The official transportation website of the NSW shows only one option for traveling from the Sydney airport (International Terminal) to the CBD (intersection of Pitt St. and Goulburn St.), at least for the mornings of weekdays: train T8. However, Google Maps show two other options:

  • bus 420 to Botany Rd at Hollingshed St -> bus 310 from Mascot Post Office, Botany Rd to Central Station, Eddy Ave, Stand A

  • (I remember seeing this route, but Google Maps doesn't show it anymore) bus 400 to Mascot and then bus 310X.

The cost of T8 is around 18 AUD. How much would the above two options cost? Which of the two routes would be preferrable (faster/with more convinient transfer)? Are there other options not listed above?

Edit: also, can I just walk to the Mascot (or Wolli Creek) station? I mean, are there sidewalks and is the road relatively smooth so I can carry a full-size carry-on?

  • You could find a fellow passenger heading that way and split a cab, same price.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 7, 2019 at 20:25
  • I could, but the goal is to reduce this price.
    – user557
    Jul 7, 2019 at 21:38
  • This newspaper article contains a few other options to avoid the station access fee charged at the airport stations.
    – molypot
    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:33

2 Answers 2


ex-Wolli Creek local here. I also used to work for an airline based out of the domestic terminal, and briefly as a contractor on the Opal team at Transport for NSW :D

Getting from International terminal to town

Walk to Wolli Creek (20 min, all paved, not hard at all to find). Catch train (every 3-5 min from platform 1 or 3) to CBD. Cost: $2.52 (off-peak).

Getting from Domestic terminal to town

Walk to Mascot station (20 min, first 5 is a little confusing). Catch train (every 10-12 min) to cbd. Cost: $2.52 off peak.

Getting from town to either airport terminal

With an unregistered Opal card with more than $4ish on it, it's possible to travel to the airport, and tap off, going into negative, at which you can dispose of the card. If you don't have one, they're purchaseable from any corner store for free, min top up $10 (still cheaper than a full train ticket).

They have now installed gates at the terminal, but as of April 2019 it was still certainly possible to do this travel hack.

  • If I try the $4ish trick and it doesn't work (e.g. if the gates wouldn't let me out), are there any ticket machines over there to reload the Opal card so I can get out from the station to the airport?
    – user557
    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:14
  • @user77409 I was at the International Terminal station in May 2019 and there are now Opal reload machines in the paid side of the gates.
    – molypot
    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:31
  • @user77409 as km says above, there are Opal ToTMs (ticket machines) to reload. It's win win :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 8, 2019 at 4:03
  • 1
    The Opal "travel hack" no longer works: the gates won't let you with negative balance and you'll be slapped with a minimum top-up of $35 (!). Jul 26, 2019 at 3:34

You can use the trip planner here to estimate the cost of your trip: https://transportnsw.info/trip#/. Make sure to select "options" and untick the train if you prefer other transport options.

If I search From: International Airport and To: World Square (nearest landmark to Pitt St/Goulburn St), the cost is 3.73 AUD and takes about 1h10min. It involves a combination of the 400/420 bus from the airport to Mascot, and then transferring to the M20 in Mascot.

I don't know if Wolli Creek station is walkable from the airport, but it would probably take half an hour. The cost of a train from Wolli Creek to Central is 2.52 AUD.

Note the costs in this post are all off-peak, it would be more expensive at peak hour.

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