Sydney: Local Travel Info
The Cultural Hub of Australia's East Coast
Internal Flights and Major International Airports in Sydney
Sydney Airport, located in the suburb of Mascot, is the city’s main airport and one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world. Sydney Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and flies to worldwide and to every major Australian dissemination daily. Meanwhile, the smaller Bankstown Airport mainly serves private and general aviation and there is also a light aviation airfield at Camden.
Getting to and from the Airport in Sydney
The airport is readily accessible by road and there are several regular transport services into the city alongside the Airport Link underground rail line. The International Terminal and Domestic Terminal railway stations are situated below their respective terminals, and are part of the wider Cityrail network. However, only standard suburban trains service the airport, without special areas for customers with extra luggage. Taxis are plentiful and (fairly) cheap, but Sydney Buses provide a cheap and efficient into the city on Route 400 (Burwood to Bondi Junction), which connects the eastern suburbs, Inner West and St George areas to the airport. Once again, these buses are only regular suburban buses.
Travel Costs in Sydney
By and large, Sydney offers slightly more affordable transport than most other major cities. Buses are only ever a few dollars and stretch to every area in and around the city - unlimited day passes can be bought for $5-10, depending on how far you wish to go outside the city limits. The centralised monorail and wider network of CityRail trains cost comparatively less than most other cities and is about $15-25 for a day pass. Taxis are the most expensive option but still comfortably within most people’s spending limits for short trips, averaging out at around $2 a km. However, make sure to steer clear of unlicensed taxis, as they tend to charge a great deal extra for tourists.
Renting Cars in Sydney
Car hire in Sydney is easily arranged and, due to large amounts of competing companies, very good value. Visitors must hold a valid driving licence with no infringements for dangerous or drunken driving in the last 5 years. You must be aged 18 or over to rent a car in Sydney. For Car Hire in Sydney expect to pay approx $25-40 per day but do watch out for bargains and shop around.
Drivers License Requirements in Sydney
Visitors wishing to drive must possess a Certificate of Insurance or an International Green Card, a valid Driving Licence or International Driving Permit.
Driving Rules in Sydney
In Australia, as in Britain, they drive on the left-hand side. Do drive carefully as many of the roads are quite clustered and busy throughout the most important trunk routes in the urban area are the nine Metroads, which include the 110 km (68 mi) Sydney Orbital Network. The city also has an extensive one-way-street system and parking is very difficult in the inner city. The legal default urban speed limit in New South Wales is 50 km/h, but the city has introducing 30 km/h zones in many built-up areas during recent years. Note it is an offence to hold a mobile phone whilst driving a moving vehicle. Drivers and adult front seat passengers must wear seat belts. Children must wear seat belts or a suitable child/infant restraint, in both front and rear seats. Sydney has similar provisions to the UK, with regards to fixed alcohol limits and roadside breath testing. The penalties in Sydney are severe, large fines or up to 6 months in prison plus unlimited disqualification from driving. It is an offence to drive whilst under the influence of drugs. If you are involved in an accident you must stop and phone the Police for the correct course of action. Failure to do so is an offence.
Buses in Sydney
It is both easy and affordable to access all areas of Sydney using the local bus service, whose routes regularly travel all across the centre, suburbs and wider region. Commuter bus services account for about half of the public transport journeys taken into the city on weekdays. Of the 921,000 weekday bus trips, 554,000 are provided by the State Transit Authority (STA) of New South Wales, a government authority, the remainder by a large number of private-sector operators. East of Strathfield, the bus network replaces the city's former tram network. Sydney Buses, a subsidiary of the STA, operates a service that covers Sydney's east, north, inner west and inner southern suburbs alongside a network of tightly integrated train and ferry lines. Prices vary for buses as to whether you are an individual couple or family, but expect a one-day individual pass to cost around £5-10 and a family to cost $15-30.
Taxis in Sydney
Throughout the suburbs and centre of Sydney, taxis are regular, convenient and easy to flag down. Large taxi ranks can always be found at all railway and airport links, such as Central and Circular Quay, as well as busy areas of commerce like George St and Goulburn St. There are several major taxi companies in the city but most are owned by small-scale operators who pay membership fees to regional or citywide radio communication networks. Each of these networks provide branding and telephone and internet booking services. Taxis charge around $2 per km and tipping is common; but not mandatory. Extra charges are made for waiting time and luggage not carried in the passenger compartment. It is advisable to always ask the taxi driver for a receipt in case of any complaints or queries you may have on a taxi fare as it can only be dealt with if a receipt exists.
Cycling in Sydney
The steep hills, narrow streets and volume of motorised traffic does not make Sydney a particularly easy city in which to cycle. Few roads have designated cycle lanes and these often run between cars and along roads invariably packed with traffic. Manly is perhaps the best nearby location for cycling, and Centennial Park is another recommended spot. There are many bike shops scattered across the city, all accept credit cards but most will expect a hefty deposit.
Water Transport in Sydney
Sydney’s ferries provide some of the most picturesque views of the city and operate regularly to every region in and around the area. Most short trips cost around $4-8, and a 10-trip pass to Manly is available for $25. The majority of ferries are run by Sydney Ferries, a State government-owned organisation, thaty operates the numerous commuter and tourist ferries on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. Harbour ferries are used in equal measure by commuter and leisure users; Parramatta River ferries are overwhelmingly used for leisure and tourist trips. Sydney Ferries operates nine routes, with approximately 14,000,000 passengers per year. Sydney Ferries operates from Circular Quay Ferry Terminal, a major transport hub in Sydney's central business district, with popular routes including ferries and Jet Cats (high speed catamarans) to the beachside suburb of Manly and ferries to Taronga Zoo, a major tourist attraction.
Hitchhiking in Sydney
Although hitchhiking is a popular method of transport for travellers in Australia, the potential dangers are huge and cases of violence and abduction not unheard of so it is not a recommended form of travel.