


Trains leave from the domestic and international terminals to the city and suburbs.

The 2 terminal stations are privately operated and as a result expensive, but it’s cheaper than a cab if there are less than three of you, and it’s also much faster. You can be in the city before you even get to the front of the taxi queue at peak times.  I live at the first stop past the airport and in peak hour, the trains are pretty crowded.  Try to get to the front or rear of the train for more space and if you can, avoid standing right in the doorway so others can get on.  If you have a huge backpack take it off your back – it’s the polite thing to do:-)

Sydney Buses – Servicing all areas of the city.

325 bus Watsons Bay to Walsh Bay

Sydney buses are the only option in much of the Eastern and Northern suburbs.  All services starting in the CBD and parts of the inner city require prepaid tickets.  You can buy these at convenience stores, and bus stands at Circular Quay, QVB and Wynyard.  You can also get an Opal cards that is valid on all transport in Sydney.

Sydney Light Rail – Servicing the city and inner west

The light rail travels through the south of the CBD from Central Station to the Star Casino before heading to the inner west and passes a couple of tourists spots including the Sydney Casino, Sydney Fish Market and Rozelle – which provides an excellent starting point for exploring Balmain.

Ok now on to other transport that you might find useful – not exactly public transport but sometimes


Not everyone is a fan of Uber and other ride-sharing services however I have only had positive experiences using Uber in Sydney. I would say at three trips a week on average over the last year I have been in enough Uber cars to have formed an opinion.  I am not going to go into the legalities; that is for you to decide for yourself. However, I have not one bad ride, all drivers have been overwhelmingly courteous, and they are now my first choice when calling for a taxi.  If you want to give them a try use my code, and you will get your first ride (up to a max of $15 free), I also get a free ride if you do which is a bonus.

You can now catch Uber from Sydney Airport – there are designated pick up areas at both the International and Domestic terminals.

Silver Service Taxis – Book online or download the free app

There are several taxi companies in Sydney, some service the city and others work in smaller areas.  Silver is my personal favourite mainly because they answer the phone quickly, the taxis are clean and best of all they actually turn up!

It’s worth noting the secure ranks that operate at night if you are travelling alone.   These run from 8 pm till 3.30am on Friday and Saturday nights.  The most useful ones are

  • Darling Harbour, Northern end of Lime Street
  • The Rocks, Northern side of Alfred Street – Circular Quay
  • The Rocks, corner of Argyle and Harrington Streets
  • Chifley Square, corner of Hunter and Phillip Street
  • World Square, Eastern side of George Street between Liverpool Street and Goulburn Street

H20 Sydney Water Taxis – Sometimes the quickest way to get from one side of the city to the other is by water taxi – Balmain to Mosman, for example, is going to take you ages any other way.  They can be quite cost effective for groups.

Bayswater Car Rental – An excellent value company with good rates and a convenient city location. On the many occasions, I have rented from Bayswater it has been problem free.

Sydney Trip Planner  – Trip planner can be reached via the web or by phoning 131500.  This all in one site will help you find the best way to get from A to B. The site also lists track work and service interruptions, which are quite frequent in Sydney on the weekends.

Don’t forget to check out the public transport tag for all my posts featuring ideas for using public transport on your visit and also my OPAL 101 for visitors post to get your head around our ticketing system.

Still got a question, feel free to leave a comment and I will try to help


  1. Hi, this is my first time to Sydney, I plan to buy an Opal card in Airport. Not sure if I can cash back unused dollar value (after 4 days) when I leave Sydney

    • Hi Ricky Unfortunately you cannot easily get a refund on the card. You can fill in a form to get money refunded but it is paid to an Australian bank account and address to do this. See this page for more details.

      If you are not sure how much to load you can use the fare estimator on the Opal site or send me an email with your itinerary and I will try to work out the best amount for you to load.

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