5 Useful Tips for Parking & Driving in Sydney Australia

5 Useful Tips for Parking and Driving in Sydney, Australia

Are you going to be driving in Australia?

Parking and driving in Sydney, Australia is something you definitely want to do your research on. When planning our the trip to Sydney Australia, we had two main decisions to make . . .

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1. Lodging (Hotel or Airbnb)


2. Means of transportation (Ex. Rental car, Uber, Public transportation, Walking and/or Bike rentals)

I was so indecisive when it came down to either staying at a hotel or Airbnb. We ended up staying at The Curio by Hilton aka The West Hotel but if I had to do it over again, I would definitely use Airbnb or stay at a hotel that provides free parking. If renting a car, it is much more convenient to stay somewhere that includes parking. Before we travel to Australia, it was hard finding more information on driving while Australia. I’m hoping these 5 useful tips for parking and driving in Sydney, Australia will help you with planning your trip.

5 Useful Tips for Parking and Driving in Sydney, Australia

If you plan on driving while in Australia, make sure that you stay somewhere that offers free parking.

We decided on renting a car from Hertz. Their rates were competitive and they always provide excellent customer service. We personally prefer renting a car when we travel because it allows us to explore more (with fewer restrictions). Depending on where we travel will also determine if renting a car is the best option. The main thing we ran into while driving in Sydney is the traffic,  the limited & EXPENSIVE parking options.

Rent a car from a reputable rental car company.

This is can be a big deal because if you don’t rent from a reputable company like Hertz, you may find yourself paying less upfront but more in the end. During my early planning stage, I did A LOT of research about driving/parking in Sydney. Many locals suggested the best means of transportation is Uber and/or public transportation because there can be a lot of traffic, parking is limited and very expensive. I even watched YouTube videos about how limited and expensive the parking is in many parts of Sydney but my hubby (Lorenzo) was very persistent about renting the car. I was determined to find a solution for affordable parking during our trip. I discovered 4 possible solutions:

  1. Stay somewhere that provides free parking (either a hotel or airbnb) — most convenient
  2. Parking in a surrounding free residential area (not all neighborhoods are free) — inconvenient but it’s free
  3. ParkHound – a great alternative to the first 2 options
  4. Wilson Parking – parking location may not be as convenient (depending on which parking location(s) you choose), there may be time restrictions and it is really expensive

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5 Useful Tips for Parking and Driving in Sydney, Australia

Do your research!!

Everyone is different so the preferred parking option really depends on you. After discovering it was $38USD a day for parking at The Curio by Hilton, I decided to go with option 2. . . We figured we could get out paying for parking by parking in a residential area a little outside of the CBD. Once the rental car was parked we could either catch an Uber or train back to our hotel (which was in the Central Business District aka CDB). Now, I know it sounds like a lot however I was determined not to pay for parking.

Normal parking rates (without the Curio by Hilton’s discount)

Don’t be afraid to wander and explore.

There are so many different surrounding neighborhoods of the Central Business District (CDB) in Sydney. The problem we had when we arrived was the fact that I didn’t really know where the closest residential area was that had free residential parking (for as many days and nights that we needed). So you know what that means right? . . . After we checked in at the hotel, we literally drove around outside of the CBD until we found free residential parking. We ended up in a part of the city called Newtown. The residential areas in Newtown allowed free unlimited parking but only on one side of the street. [bctt tweet=”While driving in Australia, be sure you read ALL of the parking signs and their restrictions!” via=”no”]

There are a ton of parking signs and they can be VERY confusing!  We asked some of the locals (that were passing by) for clarification a few times. We quickly learned what the parking signs meant and when in doubt we didn’t park. We didn’t have time to deal with our rental car getting towed while in Sydney – I didn’t have time for that! 🙂

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5 Useful Tips for Parking and Driving in Sydney, Australia

Make sure that you read & understand ALL the parking signs BEFORE you park your car.

By the 3rd day, my feet were killing me (cause I wore new sneakers that I didn’t wear prior to the trip). My feet felt as if I had been walking on hot coals by the end of that day so we ended up parking at the hotel on the 3rd night – I REALLY didn’t care about paying $38 for parking cause my feet were KILLING me! LOL.

We ended up actually parking at the hotel twice. . . still really expensive but not as bad as the other surround parking garages. The other 3 nights we parked for free (2 nights in Newtown and then one night around the corner from the hotel along Slip street).

Lorenzo drove the entire time we were there. They drive on the opposite side of the road so this was right up his alley since he’s used to this (he is from the Bahamas). Whether you are used to driving on the left side of the road or not, it was actually really easy driving in Australia. I would highly recommend renting a car. Instead of paying for tours you can drive yourself and be on your own schedule.

We really enjoyed your time in Australia and I’m so glad that we got to explore as much as we did!

If you are considering traveling to Sydney definitely take a look at how we explored Australia.

Happy Travels!

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