Sightseeing & transport in Sydney

Dec 4th, 2013, 08:24 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Sightseeing & transport in Sydney

HI All,

I'm coming over to Sydney Early next year. Now, this is going to be my first outdoor excursion on an international scale (I like to stay indoors mostly) but I'm excited about going to Sydney. I have planned visits to a few places like Opera House, Bondi Beach (top of my list), but apart from that, im blank about how to travel or what to visit. would like some suggestions on transport mainly as that's going to be my biggest issue. Also, would I have late night transports available throughout the city or how does that work?

my final departure date is yet to come but it will most probably be in Feb or March. would the weather help??
Mohsinmalik1 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2013, 10:24 PM
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Renting a car is not a good option in Sydney, parking charges are often at least $25 per hour

Get a MyMulti 3 and it gives you unlimited travel on buses, trains and ferries
Geordie is online now  
Dec 4th, 2013, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Geordie is correct - unless you need it for an out-of-town day trip, renting a car is about the worst choice you could make.

Sydney CBD (Central Business District) and the major tourist sites around Circular Quay and The Rocks is very walkable.

There are also buses, underground trains and taxis. And for Harbour front destinations & Manly, ferries & catamarans.

It would be useful to know some of your interests .

However, some suggestions you might consider include:

Art Gallery of NSW
Museum of Contemporary Art
Macquarie Street - many historic buildings, Parliament House, Hyde Park Barracks (Museum)
Taronga Zoo
Cockatoo island
Take a ferry or train to Milsons Point and walk back to the CBD across the deck of the Harbour Bridge. Takes me 15 minutes, free and flat walking.

Ferry to Watsons Bay, bus to Bondi Beach.
While you're at Bondi, have a coffee/drink/meal at Bondi Icebergs Club. Take ID, they welcome visitors but need to verify you are a bona fide visitor. Fabulous views, good food, reasonable prices.

Walk south along the cliffs to Bronte ( Bondi to Bronte walk). About 30 minutes. Bus back to the city.

Or do in reverse & take ferry back to city from Watsons Bay. Good option for casual meal/ drink at the Watsons Bay Hotel. Fantastic sunset views in the evening.

You may like to do a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Take a train & so a tour from Katoomba or rent a car for the day up there. Consider an overnight stay & go a little farther & see Jenolan Xaves next day. is a good site for public transport.

That's a start for you
Bokhara2 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 03:49 PM
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That's an awful idea. Sydney is physically large and congested but has three viable public transport options: ferry, bus and train. Sydney's cityrail system covers a great deal of the area - it is both local subway and regional commuter rail - and the ferries from Circular Quay take you to the Zoo, Bondi, Watson's Bay and more.
BigRuss is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 05:40 PM
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Thank you for the insight fellas,,,,Really appreciate it I can hardly wait,,,,I'm looking forward to my Sydney visit rather than the exams,,,. I'm a bit of a luxury fan, so i guess I'll get a chauffeur car or something for a day or so, just to see how it goes,,,other days,,well nothing beats public transport.
Mohsinmalik1 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1
I'm in Sydney at the moment and I came with with the organization Australian Backpackers Work and Travel.
I Finished my high school and wanted to go to Australia.
Because i went alone I thought it was the best way to travel with a group. I really enjoyed the trips and we saw a lot of things in Sydney. They took me to the best places like Bondi, Watson bay and even went Surfing! It was in one word Amazing.
You can see picture on their facebook to see what it's like.
I wouldn't do it differently than begin my trip this way.
Now I'm travelling up the east coast with some people I met with the group! Anyone any Tips??
Amira45 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 06:54 PM
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I'm not sure what to make of your statements "Also, would I have late night transports available throughout the city" and "I'm a bit of a luxury fan, so i guess I'll get a chauffeur car or something for a day or so"

Greater Sydney is huge, but the areas where you're likely to indulge in some nightlife are not very widespread - between Circular Quay and Central Railway most likely, and going East past Paddington and Kings Cross/Potts Point to maybe Double Bay if you have a specific restaurant in mind - anyway, that's all in range of a taxi if you don't want to take public transport (buses or trains) at night. Since budget doesn't seem to be an issue (a chauffeured car will cost you plenty), taxis won't add up to much for you.

For days when public transport is your option, the aforementioned MyMulti is the ticket - probably nr. 3 which covers all ferries, all buses, and trains in a radius that you're not likely to exceed. It is valid for one week from the day of purchase and can be purchased at any train station and elsewhere. No photo required. Great value.

See details at

Make the Domain Walk -

It takes you from Wolloomoolloo (Harry's Café De Wheels - - these days no longer on wheels but a landmark nevertheless) past the NSW Art Gallery ( and the Botanical Gardens ( to Mrs MacQuarie's Chair for iconic views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the background.

Go up on the pylon of the Harbour Bridge that's open to the public and easily climbed for unbeatable 360 views:‎ - you access it by climbing from The Rocks (historic and touristy area) up to the street level then on another set of stairs to the traffic level of the bridge. Very exciting!

Walk through Paddy's Market, a cheerful multi-ethnic chaos, near Chinatown.

Once you have your MyMulti card, simply hop on ferries just for the heck of it, these rides may provide the longest-lasting of all your memories! See, and for the system map see

Take the ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour instead of taking the bus or train - the ferry crosses over to Milsons Point (with the amusement park) and - at some times of the day - even to East Balmain before getting to Darling Harbour, and you get the best views along the way.

By all means take the guided tour through the Opera House, it's unique and if you bring your camera you'll get shots you can't otherwise get. For a classy tea break and classy shopping, visit the QVB (Queen Victoria Building) - see

Go hear some live music at places like‎, see some live theatre by and at the - there's no end of fun to be had in Sydney! Enjoy!
michelhuebeli is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 07:24 PM
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Most major cities have "hop on - hop off" buses that take you on a tour of the city. The tickets are usually good for 24 or 48 hours and you can hop on and off as many times as you like. I've always found these to be a good and easy introduction to a "new" city. First time out, just ride the bus all the way round and decide what places you want to go back to later.

Sydney is no exception. There used to be "red" and "blue" explorer buses that covered two different routes. My understanding is that has been changed but the websites below would suggest there are still "red" and "blue" routes - it just may be that the buses are now all red (whereas it used to be a red bus on the "red" route and a blue bus on the "blue" route...). A ticket good for 24 hours is A$40 and for 48 hours is A$60. The 24/48 hours usually starts when you first get on the bus (so if you first get on a bus at lunchtime on day 1, the 24 hour ticket will be good until lunchtime on day 2 and the 48 hour ticket until lunchtime on day 3).

The two Sydney routes each take 90 minutes. When we did it (years ago now), they both started/finished at Circular Quay (though that may have changed). We did the red bus all the way round, got off at Circular Quay and got on the blue bus - that still goes to Bondi Beach, so maybe get off at that point for a change of pace and then hop back on later on. 90 minutes (or 3+ hours if you ride both of them all the way around) will give you a very good overview of Sydney, what there is and where it is - somebody else doing the driving, you don't have to worry about navigating, a running commentary explaining what you're looking at and the opportunity to decide what places you want to go back to and visit later. We've done these hop on/hop off buses in a number of places (including Sydney, London, Barcelona and, a couple of weeks ago, Dublin). You can then get back to the places you want to visit by hopping on the bus again or by taking other public transport.

It looks like the Bondi (blue) route no longer goes to Circular Quay but does "connect" to the red route at a couple of places. In my experience, there's no need to buy a ticket ahead of time - they usually always have ticket sellers at each stop (or perhaps buy it on the bus from the driver).

The "MyMulti" tickets they use in Sydney (which can extend to unlimited bus, train and ferry travel) are undoubtedly a good value but obviously depend to some extent on you knowing where you want to go and how to get there. I've always found the hop on/hop off buses a good investment in terms of providing an easy overview of a 'new' city and you can then resort to the regular public transit (MyMulti) tickets for the rest of your stay (and depending on how long you're in town).

A MyMulti 3 is $61 for a week, so the hop on/hop off buses ($60 for 48 hours, only good on those two bus routes) obviously extract a premium for what they offer. However, as said, I've always found them a worthwhile investment to get us started in a new city.
tt7 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 08:09 PM
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The Hop-On is a lousy deal, restricts you enormously and covers very little of what you're likely wanting to explore. Sixty bucks for two days on just two lines with long waits? Come on. For a buck more you travel on all modes, bus - ferries (!) - trains for an entire week, day or night. No comparison.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 09:26 PM
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To each his own. The OP, who has never been to Sydney, does not appear to be a seasoned traveller, has apparently no idea where to go or what to see, is talking about hiring a chauffeur for a day or so - to do what or see what I have no idea. I'm sorry I wasted my time trying to suggest (and explain) an alternative for the first-time visitor to get an overview of Sydney. I attempted to provide a balanced view by pointing out that the hop-on hop-off buses do extract a premium compared with public transport.

For what it's worth, the tour bus includes the following stops -

Sydney Route
Stop 1 Circular Quay.
Stop 2 Wynyard
Stop 3 Queen Victoria Building
Stop 4 Town Hall
Stop 5 William Street
Stop 6 Kings Cross
Stop 7 El Alamein Fountain
Stop 8 Woolloomooloo
Stop 9 Opera House
Stop 10 Botanic Gardens
Stop 11 Parliament House
Stop 12 Hyde Park North
Stop 13 Australian Museum
Stop 14 Central Station
Stop 15 Power House Museum
Stop 16 Fish Markets
Stop 17 The Star
Stop 18 Maritime Museum
Stop 19 Convention Centre/ Hard Rock Café
Stop 20 Imax
Stop 21 Aquarium
Stop 22 King Street Wharf
Stop 23 Overseas Passenger Terminal
Stop 24 Campbell’s Cove
Stop 25 The Rocks
Stop 26 Circular Quay
Bondi Tour
Stop A Central Station
Stop B Chinatown
Stop C Cook and Phillip
Stop D William Street
Stop E Paddington
Stop F Bondi Beach
Stop G North Bondi
Stop H Rose Bay
Stop I Double Bay
Stop J Australian Museum

Perhaps that list doesn't include very much of what most visitors to Sydney want to see - I don't know. It obviously doesn't include Taronga Zoo or Manly, both of which usually involve ferry trips. I don't profess to be a Sydney expert but certainly found it useful when I was first in Sydney. If the OP isn't willing to invest $40 and 90 minutes of his time in the Sydney tour, but would rather save a few bucks and invest a lot of his time during his first couple of days in town trying to figure out how to get to even a fraction of those places on public transport, that's his call.
tt7 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2013, 10:33 PM
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The list is good, but breezing by all these places in such a short time makes no sense to me - not for someone like OP who seems to have at least a few days planned, not just a 24-hour or 48-hour whirlwind tour. I'm glad that it worked for you, because - indeed - to each his own.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Dec 6th, 2013, 01:28 AM
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Not to belabour the point (which obviously I am doing and my apologies for that), but the whole point of such a tour (and "breezing by all these places") is to very quickly get a good sense of what's where, where they are in relation to one another, what's of interest, what - on breezing by - turns out not to be of interest, the relative distance between places etc. Maybe it doesn't work for everybody but it certainly works for us. We were in Dublin (for the first time) a few weeks ago. We certainly had ideas about where we wanted to go, what we wanted to see etc., and we'd studied the map and had some vague idea of the geography of the city. The first thing we did after dropping the bags at the hotel was get on the hop-on hop-off bus and ride it all the way round. 90 minutes and we had a pretty good idea of the city layout, how long it took to get from one place to another, what was "walkable" and what wasn't, what really was of interest, what (on passing by) turned out to be of less interest than we perhaps originally thought, and from there we decided where to go, when, how, in what sequence etc. over the next two and a half days (we had a 3 day ticket). We got to see quite a lot of Dublin just riding the bus, figured out our way around, used the bus to get to various places we wanted to visit and, for a number of places, walked from place to place once we'd figured out where things were. Is the bus a "premium price"? Yes. Does it provide value for money? Perhaps, perhaps not, depending on your perspective and what you expect to get out of it. For us, "expensive" those these buses tend to be, they're well worth it in quickly getting to grips with a new city.
tt7 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2013, 11:50 AM
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I agree with you tt7. I often take a hop-on-hop-off bus on arrival in a new city precisely because it is a drive past that (a) orientates me within the city (b) gives a glimpse of places which I may want to revisit for a better look. (c) gives a much better idea of distances & terrain than a map can. (d) the Guide can often answer questions about opening hours, advise about current exhibitions, accessibility, give recommendations for places for coffee etc.

Expensive? Depends on your perspective I suppose. I think it's $ well spent, for the reasons above and more eloquently put by tt7.

It's more expensive than public transport but less expensive than a taxi, neither of which gives you any information about what you're seeing, or provides a sequential route of places a visitor would reasonably want to see.

Thanks for the route list,tt7. I wasn't exactly sure where ours went. Funnily enough, a friend & I who very frequently play tourist in our own town, were only saying last weekend that we should take a HOHO & see where it goes.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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I also agree that a hop on hop off bus is a great way of seeing a city, they highlight many things that you would miss if you were on a normal bus or underground.

i lived in Munich for many years before I took the hop on bus, i learnt so much about the city. i think people who disparage them,haven't actually taken them
Geordie is online now  
Dec 6th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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Guys ,,,I appreciate all your suggestions and will try to cover the entire city. I have a lot of time on my hands (3 months to be exact as I'll be on a 6 month visit). so i guess that will just about cover the entire city. As for the car & the driver, I only thought about it in the first place as I wanted to experience that, sounds pretty stupid though, but thats me.....
Mohsinmalik1 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2013, 10:38 PM
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A car in Sydney for a tourist isn't all that wise, Mohsin.
A lot of people will tell you that, so it isn't just you

The parking fees are high plus the traffic can be annoying.
Your best way out is to buy a MyMulti card for bus/train transport.
This is a recent update on the routes that are covered.
Hope this helps:
vagabond1408 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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Thanks mate, i'll certainly check that out.
Mohsinmalik1 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 05:34 PM
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Mohsin, why did you start this thread, from your profile you are actually already living in Sydney and as per your response on the other thread
" I use normally, they charge around $60-$80 from Syd AP to CBD.. saves me the headache of finding a taxi,,lol,,"

Maybe you have personal issues but you're just wasting people's time and effort in responding to your made up situation
Geordie is online now  
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