For me, there are only 2 ways to get to Circular Quay, or around Sydney. By train or walking.
Train of course will get you there quicker, but if you want to see some of Sydney at ground level, walk. It's not hard & it's all relatively level. If you come into Sydney via a train, get off at Central & make your way to Pitt Street or George Street & head north! It's a couple of kilometres to Circular Quay, but it's easy walking. Or you could get on the City Circle train which will take right to Circular Quay.
Sydney trains are notoriusly late, unreliable and even sometime dangerous. When they do work you can get to all extents of Sydney.
or the interactive version
The rail network covers suburban Sydney and extends to the Hunter, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and South Coast regions.
Train services begin around 4 - 5am in the morning and run till around midnight (later at some stations). After midnight, Nightride bus services operate in the Sydney suburban area.
Trains in Sydney are run by Cityrail, and cover most of Greater Sydney. A single journey costs about $5 for adults but for tourists there are day passes for $15.40/adult which can be used on other means of transport also. Trains usually come every 15 mins, and less often on weekends and off peak times. The thing with cityrail is that trains can often be delayed so don't plan your trip exactly on the ctyrail timetable! If traveling at night, travel near the guard's corridor (marked with a blue light). Trains can be overcrowded with students and workers in the morning and late afternoon/evening.
Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport is located just 8km from the centre of the city, making it very easily accessible.
Trains run between the city and the airport frequently throughout the day. This was the means of transport that I opted for when flying out of Sydney in April 2006. The following information is correct as of that date:
- Trains leave from Platform 23 at Sydney's Central Station. Signs (with pictures of aeroplanes on them) clearly direct you to the correct platform for catching the airport trains;
- The final destination of the train that I caught was MacArthur. The domestic and international terminals of the airport were stops 3 and 4 respectively;
- Trains run to the airport approximately every 15 minutes;
- The journey takes just 10 minutes. The domestic and international terminals are only a minute or so apart on the train;
- The cost of a 1-way ticket is 12 AUD.
If you are in Sydney, you'll quite possibly want to visit Bondi Beach at some point. I certainly wanted to see this legendary beach while I was in Sydney in April 2006.
I asked the guy on reception at my hotel how best to get from Sydney to Bondi and he told me that the train would be far quicker than the bus. While a bus ride from central Sydney to Bondi would take up to an hour, the train journey would be a mere 15 minutes. However, the train only goes as far as Bondi Junction train station - from there, you will either have to walk 20-25 minutes down to the beach or catch a local bus. The weather was perfect, so I chose to walk.
Trains leave from Platform 24 (Suburban Trains) at Sydney's Central Station and a 1 way ticket costs 2.80 AUD (correct at April 2006).
You can purchase tickets from the counters at the station and you must then use this ticket to operate the turnstiles leading to the platform.
If you are not staying close to Central Station, there are other points where you can catch the train to Bondi. The route is as follows:
Sydney Central - Town Hall - Martin Place - Kings Cross - Edgecliff - Bondi Junction
At the time of my visit, a bus replacement service covered the Edgecliff to Bondi Junction leg of the journey, but signs at the railway station indicated that this was only a temporary measure in force over the Easter weekend.
The trains is Sydney are double decked so your sure to find a seat. We found the trains to be clean and run on time. you can pick up a timetable from the stations, your hotel or online at http://www.cityrail.info/
Sydney is very easy to get around in by train. They come about every 15 minutes and there are signs to help or lots of stops have ticket booths. They are very safe with security guards present at a few of the stations. Cost of an average trip is about $4AU. We stayed on Kings street (shopping, restaurant and entertainment district) and used the The Newtown train station which is on the inner west line. Travelling towards the city, the railway stops in order are: Macdonaldtown, Redfern, Central, Town Hall, Wynyard. Travelling west towards Strathfield, the stops are Stanmore, Petersham, Lewisham, Summer Hill, Ashfield, Croydon, Burwood, and Strathfield. Unfortunately the station can only be accessed by stairs leading down to the platform so its not disabled friendly.
I have included the train timetable from the cityrail website here because the train is pretty much the best option for travelling in any direction from Sydney to see the sights. Services are quite frequent. Just select the station you want to go to and it will tell you which line it's on.
Being currently based in Perth Western Australia the only way for me to reach Sydney in about 5 hours was to fly.
Domestic air travel in Australia has taken a harsh hit after September 11 and we soon found out the most damaged company was Ansett, one of Australia's oldest and most trusted airlines. This airline also suffered mis-management from it's international owners and after several failed, but galliant attempts, from enterprising business men from around the world who attempted to save thousands of jobs and a great institution, the Australian public have been left with only one major airline company to cover this vast continent.
Qantas is picking up the slack where it can, and there are many companies trying to fill the hundreds of positions in areas such as freight and travel bookings.
Companies like Virgin Blue are finding a market in our skies, however, their service isn't complete or as available as it's predecessor. As yet they are still the newcomers in the general publics eyes.
I recommend using the train in Sydney... their service is inexpensive and I found I didn't have to wait longer than five minutes for the next train. If your business is conducted in the North Shore area The Duxton provide a complimentary Limousine service to your place of business. Now that's taking care of people.
If your return flight home is in the early hours of the morning, as mine was, then I would recommend a Silver Service Taxi direct from your inner city accommodation to the airport. For about $35 dollars you will be taken straight to the departure terminal without the hassle of walking in the dark to catch your train.
It is the easiest way to get around Sydney and out of Sydney to all the main sights. Simple, fuss free and relatively comfortable. Haven't gone wrong using it so far for myself!
Possibly the most confusing for 1st time visitors to Sydney will be the varieties of types of tickets available. I know I did. Besides the usual day tickets and commuter tickets, it would be easier for visitors to grab the various types of Leisure tickets available:
THE DAY TRIPPER
An all-in-one day ticket for CityRail train, Sydney Buses and Sydney Ferries travel. Also includes fantastic discount offers to Sydney's attractions.
Adult A$15; Child A$7.50
THE CITY HOPPER
Unlimited all day CityRail travel around 11 stations within the city area. They include: Central, Martin Place, Museum, Town Hall, St James, Circular Quay, Kings Cross, Wynyard, Redfern, Milsons Point and North Sydney.
Adults A$6.80(peak) A$4.80(off-peak); Child A$3.40 peak) A$2.40(off-peak)
THE SYDNEY PASS
Available for three, five or seven days. Unlimited travel for any three or five or seven days within an 8 day period for use rail, buses and ferries.
Please refer to site for limitations and charges.
The Network map of Cityrail is available if you click the link.
I need to begin with a big "thank you" to VT member Craic who sent me this photo of the actual vehicle I describe in this tip. (I had orignally included some random train, which made the whole tip kind of confused.) [Q shoots a "thumbs up" to Craic.]
Craic also clued me in to the fact that while this conveyance is officially called the "light rail" and that signs in the street direct passengers to the "light rail," the locals know it as the "tram," and that the stops are, in fact, called "tram stops" both officially and colloquially. Go figure. (At least I'm not alone in my tram/train/rail confusion!)
So without further ado, the tip itself....
The light rail is a transportation network for getting around in the central part of Sydney. It's not a commuter system at all, but it is useful if you arrive in Sydney at the Central Station railway terminal since you can get the light rail from there to a number of stops where hotels are located. And it's also good for getting to some of the green areas at the very back of the harbour such as Federal Park and Jubilee Park.
I don't know what is it about me, but every country i visited, i always love taking the trains!!!
Like-wise in Sydney, we roamed this city mainly on foot and by cityrail. The city rail is really fab!
There are quite a few passes to choose from. Click on the website to find out more!
When in Spain catch a Train. And in Sydney catch one too. The train system in Sydney although in the past copping alot of flack is a great way to travel. Now the links through to the airport terminals have been completed things are even better.
Take Sydney Central train to Katoomba (2 hours) to get to the Blue Mountains and please take the direct train, otherwise, you'd end up changing trains and waiting in several stations.
Below the Katoomba Station, you will find the tourist office. I chose the Blue Mountain Explorer Bus. The hop-on hop-off bus fare includes a guidebook.
Best seat is on the 2/F of the bus as you can have a good view of the Three Sisters, Echo Point, Scenic Railway and Skyway. Take the Scenic Railway down and take Skyway up or vice versa. This way, you can experience both rail and cable car.
There are many Train stations around sydney except for the northern beaches side.
At each train station there is a details map of the train lines so you can plan ahead of time were to get off. Like the buses the trains are a very good way to travel around sydney. They are comfortable and there are undercover security officers gurading the trains at all times. The trains run to the early hours of the morning.
Sometimes its easier to take the train rather than your car to the city centre. Parking is expensive in the city vs a train ticket with will cost around AUD$4.00 Rtn