For information and details of arrivals and departures, T9667 6065, www.sydneyairport .com.au.
The STA (Sydney Buses) is the principal operator with the standard buses being blue and white, the Sydney Explorer red and the Bondi Explorer blue. For information about
suburban buses in Sydney, T131500, http://www.131500.com.au.
Standard bus fares are between $1.70-5.60 depending on distance and subsequent zone. If you intend to travel regularly by bus, a Travel Ten ticket is recommended ($13.60-44.80) while further savings can be also be made with the TravelPass and Sydney Pass system . The Explorer buses cost $39 for the full return trip ($68 for 2 days). There is an on-board commentary and you can hop on and off when you want. Both leave at regular intervals from Circular Quay. For all of the above bus fares children travel half price and there are also family concessions. Note most Explorer buses operate between 0840 and1722 only.
Drivers do not automatically stop at bus stops. If you are alone you must signal the driver, or at night gesticulate wildly.
Sydney Coach Terminal is in the Central Railway Station, Shop 4-7, Eddy Av, T9281 9366, daily 0600-2230. Major interstate companies include Greyhound (National) T131499 (T1300 4739 46863), http://www.greyhound.com.au; Murrays, (Canberra, South NSW Coast), T132251, http://www.murrays.com.au; Premier Motor Services (national) T133410, http://www.premierms.com.au; and Firefly (Adelaide, Melbourne), T1300 730740,
http://www.fireflyexpress.com.au. Typical interstate services and prices for 1-way from Sydney are: Brisbane, Greyhound, 5 daily, 20 hrs, $121; Byron Bay, Greyhound, 4 daily,18 hrs, $111; Cairns, Greyhound, 5 daily, 46 hrs, $364; Canberra, Greyhound, 10 daily, 5 hrs, $15; Melbourne, Greyhound, 5 daily, 14 hrs 20 mins, $77.
Travelling by car around Sydney is a nightmare with numerous tolls, expensive parking and omnipresent parking wardens. There really is no need to see the sights by car but if you must, take lots of change. Note that as of December 2004 only vehicles with the city auto-toll E-Tag system will be able to use the harbour tunnel. The toll for the harbour bridge ($3 southbound, free northbound) will remain payable by cash or E-Tag. NRMA are located at 74-76 King St, CBD, T9292 8292, T131122.
Car hire offices at the airport (Arrivals south) include Avis, T136333, Budget T132727, Hertz T1300 132 607, National, T131390, Red Spot, T1300 668 810 and Thrifty T136139. In the city try Avis, Budget and Ascot centred on or around William St, Darlinghurst. Cheaper options often include Bayswater Rentals, 180 William St, Kings Cross, T9360 3622, and Dollar, Domain Car Park, Sir John Young Cres , T9223 1444. Rates can get as low as $40 per day. Campervan hire from Britz, free call T9667 0402, http://www.britz.com.au, and also Maui, T1300 363800, http://www.maui-rentals.com.
Secondhand car and campervan dealers include Kings Cross Car Market, Ward St Car Park, Kings Cross, T1800 808188, http://www.carmarket.com.au (good buying and selling), and Travellers Auto Barn, 177 William St, Kings Cross, T1800 674374, http://www.travellers-autobarn.com.au.
The pace of cycling is perfect for sightseeing. Unfortunately the rest of the road users don’t agree. Travel by bike within the city centre can be hairy to say the least. Several companies offer bike hire from about $35 per day or $175 per week, including Inner City Cycles, 151 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, T9660 6605; the Manly Cycle Centre, 36 Pittwater Rd, Manly, T9977 1189; and Wooly’s Wheels, 82 Oxford St, T9331 2671. For general advice contact Bicycle NSW, Level 5, 822 George St, T9218 5400, http://www.bicyclensw.org.au. For Sydney Cycle Ways maps and information contact the RTA, T9218 6816.
A trip on one of Sydney’s harbour ferries is a wonderful experience and an ideal way to see the city, as well as accessing many of the major attractions and suburbs. The principal operator is Sydney Ferries, which operates the ‘green and golds’, also the fast JetCats to Manly and RiverCat to Homebush Bay and Parramatta. Several independent companies also operate out of Circular Quay offering cruises as well as suburban transportation and water taxis.
Like the buses, ferry fares are priced according to zone and start at a single trip for $5.20. If you intend to travel regularly by ferry then a FerryTen ticket (from $33.50) is recommended, while further savings can also be made with the TravelPass and Sydney Pass system . Various travel/entry combo tickets are offered to the major harbourside sights including Taronga Zoo (Zoo Pass $44, child $21.50) and Sydney Aquarium (Aquarium Pass $33, child $17.00). Children travel half price and there are also family concessions on most fares. For ferry information T131500, www.sydneyferries .com.au or http://www.sydneytransport.com.au. The main Sydney Ferries Information Centre is opposite Wharf 4, Circular Quay.
MonoRail and LightRail
MonoRail, http://www.metromonorail.com.au, runs in a loop around Darling Harbour and South Western CBD and provides a convenient way of getting from A to B. They run every 3-5 mins, Mon-Thu 0700-2200, Fri-Sat 0700-2400, and Sun 0800-2200. The standard fare (1 loop) is $4.50, a Day Pass costs $9. Children under 5 travel free and there are discounts for some major attractions.
The LightRail network links Central Station with Lilyfield, via a number of stops within the southwest CBD and Darling Harbour, as well as the Casino, Fish Market and Glebe. It is a 24-hr service with trains every 10-15 mins from 0600-2400 and every 30 mins from 2400-0600. There are 2 fare zones starting at a single journey at $3. A Day Pass with unlimited stops costs $8.50.
Children travel at half price. For information, T8584 5288, http://www.metromonorail.com.au.
Sydney’s once rather dubious taxi service was given a major revamp for the 2000 Olympics and it is now much improved. Ranks are located near every railway station, at Circular Quay and numerous spots in the CBD, otherwise hail one as required. From 2200-0600 higher tariffs apply. On short journeys tipping is not expected. There are several companies including ABC T132522, Combined T133300, Legion T131451, Premier T131017 and RSL T132211.
Water taxis operate all over the harbour with most being based on the western edge of Circular Quay. The main operators are Water Taxis Combined, Circular Quay, T9555 8888, and Yellow Water Taxis T1300 138840.
Sydney’s 24-hr double-decker train services are a convenient way to reach the city centre and outlying areas, or to link in with bus and ferry services. Fares start at $2.40 and savings of up to 40% can be made with ‘Off-Peak Tickets’, which operate after 0900 on weekdays. Further savings can be made with the TravelPass and Sydney Pass . There are coloured routes with the green/purple City Circle (Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James and the Museum) and blue Eastern Suburbs Line (Central, Town Hall, Martin Place, Kings Cross, Edgecliff, Bondi Junction) being the most convenient. Tickets and information are available at all major stations. For information about suburban trains in Sydney, T131500, http://www.cityrail.com.au or http://www.131500.com.au.
All interstate and NSW State destination trains arrive and depart from the Central Railway Station on Eddy Av, just south of the city centre. There is an information booth and ticket offices on the main platform
concourse. Countrylink are the main interstate operators operating with a combination of coach and rail to all the main interstate and NSW destinations, T132232 (daily 0630-2200), http://www.countrylink.info.
You can find a Countrylink Travel Centre at the railway station, T9955 4237; Town Hall Station, T9379 4076; Wynyard Station, T9224 4744; Circular Quay, T9224 3400; and Bondi Junction T9377 9377. First class and economy fares vary so you are advised to shop around and compare prices with the various coach operators. The railway station also houses the main interstate city coach terminal (Greyhound) and from there, or Pitt St and George St, you can pick up regular city and suburban buses. For information T131500, http://www.sydneytransport.net.au.
Countrylink operates the ‘XPT’ Sydney to Brisbane (12 hrs daily, overnight, from $111) and Melbourne (11 hrs, twice daily, 1 overnight, from $111).