Sydney has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. An electronic ticketing system called Opal allows you to use one ticket to use across all these types of transport.  I hope this simplified guide to using the Opal card helps you to plan your visit to Sydney

Updated 1 July 2018

Learning how to use Opal cards in Sydney

What follows is my attempt to simplify all the Opal information out there and answer some of the regular questions I am asked.  I have been using the card since it was rolled out and this is my understanding of the system and how it works. I will update this page regularly should I find out anything new.

Charles is a Sydney Bus driver, so I am always bombarding him with questions, and as a result, I am pretty confident that I have covered all the basics a visitor to Sydney will need to know.  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 short trip to Sydney read on, this should cover enough of the basics to get you sorted.

Sydney Opal card 101

Adult Opal Card

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

Opal travel discounts

  • Pay full price for your first eight journeys per week – Opal offers a “travel reward” for frequent travel, with all trips after this at half price *
  • Daily Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $15.80 per day for adults and $7.70 a day for a child to travel anywhere in the network
  • Sunday Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $2.70 for as much travel as you want on Sunday.
  • Weekly Travel Cap* – Pay no more than $63.20 a week when travelling on all modes of Opal enabled transport from Monday to Sunday

 *Travel caps do not include access to airport terminal stations.

Sydney Opal Card use

Where can I buy and top up an Opal card?

You can buy your Opal cards from retail outlets or online.  You can find a full list of these here. Opal cards are not available for purchase on buses or Opal machines at train stations and ferry wharves only sell single-use Opal tickets.

The primary locations for visitors to purchase cards include:

Sydney Airport – You can buy Opal cards at Newslink or WH Smith bookshops at either terminal. You can also buy them at the Airport stations.  This post 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 5
  • 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. Also, many news agencies and many 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 who provide cards or top-ups.

Top up via the Opal app, online or on the phone using your credit card (13 67 25)

Sydney Trains use Opal Cards

How much do Opal cards cost?

The Opal card the card is free when you load a minimum amount of onto the card.  The minimum cost is $10 for adult cards, $5 for child cards (other types such as seniors and students cards must be ordered). There is no fee for the card itself; all of the minimum top-up is available to use for travel. Subsequent top-ups can be made in $10 increments. If you choose to buy your card online, the minimum credit is $40.  You can set up auto top-ups for cards registered online.

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, then it is registered at the time 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.

Registering your card means that your travel is recorded 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 have it cancelled and the credit replaced. It just depends on how comfortable you are sharing your privacy.

Who can buy discount tickets?

Sydney’s public transport is free for children under four years of age. Students aged 4-15 can buy a half-fare ticket as can people aged 16 and over who are residents of Australia and full-time students. If you are over 16 years and a student in another country you must buy an adult ticket.

Opal cards for Australian seniors or Centrelink pension concession holders are available but must be ordered via the Opal website.

Access to Opal Gold cards for interstate seniors

Seniors from other states of Australia are eligible to apply for a Gold Opal card. You need to complete an application form online before you arrive.

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 commencing 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.

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

Got more questions about using Opal cards? Need free help planning your trip to Sydney? Join our Sydney Expert Facebook Group where you can ask questions, stay up to date with what’s happening in Sydney and meet a bunch of friendly locals happy to offer their advice!



  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

    • Hi Jan,

      You can search for your nearest retailer here 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 minimim 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 are 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.

  2. Thanks Paula.
    I am about to travel to Sydney for a five day stay and came across your blog when I was trying to work out public transport options. I appreciate this clear information about the Opal card, which answered my questions. Will check out the rest of your blog now 🙂

  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


    • 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.

  4. I only travel on trains about once. I was advised by the Opal Card reps at my local station that it is not worth getting a card. She said that paper tickets were still available. Is that correct?

    • Hi Anne,

      Paper tickets are still available for single journeys. There is no off peak discount anymore so for example a fare from say Chatswood to the city will cost $4.60 without an opal OR
      $4.10 in peak and $2.87 off-peak with an Opal card. There is no longer any access to off-peak discounts without an Opal card so it really depends how often you travel as to whether it’s worth it to get a card. The credit you place on the card will not expire for 9 years and there is no cost to get one so even if it’s only once a week it might be worth it to have one in the long term.

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

      • 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 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.

  5. If stay in bondi junction, travelling to places like manly, taronga zoo, darling harbour, circular quay, martin place, how much should load the opal card upfront for 5 day stay? Or Mymulti is more worth getting than opal

    • Hi
      My Multi tickets ticket may work out cheaper but if you want to go to Manly you will need a My Multi 3 and I think in this case the Opal ticket would be better. With Opal after 8 trips your travel is free and travel on Sundays is a maximum of $2.50 per day. If you arrange your itinerary to take the shorter (cheaper) trips at the beginning of the week you may spend less overall if you take more than 8 trips.

      Using your itinerary I have worked it out as follows:
      Bondi to Darling Harbour and return is 2 trips (Bondi to city train $3.30 or 2.31 offpeak) = 6.60
      Bondi to Circular Quay and return is 2 trips ($3.30 each way on train)= $6.60
      Bondi to Taronga Zoo and return is 2 trips ($5.60 ferry (each way) + $3.30 train (each way) = $17.80 but with Opal max is $15 per day

      If there is less than an hour between catching two forms of transport they are counted as one trip. If you were to have a walk around the city and breakfast before you took the ferry you could get up to 4 trips this day.
      Bondi to Manly and return is 2 trips ($7.00 ferry (each way) + $3.30 train (each way) = $20.60 total but with Opal max is $15 per day
      Travel on the 5th day should be free
      Total Maximum cost using Opal would be $43.20 A My Multi 3 which you need to go to Manly would be $63

      Adult bus fares with an Opal are $2.10 so you could get your free trips by day 3 if you had a couple of bus trips early in your visit.
      I would get an Opal at the airport and use it to take the 400 Bus from the airport to Bondi – I would probably load it with $30 or $40 depending on the order of your days and if any sundays are included and top up if you need to. You can top up as little as $10.

  6. 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! 🙂

    • 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?

    • 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.

  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?

    • 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 everyday by Thursday afternoon my travel is free for the rest of the week. You can find the prices for Opal trips on this page

  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 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

    • 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.

      • 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

  11. 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?

    • 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.

  12. 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.

    • 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.”

  13. 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

    • 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.

  14. 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,

    • 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?

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

  16. 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?

    • 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.

  17. 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.

    • 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

  18. 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.

    • 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.

  19. 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.

    • 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 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.

      • 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 🙂

  20. 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!

    • 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.

  21. 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.

    • 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.

  22. 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.

    • 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.

  23. 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?

    • 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

  24. 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?

    • 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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

    • 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.

  27. 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.

    • 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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?


    • 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.

  30. 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.

    • 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.

  31. 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?

    • 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 to work out how much money to put on the cards.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

    • 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.

  34. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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 ( 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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?

  37. 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

    • 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.

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