A Visitor’s Guide to using Sydney Opal Card

Mastering the Sydney Opal Card System will help you make use of the city’s extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. This is an electronic ticketing system that allows you to use one card (or app) across all these types of transport. I hope this simplified guide to using Sydney’s Transport Card, the Opal card helps you when you plan your visit to Sydney.

Please note the prices in the article are valid from 1 June 2024

As a life long Sydneysider who has never driven a car, I am very familiar with Sydney’s public transport network and how to use it. I use public transport in Sydney every single day. On top of this, my partner is a Sydney bus driver, so I have an inside source 😉

What follows is my attempt to simplify all the Opal information out there and answer some of the common questions I am asked in our Facebook Group. I am a regular user of all forms of public transport and hope you find this guide helpful.

This post is not meant to provide comprehensive information for local users with complicated questions. In these cases, I suggest you consult the official Opal website. However, if you are on a quick trip to Sydney, read on; this should cover enough of the basics to get you sorted.

Learning how to use an Opal card in Sydney

Opal is a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system, so you only pay when you use a train or bus or ferry, including private ferry operators like Manly Fast Ferry. There are rewards for frequent travel and daily caps on fares that can save regular users and even visitors on short trips some $$$

image of an Adult Opal Card
Opal Card

Understanding Opal travel discounts

The biggest benefit of Opal is the benefits you can gain by using the same opal card or credit card for every trip.

  • Daily Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $17.80 per day for adults and $8.90 a day for a child to travel anywhere in the network.
  • Weekend Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $8.90 for adults and $4.45 for kids for unlimited travel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and public holidays.
  • Weekly Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $50.00 a week for adults and $25 for kids when travelling on all modes of Opal enabled transport from Monday to Sunday
  • Transfer discount – You receive a $2 discount for every transfer between metro/train, ferry, bus or light rail as part of one journey within 60 minutes from the last tap off.
  • 30% fare discount when travelling on weekends, public holidays and outside of the peak times**.

 *Travel caps do not include access to airport terminal stations.
**Peak hour 6.30am-10am and 3pm-7pm

Sydney Light rail at Circular Quay Station
Sydney’s light rail is included as part of your Sydney Opal card cap.

Can I use my credit or debit card instead of buying an Opal card?

Yes, you can! These types of payments are known as contactless payments. That is what I do, but if you do, you need to be careful to use the same card every trip if you want to get weekly or daily cap benefits. You will also need to use a different card for each traveller.

You can also use your digital wallet – ie Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay by adding your American Express (AMEX), MasterCard, Visa credit or debit cards. The same rule applies as above though, make sure you use the same card or form of payment so you don’t miss out on the benefits of daily or weekly caps. It’s worth noting that using a card from your digital wallet and using a physical card will produce a different number for the same account, so you won’t get your discount if you switch between.

Provided you use the same card every day, you will get the same benefits as an Opal, i.e. daily or weekly caps or off-peak price reductions.

Children or concession cardholders will still need an Opal card to access reduced fares.

If you are an Overseas traveller, you may be charged foreign transaction fees by your bank, so an Opal card might still be the best idea if you are taking more than a couple of trips.

If you are only in town for New Year’s Eve or Vivid, it’s probably easier just to use your credit card even if you do have some transaction fees.

How are Opal fares charged when you use your credit card

The fares are calculated the same way as regular Opal fares, so the card does not appear on your credit card until the end of the day. When you tap on for the first time, you are charged a $1 pre-authorisation (it will show as pending on your bank account balance).

At the end of the day, you will see a charge for the total of your travel that day. So if you take one trip or reach your cap, there will only be one charge (and only one foreign transaction fee per day if applicable). The date of the payment, when processed, will probably be different from the actual date of travel and will appear as Transport for NSW on your statement.

Find out more about contactless payments here.

Where can I buy a Sydney Opal card?

You can buy your cards from retail outlets, think convenience stores, newsagents, and supermarkets or you can order one online. You can find a complete list of retailers here. Cards are not available for purchase on buses or Opal machines at train stations, and ferry wharves only sell single-use tickets.

The primary locations for visitors to purchase cards include:

Sydney Airport – You can buy opal cards at Sydney International and Domestic airport terminals. Cards can be purchased at NewsLink or WH Smith bookshops at either terminal. You can also buy them at the Airport Station. This page on taking the train from Sydney Airport will help you master this trip like a local.

Near city train stations – The only train stations that sell Opal cards are the two airport stations. Most regular stations will have a newsagent or convenience store nearby where you can buy a card.

  • Circular Quay – Transport shop just outside the entry
  • Town Hall – Woolworths Town Hall 2 – George Street Sydney
  • Central Station – NewsLink kiosks around the station – there are at least five
  • Wynyard Station – NewsLink Wynyard Station – The Concourse, Wynyard or Woolworths Met Centre.

Supermarkets, newsagents and convenience Stores – Woolworths Supermarkets are a great place to top up. Many news agencies and convenience stores such as 7Eleven and EzyMart located around the city and suburbs also sell the cards. You will see an Opal sticker in the window of places that provides cards or top-ups.

Where can I top up or recharge an Opal card

You can top up your Opal card using a machine a train station or ferry wharf, however if you do this during peak hour you may face long lines. You can also top up online, or via the Opal app or on the phone using your credit card (13 67 25). If you top up online or using the app, it can take up to an hour for the credit to be ready for use, so be sure to do it in advance.

Passengers standing on Town Hall Station in Sydney
Trains at Town Hall Station

How much does a Sydney Opal card cost?

Opal cards are free when you load a minimum amount onto it. The minimum cost is $20 for adult cards, $10 for child cards (other types such as seniors and students’ cards must be ordered). If you buy your Opal card at the airport train stations the minimum top-up is $35. This is because the station access or gate fee for these private stations is $16.88 for adults.

There is no fee for the card itself; all the credit is available for travel. Subsequent top-ups can be made in $10 increments. If you choose to buy your card online, the minimum credit is $40. I can see no reason to order your card online before you arrive. It’s not worth the hassle.

You can set up auto top-ups for cards registered online, which I do not recommend unless you are here for a very long time.

Do I have to register my card?

You don’t have to register your card if you buy it from a retailer. If you buy your card online, it is registered when you order it. If you buy your card from a retailer, you can also log in and register your card on the Opal website if you wish to.

Why you should register your card

Registering your card means that your travel is recorded, which some people are uncomfortable with; however, it also means you can keep track of your balance and trips online. Another benefit is that if you lose your card, you can cancel it and replace the credit. It just depends on how comfortable you are sharing your privacy.

Do I need an Opal card for each person?

Yes, everyone aged four years and over needs their own card. For children 4-15 you can buy a child’s Opal. Children under four years of age travel free.

How can I check the balance on my Opal card?

The quickest way to check your Opal balance is on the official Opal App. The app is available for iPhone or Android users. You tap your card on your phone and the balance is shown.

What time is off-peak for Opal?

When calculating your fare, the time of day you travel is considered. Peak times within the Sydney metro area are:

  • 6.30am-10am
  • 3pm-7pm

Intercity trains like those to the Blue Mountains and up and down the coast

  • 6am – 8am
  • 4pm – 6.30pm

Off-peak travel is 30% cheaper when using an Opal card. Without an Opal card, you do not get any reduction and pay peak fares all the time.

Do Opal cards expire?

Yes, eventually they do; however, you have nine years to use the credit on your card.

Can you get a refund of your unused Opal Card balance?

  • You can only get a refund to an Australian bank account and it’s not an easy process, so I would suggest using the app to monitor your balance and only top up when you need to.
  • If your Opal card is registered, you can also transfer the balance to another card.
  • If there is any credit left on the card, perhaps hand it to another traveller or local who I am sure would be happy to accept it!

Who can buy child and student discount tickets?

  • Sydney’s public transport is free for children under four years of age. Kids aged 4-15 can buy a child’s Opal card.
  • Full-time students aged 16 and over who are residents of Australia must apply for a student Opal via their educational institution.
  • If you are over 16 years and a student in another country you must still buy an adult ticket.

Access to Opal Gold cards for interstate seniors

Seniors from other states of Australia are eligible to apply for a Gold Opal card. Opal cards for Australian seniors or Centrelink pension concession holders are available. You can order your card in advance via the Opal website

You can buy a Gold Opal over the counter at the Information Centres at Central and Circular Quay stations. Fill in the form and show them your Pensioner entitlement. You can find out more about Opal cards for seniors here.

Can international seniors get a Gold Opal card?

No, only Australia’s are eligible for concession seniors Opal cards.

Can international students get a discount on public transport?

In New South Wales, international students are not entitled to a student concession on public transport unless they purchase a quarterly ticket through their institution. If you are found to be travelling with the wrong ticket, you will be fined $200.

**Some Opal Terminology

When working out how quickly you will earn your eight journey travel reward, the following definitions, taken directly from the Opal website, might help.

  • A trip is travel on one route, one mode (e.g. a single bus trip). When you transfer to another route or service, you are beginning a new trip.
  • A journey consists of one or more trips on eligible services where transfers between services occur within 60 minutes*.
  • A transfer occurs at the end of a single trip. It is a change of transport mode or route to another service or route to continue a journey. Transfers made within a standard transfer time of 60 minutes* combine trips into a single journey.

*60 minutes applies to all services except the Sydney Ferries Manly service, where the standard transfer time is 130 minutes from the tap on.

How to tap on and off with your Opal Card.

Taping on is as simple as holding your card still over the sensor for a second or two. It’s not so much of a quick physical tap and a hold and remove. The light will go green, and you will hear a beep when it works. Do not swipe. If you forget to tap off, you will be charged the maximum fare for that journey. You can call Opal and let them know, and they will usually reverse this charge.

When travelling by bus, you tap on at the front door. As boarding buses in Sydney is only done via the front, there are no machines further down the bus.

With the Light Rail, you need to tap on before you board. There are no Opal readers inside the tram. The same applies to ferries and train.

For some train stations, you find barriers you need to tap on to pass by at the entry to the station, however, at smaller stations you may find the card reader on the actual platform.

Now you have mastered Opal it’s time to learn more about the options using Sydney Public Transport

Now you have sorted all that out, why not explore Sydney by public transport? I have written several articles to help you find some great ways to use your card. For starters, here are some of the most popular ones.

Have questions about things to see and do in Sydney?
Head over and join our Facebook Group and we will be happy to help

173 thoughts on “A Visitor’s Guide to using Sydney Opal Card”

  1. Two questions please: As an infrequent user who lives on the Central Coast, where can I buy an Opal card locally and does it have an expiry date?
    Do overseas visitors get a rebate on their card as it will only be used once?
    Thank you

  2. Hi Jan,

    For the Central coast it seems to be mainly a mix of 7-Eleven stores, newsagents and a few petrol stations. There are at least 20 outlets in the area from Woy Woy to Wyong.

    As for rebates, there is no rebate for overseas visitors however unlike the cards used in a lot of cities, there is no upfront cost for an Opal card. Whatever you spend it loaded as credit with the minimum being $10 on an adult card. You can apply for a refund of any credit left on the card but it is paid to an Australia bank account so not ideal for visitors. If a visitor is in Sydney for 1-3 days I would load $10 or $20 depending on your itinerary. A ferry ride and a couple of train trips off-peak would use up most of that.

    There is an assortment of apps being released to help people track their spend. Most seem to carry a charge but I will be reviewing them in upcoming weeks so keep an eye out for that.

  3. Hello,

    We are visiting Sydney for the weekend. We will be flying up and staying in the city. We are a family of 4 two children. I am just wondering would it be worth buying the opal tickets or just pay as we go?

    Thank you for your help


  4. Hi Deb,

    It depends on what you plan to do once you are here. You would need a card for each person and the minimum credit you could place on them is $10 for the adults and $5 for the kids. If you are planning a ferry ride and were to do it on a Sunday, under the opal ticketing you would pay a maximum of $2.50 each for the whole day. An individual ticket for that day for say a trip to Manly will cost you $7.40 for an adult and $3.70 for a child.

    If you don’t plan on taking public transport other than from the airport to the city and back it is probably not worth getting one. It is really hard to say without knowing your plans.

  5. Thank you for this information Paula, it is much easier to understand than the official Opal website, and a lot more comprehensive. I hope you don’t mind if I share it on the social media accounts for my Love Your Trains Campaign! 🙂

  6. Go right ahead 🙂 It really frustrates me to hear people bagging out Opal without really getting their head around it. Some people may be slightly worse off under this system but for most of us it’s better and it really encourages the use of public transport on weekend which is a great initiative for the environment.

  7. Hi Paula,

    It is great to find your blog with so many helpful info about Sydney. I am planning to visit Sydney early next Feb on my own. I am considering to buy Opal card for my transportation in Sydney for 2-3 days, including trips in CBD, Manly, and Blue Mountains. I believe it is more convenient and cheaper to use Opal than MyMulti. Please correct me if I am wrong 🙂

    I will also visit my friend in Wollongong. Can I travel from Sydney Airport Int’l Terminal to Wollongong by train with an Opal?

    I am still working on my itineraries in Sydney & Wollong (for 4.5 days in both places) as this will be my first time to Sydney 😀 I feel really lucky to find your blog before my trip. Thank you so much!

    Vanessa (from Vietnam)

  8. Hi. I’m an ex-serviceman and have an Ex Member of Defence Forces Pass. It’s a paper ticket which entitles me to free public transport in NSW. I live in Canberra where unfortunately it isn’t valid but I will be visiting Sydney shortly where I want to use it. How does this work with the Opal system? Are there card readers that will still accept my card?

  9. Hi, I’m an international student. I’m staying in Adelaide now. However, I’m going to Sydney next month for my internship 6 months in there. I want to know how to use opal card. So can you explain how much I have to pay for one way. What kind of Opal card suitable for student? And can you estimate how much i need to pay for each month?

  10. in january my wife and i are visiting our daughter in manly.the trip is for three months so we will get an opal card each.is there a max amount you can credit card, with and when we travel on a bus or ferry can we pay for our gradaughter by ticket. we are from scotland.thank you for your help

  11. Hi Bob,

    Sorry for the delay in responding. I am currently overseas and have limited internet access. There are staff at all major stationswho will be able to let you in with your pass if it is valid in NSW. You will not need to use the card readers. Many smaller stations are unstaffed but gates at these stations are opened.

    Enjoy your visit to Sydney.

  12. Hi Hgoc Thuy

    International students on student visas can buy a discounted My Multi 2 card – you may be entitled to one of these. If not you can buy an adult opal card. The price of tickets depends on the distance travelled. For example, I live under 10km from the city and my average weekly spend is about $28. As I travel to the city every day by Thursday afternoon my travel is free for the rest of the week.

  13. Hi Mick
    For a 3 month visit an Opal card will be worthwhile. You can also get a child opal card for your granddaughter. You do not need to order them in advance unless you specifically want to. They can be bought and topped up at convienence stores, newsagents and even at the airport. You can register them once you recieve them and add a credit card to allow auto top ups when the balance is low if you want to. The other benefit of registering the card is that it can be replaced if you lose it and any outstanding credit moved to the new card.

  14. HI we are going to Sydney in December, (2 adults and a 16years old) for 8 days. We will fly to Sydney and stay in Potts Point, stay in CBD most the time, but intending to go to blue mountain, factory outlet, Manley,. Should I get an Opal card? What is the best way to get to Potts Point? By train? bus? Ir shuttle bus?

  15. Hi Iris
    Sounds like an Opal would work for you. After 8 trips in a week the rest of your travel in free for that week. You might not want to walk into the CBD each day so I imagine you will get to 8 trips. There is also a daily limit of $15 so that would kick in on the Blue Mountains day and the Manly ferry day. If you are here on a Sunday the maximum charge is $2.50 per day for unlimited travel. You can buy your card at the airport if you want to before you head to Potts Point.

    If you are coming off a long flight you are probably best to take a taxi or shuttle. You could take a train but would need to change to get to Kings Cross Station and then walk. The fares for 3 of you would only be a little less than the cab fare. If you are on a tight budget the 400 bus from the front of the terminal to Bondi Junction then a train to Kings Cross would be the cheapest way. Shuttle would probably come in next cheapest.
    Have a great visit.

  16. Hi
    I received my seniors Opal card last Tuesday and immediately registered it set up an automatic top-up on my account. By Sunday (just 5 days later) I had received an email telling me that because I had not used my Opal card for 60 days my credit was being refunded. I rarely use public transport because it is so lousy on Sydney’s Northern Beaches (why would I take a bus when it is quicker to drive?) so it seems I am never going to be able to have available credit on my card because I am unlikely to use it within a 60 day period.

  17. Hi Helen
    Sounds like an error on their part regarding the cancellation after just 5 days. I suggest you call them. It is a bit confusing at first but as stated on their website you have 9 years to use the credit on your card. It is only if you do not use at least once it within 60 days of receiving your credit is returned. Try calling the helpline, I have found the staff there to be really helpful.

    “Yes, it can expire if you don’t use your Opal card for nine years. However, if you receive a new Opal card that is registered and you have arranged to put value on it, you will need to present it to a card reader within 60 days. Otherwise the balance will simply be reversed and credited back to your nominated credit or debit card account.”

  18. If you decide NOT to register your card don’t put too much money on it upfront until you can assess your likely travel expenditure. Getting a refund for unused travel is not visitor friendly

  19. I am travelling to Sydney in October for a month. Would you advise getting an Opal card, as I use all forms of transport whilst there. I see there is a weekly cap of $60 – what happens if I use the $60 before the end of the week? Do I travel ‘free’ thereafter?

    Many thanks – David

  20. Hi David, for a trip that long I would get an Opal card. The travel caps mean that once you have spent to the cap the rest of your trips are free. The caps are $15 a day or $60 a week. On Sundays, the cap is $2.50 making this the perfect day for a trip further afield, like the Blue Mountains.

  21. Hello,

    I was glad I found your blog, it helped me lot in figuring out how the public transports works in Sydney. However I would need some more help. Me and my family (2 adults and 3 children under 15) will be staying in Sydney for 5 days then we will take the train to get to Canberra. During our stay in Sydney we will be visiting places such as the Cricket hall of fame, Lolly Swagman, The rocks, Sydney observatory, National Maritime Museum, Bondi beach, fish market, Wentworth falls …. to name some of them. I am still debating on buying the Opal card considering there will be a lot of cards to pay and we can just pay them on the go. Please help me out.

    Thank you very much in advance,

  22. Hi Anh,
    I would usually recommend you all get Opal cards.The card will save 30% on fares for journeys outside of peak hours and give you access to the $2.50 all day Sunday price. It really depends on where you are staying? If you are in the centre of the city you could walk to some of the places you mentioned.You will need to take a bus to Bondi and they do not accept cash so will need a prepaid ticket or an opal card. You can take the light rail to the fish market – it is possible to walk but a long way. If you are planning on taking the train to the Blue Mountains then definitely get Opal cards. The Cricket Hall of Fame is in Melbourne I think? Do you mean the Bradman Museum in Berrima? This is not such an easy trip by public transport. Will you be driving?

  23. I have family visiting from Queensland later this year. They are age pensioners – are they eligible for the $2.50 discount pensioner daily fare?

  24. Hello,

    I was just wondering I will be coming to Syd for a training course in Guildford and need to train it there from Central station and return to central again when finished it’s just for a day, would I still need to buy a Opal card or could I just buy a return ticket from Central?

  25. Hi Adi
    You can buy a one-way ticket there and then get another on the way back from Guildford. They no longer sell return tickets. It will cost you a little bit more but for a single trip but will be simpler for such a straightforward journey.

  26. We (2 adult, 1 kid) will be in Sydney for around 2.5 days and plan to explore CBD and Bondi area. Your guide on OPAL really encourage us to use it instead of taking private bus tours.

    Question :
    Do you suggest using OPAL from airport to CBD location and back with its surcharge fee? Or do you suggest using taxi service for airport transfers and use OPAL for local transports?

    Thanks again for your blog and excellent information on other areas as well.

  27. With 2 adults and 1 child, it will be cheaper to take an Uber/Taxi from the airport. If you are not already an Uber user just download the app to your phone and set up a credit card for payment. The Uber pick up area is just outside the arrivals terminal – follow the yellow signs to the express pick up location and you wait at the 2 min pick area, not the 15-minute area. It is best to have a working sim card for this so the driver can call you if they can’t find you easily. If you are not already a member this promo code (ubersydneyexpertue) will get you a discount. If you prefer not to use Uber then a taxi is probably easiest. You can get a taxi fare estimate here https://www.taxifare.com.au/

  28. Hi we are a family of 2 adults and 2 children. We will be flying down to Sydney, catching a train from thd domestic airport to central and then train out to springwood. This will ve our only public transportation. Do we just purchase one paper tickets from the airport that will cover the complete trip?? Thank you.

  29. Hi Sara
    The fare using an Opal single use (paper) ticket is adult $24.50 and $17.90 for kids. Using an Opal card it would be Adult (peak) $22.80 (offpeak) $20.25 kids $17.05 or $15.77. In your case if you will do no other travel then the single use is the best bet as the as you would have to put $30 credit on the adult card and $20 on the kids, which would leave money over.

    It’s confusing I know. Just go with single-use tickets from the airport station I think.

  30. Hi. Thank you for the detailed info on the Opal card. We are 2 adult and 2 kids will be spending our weekend for 3.5 days. we will be staying in Kent street. Our itineraries are Darling Harbour for the first day. The second day will be a walk from our place to QVB then circular quay, the rocks and the Opera house and back to our hotel.
    and for the 3rd day it falls on Sunday we will be taking a bus from circular quay to Bondi beach. Do we need to get Opal card for our plan above? or the single ticket will do?
    Thank you. We will be taking a cab to the hotel due to our luggage.

  31. Sorry for the delay Lina, you can buy paper tickets at a convenience store however you will not be able to get the $2.60 unlimited travel deal without the Opal card. The single ticket is $3.58 each way for adults. Use the trip planner on this site http://www.sydneytrains.info/ to find out other costs.

    Will you be taking a ferry at all? A really nice day out is to take the bus to Bondi Beach then once you are ready to leave the beach take the bus from Bondi Beach to Watson’s Bay and then take the ferry to Barangaroo. I would also put a Manly ferry trip on my agenda if you have not done it before.

  32. Hi, love your blog. I’ll be staying in Macquarie Park for about two days, and will explore Sydney during that time. I’ll be flying into the international terminal with a backpacking luggage. Will it be worth it for me to get the Opal card? Trying to reduce costs in any way I can but don’t want to sacrifice convenience. Thanks in advance!

  33. Hi Danny
    If you are based in Macquarie Park I am guessing you will need an Opal to explore the city. It does actually save you money on each fare and I would imagine you would get value from it unless you have friends taking you around sightseeing by car. Travelling from the airport to Macquarie Park will be cheapest by train. There is also a fare cap of $15 per day.

  34. Yes yes..thank you for reminding me about the ferry. I should put that in my itinerary to get the nicest view of the opera house 🙂

  35. Thanks for the information. Is there any limitation on the number and size of the luggage that I can bring on board the train? Are there any storage area for the luggage? Thank you.

  36. Hi Eric, there is no limitation to what you can bring on the train and there are lifts at all stations. However, if you have a large amount of luggage I would recommend that you don’t take a train in peak hour. There is no special luggage area but there is an open area inside the doorway – just be sure to move right inside and don’t block the doorways as this really upsets the locals. Uber now operate from the airport so this could be a good option to consider.

  37. Hi we are going on a family cruise in march 2009 and will be in Sydney the preceding three days.I understand most of the opal system from reading your blog but don’t fully understand the ferry system could you please clarify a few things. ie are they the same price as buses and trains. Are they included in a trip or journey cost and if so how can you tell which ones are. Are some more expensive than others. Thanx in advance Craig.

  38. Hi Craig, sorry for the delay, I am currently travelling myself. Buse, trains, light rail and ferries all have different pricing structures. On Sundays, you get unlimed travel on all 3 types of services for just $2.60. On other days individual prices remain. All services count toward your daily caps ($15 max a day) and your weekly travel benefit (after 8 trips all trips are half price). Ferries have 2 tiers of pricing – inner Harbour ferries are $5.88 and longer trips are $7.60 (more without an Opal card). You can find all the fares here. https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/opal/fares-payments/adult-fares

  39. Hi, My wife and I will be in Sydney centre and plan to do a lot of walking. However, we will be going to the HARS museum, Albion Park by train just for the day. Can we both just buy tickets at Central Station without the OPAL card?

  40. Yes you can Clive. Single tickets are available from the machines at the train station. It will cost a little extra but it is not much of a difference for only 1 trip usually

  41. I will be arriving in Sydney with my two teens and a 7 yr old. We will have 3 25kg luggages plus carry-on bags. What is the best and cheapest transportation from the airport to Meriton Suites Waterloo?

  42. Hi I am from England, a senior and retired, I will be in Sydney for a 3 month holiday. Will I be entitled to a concession on my bus fares. I will need to fetch my grandchildren from daycare 3 times a week

  43. Hi Eli
    I would probably book an Uber – do you use them in your city? If so you can order one when you get to the arrivals hall and follow the signs to the uber pickup area. If not download the app and set it up before you leave home. The train for 4 people would cost more.

  44. Hello thanks for all the info – can you advise which is the most efficient way for a family of five to travel from the Airport to Darling Harbour?
    Thank you

  45. Hi Shelley I would imagine that an uber or other ride share service would be the cheapest option. There are several operators in Sydney and a designated priority pick up area for these services. Download Taxify or Ola if you are not an Uber user already as I find them more reliable. Public transport to Darling Harbour is not ideal. It involves changing from the train to the light rail at Central and probably too much with a family in tow.

  46. Hi. I’m travelling to Sydney next week for 5 days.

    I have one question to ask. My question is : may I know for daily travel caps, can I top up AUD80 at once instead of daily top up AUD15.80 ? As I know, the minimum amount top up for an adult is AUD10. Therefore, it is more easier to top up once instead of topping up AUD15.80 daily.

  47. Hi Suphansa
    You can top up with as much credit as you like. The weekly cap is just under $65 so if you are only here a week don’t put more than that as you will not be charged over that. It is very difficult to get any unused credit refunded.

  48. Hi,we are visiting Sydney in October and staying for a few days. I was born and brought up at Bronte Beach. I am an ex Serviceman and on a vet affairs TPI(Gold Card)Pension living in QLD. I am not 60 till December this year, so not entitled to seniors card. In QLD I have a Translink Card which entitles me to free Buses, Ferry’s, Trains. But I don’t seem to be entitled to any concession in NSW. My wife is my carer and she applied and got a senior/pensioner Opal card.
    Just seems strange that I am the one with the disability and I have to pay full fare. Any help on this one? Thanks in advance. Peter

  49. Hi, Me and my wife will be going to Sydney in mid september. We will be staying in circular quay area and planning to visit taronga zoo, st mary cathedral, chinatown, Queen Victoria Building, Luna Park , Bondi Beach just to name a few. Will the Opal card save us some cost travelling using the bus/train/ferry?


  50. Yes you will save money by getting an Opal card. How many days will you be here? How happy are you walking? You can easily walk from the Quay to Chinatown, QVB and the Cathedral for example. You can even walk over the bridge to Luna Park but you will want to take a bus or train to Bondi and at least one ferry, perhaps back from Luna Park. I would also suggest a ferry to Manly or Watson’s Bay.

  51. Hi. My wife and I will travel to Sydney from overseas (USA) in November. We plan to use the Opal card primarily to get from the airport to Darling Harbor hotel and back. We will rent a car for mid-trip travel outside Sydney, but we’ll have a couple days in Sydney itself at the beginning and end of our stay. Should we go online to order our cards or would you suggest buy our cards at the airport when we arrive? Once our cards are activated, my understanding is the unused balance is refunded ONLY to an Australia bank account. True? Or is it possible, after 60 days of non-use, to have the balance refunded back to our credit/debit card? Thank you for your help.

  52. We are arriving Sydney on a cruise ship and staying in Prymont dec 1-4. We will be just taking the bus or light train to China town and Sydney town hall for free city walk and taking the train to airport to Melbourne. Is it worthwhile for 8 of us to buy Opal card?

  53. Hi,
    We are going to Sydney in November. Arriving Sydney early in the morning, after check into the hotel, we might have half a day left for sightseeing on the first day and a full 2nd day before we leave Sydney on the third day.
    We plan to visit Manly beach and around Sydney the first day. 2nd day will be to other beaches you recommended. The third day we might have a few hours left in Sydney.
    Since $15 max per day using opal car, do you think $30 should be enough for the first two day use.
    Thank you.

  54. I would suggest you probably will save money with an Opal card (you will need one each) as the distance from Prymont to the rest of the city is a bit of a walk and after a day’s sightseeing. It would also save the hassle of having to buy individual tickets for each trip before you travel. You can not pay on buses or light rail so you would have to buy single-use Opal tickets each time. Use the calculator here https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/opal/fares-payments/adult-fares to work out how much money to put on the cards.

  55. My understanding is that funds can only be returned to Australian bank accounts so I assume that would also be cards but I might be wrong. If you are only taking the airport train you can just buy single use tickets from the airport. If you decide you need cards I would buy on arrival and not order in advance. You may find you don’t use them enough to bother. Single use tickets are available from convenience stores or train stations in the case of trains.

  56. Hi, we are 1 adult & 1 child. will be in sydney for 7 Night. Should we get the opal card ? I confuse between weekly cap $60-65 WITH After 8 trips in a week the rest of your travel is free for that week. If this means, if my single trip cost $4.40 x 8 trips = $35.20, is that the maximum amount that will cost me because the rest of the week is free ? So i don’t have to top up $65 cause maybe $40 is enough ?
    And we will stay at my friend place at Wolli Creek, what is the best way to get out from the airport ?
    Thanks a lot for your response later.

  57. My husband and i will arrive at Sydney’s Domestic Airport at 11am and need to get to the Overseas Passenger terminal at The Rocks.What would be the best way to travel there?

  58. I have purchased one opal card.
    Can I use this one card for both myself and my wife?

  59. No William, you need one each, however, they are free to get so just load enough credit on each to cover your travel. If you are not sure there is a fare calculator (https://transportnsw.info/) that will help you get a rough idea. If you need more help pop over and join the FB group and someone will certainly help you calculate your trips.

  60. The quickest way, if you can manage your luggage without too much trouble, would be to take the train directly from the Airpor to Circular Quay. There are elevators at both stations and its a very short, flat walk to the terminal.

  61. Hi Kiki, There is no free travel after 8 trips, it is half price travel only. Sundays are $2.70 max for all day travel. Tickets are less than $4.40 outside peak hour. I would suggest only putting $40 on and topping up later if needed.
    The airport to Wolli Creek will be best done in an Uber. It’s very close.

  62. My son and I are coming to Sydney on a sunday morning early. We want to go from the airport to circular quay to see the opera house, then from circular quay to central. Then from central on the light rail to the convention centre, then from the convention centre back to central and then back to the airport sunday night. so only in sydney for the day. I have never been to sydney so am totally trusting the public transport system, my question is whats the cheapest way to do this? Does the airport train cost both ways or is the trip a day fare? also do the train and light rail use the same opal card thing? sorry to sound dumb its just we are so limited for time I want to make it as painless and simple as i possibly can, thanks

  63. We are travelling to Sydney from Morriset to Circular Quay. We are driving from Tamworth to Morriset and we are intending to then get a train to Central and then get a train to the Quay. We will then walk from Circular Quay to board the boat we are going on for a cruise to Noumea. Can we use our opal for the trip from Morriset to Circular Quay? If not how do we travel from Morriset to Circular Quay by train?

  64. Hi there-we plan to spend only 2 days in Sydney (mainly CBD area) next day taking the ferry to Manly and also to Bondi Beach in the afternoon. Plus coming to and from the airport with the public bus 400-410.
    Can you pls advise if really would make sense to buy the OPAL card for this short period including taking all these means of transportation?
    Would be save a lot more with this option rather than buying individual tickets for each journey/trip?
    Thank you, Kris

  65. Hi Kris
    Yes it will be worth having an Opal card. You can pick one up at the airport. Trips are 30% cheaper which is a good saving on the ferry particularly. You will need to take a train to Mascot suburban station to join the 400 bus.

  66. I tried to write here many times, but failed. Any other way? I want to ask few questions

  67. And how much for a pensioner to travel to the airport station which most overseas travelers are! No mention the added cost of that !

  68. Hi Anonymous
    If you are an Australian pensioner from another state you would need to apply for a gold Opal card online a few weeks before you arrive. International visitors who are seniors are not entitled to use pensioner pricing in Australia. I have an article on the airport train here https://sydneyexpert.com/tips-taking-sydney-airport-train/ The Station access fee for pensioners with gold opal cards is $12.80. These cards cannot be bought at the station and MUST be ordered online. I am not sure that MOST overseas travellers are pensioners btw. Thanks for your question.

  69. Hi, me and my partner are currently in Sydney and we are looking to go on a ferry to hop on and off around the bays, Watson, Rose, etc. Myfastferrt wants to charge us $50 each for a 48hr hop on Hop off ferry service but we only want to go on 1 day (Sunday). Would using opal cards be cheaper and what ferry services accept this? Thank you

  70. Hi, Becky, I am so sorry I missed this, as it’s Sunday I am sure you have figured it out by now. As long as you line up the ferries you can save a fortune by planning a DIY ferry tour. The only places the HOHO goes that the main ferries don’t is Quarantine Station, Fort Denison and Clark Island. For anyone reading this if you need a question answered quickly your best option is our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/Sydneyexpert/

  71. Hi!
    My Hostel is in Many and I probably will go to downtown Sydney every day nd also to the Blue Mountains.
    I arrive and depart from the airport.

    What’s the better choice?
    Opal or MM3?

  72. HI, Christoph The MM3 (my Multi 3) is no longer available. You will save money with an Opal card. The card has daily and weekly caps and with 2 ferry rides a day you should easily meet that. Have a great time in Sydney.

  73. Hi, My friend went to Sydney last December and i am planning to visit Sydney in April. Can i sue my friend’s Opal card? he said there’s still around 7$ left in his card..

  74. Hi, we will come to Australia in April, to Sydney first, anf after to Newcastle. Can we use opal card for the train from Sydney to Newcastle ? Do you have an idea of how much it will cost ? Thanks.

  75. Hi Joe
    You can use your Opal to go to Newcastle. It can seem confusing. You need to choose a suburban train (Central Coast & Newcastle line train) and not a country link or long distance train. These trains are a little faster but cost $30 each. The suburban train is only $6.08 each way.

  76. Thanks for your answer and precisions. We will be careful to take the suburban train. So, we must arrive in advance to register our luggages, don’t we ?

  77. Hi,I just wondering whether a 3yo kid need to get an opal card or not? as mentioned above that a kid under 4yo is free. Thanks.

  78. hi,
    i will be spending 4 to 5 days in Sydney and will be going to Blue Mountain and some city tour.Is it better to have the opal card and can it be used in Melbourne and Adelaide?

  79. I would recommend you buy an Opal card for a 4-day visit. It will save you about 30% on your fares overall if you are travelling in peak times and if you are taking buses in Sydney you need a prepaid ticket to board the bus. Sadly each state has its own card, Miki in Melbourne and Adelaide has a Metrocard with a visitor pass option.

  80. Hi. I will be flying into Sydney from Melbourne in June 2019 and arriving in Terminal 2.

    I just need some clarification about the $35.00 minimum top-up for a new Opal card. Is this requirement only enforced by the Airport Stations when they sell the new Opal card OR all other sellers (newsagents, convenience stores) in the airport premises would also enforce it?

  81. There is no official advice on this however a reader of our Facebook group informed me this week that she did buy a $20 card at a newsagent at the airport recently so I think the answer is yes you can buy a lower value card at these shops. If you are taking the train to and from the airport you will need the $35 if not and you don’t want to muck about just use your credit card to tap on and off.

  82. Thanks. Hopefully this loophole will last for the benefit of all others. I will only be in Sydney for 3 days and I only want to take the airport train on my flight out (which will only cost about AUD$17 from KX station). Now I can just buy a lower priced Opal card and take the bus from Airport to Mascot and change to train there or… bus 400 all the way to Bondi Junction and take the train from Bondi Junction to KX to have a feel of the locals.

  83. I need to use the bus, which is ‘Opal only’. I arrive at Central Station. Can I buy a ‘Single use Opal’ ticket for this, or do I need a conventional Opal Pass?
    Also I will be travelling back to Central Station on a public holiday from near Bondi- again the bus, ‘Opal only’. Am I able to buy this ticket before the day of travel as I’m concerned I won’t find a store open being a Public Holiday.

  84. i am travelin to sydney for a month in october am will be usein public transport alot what does anybody sujest how many dollers i put on my opal card when i first get one? i thought 200 dollers

  85. Hello, I’ll be travelling to Sydney and have several questions on opal cards, all the official info available seems to be quite confusing.
    1.-Please tell me if I understand weekly cap. $61.60 is all I will pay for the whole week, infinite number of rides, hundreds or thousands of rides. Is that right?
    2.-I guess “top-up” means adding credit to my opal card. Is that right?
    3.-If I am correct so far, I suppose on monday I can top-up directly my $61.60 weekly cap, since i will be using transport extensively. Will the weekly cap apply automatically as I use the card? I mean, will I not need to worry for the rest of the week, I will not need to do anything else?
    4.-Strangely, I see the top-up amounts are $10 $20 $40 $60 $80…etc. But wait a minute. Top-up is $60, but weekly cap is $61.60????? Please don’t tell me I need to add $80 in order to cover for that extra $1.60. How is that handled?????
    5.-Now I actually arrive on sunday. But opal weeks starts monday. That means I have to load $2.60 sunday cap plus $61.60 weekly = $63.70??? But then again, how is this achieved if I can only load $60 or $80??. Please understand I am a traveller, and do not wish to add all that extra $80 credit since it will be money lost for me!!!!
    Thanks in advance, I await for your kind response.

  86. Hi Ed, lots of people find the official site confusing 🙂

    1. Please tell me if I understand weekly cap. $61.60 is all I will pay for the whole week, infinite number of rides, hundreds or thousands of rides. Is that right? That is correct!
    2. I guess “top-up” means adding credit to my opal card. Is that right? Yes right again 🙂
    3. If I am correct so far, I suppose on Monday I can top-up directly my $61.60 weekly cap since I will be using transport extensively. Will the weekly cap apply automatically as I use the card? I mean, will I not need to worry for the rest of the week, I will not need to do anything else? The cap will kick in automatically when you have done $61.60 worth of travel but this is an awful lot. Very few people reach that amount. After 8 trips all your travel becomes half price and Sundays are max $2.70 so reaching the cap is hard.
    4.-Strangely, I see the top-up amounts are $10 $20 $40 $60 $80…etc. But wait a minute. Top-up is $60, but the weekly cap is $61.60????? Please don’t tell me I need to add $80 in order to cover for that extra $1.60. How is that handled? So firstly I recommend you top up with $40 when you buy your card and only add additional money if you need to. If you download the official Opal app you can see your balance any time and top up in $10 increments
    5.-Now I actually arrive on Sunday. But opal weeks starts Monday. Does that mean I have to load $2.60 Sunday cap plus $61.60 weekly = $63.70??? No – see above

    So to sum up. Get your card and load $40 at purchase. If you are coming from the airport and using the train note that the gate access fee is not included in the $2.70 cap. It is better to update as you go via your credit card on your phone than put too much credit on your Opal as refunds are just too hard to do.

  87. I will be going to Blacktown for the day and need to catch a bus only once why do I have to pay all that money for a $2.50 fare ,I’m a pensioner, and don’t catch the rail bus ,as I have a car which is needed where I live
    hope you can help

  88. You can buy a single adult ticket for the bus but if you want to access the $2.70 all day pension fare you need to have applied for an Opal card. The minimum
    top up for pensioners is $10.

  89. Hello Jan, I will be traveling from the US with my family of four people (3 adults and 1 child), staying in Sydney City Center for 4 days (all days are week days). I have the following questions, please advice! (1) On the second day, from the hotel, I plan to go to Circular Quay and catch a ferry to Watsons Bay – from here, I like to go to Bondi Beach – and then return back to the hotel from Bondi Beach? Should I catch a bus from Watsons Bay to Bondi and also catch a bus from Bondi Beach back to the hotel? If so, would this be a day where I should get the Opal ticket and top of the daily cap of $15.80 for each adult & 7.70 for a child? (2) On another day, I plan to leave from Central to Blue Mountains. Can I purchase 4 round trip tickets at the train tickets without using the Opal card? If I need to travel within Blue Mountains by bus then I would need to get the opal ticket and do the top off option again, right? (3) On the last day, I plan to go from the hotel to Royal Botanic Garden and return from the Rocks area back to the hotel. For this day, since I only have 2 trips; would it be a better choice to get an uber? Thank you so much for your reply.

  90. Based on your itinerary you will save money with an Opal card. You don’t get a card for each day, rather one card that you use for your entire visit. You will need a card for each person travelling. I would start with $30 credit on each adult card and $15 for the child. Take the 333 bus back to the city from Bondi. If you are travelling outside of the peak times you may not reach the cap for that day. The Opal will cover your travel to the mountains and within the mountains themselves. It is 30% cheaper to use the card than buy individual tickets. I would not bother with an Uber to the Botanic Gardens and the Rocks as traffic will be bad and it is much quicker using the train directly from Central to Circular Quay.

  91. Hello,
    greetings from Poland!
    Could you help me to understand a few things, please?
    1. How can I check how much money is lost on my Opal card (credit)
    2. How to add money to my card – do I have to log in my bank account or to an Opal card account? What if I dont register my card?
    3. which is the first valid day when I can use my weekly card (the day of purchase or Monday maybe?…)
    4. after travelling 8 times – which trip is 50% off and which is 30% off ? I’m so confused…
    5.The minimum cost is $10 for adult cards – daily or weekly card?
    6.When and on which trips do I have to buy separately single tickest except that I use my Opal card (I am going to visit Manly, Blue Mountains,Sydney suburbs)- who doesn’t accept Opal card
    7. which is the cheapiest way to travel to Blue Mountains and is it Sunday when everything is cheaper?
    8. sorry buy I still can’t understand when I’ll have to pay not single fares for my trip but double fares.Is it only if I travel longer than 60min?
    Sorry If I bother you so much but I am not very good at english so I would be grateful if You answer me in simple words.
    Thank you in advance,

  92. 1. How can I check how much money is lost on my Opal card (credit) Scan your card on an opal machine or use the official opal app
    2. How to add money to my card – do I have to log in my bank account or to an Opal card account? What if I don’t register my card? You can add credit with cash or a credit card via the top up machines at stations.
    3. which is the first valid day when I can use my weekly card (the day of purchase or Monday maybe?…) The discounts apply for the period Monday to Sunday but the credit does not run on a weekly system.
    4. after travelling 8 times – which trip is 50% off and which is 30% off? I’m so confused… After 8 trips all trips are 50% off.
    5. The minimum cost is $10 for adult cards – daily or weekly card? The cards are not daily or weekly the credit can be used anytime. The 8 trip discount runs weekly from Monday to Sunday
    6.When and on which trips do I have to buy separately single tickets except that I use my Opal card (I am going to visit Manly, Blue Mountains, Sydney suburbs)- who doesn’t accept Opal card Everyone takes opal cards, you do not need to buy separate tickets. Hope that helps but if you have any other questions pop into the FB group for quick answers.
    7. which is the cheapiest way to travel to Blue Mountains and is it Sunday when everything is cheaper?
    8. sorry but I still can’t understand when I’ll have to pay not single fares for my trip but double fares.Is it only if I travel longer than 60min?

  93. Hi,
    My family and I will be arriving at Sydney airport on a Sunday in July and heading stright to Leura in the Blue Mountains on the train. When I search ‘trip planner’ it tells me that this fare will cost $17. In reading other threads on this site I am confused by what the ‘gate fee’ is and wonder if the $17 is correct or will it cost more.
    Also – we will be buying Opal cards at the airport and will only be using them for this trip – but I believe the minimum you can put on a card purchased at the airport is $40. Is this correct? If so, is there a way around this as I won;t need $40 on the cards. Thanks for your time.

  94. Hi Louise
    Sorry for the delay in responding. Yes the $17 is correct because it is a Sunday and their is a cap of $2.80 on Sundays. You can add less than the minimum credit of $35 if you buy your card from one of the shops at the airport and not the airport station. The shops have $10 minimum. There will be signs showing which ones sell them. W.H Smith book shop does but I am sure there are more.

  95. Hi Louise. There is an additional fee that is paid when leaving or entering the airport by train. This is probably what is meant by “gate fee”. It is about $14 one way and is capped at $29.00 per week. I’m not sure if this will increase from Monday like the rest of the Opal fares. The remaining $2-$3 is the Sunday cap rate. The minimum $35.00 loading credit required at the airport is probably to ensure commuters have enough for the return leg during peak times on weekdays. If you’re from Australia, you could create an Opal account, order and top-up an Opal card, and have the card delivered to you by post. Otherwise, see Sydney Expert’s suggestion.

  96. What is the best way get from the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay West, to SYD International Airport? Those are the only tickets I need for my husband and me while in Australia. What is the best way to pay for the trip? I have a credit card with no international fees. Would the Opal Card be a better choice? Any other advice about the trip is appreciated. Thank you for your help.

  97. Hi Diana
    Sorry for the delay, I have been travelling (on a cruise actually lol). Use your credit card to pay for your trip. You will need to tap a different card for each person.
    Have a great stay in Sydney.

  98. Hi Paula & Charles,

    Do you know whether the Sunday travel cap applies to Sundays only? Will it also apply to public holidays that are not on Sunday? For example: Labour day on Monday 7 October 2019.

    My aunties and uncles (all within age range 60-76 years old) will visit Sydney for the first time from overseas next week. We’ll have a group of 17 people (14 seniors and 3 people below 60 years old). Any tips for us?

    I love love love your website! It is super useful and very easy to understand! Many many thanks for all the information that you shared with us!

  99. Hi, may I know how to apply for the weekly pass? AUD50 for a weekly pass seem to save a lot of money for those who travel very frequent with public transports. Is that we just need to remain our opal credit at least AUD50 and that’s enough for us to travel unlimited per week? Your response is much appreciated. Thank you.

  100. Hello,

    As a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 children 6,4 and 1), we are planning to visit Sydney and stay there for one week in July 2020.

    In your article, you write:
    Weekly Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $50.00 a week when travelling on all modes of Opal enabled transport from Monday to Sunday
    Does it mean that it will only cost us $50.00/person for one week (Monday to Sunday)? Is it the same price for the children? How can we avail ourselves of this advantage?

    Thank you very much for your help.

  101. Hi Gilbert
    We don’t actually have a weekly pass – it’s a weekly cap. Beginning on Monday and running until Sunday when your fares reach $50 the rest of your travel is free. Once you reach 8 trips the rest of your travel is half price. I usually suggest people put $40 credit on their card and only top up if they use it all. Top-ups are available in $10 increments. You can also now choose to use your credit card however you will need one card for each person. If your card has any international transaction fees this can be costly and an Opal is still the better choice.

  102. Yes, Marie, you can travel for $50 per person all week. Children aged 4yrs and under are free. You will need a child Opal card for your 6-year-old. Sundays all day travel is only $2.70 and the $50 cap applies Monday – Sunday. You also get half-price fares after 8 trips.

  103. Hi.. if I arrived in Sydney on Saturday and stayed for 9 days until the next Sunday. I need opal card for every trip using public transport in Sydney. I need your opinion to buy that opal card. Thank you.

  104. This will be my first time back to Sydney since 14 years ago. A lot have changed and I need some info on Opal cares. I will only be transit for 7 hours and planning to go to Circular Quay, with bus or train, will I need Opal card? If so, where I will be able to get those on the airport?

    I reckon the bus a lot cheaper that the train right? Take 400 bus and then what? Can you please provide me with more info? Thanks a lot

  105. You can use your credit or debit card to tap on and off, no need for an Opal on such a short visit. The 400 bus to Mascot station and then the train to the city will probably be your best bet. Honestly, though I would pay the extra $40 or so dollars for a quick 20 minute trip over losing lots of time in airport traffic and then still having to wait for a train.

  106. You can use your credit or debit card but be aware that your bank may charge you international transaction fees. In this case, buying an Opal will save you money.

  107. Hi, we are from melbourne for a few days. We were advised to buy the 14 year old son a child opal for $10 but now os the second day and it is running low. We ate currently on the train and the app wpnt allow registration. So i cannot top it up using the app. Is it okay if l top it up at the next station?

  108. Hello. Will be visiting Sydney for 3 days. Will be staying at Circular Quay area. I’m not sure if I should use an Opal card? Plan is, will be traveling an airport train to Circular Quay vis-a-vis and use the Hop On Hop Off for movement. I read about using a credit card to tap on instead? Directly tap it on? No need to buy tickets at the booth? And you cannot tap the same credit card if you are with someone? If in case I need to ride a train on our stay, will there be individual ticketing stations just in case I won’t get an Opal Card to go around Sydney? Should I still buy an Opal Card? Any suggestions? Big thanks in advance. xx

  109. You can buy individual tickets from machines at the stations – they just cost 30% more. The HOHO bus is not the most efficient way to get around the city. It is fun for sightseeing but for transport, you will be much better off using regular buses. The maximum cost of public transport is $15 a day. DOwnload the opal app or citymapper (both free) and you can work out which buses or trains you need to get between sites.

  110. Hi,
    We are arriving Sydney (first time) 1210/19 for three days, boarding cruise ship on 15th departing 6.45pm (18.45).
    . We’re staying at Amora hotel, Jamison. We want to see the sights of Sydney, walk on Bondi from Bronte (“Iceberg” recommended for lunch ?), see Manley Beach.
    Should we rely on HOHO bus, if so can tickets be purchased on line in advance etc. Any advice most welcome

  111. 4 adults in Sydney over night , staying Travelodge king street airport , wanting to get across to Mossman , then back to Travelodge , then to ANZ stadium in night and return to hotel best means of transport

  112. You will be best off on the train – from Mascot station, it goes directly to Circular Quay where you can take a ferry to Mosman. For ANZ take a train to Central from Mascot and change to a service to Lidcombe where you will find a shuttle train to the stadium. if it is a big event there will be direct trains to the stadium from Central.

  113. Hi, I am travelling to Sydney in Dec with my family of four, planning to go to the Blue Mountains on our own from our hotel near Circular Quay Railway Station. I understand that taking the train paying by OPAL will be cheaper to reach Katoomba Station. I would like to seek your advice how should we plan our route to cover most of the scenic area and rides in the Blue Mountains in one day, and still be able to catch any bus or train back to Circular Quay? We can also consider stopping by half-way to take a ferry back to the CBD, if there were such alternatives that can make our trip fun, but the only concern is the time management, which we wouldn’t want to miss any last departure time of any transport mode. Hope to get some advice on this. 🙂

    In addition, I understand that there is this Blue Mountain Bus Explorer that starts at 9.15am and ends at 4.20pm, and the drivers provide excellent service in giving advice on exploring the Blue Mountains. May I know if OPAL can be used for this Hop on Hop off Explorer Bus? If not, what are the alternatives, and will these alternatives easily be accessed with many bus stops? Should I forgo using the OPAL and pay for the Explorer Bus instead?

    Lastly, how do I buy the Scenic World Unlimited Discovery Pass? I understand that there is a specific time slot for entrance ticket which we have to choose when we purchase it online. But we do not know how our journey is going to be on that day, and were afraid that we might miss the entrance time. What is your advice on this?

    I apologize for the long queries above as I was stuck with it and hope to seek your advice so that I could plan my journey smoothly. Thank you! 😀

  114. Hi Janice, Are you on Facebook? We have a very helpful group there that is a much quicker way to get detailed answers.

    We have created several articles to help you plan your day both with the public bus and the HOHO bus. The HOHO bus is not part of the Opal system. You should enter Scenic World as early as you can.
    there are itineraries using the train here – https://sydneyexpert.com/blue-mountains-itinerary-by-train/ To take the ferry back you get off the train at Parramatta and walk or take the bus to the wharf.

  115. Hello,

    I’ll be travelling to Sydney for 4 days on March 10-14, that’s Tuesday-Saturday. I’m planning to stay at an Airbnb in Banksia (near the airport and near the train station to it). What would you recommend me to do? Should I buy Opal card and top up with how much?

    I’m planning to see just the tourist spots of Sydney. -if the blue mountains is accessible by Public Transport, I’d like to go too.


  116. The Blue Mountains is easily accessible by train, we have written instructions here. https://sydneyexpert.com/blue-mountains-itinerary-by-train/

    You can buy an Opal card and put $40 on it. You can top up if you need to via the Opal app or the machines on most stations, although I am not sure if Banksia has one, it didn’t last time I was there. You can also just use your credit card (but check what foreign transaction fees your bank might charge for each tap)
    Have a great time!

  117. Hello! My husband and I will be staying one night in Potts Point (near Kings Cross Station) before leaving on a cruise. We were planning on doing the sunrise Coogee to Bondi walk on your recommendation before boarding the ship late that afternoon. Should we purchase an Opal card for this or just use our credit cards? Also, we will be taking the airport train from the cruise terminal two weeks later. Again, should we just use our credit cards for that or an Opal card? Thank you so much for all of your great information!

  118. Hi Shannon, just use your credit cards, as long as you have one each you will be fine. They recently applied the same benefits as using Opal to contactless payments so unless you are here for a while and have foreign transaction fees to worry about your own card is fine. Just make sure it works for paywave type payments, some American cards, for example, don’t.

  119. Hi,
    I am travelling to Newcastle, stay there for 2 days and then travel to Sydney for 5-6 days.
    Can i buy OPAL card in Newcastle and then use the same card in Sydney.

  120. Hi! If I buy at the airport with the minimum $35, the airport fare of $14.30 will be deducted from the top up?

  121. Sydney’s public transport is free for children under four years of age. Kids aged 4-15 can buy a child’s Opal card. 
    Once 4 you need to pay.

  122. Visiting Sydney March 2020. Want to get to Dubbo & return. What is most economical way from Sydney Central Railway Station?

  123. Hi,

    I’ll be visiting Sydney (1 adult and 1 child) for a single day and taking the train from the airport to a City Circle station in the morning, then from a City Circle station back to the airport in the evening.

    Will the $35 initial top up cover the return trip from the airport to any City Circle station, then any City Circle station back to the airport?

    Does the child Opal card purchased at the airport also have a minimum $35 initial top up? If so, rather than leave unused credit on the card, would it be just as cost effective for the child to use a contactless card, even though it would be charged as an adult?


  124. Sorry for the delay. I have been recovering from an injury.

    It is my understanding that you would meet the weekly cap for your airport fare of $29 a week so in a one-day return trip it would not cost more than $29 total of the airport gate fee plus your return fare to the city. The child opal top-up is lower as far as I know. A contactless card will not give you the weekly airport access cap.

  125. Hi we are coming to Sydney in April 2adults, 2children. I have worked out most places are 15-20mins walk from the hotel but might want to go further to say opera house or Bondi or manly beach. Are ferries to manly and buses to Bondi included? Will it be cheaper to get an opal card or arrange a tour (hop on hop off type thing)

  126. Hi there. Can I tap in and out with a debit card on “Prepay” buses? The TransportNSW website just isn’t clear on this. Thanks Brian

  127. Hi, AmyMarie All Sydney public transport is included on the Opal card, but for adults, you can use your credit or debit card. You need to use a different card for each person. Opal has a daily cap of $16 or so after which all travel is free. On Sundays, that cap is $2.80. The weekly cap is $50

    To be able to get reduced prices for children aged 4-15, you need to use an Opal card. Children over 15 are adult price. The card has no cost you add credit you need.
    When taking ferries, be sure to use the green public ferries as these are cheaper. There are some private ferries, and they accept Opal, but the costs are higher and the ride does not count towards your daily cap. Public transport will be much cheaper than the HOHO bus

  128. My sister is coming for 6 weeks from UK she is 72 what sort of opal card should she buy we will probably be on and off buses etc and train and ferry

  129. Hi Colin not sure why your message disappeared. Are you an Australia citizen or resident? Apply for the Gold Opal now. There is a train at 7am that takes about 6hrs and 31 minutes to reach Dubbo which I believe is the cheapest way.

  130. I will be spending 4 to 5 days in Sydney, Australia and will be going to Blue Mountain and some other cities tour. Is it better to have the opal card and can it be used in Melbourne, Perth Brisbane and Adelaide?

  131. Hi,
    Will be arriving in Sydney airport a day prior to the cruise on February 29, 2020. Would that be a better idea to have an Opal Card to cover the Airport to City and few city trips during 2 days ?

  132. Hi The Opal can only be used in Sydney. If you have a credit or debit card with a chip you can use that instead. Alternatively buy an Opal but figure our your expected costs before putting too much credit on it as you can not get a refund.

  133. Hi, I’m travelling to Sydney with my partner and some friends this March for 7days (Monday to Sunday). We’re leaving on Sunday and basing on our planned itinerary we’ll likely be covered by the weekly cap ($50). I was wondering if on Sunday when we take the train to the airport, will I still be charged 2.80$ (Sunday fare) + 14.87$ station access fee, or will we be charged just the station access fee given we’re already at the 50$ weekly cap? Appreciate your response!

  134. Hello,
    Thank you very much for all this detailed information on Sydney public transport.
    In June 2020, I will spend one week in Sydney with my husband and our 3 children (2 above 4 years old and one below).
    I have a question regarding the weekly cap (Monday to Sunday). We will arrive on a Friday and leave the following Friday. Does it mean that all the trips we might make over the weekend will not be taken into account for the weekly cap? We are also planning to go to the Blue Mountains using the train. Will that count too?
    What is the amount of the weekly cap for the children’s Opal card?
    Can I recharge my Opal card at a train station using cash?
    Thank you very much for your help.

  135. I’m from the UK working at the international Airport on a two week business trip. I’m staying in one of the airport hotels. What’s my best option if I want to get to the city multiple times during my stay. Will I be charged the airport fee every trip?

  136. what are our best travel options, my wife and i are coming to sydney, staying in Parramatta we fly in on a Thursday, back out on the Monday planning to have a trip or two into sydney, what is the cheapest way for us to get around, thanks

  137. There is a cap on the airport transfer fee of about $28 from memory so once you have travelled there twice in one week it’s free. Double-check the current cap but there is a system in place for people who work at the airport.

  138. If you have credit or debit cards that work with paypass or tap and go just use those for such a short trip. The Opal caps are $16.10 a day, $50 a week, or $2.80 on Sunday. Remember The Opal week runs from Monday to Sunday.

  139. Yes, the Opal week runs from Monday to Sunday. So the Friday and weekend won’t count in your cap. The caps for adults are $16.10 a day, $50 a week, or $2.80 on Sunday. Kids are $8 a day, $25 a week, or $2.80 on Sunday. I would download the Opal app and recharge via your can using the app. Much more convenient and the app has timetables etc. You can, however, use cash at some of the machines if you wish.

  140. Alternatively, there is no entry fee at Mascot airport, which may be walking distance depending on your hotel.

  141. I’m hoping this fabulous feed still gets checked.
    I’m traveling to Sydney with 4 fulltime High School students from Vic
    Ages are from 15 to 18. Will they all need Adult Opal or are we able to use their school student ID Cards that we use here for concession fares.?

  142. Sorry Kate for some reason we didn’t get a notification of your comment. I think they may need an adult opal as a student opal can only be ordered online. Child opals are for those under 15 years. I would suggest you call 131500 and ask directly as I have had two different answers when I checked. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  143. We will be traveling from Wollongong to Manly and I wonder if there is still a train-ferry combo we could use. Thanks.

  144. Hello,

    We will be visiting Sydney for 5 days after arriving by Disney Cruise Ship on Oct. 27, 2023. We both have an American Express card that doesn’t charge transaction fees, but both cards have the same number. Will one of us have to use a different card?

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