Getting around NSW

There are many transport options to choose from in New South Wales, including public transport, driving, bikes, taxis and airports.

Public transport

NSW has a large network of public transport services including buses, trains, light rail (trams) and ferries.

Buying tickets: You can buy tickets online or from train stations, ferry wharves, ticket outlets, local shops and on board light rail. See the Transport for NSW website for further information.

Opal cards: The NSW Opal Card is an electronic ticketing system where you load up a prepaid card with money and use it on trains, buses, ferries and light rail. It's an easy and convenient way of paying for your travel on public transport, calculating the cost for you as you travel and reminding you when it's time to 'top up' with more money. International Students need to purchase an 'Adult' Opal card rather than a 'Student' one.


Bicycles or bikes are an increasingly popular form of transport in NSW, and some major cities often have a network of special bike routes available. But be sure to follow the road rules as fines apply. The NSW cycleway finder can be useful for planning your ride.

Helmets: All cyclists must wear an approved bike helmet that is securely fitted and fastened.

Learning: If you have not ridden a bike before, you can get some tips here.

Lights: If you are cycling at night, ensure you have clearly visible front and back lights, and a high-visibility vest is a good idea.

Road rules: All bike riders must stay on the left-hand side of the road and follow the road rules.

You can learn more at the Bicycle NSW website.

Cars and driving

If you are living or studying close to a city, it can be easier and cheaper to use public transport, walk or ride a bike. But if you or in an area where there is plenty of parking, and do decide to drive, here is what you need to know:

Road rules: There are road rules covering all aspects of driving designed to save lives and make the drive safer. There are also heavy penalties for not following these rules. Read full details of the NSW road rules.

Licence: If your driver's licence is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by an English translation from an accredited source.  Learn about licensing here.


Taxis (also called 'cabs') are a common sight on the streets of NSW. To hire one, you can make a phone booking, book online, wait at a taxi rank or hail one from the side of the road.

  • Numbers: You can find your local taxi number by visiting the Yellow Pages® website or if you dial you'll be connected to your nearest taxi company anywhere in Australia.
  • Rooftop light: If the taxi's light is on, it is available. If it is off, the taxi is not available.
  • Fares: Fares are calculated by a meter inside the taxi that must be clearly visible to the passenger.
  • Payment: You can pay for your taxi in cash, and most taxis have an EFTPOS faculty for debit and credit cards.
  • Extra fees: Drivers are entitled to charge surcharges for phone bookings, road tolls, late-night services, airport pick-ups and if you hail the taxi on the street.
  • ID: All NSW taxi drivers must display their identification in the taxi
  • Rights and responsibilities – all taxis must display a copy of the NSW passenger rights and responsibilities inside their taxi.
  • Complaints: If you have an issue with your journey, take a note of the driver's ID number and the taxi licence plate, and report it to the taxi company. You can also report it to Transport for NSW.

Keep to the left

In Australia all cars, buses and bikes travel on the left-hand side of the road or cycle path.

Pedestrians generally walk on the left-hand side of the footpath.