Skip to main content

Transport in Sydney

Sydney has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. There are also taxis and Uber and lots of other ride-share companies. We also have bicycles you can hire in the streets! Sydney is a big city! Most people don’t live in the city centre. There are so many places to visit outside to CBD and even outside Sydney city. You will definitely need to use one or many forms of transport during your stay in Sydney. The sections below give you an introduction to each of the main public transport options. It can be a little tricky at first so talk to classmates, your teacher, or to reception if you need help with anything at all.

Opal Card

You should get an Opal Card as soon as you arrive. They are available at train stations and convenience stores. You can store some money on your Opal Card and add money when it’s empty or you can link it to your bank account so it refills automatically.

You can use the Opal Card on any public transport – buses, trains, light-rail, ferry. When you get to the train station, light-rail stop, or ferry stop, you touch the card to the card reader. We say ‘tap on’. Then when you get off at your destination, you ‘tap off’ by again touching the card to the card reader.  When you catch a bus, you tap on and off inside the bus.


Sydney has a large train network that covers the city and the suburbs. You can get a train to most parts of the city.


Sydney has a large bus network that services the entire city and out in the suburbs. You need to get an Opal Card before you catch a bus – you can’t buy one on the bus.


You can take a ferry between Circular Quay and several harbourside suburbs including Cremorne, Mosman, Pyrmont, Rose Bay and Balmain. You can also take one from the Quay to Parramatta and the suburbs along the Parramatta river. Catching the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly is a lovely way to spend a day!

Light Rail

The light rail goes from Central Station to Circular Quay and to the inner western suburbs via Pyrmont and Glebe. It’s a quick and comfortable way to travel through the centre of Sydney city to Circular Quay.

Hints and Tips

Make sure you have an Opal Card and you Tap On when you travel. There are inspectors and police on the trains regularly and people who travel without a ticket or without tapping on can get a $200 fine. Make sure you tap on and tap off with your Opal Card – if you don’t tap off, you’ll pay the maximum fare. If you have any other questions about transport in Sydney please visit Transport NSW website, call 131500 or come see us at Reception!

Download Citymapper

If you have a smartphone this app will be your new best friend in Sydney. You can plan your trip whenever you like and get live updates on timetables and scheduling. You can download it on Google Play or the iTunes app store.

Useful links for Sydney transport

Transport NSW

City of Sydney – Late night transport information