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Getting around Sydney

Your guide to getting around Sydney quick and easy.

By Amy Bryant

Sydney is an easy city to get around, with the metropolitan area servicing a great network of public transport, roadways and walking paths. This useful information will make moving around Sydney’s different areas and attractions very simple.

Public Transport

To use public transport including buses, trains, ferries and the light rail in Sydney you need to purchase an Opal card. You can purchase an Opal card from participating newsagents, post offices, convenience stores and supermarkets. Just look for the Opal symbol.

Initially you’ll need to load it with some money to cover your fares. You can top it up at convenience stores and train stations as your balance runs low. To start your ride, tap your card on the reader when you board your selected mode of transport and be sure to tap off when you disembark.  

The Opal network includes services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter Valley, Illawarra and the Southern Highlands.


The City Circle is the train network that runs a loop around the city, stopping at the following stations: Central, Museum, St James, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay and Martin Place. This is the easiest way to get around the city centre. If you’re staying north of the bridge, you can travel across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the lower north shore on the T1 North Shore & Northern Line that stops at Central, Wynyard and Town Hall.

To get to Kings Cross and Bondi Junction (the gateway to Bondi Beach), catch the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line that goes from Central, Town Hall and Martin Place. If you are planning on travelling to the Blue Mountains, catch the Blue Mountains line from Central. It passes through the vibrant Western Sydney city of Parramatta, and then on to the main Blue Mountains stations including Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba.

To get between Sydney city centre and Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, (both domestic and international terminals), catch the T8 Airport & South line that stops at stations on the city circle. Travel time between the city and airport is around 10 minutes, with services running every eight minutes.

Light Rail

Sydney’s light rail network goes from Central Station to Dulwich Hill. It’s most convenient for reaching Chinatown, The Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo, The International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, and The Star Casino and the Australian National Maritime Museum in Pyrmont and the Tramsheds in Forest Lodge. 


Sydney has a comprehensive bus network. Many buses travel through the city from Wynyard and Circular Quay, and beyond to Sydney’s suburbs, beaches and regional areas. To travel to Bondi Beach and the eastern suburbs, catch the 380 or the 333. If you want to explore the trendy inner city and inner west neighbourhoods like Newtown, Surry Hills, Marrickville and Alexandria from the city centre, choose bus services including M30, M10, 308, 352, 355, 412, 422, 426, 428.

There are regional bus services that travel to the Blue Mountains, and along the coast to other Australian towns and cities, departing from Eddy Avenue out the front of Central Station. Operators include Firefly Express, Greyhound, Murrays and Priors Scenic Express.

Sydney also has a hop-on-hop-off bus service, which will allow you to stop at 33 destinations across the city, with services running every 15 - 20 minutes, first departing from Circular Quay. Purchase a ticket in advance and choose either 24 or 48 hour validity and get exploring great spots around Sydney including Kings Cross, Barangaroo, The Rocks and Bondi Beach.


Ferry services operate around Sydney Harbour from Circular Quay to eight main destinations. To get to the beachside hotspot of Manly, catch the non-stop F1 service. To Taronga Zoo, catch the non-stop F2 service. The F3 service to Parramatta stops via Milsons Point and Barangaroo and the inner west suburbs of Balmain, Drummoyne and then on to Sydney Olympic Park before reaching Parramatta. The F4 service goes to Pyrmont Bay stops via Barangaroo/Darling Harbour, while the F4 service south will take you to the beautiful suburbs of Watsons Bay via Double Bay and Rose Bay. The F6 service to Neutral Bay stops off at Kirribilli and North Sydney, while the F6 goes to Cremorne and Mosman. The F8 service is a limited stop service to Cockatoo Island. You can purchase ferry tickets on the wharf or alternatively (and more efficient), use your Opal card to tap on and off. For more information on the Sydney Ferries Network check out this map guide.

Find more information on getting around Australia.