The best transportation to Sydney city area is via Train. The city circle train ticket can be considered as this tickets allows return via any station within the city area. The price is maybe AUD 0.50 more expensive as compared to a regular ticket but it is very convenient.
Within the city, there are free shuttle busses and they can be identified as the 555 busses. Bus tickets come in 10 rides and range from AUD 17 - 28.
A great train experience back in 1986 travelling up from Victoria to NSW. The train offered a good sleeper service in twinette cabins but also served excellent dinner and breakfast in the morning arriving in sydney at 09.00 ready for the day. A civilised way to tarvel and am amzed it has not been looked at for a new super fast train to get passengers away from the nightmare of airp[orts and air travel.
A great U tube of this train travellng south can be viewed on:-
My video of it in sydney station is amoungst "Video " collections on my profile page
Update: As of mid 2011, the light rail is now included with a MyMulti ticket. If you choose to buy a MyMulti ticket for your transportation needs, the light rail is freely included.
In 2007 I finally got on the light rail here. I am always happy on a street tram and that is essentially what it is.
As part of the super pass which covers both fare zones on the light rail and also the monorail for $15 per person you can ride as much as you want all day long. The free city guides available at the airport and also the visitor centers have a 20% off coupon for this ticket. So you can also save $3 here. The day you do this take the light rail out to the Fish Market and enjoy an excellent lunch. Then continue on out to Lillyfield just to see the scenes. Glebe is also on the line and worth a walk about with many great restaurants and is also very near the University of Sydney.
The light rail is now part of our trip each time we come to Sydney.
There are also plans in the works to extend the light rail north from Central Station to Circular Quay. This is not set in stone but would be a great thing for Sydney if they can manage it.
SYDNEY TRAIN SYSTEM
Talk to many Sydneysiders about our train system and they do nothing but complain.Surely it has its problems but what system doesn't in a big city!.Also I find most people that complain Don't use the trains!!! I find the train system to be most of what I want it to be. As I travel to and around the city I use trains as it is better than using my car..Also this avoids parking fines ..if you can find a parking spot!!. My advice is if you going to be in Sydney for a week and you want to get around without hiring a car...buy a weekly train ticket which allows you to travel around the inner city area..Of course if you want to travel further out on (what is called an Intercity train)you may find it easier to just buy a ticket on the day for your destination..ie: Katoomba in the Blue Mountains to visit the National Park or The Central Coast or Newcastle.
Trains are frequent within the city system from around 5 am till midnight. Information and maps of the train System can be located at the train information and booking office at Circular quay near pier 4. Also at Central Station ( Hauptbahnhof ) or (Gare Centrale) where trains can be caught for all over the city and Australia. Here you can board the "Indian Pacific" to cross the country from Sydney to Perth or Sydney to Adelaide to catch the "Ghan" from Adelaide to Darwin. These two train journeys are among the top ten train journeys in the world.
Weekly tickets can be purchased at most suburban station ticket offices.
Sydney is efficiently serviced by it the local train service more popularly known as Cityrail. There are a much faster and convenient way of moving around Sydney.
There are 6 train lines but all these 6 train lines have two common stations called Central and Town Hall. The trains start at early morning hours of 05:00 hrs and continue past midnight.
There are numerous travel pass available at the train station ticket counters and the best one for visitors would be a one day travel pass (CALLED DAYTRIPPER) or a weekly travel pass. They are valid on buses, trains and ferries (any number of rides). Manly and the River cat ferries are excluded from this pass.
The cost of daily travel pass (daytripper) is A$ 15 for adults and A$7.50 for kids above 4.
Sydneypass is valid for 3, 5, 7 days and is a better value for money if one intends to use public transport for more number of days. They too can be used for any number of rides in cityrail, buses and ferries. With Sydney pass, one can also go on Sydney Explorer or Bondi Explorer-any number of rides. The ticket for 3 days for an adult is A$100. For a child, it is A$ 50.
The Metro Light Rail (MLR) is the only light rail service in Sydney. Stretching from Central Station to Lillyfield the whole line stretches for roughly 7 kilometers. Some of the attractions that are accessible via the MLR are the Sydney Fish Market, Star City, Sydney Convention Center and Darling Harbour. Tickets are available inside the train or prior to the boarding.
Circular Quay Railway station is a major hub of transport being right by the buses and ferries. Here you can catch the City Rail Lines of Inner West, South, Airport, East Hills and Bankstown. This station is always used often by me to get around town or to Circular Quay to catch one of the many ferries.
The Sydney Lightrail service operates between Central Station and Lilyfield. Stations are Capital Square, Paddy's Market, Exhibition Centre, Convention, Pyrmont Bay, Star City, John St Square, Fish Market, Wentworth Park, Glebe, Jubilee Park & Rozelle. The lightrail runs 24 hours a day and most trains run every 10-15 minutes.
We used the Lightrail SYstem to go from Capital Square to the Fish Market and from the Fish Market to Paddy's Market. It was an easy and quick way to get where we were going. It also provided a different view of Sydney from the rail car.
When we arrived in Sydney we took the Airport Rail Link to the St. James Station. The Rail Link runs from the Airport Terminal through the Domestic Terminal at Sydney Airport to the City Circle train line stopping at Central, Museum, St James, Circular Quay, Wynyard and Town Hall Stations in the city. The train runs every 10 minutes and the trip took about 10 minutes from the airport to our stop at St. James. This was a quick and easy way to get to our hotel from the airport.
The public transport train trip from Sydney Airport to the City Centre does not come cheap. Although the government built the railway tunnel from the airport to the city, a private company built only the railways stations, hence, they charge a HUGE FEE to use the railway stations at the airport. It cost about $13.00 for each ticket one way! OUCH!
A taxi would cost about $35.00 from the International Terminal and around $30.00 from the Domestic Terminal.
If you're in a group of 2 or more people, it will probably be more convenient and cheaper to get a taxi into Sydney's city centre. At least it will take you straight to your hotel/hostel door.
If you don't want to pay a high fare, and not get a taxi, use the airport bus (red colour).
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