How to get around in Sydney

Sydney has an excellent public transport system including trains, buses and ferries. There are also bicycle paths as cycling becomes more popular.

You can travel around Sydney and NSW on trains, buses, ferries and light rail. Start from 2014, Sydney is using a new travel ticket system called Opal card. The Opal card is a smartcard ticket that you load value onto and keep for travel on all public transport in Sydney, and the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

You can buy Opal card from an opal card retailer or order online

You can also buy a single ticket from the train station or from the bus driver before your travel. It is cheaper and more convenient to pre-purchase an Opal card if you use public transport every day. Some buses are "Pre-Pay" which means you must have a valid Opal card before you travel.

Transport runs to a timetable and operates regularly into the evening. Peak times are from 7.00am to 9.00am and from 4.00pm to 6.30pm. You can get free timetables from train stations, bus depots and ferry terminals or download information about government transport from the Transport Info website.

Taxis are also easy to find, although they cost more than other public transport.

Find out more about Opal card

Always check online for the latest transport information.

Service Website You can find...
Transport Info ...train, bus and ferry timetables, fares and online trip-planning
Sydney Trains ...train timetables, fares and network maps
Sydney Buses ...bus timetables, fares and network maps
Sydney Ferries ...ferry timetables, fares and network maps
Whereis street maps

International Student Travel Program

International students may be eligible to pay less for train, bus, ferry or light rail travel using reduced price MyMulti 2 and MyMulti 3 tickets which may only be purchased from the Online tickets page on the Sydney Trains website.

Reduced price MyMulti 2 and 3 tickets can be used just like regular MyMulti tickets for travel on public transport in Greater Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra.

MyMulti 1 tickets are not reduced under this program, and NSW TrainLink Regional services are not included in the program.

Contact your International Student Coordinator or International Office to get a registration code that will allow you to buy a discounted MyMulti 2 or 3 ticket online. 

For more information visit Transport Info website.


  • Sydney Trains network operates from Bondi Junction in the east to the Blue Mountains in the west, south to Wollongong and north to Newcastle.
  • Inner-city trains leave from most stations fairly regularly. Services to and from regional centres, such as Wollongong and Newcastle, usually leave every 30 minutes.


  • You can catch buses to many parts of Sydney. Some tickets must be purchased prior to boarding.
  • There are more buses at peak hours than at off-peak hours.
  • Some services only operate during peak hours. Check the bus timetable
  • Bus fares are calculated on the distance travelled.


  • Sydney Ferries operate ferry services between Circular Quay and most suburbs on the Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.

Airport services to Sydney and suburbs

  • Sydney International and Domestic Airport is 8km from the centre of Sydney.
  • Taxis are easy to find to the city centre and cost about A$25 to A$40.
  • The AirportLink rail service runs from Sydney Airport to the city centre regularly and takes approximately 20 minutes. The train fare from the Airport to Central Station is approximately A$16.50. At Central Station you can catch trains or buses to Sydney metropolitan areas or NSW regional centres.

How to travel outside Sydney

Regional transport

Each regional city or town in NSW has its own transport services.

Go to website for further information.

Your International Students Coordinator will help you with local transport information when you arrive at your school or college.

Air transport

Three major airlines operate regional and interstate services within Australia. Prices are often competitive with bus services or rail services. Throughout the year, the airlines advertise discounted tickets on the internet.

More information online

Service Website You can...
Qantas ...find route maps, ticket prices, sale fares flights online
Virgin Australia  

Transport safety (trains, buses and taxis)

There are a few basic safety guidelines to follow whenever you are using Sydney's public transport system which will help make your trip as safe as possible.

  • At night, wait for taxis, trains or buses in well lit areas next to other people
  • Keep your wallet/purse out of sight or close by your side
  • Sit in train carriages nearest the train guard (this carriage has a blue light) as they are always open and well lit
  • Sit wherever you feel most comfortable in a taxi (front or back seat)
  • Check timetables on to avoid long waits

Driving in NSW

You are allowed to drive a car in NSW if you hold a valid and current driver's licence from your home country. Whenever you drive, you must always carry with you:

  • Your original valid, current licence from your home country
  • EITHER an International Driving Permit OR a certified English translation of your licence (if your licence is not written in English)
  • Your passport and visa or a certified copy of these documents so you can leave your passport in a safe place

You can get an International Driving Permit in your home country before you leave for Australia.

Driving and licence information is available in several languages in the Guide for International Drivers

Basic NSW road rules

Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Some of the most important road rules in NSW include the following:

  • Seatbelts are to be worn by drivers and all passengers at all times
  • Speed limits must be obeyed at all times or you will receive a fine from the police department
  • All vehicles must be registered with Roads and Maritime Services, and owners must have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance for personal injury
  • You mustn't drive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Police officers may stop drivers for random breath tests (RBT). The driver speaks or blows into a breath testing device to calculate the level of alcohol in their bloodstream
  • If you exceed the alcohol limit or are under the influence of drugs while driving, you will be fined and may lose your license.

If you intend to buy a car or other motor vehicle, check the Roads & Maritime Services website for motor vehicle registration requirements.

More information online

Service Website You can...
Roads & Maritime Services Find information about NSW road rules, the Guide for International Drivers, and download a copy of the Road Users' Handbook



Do you need help?

Ask a question online or contact
TAFE NSW International or an authorised agent for help with choosing a TAFE NSW course or enrolling.

New South Wales


NSW lies on the east coast of Australia.
Sydney is the state's capital and the largest
city in Australia.

To find a campus go to TAFE NSW Institute locations.

Helpful guides

Guides on living, studying and working in:

ESOS Framework

The Australian Government wants international students to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding study experience in Australia.

Read more about the ESOS Framework.

Find an agent

You must select a program and a country.