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'All in one' city passes are ideal for getting around Sydney Australia. They save you money too. Find out which is best.
Hop through Sydney transport options
In NSW Australia children under 4 travel free. From 4-15 a child's fare applies. From age 16 an adult fare is payable.
The fare system for Sydney public transport is in transition. A one-card-for-everything system is being introduced in stages. Until its rollout is complete there is a rather confusing mixture of tickets available. I'll try to help you sort out what's best for you.
The new Opal Card is designed to be one card for all modes of transport. You order the card (which will take up to 7 working days to arrive), load it with a minimum of AUD$40 and then travel on it until the balance is used up, when you top it up again. There's a daily travel cap of AUD$15 (child AUD$7.50) and you can use it everywhere (except that it hasn't yet been fully rolled out, so there are still buses etc that don't have the facility to accept it).
As a short stay tourist, or even on a more extended stay in Sydney, you will probably be better served with a MyMulti daily or weekly ticket that covers everything, is easily bought over the counter and can be used immediately.
The MyMulti Day and MyMultiWeekly tickets are currently the most flexible and the easiest to understand. They are valid everywhere, so won't leave you stuck when a bus comes along that doesn't accept the Opal card. They're also likely to be the cheapest overall option for you.
Your Sydney city travel guide starts here
All MyMulti tickets include unlimited travel on buses and government ferries.
The amount of train travel you can do depends on which MyMulti ticket you choose. I'll discuss the details of each of these city passes below.
MyMulti tickets do not cover special event buses (buses specially contracted for big sports events, for example) and Sydney Australia tourist buses.
They also cover the light rail (tram) system.
And all users of Sydney transport pay an extra fee for train travel to or from an airport line station.
Here is a downloadable pdf file of a map of the area covered by Sydney's MyMulti tickets (opens in a new page). You'll see it's extensive. You're unlikely to need anything more for your Sydney travel needs.
If you're in Sydney for only one or two days then a MyMulti Day Pass is for you. Except for the general exclusions already mentioned there are no limitations at all on this ticket.
The city passes by . . . . . let it
These city passes let you jump on and off the entire Sydney CityRail network as well as all buses and government ferries.
There are faster catamaran services to Manly Australia but these are not covered as they're run by private operators.
But you don't want to speed across Sydney harbour anyway.
It's one of the defining elements of Sydney and the Manly ferry is one of the traditional trips to take to see it.
It lets you savour the harbour and gives you wonderful views all the way. Why would you rush that?
For a discussion of other Sydney ferry rides you can take, alone or as a family, have a look at these great trips on Sydney ferries.
The MyMulti Day Pass costs AUD $23 for adults and AUD $11.50 for children. It's valid until 0400 (4.00am) the next morning. It's a good buy. Although it's a little more than the daily cap of AUD$15 that the Opal card offers, it's available everywhere, can be used straight away and doesn't require you to put down AUD$40 you may not use.
With weekly city passes you need to choose how broadly you want to spread yourself.
But will she take your Visa travel money card?
All MyMulti weekly city passes let you travel on all Sydney buses. MyMulti 2 and MyMulti 3 also include all government ferries. After that, it's only the distance you can travel by CityRail that changes from one ticket to another.
As well as getting you around the CBD - downtown Sydney - MyMulti 1 covers train travel to these areas:
North you can go as far as Chatswood, a major suburban shoppping hub with a large Westfield Mall and some good restaurants.
MyMulti 1 will take you as far as Croyden and Canturbury in Sydney's west, which is as far out as you're likely to want to go in a short stay. It easily covers inner west galleries with great Aboriginal art for sale. Or visit an urban collective in Leichhardt for local Aboriginal artists.
And you can go as far south as Rockdale, but it's unlikely that you'll do so unless you have friends or family down that way.
A weekly MyMulti 1 ticket is AUD $46 for an adult. For a child it costs AUD $23.
MyMulti 2 city passes are not very interesting for visitors. They're for the classic Australian 'middle-distance' suburbs which you really don't need to explore. Costs are AUD $54 (adult) and AUD $27 (child).
You're better off going directly to a MyMulti 3 ticket. This gives you free rein over all greater Sydney.
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That includes the Blue Mountains to the west, the central coast, Hunter Valley and Newcastle in the north and the Southern Highlands, Wollongong and Kiama in the south.
You don't need to think about boundaries or exactly what ticket you should have - everything is covered. It's a nice easy ticket.
MyMulti 3 city passes cost AUD $63 for adults and AUD $31.50 for children.
You can still catch an airport bus when you arrive. But there are fewer of them each year.
The Number 400 Metro Bus from Burwood to Bondi Junction still stops at the airport. It takes just over an hour to get to Bondi Junction, just under an hour to Burwood. You don't need to pre-pay at the airport stop so you can choose to buy a ticket from the driver or you can buy your MyMulti city passes from the train station below the airport before you board the bus.
Some hotels and hostels still provide shuttle buses from the airport and it's worth checking with your Sydney accommodation provider whether it provides this service.
The remaining Sydney airport buses are mostly used to travel on to places further afield where rail links don't exist or trains don't run very often.
For example, if you're going on to Canberra there is an express bus service from Kingsford Smith airport which gets you there quickly and comfortably.
Most people will use the train to get into Sydney. It's quick (10-12 minutes to Central) but it's not cheap.
A one way ticket from the international airport will cost you AUD $17.20 (adult) and AUD $12.90 (first child, others travel free). That's to Sydney central and inner city stations. If you're going further the cost will be a little higher.
If you're going to be leaving Sydney Australia within a week you'll pay less if you buy your weekly MyMulti ticket at the airport as well.
Holders of valid weekly city passes are eligible to also buy a weekly Gate Pass to get in and out of airport link stations. This costs AUD $21 (adult) and AUD $19 (child). So your return journey to the airport is almost free.
Here's more information on transport to and from the airport.
Green shuttle buses run up and down George Street in downtown Sydney. They're free. They run in both directions and they come along every 10 minutes.
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The route goes from Central Station to Circular Quay via George Street. The route number is 555 and the bus stops are green.
The buses operate from 0930 to 1530 (9.30am to 3.30pm) on weekdays and from 0930 to 1800 (9.30am to 6.00pm) on weekends.
On Thursdays the free shuttle buses continue until the shops close at 2100 (9.00pm).
Similar free shuttle buses do a loop around major suburban centres. You'll find them in Bankstown, Blacktown, Cabramatta, Campbelltown, Kogarah, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith. They're also in the greater Sydney Australia cities of Gosford, Newcastle and Wollongong.
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Whenever at least one paying adult travels with more than one child or grandchild, only the first child needs to buy a ticket. The other children travel free.
This family fare deal applies to single, return and MyMulti Day Passes.
The other significantly discounted Sydney travel for families are Family Funday Sunday city passes.
For AUD $2.50 per person you can travel the entire Sydney Australia train, bus and ferry network every Sunday.
Most trains stop between midnight and 0430. During this time NightRide buses operate on most routes.
Your Sydney Australia MyMulti Day Pass remains valid until 0400 (4.00am) the next day so you can use it on NightRide services. Just make sure you board the bus before 0400 (4.00am).
You can buy MyMulti city passes at CityRail stations, Sydney Buses TransitShops, Sydney Ferries wharves and many ticket resellers around the city. They are not sold on board Sydney buses.
Newsagents, tobacconists and convenience stores usually sell these tickets too. They will often show a sign or flag outside saying "MyMulti tickets sold here".
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All MyMulti weekly city passes are valid for 7 consecutive days including the date of issue.
When you buy them from CityRail stations or Sydney Ferries wharves they are valid from their date of purchase.
If you buy them from a reseller, or from Sydney Buses TransitShops they are valid from their date of first use.
It's handy to buy city passes in advance if you don't want to waste time queuing on the day.
You'll get an extra day's travel free if you buy your ticket (or first validate it) after 1500 (3.00pm). You can travel on it for the rest of the day and still get a further 7 days validity.
You can also buy fortnightly or monthly MyMulti city passes. You don't save any more but it might be more convenient if you're on a Sydney extended stay.
Sydney Australia travel guide
Sydney transport one day tickets
Weekly tickets price
Going further on city passes
Transport from Sydney airport - buses & trains
Travel Sydney for free
Family discount Sydney travel tickets
Where to Buy Your Travel Pass
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