Travel to Sydney
Flying to Sydney
All flights to Sydney from the UK involve a stopover. There are numerous options, including flights with Air India, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines.
Cheap deals are often available for travel between mid-April and mid-June. Airfares are at their highest during the summer between December and March.
American Airlines, Delta, Qantas, United and Virgin Australia operate direct flights from the USA.
Travel by road
Driving regulations are not uniform across Australia's states and territories, so visitors should be aware that the laws in Sydney might differ from states outside New South Wales.
Driving in Australia is on the left and the speed limit outside built-up areas is generally 100kph (62mph) or 110kph (68mph) on freeways. In built-up areas, the speed limit is 50kph (31mph) and 40kph (25mph) in the CBD unless otherwise indicated.
The legal driving age in New South Wales is 16 years. Overseas driving licences are acceptable, although an International Driving Permit is preferred. By law drivers must carry their licences while driving.
Visitors who plan to drive in the more remote outback areas should contact one of Australia's motoring organisations beforehand, to obtain maps and advice on road and weather conditions, as these regions are subject to wet to extreme weather conditions.
The Australian Automobile Association (tel: +61 2 6247 7311; www.aaa.asn.au) provides further information. The National Roads and Motorists' Association (NMRA) (tel: 131 122, in Australia only; www.mynrma.com.au) also provides information and motoring services.
Emergency breakdown services
NRMA Emergency Breakdown (tel: 131 111, in Australia only).
The main routes into Sydney are the Hume Highway (heading northeast from Melbourne), the Pacific Highway (south from Brisbane), the scenic Princes Highway (north from Melbourne via the coast) and the Sturt Highway (linking Adelaide to Sydney from the west).
Greyhound Australia (tel: 1300 473 946, in Australia only; www.greyhound.com.au) is the main operator and offers routes to hundreds of destinations in Australia including Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne. Buses arrive at and depart from Sydney Coach Terminal, Eddy Avenue.
Time to city
From Melbourne - 9 hours; Brisbane - 11 hours; Adelaide - 15 hours.
Travel by Rail
Train services to Sydney and its surrounding suburbs are reliable but infrequent.
Sydney's Central Station (tel: 131 500, in Australia only; www.sydneytrains.info), on Eddy Avenue, just south of the city centre, is a grand old building lined with newsagents, coffee shops and restaurants, as well as transport and tourist information offices.
NSW TrainLink (tel: 132 232, in Australia onlyonly or +61 2 4907 7501;www.nswtrainlink.info) operates intercity and regional train services, connecting the city to the rest of the state as well as Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. These trains are modern and comfortable, featuring air conditioning, wheelchair access, buffet and satellite telephones, plus sleeper compartments on long-distance journeys. Rail travel tends to be expensive, although a number of passes are available to overseas visitors.
The Indian Pacific train, operated by Great Southern Rail (tel: 1800 703 357, in Australia only or +61 8 8213 4401; www.greatsouthernrail.com.au), runs between Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. The entire coast-to-coast journey takes three nights and four days.
From Melbourne - 11 hours; Brisbane - 14 hours; Adelaide - 27 hours; Perth - 70 hours.
Travel by boat
Circular Quay is the hub for Sydney's local ferry network. Cruise ships berth at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay and the modern White Bay Cruise Terminal, Balmain. Information is available from the Port Authority of New South Wales (tel: +61 2 9296 4999; www.sydneyports.com.au).
There is probably no more memorable way for one to arrive in Sydney than by water. From Europe, the USA and Hong Kong, P&O (tel: 1300 159 454, in Australia only; www.pocruises.com.au) and Cunard (tel: +1 800 728 6273, in the USA; www.cunard.com) are among the cruise companies who include Sydney on their itineraries.
Circular Quay train station, bus and ferry terminals are two minutes' walk from the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The White Bay Cruise Terminal has a taxi rank and a public bus stop nearby on Robert Street.