Opal Card Challenge: $2.50 Travel All Day Sunday in Sydney and Beyond

Fear is a funny thing. Although not when you’re gripped by it.

I’ve known for a while now that the time had come to try to do a video for my site, and I had an idea for one… to see how far I could go on $2.50 on an Opal Card from Sydney on a Sunday.

You see on a Sunday anyone with an Opal Card can travel for almost 24 hours for $2.50. Or 23 hours, 59 minutes to be exact, from 4:00am Sunday morning until 3:59am on Monday morning.

You can zip around on trains, ferries and buses, and everything is included except the airport train and private ferries like the Manly Fast Ferries.

It really is a bargain day out and you can go up to the Blue Mountains, down to the south coast or up to the central coast, and explore new places or revisit ones you love but haven’t had a chance to get back to for years.

I asked a few friends if they’d be up for joining me on a day running around on the trains, and my friend Nick was the only one crazy / lovely enough to say yes (perhaps my suggesting we meet at Central station at 6am on a Sunday had something to do with the low response rate).

A Day on the trains with Opal Card from Sydney

I borrowed a GoPro HERO4 Black to try for the first time, and we set off. The idea being we’d go to Kiama for breakfast, back to Sydney for lunch, and then up to Newcastle for dinner and back. A plan that was adjusted to become a bit of a random stop on the Central Coast to have a few beers and play some pool when I realised Newcastle had closed their city train stations.

So off we set. It was a moody, rainy and grey day but we were safe and warm on the train, catching up as we rode along.

In Kiama our friends Bill and Dean picked us up at the station in their car (yes, a slight cheat there, as they don’t accept Opal Cards) and we headed to breakfast and to see the Little Blowhole, which often performs when the more famous big blowhole does not.

Then it was up to Sydney for lunch in Darlinghurst, back on the train to head up to the Central Coast for our pub and pool stop, and back down to Sydney again.

We travelled around for twelve hours, so only half of what we could have done on $2.50. But it still felt like a big day out.

But here’s the thing: once I had all the vision from the GoPro I was kinda terrified of trying to edit it together. I’d been told Premiere Pro was the best to use if I was mixing up different kinds of sources, so even though that day was all GoPro I thought it was a good chance to try to learn how to use that system.

Editing GoPro footage on my Surface Pro 3

The day I’d set aside to start editing it I felt sick in the morning. Stressed and worried about how I’d go. And that’s when I realised I just had to give myself permission to go oh so slowly, to make mistakes and not worry. To remember the first one is a challenge in so many ways and to accept that.

I asked my friend Peyton if I could use one of his tracks for the music, and he immediately said yes and had a few ideas as to which ones may work. I then realised the track was about twice the length that I’d need, and the lovely Alex Taylor stepped in and edited a shorter version for me (thank you boys!).

Now I won’t lie. Editing this first one was a very slow process as I had to figure everything out for the first time. There were frustrating moments, but every little thing I did for the first time was a mini victory. I faced that fear, got over it and got on with it.

I also decided that even though I was at home at the time and could have used my desktop, I wanted to do my first project on my Surface Pro 3. It’s a decision I’m glad I made because I now that we’ve made our first one together I know we can continue to make more on the road. Or in the sky, or on a ship, or anywhere really.

So now the time has come to share my first attempt at a video. I can already see things I want to change, those things I should have done differently, but I’ve decided to keep this one as it is. Sure it has flaws, but what first project doesn’t?

Now I can’t wait to try another one. Fear? Pfffft.

This content has been created as part of my involvement in Microsoft’s #WorkWonders Program.

I would also like to thank GoPro for allowing me to use one of their HERO4 Blacks.

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About the Author

As a journalist who loves to travel and is fond of a chat I'm oh so happy when I'm sharing travel tales and tips through my blog and on my weekly travel segment on Sydney Radio 2UE. When I'm not travelling or writing about it I can be found out and about with friends, curled up at home with a good book or watching an addictive tv show promising I'll stop after one more episode. Amanda on Google +

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  1. David Pysden says:

    Love your work Amanda! Great job on the editing. I loved the shots of the trains and the wires flying past with the fish eye effect making them look like they were bending with the speed. And of course wonderful to have Peyton as the soundtrack. Great job!! 🙂

    • Awww…. thanks! That means a lot that you enjoyed my first attempt. And I’m with you on the soundtrack, we always love having Peyton singing to us 🙂

  2. Great work Amanda, have been looking at getting a Surface Pro 3 lately as a replacement for my aging PC, good to know editing can be done (relatively) easily, as I do quite a bit of design work/photography/video editing. Looking forward to your next one

  3. Love this!!! The video is fantastic (well done) and the track….. Perfect!!

    • Thank you! My first attempt at a video and a challenge in more ways than one. Thank goodness Nick was crazy enough to join me on the running around. And we love Peyton! Anything set to his music is better 🙂

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