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Travel Guide: How to Catch the Train from Sydney Airport With A Bonus Hack

Traveling from Sydney Airport to various parts of New South Wales can be convenient and efficient, especially if you know the best routes and methods to save money. In this blog, I'll guide you through catching the train from Sydney Airport, and offer a budget-friendly hack for individuals or groups, and provide detailed instructions for continuing your journey all the way to Newcastle. A trip I took more times than I can count after living there for 15 years.

Catching the Train from Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport is well-connected to the city’s rail network, making it easy to travel to various destinations. Here’s a step-by-step guide to catching the train from the airport:

  1. Find the Train Station: Both the International (T1) and Domestic (T2 and T3) terminals have train stations. Follow the signs to the train station after you exit the arrivals area.
  2. Purchase Your Ticket: You can buy a ticket or use an Opal card. Opal cards can be purchased and topped up at the airport train station or from various retailers across the city. As a visitor the easiest option can also just be to Tap on using any of your Tap To Pay credit cards in your mobile wallet. You can use this to tap on and off at any station.
  3. Board the Train: The Airport Link trains run frequently, and you can catch a train every 10 minutes or so. These trains travel directly to Central Station, which is the main hub for all train lines in Sydney. Once again dont forget to tap on and off.
  4. Enjoy the Ride: The journey from Sydney Airport to Central Station takes about 13 minutes.


If you’re travelling in a group, the train fare from the airport can add up quickly. A cost-effective alternative is to take an Uber to the nearby Wolli Creek train station to avoid the airport station fees. This saved my family nearly $60 on our recent trip!

  1. Book an Uber: Once you have collected your luggage, book an Uber to Wolli Creek Station. It’s a short 5-minute ride from the airport.
  2. Or Walk: While this is by far the cheapest it can take about 20-30 minutes. When my wife and I were first married and were on a budget we would often do this option.
  3. Catch the Train from Wolli Creek: Wolli Creek is on the same train line as the airport, but you’ll avoid the extra airport station fee. Purchase your ticket or use your Opal card to board the train heading towards Central Station.

Continuing Your Journey to Newcastle

Once you arrive at Central Station, follow these steps to continue your journey to Newcastle:

  1. Locate the Intercity Platforms: Central Station is a large and busy station, but signs are clearly marked. Look for platforms 9-12, which serve the intercity trains.
  2. Purchase Your Ticket: If you haven't already, purchase a ticket to Newcastle. You can do this at the ticket counter, vending machines, or use your Opal card. If you tapped on using your mobile wallet there is no need to do anything except tap off when you arrive in Newcastle.
  3. Board the Newcastle Train: The train to Newcastle typically departs from platforms 9 or 10. Check the electronic boards for the latest information on departures.
  4. Enjoy the Scenic Journey: The trip from Central Station to Newcastle takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. The train offers comfortable seating and beautiful views of the New South Wales coastline and countryside.

Final Tips

  • Check Schedules: Train schedules can vary, so it’s a good idea to check the timetable on the Transport NSW website or app before you travel.
  • Peak Hours: Travelling outside of peak hours can be more comfortable and sometimes cheaper.
  • Luggage: There is ample space for luggage on the trains, but keep your belongings secure and within sight.

By following these steps, you can efficiently and economically travel from Sydney Airport to Newcastle. Whether you choose the direct route via the airport train station or the budget-friendly Uber to Wolli Creek option, you’ll find the train journey to be a convenient way to start your trip. Safe travels!