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Getting Around

Light Rail

  • Trams run between Central station and Dulwich Hill, stopping at Chinatown, Darling Harbour, The Star casino, Sydney Fish Market, Glebe and Leichhardt en route.
  • Opal card fares cost $2.10 for a short journey and $3.50 for a longer one.
  • A second light rail line is being built and is due to open in 2019. It will run from Circular Quay down a now car-free George St right through the city centre to Central station, then veer east through Surry Hills, head past the SCG and Sydney Football Stadium and on to Kingsford, with a branch veering to Randwick.

Feature: The Opal Card

Sydney's public transport network now runs on a smartcard system called Opal (www.opal.com.au).

The card can be obtained (for free) and loaded with credit (minimum $10) at numerous newsagencies and convenience stores across Sydney. When commencing a journey you’ll need to touch the card to an electronic reader, which are located at the train station gates, near the doors of buses and light rail carriages, and at the ferry wharves. You then need to touch a reader when you complete your journey so that the system can deduct the correct fare. You get a discount when transferring between services, after a certain number of journeys in the week, and daily charges are capped at $15 ($2.50 on Sundays). You can use the Opal card at the airport train stations, but none of the aforementioned bonuses apply.

You can still buy single tickets (Opal single trip tickets) from machines at train stations, ferry wharves and light rail stops, or from the bus driver. These are more expensive than the same fare using the Opal card, so there's not much point unless you don't think you'll use $10 worth during your Sydney stay.

You can purchase a child/youth Opal card for those aged four to 15 years; they travel half-price. For student and pensioner discount Opal cards, you have to apply online.

Ferry

  • Most Sydney Ferries operate between 6am and midnight. The standard Opal Card single fare for most harbour destinations is $5.74; ferries to Manly, Sydney Olympic Park and Parramatta cost $7.18.
  • Private company Manly Fast Ferry offers boats that blast from Circular Quay to Manly in 18 minutes.

Water Taxis

Water taxis are a fast way to shunt around the harbour (Circular Quay to Watsons Bay in as little as 15 minutes). Companies will quote on any pick-up point within the harbour and the river, including private jetties, islands and other boats. All have a quote generator on their websites. It's much better value for groups than couples.

Water-taxi companies:

Fantasea Yellow Water Taxis

H2O Maxi Taxis

Water Taxis Combined