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Sydney - Driving & Public Transport

It is possible for expatriates to move about Sydney without the use of a private car. Sydney's Public Transport system is fairly extensive, and some expatriates prefer not to drive into Sydney CBD area during peak hours.

CityRail's network covers suburban Sydney, and extends to Hunter, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and South Coast regions. Within the City of Sydney, CItyRail's City Circle Line covers most of central Sydney. There are commuter fares and family fares available. On Sundays, CityRail offers a Family Funday Sunday ticket that cost a flat fee of AUD$2.50 per person and permits unlimited travel on CityRail, Sydney Buses, Sydney Ferries and some participating private buses. For timetables and service information about CItyRail, call the transport Infoline at 131 500 (24 hours daily), or visit CityRail's website at

In addition to CityRail, Metro Light Rail runs an elevated monorail system (Sydney Monorail) and road-level tram system (Sydney Light Rail) that offer alternative public transport in Sydney's inner suburbs, linking them to Sydney's CBD and beyond. The Monorail is an efficient albeit slightly touristy way to travel around Sydney, as it stops at several of Sydney's top attractions. The Light Rail links the Central Station to inner western suburbs of Haymarket, Pyrmont, Glebe and Rozelle. For more details, visit their website at

At the time of writing, there is a proposed metro (underground subway) system for Sydney, and is expected to complete in 2015.

Click here for a useful interactive schedule and fare calculator that is managed by the NSW government.

Many rail service stations are linked to neighborhoods and suburbs via the fleet of Sydney Buses. The Metrobus Service Route 10 connects Sydney's inner west with the eastern suburbs via the CBD. Visit their website to download their network maps and schedules. As a general rule, buses that generally ply the eastern region are numbered 3XX; southern and inner west region, it is 4XX or 5XX, for northern region and beaches, it is 1XX or 2XX. TravelTen offers a discounted rate for bus rides. There are also night bus services operated by both Sydney Buses and CityRail.

Sydney ferries run both tourist and commuter ferries along the Parramatta River. Sydney Ferries operate from Sydney CBD (Circular Quay Ferry Terminal) to several routes (e.g. to Manly). There are also other privately operated passenger ferries and vehicle ferries.

For expatriates who live in Sydney without a private car, it is inevitable to occasionally travel around Sydney by taxi. This option can be expensive. For the adventurous, sit in the front seat of a taxi to chat with the driver – Australians are generally chatty. Another point to note about baby seats in taxis is that baby seats must be permanently fixed in cars, so be sure to state your request clearly (e.g. infant seat or toddler seat) when booking.

Private Car

Expatriates who will be living in Sydney for more than 3 months will need to apply for an NSW Australian Driver's license. The NSW state recognizes the licenses from several countries (examples, US, UK, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland). Holders of a car license from the list of countries stated by the NSW Road Traffic Authority are exempted from taking the knowledge test, a practical driving test and an eyesight test. For more information about applying for driver's licenses, The NSW driving license is a photo card that doubles up as an identification card. You will need to produce proof of identify, visa status and address when applying for a NSW driver's license. For more information on driver's licenses or registering a vehicle, call 13 22 13 (Mondays through Fridays, 830am to 5pm and on Saturdays 830am to 12 noon). Click here for a listing of the agencies and offices where you can go to apply for a driver's license.

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