Most of the time, we'd rather not have to drive ourselves or pay extra to hire a car when we go on vacation. To avoid the hassle of dealing with traffic, learning new roads and driving restrictions, and searching for parking, it can be more pleasant to simply walk or take a short train or bus ride to your destination.
Fortunately, Sydney has excellent public transportation options, and most locals choose not to own cars.
If you're visiting Sydney and don't have a car, this article will give you the lowdown on the best ways to get around the city and how much it will cost you.
The cost of living in Australia is notoriously high, especially in the transportation industry. But is the cost of transportation there excessive when compared to other countries? Nope. In a 2015 study, six Australian capitals were found to be in the top 10 cities worldwide with the lowest average costs for public transportation.
Australia's Various Transportation Options
Connecting flights make it possible for anyone to visit the remote nation, but how do locals and visitors get around once they arrive? Transportation options in Australia go beyond the usual automobiles, bicycles, and cabs. Transportation options include ferries, buses, and trains. The quality of the country's public transportation differs from one state to the next.
Are you curious and eager to find out more? Okay, so here are the top five ways to get around Australia:
Are you making a cross-town trip? To go around town, taking the bus is a practical choice. There may be a plethora of bus services in Australia, but only Greyhound provides a nationwide network. The bus is a pleasant mode of transportation, but keep in mind that it moves at a snail's pace if you're in a hurry.
Trams And Ferries
Travelling across the country on a ferry is another common practice. There were approximately 70,591 persons who took a ferry or tram to get to work in 2016. An opal card is required to ride the ferries.
In 2016, about 7.2% of Australian workers took the train to and from their jobs. When compared to other modes of transportation, trains are not only rather slow but also quite costly. However, they get you through Australia's beautiful landscapes more quickly than buses.
Motor vehicles are as common in Australia as they are anywhere else in the world. Car rentals are a popular choice for those staying in one place for an extended period of time, such as students. Although driving is the most frequent mode of transportation in Australia, drivers should be aware that speeding tickets are common.
In most cities, 50 kilometres per hour is the maximum allowed speed. Remember that Australians drive on the left side of the road.
Taxis and ride-sharing apps like Uber are also available in Australia's major cities. The problem is that these prices are somewhat high. The cost of a taxi ride increases on evenings, weekends, and holidays. Avoid using this service if you are strapped for cash.
To what city do they intend to go? Taking a plane is the quickest option. Air travel accounts for roughly 85% of all long-distance trips in the country. In Australia, you can fly on Qantas, Virgin Blue, or Jetstar, to name a few domestic carriers. The latter two are more affordable options.
Motorbikes And Bicycles
Automobiles are not the only mode of transportation in use in Australia. As of 2014, there were 25,594 people who rode their bikes to work in Melbourne, while even more rode their bikes to work in Brisbane, despite having a smaller population.
Many others walk lesser distances across the country, while 104,746 take trucks to go to and from work each day.
If You Don't Have A Car, Here Are Five Weekend Getaways
The availability of a vehicle is not required for weekend getaways. If you want to spend a day by the coast, you may take the Intercity train up to Newcastle, or you can take the train interior to the Blue Mountains and hike one of the many beautiful trails there. Take a look at these five vacation ideas that may be reached by public transportation. The local railway station is conveniently located close to the trailheads and the host families.
The trip to Australia's second-oldest city by train takes about 2.5 hours. To go to the coast from Grand Central Station, take the Intercity north. There is plenty to see, see, and eat in this city that can be experienced in just a weekend.
Travellers should expect to spend at least one night in the city due to problematic rail timetables. One Penny Black for coffee, Terrace Bar for dinner, the Newcastle Memorial Walk after sunset, and the Merewether Ocean Baths for a swim in the ocean are all must-see for every visitor.
It takes around an hour and a half to reach Wollongong from Central station, but once there, you'll be minutes away from one of the city's many beaches. The views from the top of Mount Keira, reached via an early morning train ride, are some of the best in the world.
You should get some dinner at His Boy Elroy before heading to Five Barrel Brewing to try a few of the local breweries and then return to the train station. Wollongong is a wonderful day trip from Sydney because of the convenience of the local train system. If you can, arrive first thing in the morning and leave on the very last train of the day to save money on a hotel.
Bouddi National Park and Avoca Beach
Traveling from Sydney to Avoca by bus takes around 1 hour. The Intercity train will take you to Gosford. Bouddi National Park, located nearby, is famous for its stunning coastal walk and whale-watching lookouts, while the major beach in the vicinity is two kilometres long and popular with surfers and paddle boarders.
The beach town of Avoca is known for its excellent food options and easygoing atmosphere. Like Minds or Stop by Becker & Co. for coffee on the fourth Sunday of the month, and then stroll over to the Avoca Markets to peruse the unique wares of local artisans. Maximize your time here by staying the night.
After a two-hour train ride from Central station, we recommend getting out in either Wentworth Falls, Leura, or Katoomba, depending on where you want to go in the Blue Mountains. Leura Garage's wood-fired pizza is the perfect treat after a day spent hiking the National Pass walking track, which loops the Jamison Valley and provides stunning views of waterfalls and mountains.
Since the final train to Sydney departs at 10 p.m., you should probably locate a place to stay for the night. We recommend spending the night in a treehouse or a tent in a national park's campsite so you can sleep under the stars.
Palm Beach/The Basin
In both summer and winter, Sydney's northernmost suburb, Palm Beach, is a desirable destination. Within an hour, you can be on one of its famous golden sand surf beaches (Take the bus from Wynyard Station). Walk the Barrenjoey beach track up to the lighthouse after having lunch at The Boathouse and keeping an eye out for whales along the way. You could either go back home or take the boat across Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which takes around 20 minutes, if you wanted to go camping. The Basin is a favourite seaside camping spot due to its grassy sections and interior lagoon. You should get some firewood in Palm Beach for a cosy evening.
Many bus companies in Australia will take you everywhere in the country if you don't have your own car or other vehicle. Coaches, which are long-distance buses, are streamlined and comfortable. These journeys are lengthy (Sydney to Melbourne, for instance, takes 12 hours) but cheap (from 65 AUD).
Greyhound and Firefly are the two major players in this industry. Most modern coaches are equipped with Wi-Fi, video entertainment, reclining seats, and air conditioning.
Similarly, "Hop on Hop off" tickets are available from both providers. Those who purchase this ticket for the Sydney to Cairns route, for instance, have the freedom to travel at their own pace, stopping wherever they like along the way, even if it means spending days or weeks in transit.
- Prices (Greyhound):
- Sydney – Cairns: $469
- Sydney – Brisbane: $149
- Darwin – Adelaide: from $439
- Brisbane – Cairns: $365
- Melbourne – Cairns: $579
- Melbourne – Brisbane: $255
- Brisbane – Cairns: $365
- Adelaide – Alice Springs: from $205
The Benefits Of Driving A Bus In Australia
There are numerous reasons to take the bus:
- Cheap: You won't need to spend a tonne on a car, servicing, gas, or anything else associated with transportation.
- Safety: Due to the lack of traffic and the uniformity of the roads, the accident rate is lower than in Europe or Asia.
- Route network: Major interstate bus lines serve essentially all significant Australian cities.
- Meeting backpackers: Many travellers take the bus, so you're bound to meet new people.
- Convenience:Buses in Australia are typically quite pleasant, what with their climate control and on-board facilities.
Australia's Bus Driving Disadvantages
There are drawbacks to driving a bus in Australia.
- Less independence:Stations are the only stops the bus makes. You can't just leave whenever you want to.
- Less flexibility: Scheduled departure times are strictly enforced, and there may be no seats available. It's very uncommon for the buses to be completely packed, especially during the peak season.
Walking In Sydney
It's possible to walk to many locations in Sydney, especially within the CBD central business district. If you're staying in the Central Business District, walking is your best bet for getting around. Yes, there's many buses and trains, but you can often get where you need to go more quickly and cheaply by foot.
From the heart of the CBD (let's say Central Train Station) to its periphery, it takes roughly 30–40 minutes to walk all the way around. The Harbour Bridge, the Queen Victoria Building, Darling Harbour, and many other sights are all within easy walking distance.
It's a bit of a hike to get from the city to the various suburbs by foot. Sydney has relatively flat terrain (meaning there are few uphill treks), but the city itself is quite large. If you want to go from the central business district (CBD) to the nearby suburb of Bondi, it will only take you around 20-30 minutes by bus, but approximately two hours to walk there. If you've ever experienced the intense heat and humidity of a Sydney summer, you know it's not impossible, but it's also not advisable.
You can ride every form of public transportation in Sydney so long as you have an Opal card, including trains, buses, ferries, and the light rail. You can load money onto these cards and have it debited proportionally from the card based on the distance you travelled.
There is no way to use an Opal card outside of Sydney and its suburbs, but most other Australian cities have similar ticketing systems, such as Melbourne's "myki" card, thus you can use it elsewhere in Australia.
Though the card itself doesn't cost anything, there's a $5 minimum load requirement. After using the card for $15.80 per day (unlimited after that), and $63.20 per week, more charges will be applied.
If you take eight trips during the week (Monday-Sunday), your ninth and subsequent trips are half price. In exchange for transferring funds, you will receive a $2 reduction on your Opal rewards (within 60 minutes, you can switch to another means of transportation). Sundays are the best day to take the ferry because the daily maximum is only $2.70.
Adults can purchase Opal Cards, while kids under 16 can ride for half price in designated child care areas. Seniors/pensioners and students can also get discounted fare cards. However, Australian citizenship is a prerequisite for all these cards (So, as a tourist, you won't be able to purchase any of these cards in Sydney).
You may get an Opal card at the Sydney Airport, any train station, Woolworths, 7-11, Coles, and pretty much any other supermarket or convenience store in Australia. The value of your Opal card can be increased at any of the aforementioned establishments, as well as online and using the mobile app.
We suggest that you use the free Opal Travel app on your Android or iOS device to monitor your card's balance, confirm that you tapped off properly, view your trip history, add value to your card, and plan your next transit adventure via bus, light rail, train, or boat.
Taking The Sydney Train
Sydney's extensive train network provides easy access to the city and its neighbouring suburbs. Sydney's train system is owned and maintained by Transport for New South Wales, and tickets can be purchased at stations or loaded onto an Opal card to ride.
Trains run frequently (every 5-15 minutes, depending on peak times and station demand) from Sydney's major suburbs until midnight every day. While train stations close for the night about midnight and do not reopen until 4:30 in the morning, you may still get around after dark by taking advantage of NightRide bus services.
Getting to Central Station (in the city centre, between Haymarket and Surry Hills) allows you to transfer to any of the nine lines that make up Sydney's extensive rail network. The T2 line, which serves the Inner West and Leppington neighbourhoods, connects the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) with the neighbourhoods in the directions of Parramatta and Leppington.
Train fare ranges from as little as $3.54 (peak hour) or $2.47 (off-peak) for a trip within 10 kilometres to as much as $8.69 (peak hour) or $6.08 (off-peak) for trips more than 65 kilometres (City Circle to the Blue Mountains, for example).
Sydney's public transportation system, the train, is among the most user-friendly in the world. Nearly anywhere in the city is accessible by train, and stations are conveniently located so that you may easily reach them on foot or by rapid transit bus. Compared to buses, ferries, and light rail, train travel is described as the article's quickest option. The city's train system makes getting around and in and out of the city simple, not to mention reliable and on schedule.
The train system in Sydney is likewise quite dependable, with most delays occurring mainly during peak periods and stations being closed only on weekends for station maintenance (track repair), during which time buses replace trains. If you can, try to avoid taking the train into the city centre between 7 and 9:30 a.m. and 4 and 6:30 p.m. on weekdays; these are peak hours, and the stations will be highly congested.
If you're planning on taking the train in New South Wales, you should use the official Transport for NSW website, the Opal Travel app, or even Google Maps to bring you to the station, to your platform, and to your final destination.
If you don't want to drive all the way to Australia, using the train is another option. All of Australia's major cities can be reached via a variety of long-distance trains. There's first class and economy on the trains.
On extended flights, the second-class seats recline and there may even be sleeping rooms. In most cases, taking a train will cost more than taking a bus. The Indian Pacific (Sydney to Perth), The Queenslander and The Ghan (Adelaide to Darwin via Alice Springs) are just a few of the routes with unique names (Brisbane – Cairns).
- Kalgoorlie – Perth
- The Ghan: Adelaide – Alice Springs – Darwin
- XPT: Sydney – Melbourne
- Queensland: Brisbane – Townsville – Cairns
- Xplorer: Sydney – Canberra
- Overlander: Melbourne – Adelaide
- Rockhampton – Longreach
- Cairns Forsyth
- XPT: Sydney – Brisbane
- The Great Ocean Road, Melbourne
- Indian Pacific: Sydney – Adelaide – Perth
Sydney's convenient public transportation means most inhabitants don't own cars. Ferries, buses, and trains work. Ferries require opal cards. Greyhound operates US intercity bus services. Australia has as many vehicles as anywhere else.
Most people drive, yet speeding tickets are common. Australia's main cities have taxis and Uber. The fast, inexpensive local train from Sydney to Wollongong takes a day. Bouddi National Park offers a coastal hike and whale-watching spots. Avoca has great food and a laid-back vibe.
Get around Australia without a car. "Coaches" are luxurious long-distance buses. Cheap, extensive travel is possible (Sydney to Melbourne, for instance, takes 12 hours). Opal cards allow Sydney public transport use. Australia's "myki" ticketing system is popular.
After eight visits, your ninth and future Monday-Sunday trips are 50% discounted. Sydney's train system makes travelling between the city and suburbs easy. NightRide buses can be used after most train stations close at midnight. The T2 line connects Sydney's CBD to Parramatta and Leppington. Sydney's train system is among the world's easiest.
- If you're visiting Sydney and don't have a car, this article will show you the best ways to get around the city and how much it will cost you.
- The cost of living in Australia is notoriously high, especially in the transportation industry.
- Transportation options in Australia go beyond the usual automobiles, bicycles, and cabs.
- The quality of the country's public transportation differs from one state to the next.
- Travelling across the country on a ferry is another common practice.
- Although driving is the most frequent mode of transportation in Australia, drivers should know that speeding tickets are common.
- Taxis and ride-sharing apps like Uber are available in Australia's major cities.
- The cost of a taxi ride increases on evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- Air travel accounts for roughly 85% of all long-distance trips in the country.
- Automobiles are one of many modes of transportation in use in Australia.
- The availability a vehicle is not required for weekend getaways.
- Take a look at these five vacation ideas that may be reached by public transportation.
- It takes around an hour and a half to reach Wollongong from Central station, but once there, you'll be minutes away from one of the city's many beaches.
- Wollongong is a wonderful day trip from Sydney because of the convenience of the local train system.
- If you can, arrive first thing in the morning and leave on the very last train of the day to save money on a hotel.
- After a two-hour train ride from Central station, we recommend getting out in either Wentworth Falls, Leura, or Katoomba, depending on where you want to go in the Blue Mountains.
- Since the final train to Sydney departs at 10 p.m., you should probably locate a place to stay for the night.
- We recommend spending the night in a treehouse or a tent in a national park's campsite so you can sleep under the stars.
- Many bus companies in Australia will take you everywhere if you don't have your car or another vehicle.
- There are numerous reasons to take the bus: Cheap: You won't need to spend a tonne on a car, servicing, gas, or anything else associated with transportation.
- Australia's Bus Driving Disadvantages There are drawbacks to driving a bus in Australia.
- It's a hike from the city to the various suburbs on foot.
- If you want to go from the central business district (CBD) to the nearby suburb of Bondi, it will only take 20-30 minutes by bus but approximately two hours to walk there.
- You can ride every form of public transportation in Sydney so long as you have an Opal card, including trains, buses, ferries, and the light rail.
- The value of your Opal card can be increased at any of the establishments mentioned above, as well as online and using the mobile app.
- We suggest that you use the free Opal Travel app on your Android or iOS device to monitor your card's balance, confirm that you tapped off properly, view your trip history, add value to your card, and plan your next transit adventure via bus, light rail, train, or boat.
- Sydney's extensive train network provides easy access to the city and its neighbouring suburbs.
- Sydney's train system is owned and maintained by Transport for New South Wales, and tickets can be purchased at stations or loaded onto an Opal card to ride.
- Sydney's public transportation system, the train, is among the most user-friendly in the world.
- The city's train system makes getting around and in and out of the city simple, not to mention reliable and on schedule.
- If you're planning on taking the train in New South Wales, you should use the official Transport for NSW website, the Opal Travel app, or Google Maps to bring you to the station, your platform, and your final destination.
- If you want to drive only some of the way to Australia, using the train is another option.
- All of Australia's major cities can be reached via various long-distance trains.
FAQs About Sydney
In Australian capital cities, you'll generally have a choice of public transport methods: rail, bus, ferries and trams. In Sydney, for instance, the most you'll pay for public transport is $61 a week. There's no way you can own and operate a car for that amount of money.
Alternative options to owning a car.
- Ridesharing. Apps like Lyft and Uber have made getting around simpler than ever.
- Public transit. Public transportation systems vary greatly from city to city.
- Car sharing.
- Car rental.
The best way to get around the Blue Mountains without a car is the Blue Mountains Explorer bus (tel. 1300/300 915 in Australia or 02/4782 1866; www.explorerbus.com.au). You can buy a combined train/bus pass.
There are still times when using a car is the best option, such as when the weather isn't ideal for biking, there's no bus stop within a reasonable distance of your destination, or your cat has to go to the vet.
If you decide to ditch driving altogether, consider taking public transit, biking, walking, and/or working from home to make car-free living even more economical. You can also save by trying bikeshare programs like Citi Bike or purchasing a scooter.
For many people, owning a car equals freedom, but having the extra cash frees me to spend my money on hobbies, home improvements, or whatever else makes me happy.
Cars Are Incredibly Costly
Owning a car is a big expense. You'll have to pay for gas, parking, and ridiculously high insurance payments. I'm not even mentioning garage space, tires, and monthly repairs. According to AAA's 2015 Your Driving Costs study, the average annual cost to own and maintain a car is around $8,698.