Anyone who has visited a foreign city will know that adapting to the public transport system can be a daunting task. What kind of ticket do you need to go somewhere, how do you find the stations, where are the stations located and so many more questions spring to mind.
There are three ways to travel in Sydney. Purchase an Opal card from a retailer and add credit on to it, use your credit/debit card (Visa/Mastercard/Amex) or purchase a single ticket from a ticketing machine.
It is important to note that you cannot purchase a reusable Opal card from the train station, you need to go to a retailer such as a supermarket, service station, newsagent etc however you can top up your Opal card at train stations as well as the fore mentioned retailers.
Only one person can use the method chosen so if you have additional family members or friends they will need their own card.
How To Use It
All modes of public transport support Opal and require you to tap on before and tap off after travel. It is important to do so as failing to tap on may see you fined for riding without a valid ticket and tapping off will cost you the maximum fee for the particular route you’ve traveled on.
You can change between modes of transport with a transfer but keep tapping on and off to prevent issues.
Finding Your Way
There are numerous apps available to help you find your way around. Google Maps shows public transport options for Sydney and is one of the easiest ways to find the best route to take. You can also use apps like TripView or even the Opal app to find a timetable for bus, train, ferry, trams and more.
How Expensive is it?
Sydney’s public transport is hit and miss with some routes being cheap and others not so much. Sydney doesn’t really have any free transport around the CBD as is found in other cities.
There is a daily cap however of $16.10 (at time of writing) so even if you travel extensively throughout the day you won’t exceed this amount. Sunday’s are even better with a $2.80 travel cap.
There are cheaper fares available for seniors and children.
Where Can I Go?
The Opal network reaches beyond Sydney to Newcastle in the north and Kiama in the south and Lithgow in the west. This is especially useful on Sunday’s meaning you can travel well out of Sydney and back in a day for only $2.80.
There are some awesome views on the Wollongong and Blue Mountains lines and while they will eat up a day in travel they are worth it just for the views.
The Opal network covers trains, buses, trams and ferries although some are privately operated and Opal cannot be used to pay for your travel, check with the operator for more information.
Where Can I Find More Information
You can find more information about Opal and the transport network on the Transport NSW website.
For ideas on where to go take a look over here.