The most important way to get around a foreign city is transportation. Taxies can be expensive, your location may not have Uber or Lyft services and the subway system may be hard to navigate through (if it is available). Sydney eliminates all your worries of getting around with state-of-the-art and properly maintained public transportation. Prior to our Australia trip, Mary’s friend recommended purchasing the Opal card before using any other services. We did just that, here we’ll let you know how to explore Sydney using an opal card!


Opal card has more benefits than any other means of travel within Sydney (in my opinion). Here are a few things to know:

  • Opal cards can be used on ALL Sydney Trains, Light Rail, NSW TrainLink Intercity services, Buses (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, and Illawarra), and Sydney Ferries.
  • Travel as much as you can with your card and never pay more than the Daily, Weekly, or Sunday caps.
    • Daily cap: $15AUD
    • Weekly cap: $60AUD
    • Sunday cap: $2.50AUD – Yes! $2.50AUD on Sundays, anywhere, everywhere, and as many stops your bum can handle.
  • For 8 paid journeys from Monday – Sunday, travel the rest of the week half-price.
    • Half-price travel doesn’t include the Sydney Airport station access fee.
    • To complete a journey, you must tap off and not tap on again for 60 minutes.

We purchased the Opal card at a convenience store which you could find on almost every block in Sydney. The minimum purchase was $10 and you can keep track of your balance using the Opal app. Great benefit of the card is that you can always re-load at any convenience store or on the Opal app (on the app, $40AUD is the minimum reload).



Too far to walk, too close for a train and overland: use buses. Buses aren’t the number one choice we would use but as far as Sydney goes, they are top notch compared to what we have experienced in the past in other parts of the world. The seats are also reasonably comfortable (you can fall asleep just fine). At no point did we feel threatened or scared making it a very reliable and safe form of transportation.



The best way to traverse water. Sydney Ferries are easily accessible and convenient if you don’t want to deal with land traffic. Especially when you want to visit either Bondi or Manly beach, the ferries will cut the time to get there in half or greater. The best part of using the ferries are the views. It is quite possibly the best way (other than air?) to see the Sydney cityscape, along with the famous Opera House, and Syndey Bridge.



The fastest and most comfortable way to get from point A to point B in and around Sydney. Similar to buses, it was safe, convenient, relaxing and modern. We didn’t come across any degraded transportation services.


Without a doubt, the Opal Card is THE WAY to travel throughout Sydney and its surrounding areas. You don’t need a car and you shouldn’t have to call any other services to get around. Using this card is the most convenient, sustainable and inexpensive way to navigate the area. We recommend getting it as soon as you land!

For any other information, here is more information on the Opal Card.

Check out other Australia related posts:
Guide to Tamborine Mountain
Guide to Byron Bay
Guide to Manly Beach
10 Things We Learned from Australia


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