The customer experience for visitors to the Sydney city centre

A busy living city

Sydney is Australia’s premier destination city and the gateway to NSW, attracting 33.4 million visitors in the year ending 2016 to the Sydney region. Sydney’s tourism sector contributes significantly to the economy, with visitors spending $17.2 billion in the same period (Destination NSW, 2016).

Visitors play an important role in the landscape of the city centre and the transport system needs to cater for the visitor demands across all city precincts. Sydney city centre is home to some of Australia’s most important visitor and cultural attractions, public spaces and natural sights, as well as a range of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. There is a strong need for connected and integrated transport options, to facilitate ease of access between city centre precincts.

We are constantly improving visitor information throughout the Sydney city centre, particularly to major transport hubs, during this period of transformation within the city centre. Since 2014, we have been rolling out our new wayfinding signage at transport hubs and stops across NSW to assist customers and visitors alike. We are also working with other government agencies and private developers to incorporate the signage into their wayfinding systems.

New public transport wayfinding implemented throughout the Sydney city centre, to help customers more easily locate train, bus, ferry and light rail stops and stations.


Coach services provide core elements for essential transport and tourism services and support the economic growth of Sydney and regional NSW. Coaches utilise kerbside parking throughout the Sydney city centre, as well as dedicated underground coach parking facility at King Street Wharf to transfer passengers to hotels, serviced apartments, tourist and cultural attractions (including regional attractors such as the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley) as well as providing airport transfers. We will continue to work with industry bodies, coach operators and hotels across the Sydney city centre to ensure that appropriate areas are provided to service visiting tourists.

In 2017, we successfully relocated the coach terminal from Eddy Avenue to the Western Forecourt of Central Station to make way for CBD and South East Light Rail and improve interchange connectivity for customers, providing them access to the amenities available at the Grand Concourse.

Cruises and Charter Vessels

Its iconic harbour, Harbour Bridge and Opera House, makes Circular Quay a major gateway for tourists in Australia.

Sydney's waterways are one of the world's most beautiful destinations for charter vessel and cruise operators. The 2016/17 cruise season saw a record 344 ships visit Sydney, including 10 maiden voyages. This growing trend of cruises has cemented Sydney’s place as the premier and unrivalled cruise destination in Australia and the South Pacific.

Special Events

Special events in Sydney enrich society and provide an important way of attracting visitors, tourism and creating a sense of community belonging. These events are supported by a range of NSW Government agencies and require significant public transport and traffic management planning to be a success. There are approximately 5000 planned special events across Sydney each year, and they range in type, duration and size (for example: marathons, sports at venues, protests, memorials and celebrations such as Vivid, Australia Day and New Year’s Eve).

Public transport is always recommended as a way of getting to and from events. Depending on the location of the special event, connectivity for customers can be achieved through a number of modes. Where appropriate, the NSW Government is committed to working with event organisers to implement Integrated Ticketing (whereby a public transport ticket is included in the customer event ticket).

We will continue to work with all stakeholders during special events and respond to the changing needs and requirements in the city centre, whilst balancing the needs of the overall transport system.