Sydney Car Rentals
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The port city of Sydney is located on Australia’s southeast pacific coast and is the capital of the state of New South Wales. Sydney is the country’s largest city with about 4.5 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area (2010) – despite Canberra being the nation’s capital.
As well as being Australia’s most popular tourist destination, Sydney is also the country’s most important industrial, financial, cultural and commercial centre.
Founded in 1788, Sydney is Australia’s oldest city. The cityscape is dominated by skyscrapers, and a major tourist attraction is the 305-metre-high viewing tower “Sydney Tower”. Another sydney landmark is the world-famous 1959 Opera House – which in 2007 was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sydney Harbour Bridge from 1932 is also well known worldwide.
Sydney is an international metropolis with a relaxed atmosphere and offers tourists a wealth of sights and attractions. Here you will find great beaches, recreation areas, museums, art galleries, a varied nightlife and excellent shopping opportunities. The city also has an amusement park,a zoo and an aquarium.
Explore Sydney with car hire
If you are travelling to Sydney on holiday, you have come to the right place for car rental excursions. Although distances can be long in Australia, you have a lot of exciting to experience in New South Wales without having to drive too far. Besides beautiful beaches and seaside resorts, you can visit some of the country’s best vineyards, you can get unique nature experiences, and you can even ski. Here are some of the most popular rides from Sydney.
Blue Mountains – See The Three Sisters of Katoomba
The Blue Mountains is a mountainous area just west of Sydney. There you will find several of the most spectacular sights in the state of New South Wales. The area is huge, and most people who travel there will have to prioritize what they want to see. A sure sting is to head to Katoomba, a small town where the mountainous area’s administration is located. Then you are also close to the perhaps most important attraction in the mountainous area, namely Three Sisters. These are three pillars, each in excess of 900 meters, which can be experienced from several vantage points carved into the rock walls. “The sisters” are especially beautiful in the sunrise and sunset, and they are flooded after dark. You can walk along a secure route, where parts of the trail are carved into the mountain, with rest areas and vantage points along the way. After completing the round trip, you can take the gondola back to the starting point, or the cable car which has a climb of 52 degrees at its steepest.
- From Sydney to Katoomba at the foot of Mount Solitary, the distance is 102 kilometres, and almost the entire trip goes on the motorway. The running time is normally 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Port Stephens – Quiet seaside resort in beautiful surroundings
Port Stephens is a picturesque little town surrounded by stunning scenery. The area around the city has over 20 beautiful sandy beaches to offer, several national parks,and a rich wildlife. Here people go to relax, eat good seafood, bathe and sunbathe, surf, hike in nature, and to see among other things whales and dolphins. One of the most unique experiences you can find here is a walk across one of the dunes in the area. They you can experience on foot or on the back of a camel. Snowboards and toboggans are also rented out for those who want to drive or sledd down the steepest dunes. Also stop by Gan Gan Lookout if you are there. This is a viewpoint that is 160 meters high and gives you a beautiful panorama of the city and the sea outside.
- From Sydney to Port Stephens it is about 205 kilometres, and most of the carriageway runs on the motorway. The driving time without a stop is about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Snowy Mountains – Skiing in Australia
Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in Australia (2228 meters above sea level), and belongs to the Snowy Mountains mountain range. There you will find the country’s best resorts. Since Australia is located in the southern hemisphere, it is winter here when those living in the northern hemisphere have summer. In other words, if you are on a summer holiday in Australia, you have the chance to enjoy some of the winter at the same time. The three best and most famous ski destinations are all gathered around Mount Kosciuszko.
- Charlotte Pass – The highest lying ski resort.
- Thredbo – The longest slopes.
- Perisher – The largest ski destination.
Normally, the facilities open around June 20, and the alpine season lasts until about the beginning of October.
- From Sydney to the three famous ski destinations it is between 492 and 500 kilometers. The driving time without a stop will be approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Jenolan Caves – The world’s oldest cave system
This cave system is close to the Blue Mountains mountain area, some distance further from Katoomba when you drive from Sydney. In total, there are 8 different caves available to visitors, out of a total number of over 400. Each of the 8 offers unique experiences. It is believed that the caves are the oldest in the world, and they are said to have originated about 340 million years ago. Most people choose to take guided tours down the caves, although some of them can be experienced on their own. There are also quite fun tours of the caves, such as night walks and ghost walks, with shows and dining along the way. If you want to stay at Jenolan Caves you will find several good cottage and hotel options there, as well as a couple of excellent dining options.
- From the centre of Sydney to Jenolan Caves it is 175 kilometres if you drive the fastest route on the M4 and A32 motorways. The last stretch will go on a country road. In total, the driving time without a stop is about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The Hunter Valley – For food and wine lovers
The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s best wine regions– with vineyards scattered in the valley formed by the Hunter River. The soil is rich, and the Hunter River’s many tributaries ensure that most of the grown here tastes great. The valley has gradually become a magnet for visitors who want to eat and drink from the top shelf. In the valley you will find many good hotels in the luxury class,but also more family-friendly and pleasant farms with accommodation offers. Several of the restaurants are among the best in the country. It’s not just the wines that beckon. In the Hunter Valley, good cheeses and chocolates are also among the local specialties. In addition to giving the palate and stomach a great experience, there are many other things to take to the valley. You will find golf courses here, activities for families, you can see the valley from hot air balloons, and there are often festivals in the Hunter Valley.
- From Sydney to Pokolbin, one of the Hunter Valley’s most charming areas, and where you’ll also find several of the best vineyards, it’s about 165 kilometres. The drive without stopping will take about 2 hours.
Parking in Sydney
The centre of Sydney is divided into three zones in terms of the price of street parking. The most expensive zone is down by the port, and then it gets cheaper the further away from there you drive. Outside these three zones, it is usually free to leave the car in marked places. The price varies by the way according to the time, and it is most expensive when the city centre is at its busiest. You pay on vending machines that are on the sidewalks and have to leave the receipt clearly visible in the front window of the car.
Please note that in several of the streets of Sydney’s main shopping districts, parking is free for up to 15 minutes. You must leave a receipt in the window anyway, but do not have to pay anything if you select the button marked “1/4 P Free With Ticket”.
In the city centre there are also a number of parking garages, two of which are run by the city administration. These two are normally the most affordable, and you’ll find those in Goulburn Street and Elizabeth Bay Road respectively. The privately run parking facilities can be found more or less everywhere in the city centre, and the addresses will appear in the rental car’s navigation system.
Traffic in and out of Sydney
The biggest challenge for most tourists who drive a rental car in Sydney and Australia is that you drive on the left side of the road– as they do in the UK. Inside major cities such as Sydney there is also heavy traffic, especially during rush hour. The combination of the unfamiliar with left-side driving and hectic traffic makes it recommended to have navigation in the rental car. It helps remind you of the direction of travel, and you don’t have to spend your attention on map reading.
Outside Sydney and the other major cities, the main stretches have relatively good motorways. The biggest challenges on the country roads are the distances, and potential animals in the way. In Australia, it’s not uncommon for a drive to a landmark to take half a day or more, and as a driver you get tired on the way. Take breaks, and be sure to be undoubted. Pay extra attention in areas with a lot of farming, and areas where wild animals can get out into the road, especially after dark.
Sydney Airport is also called Kingsford Smith Airport, and locally used in addition Mascot Airport. The airport is by far the largest in Australia, with about 43 million passengers a year. There are 3 terminals at Sydney Airport, of which terminals 2 and 3 handle all regional and domestic traffic. All international routes use terminal 1. Please note that it is not possible to walk on foot from Terminals 2 and 3 to the International Terminal. Here you need to take either bus, train or taxi. Buses run from outside the terminal buildings continuously, and you don’t have to get into the timetable.
In Terminal 1 (international flights) you will find anyone who offers car rental in a separate area of the arrivals hall. As of today, Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, Thrifty, Budget and Europcar have offices and rental cars at Sydney Airport. The cars are in the parking lot marked P7, just beyond the exit to the terminal building. If you are to pick up or deliver a rental car at Terminals 2 and 3 (domestic flights), you must follow the signs of each company in the arrivals hall.
- It is only 8 kilometres from Sydney Airport to the city centre if you drive the shortest road via Elizabeth Street and O’Riordan Street. The runtime is then about 20 minutes.
- However, the most commonly used route is via the M1 motorway. The route is then 12 kilometers, and the driving time around 15 minutes.