Sydney Airport Guide

sydney airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Sydney Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

It's unbelievable and embarrassing for Australia that there is a charge to transfer between the domestic and international terminals. - a traveller

Featured Review

sydney airport
photo credit: russavia / Wikimedia

by a traveller
I spent the night at Sydney Airport recently. Before that I read a lot of the reviews that are up on your website. After reading them I was quite worried about staying there to say the least.

So the first good news for everyone who is thinking about spending the night. It’s not as bad as some of the reviews make it seem!

It is true though, that you get kind of locked in between two gates. But its not too bad. There are toilets (that are being renovated right now – March 2014), sockets, free wifi and two machines selling snacks and drinks.

I came to the airport around 8pm on Saturday. My flight was scheduled for 6 a.m. the next morning. First I was looking for the designated area where you can spend the night to save my seat. It is located as described in other reviews. Between the international terminal and where you  go down to the trains. It wasn’t too crowded when I arrived and I first choose a seat where I could be happy all night, got my stuff to keep me busy out. Around 10 p.m the area got more crowded and people were staring to sit on the floor. My new seat neighbor told me why: The domestic terminal was closed and everyone was told to come here. Around 3a.m. the international Terminal opens again and everyone goes to check-in for their international flights.

The night was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. True it got freezing cold, but with a jumper and a towel as blanket it was ok. It wasn’t too noisy. The people working there (cleaning and picking up the carts) were nice and friendly. Security was nice as well, they just came once to see my passport.

All in all I would stay there again! Happy travels everyone.

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Sydney Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Sydney airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  • Virgin Australia Lounge - Location: Sydney Domestic Airport, Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (AUD 65) • Virgin Australia Membership.
  • Qantas Club - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Domestic Departures, Departures Level, opposite Gates 4 and 5. Lounge Access: Qantas Club Membership.
  • Qantas Club - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, International Departures, Level 3. Lounge Access: Qantas Club Membership.
  • Air New Zealand Koru Club - Location: Terminal 1, airside, towards Gates 59-63. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (NZD 55/85) • Air New Zealand Koru Club Membership.

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Sydney Airport for two hours. Connect to the 'Free Internet by sponsors name & SYD' network. Additionally, free internet kiosks are available throughout Terminal 1 and at Everywhere Internet in Terminal 2 (departure level).

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Sydney Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Rydges Sydney Airport - Located across from the International Terminal. Free shuttle service to the Domestic Terminal daily from 5am to 10:45pm, on either the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel shuttle or the Sydney Airport TBus service depending on the time.
  • Ibis Budget Sydney Airport - (5 min walk from the Domestic Terminal) Airport shuttle runs daily from 5am to 11pm, AUD $6 per person, each way. Airport picks up at the shuttle bus pick up area between Domestic T2 and T3, and also at the International Terminal Bay 11.
  • Stamford Sydney Airport Hotel - (2 min walk from the Domestic Terminal) Airport transfers provided via Super Shuttle service, AUD $6 per person, each way. Shuttle runs daily, every 30 to 40 minutes from 4:30am to 11pm, and picks up at the International Terminal (Bay 12) and Domestic Terminal (between T2 and T3, at the “horseshoe”).
  • Mercure Sydney Airport - (2 min from the airport) Airport transfers provided via Super Shuttle service, AUD $6 per person, each way. Shuttle runs daily, every 30 to 40 minutes from 4:30am to 11pm, and picks up at the International Terminal (Bay 12) and Domestic Terminal (between T2 and T3, at the “horseshoe”).
  • Holiday Inn Sydney Airport - (5 min walk from the Domestic Terminal) Airport transfers provided via Super Shuttle service, AUD $6 per person, each way. Shuttle runs daily, every 30 to 40 minutes from 5:30am to 11pm, and picks up at the International Terminal (Bay 12) and Domestic Terminal (between T2 and T3, at the “horseshoe”).

To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Sydney Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATMs / Cash Machines - There are ANZ Bank, Travelex and Westpac ATMs located throughout Terminals 1 and 2. Travelex has 33 multi-currency ATMs throughout the airport.
  • Baggage Trolleys - Available for a fee of AUD $4. Once you pass through security, smaller trolleys are available free of charge.
  • Children's Play Areas - Locations: Terminal 1 - Landside, between counters A & B and at the end of check-in counter J / Airside, between Gates 31 & 33 and Gates 58 & 59 in pier C.
  • Children's Cinema - The Kid's Cinema provides a comfortable area for kids to watch kid friendly tv shows. Location: Terminal 1 - Airside, near Gate 33.
  • Currency Exchange - ANZ (Terminal 1 - departures and arrivals levels) and Travelex (Terminal 2 - airside) offer foreign exchange services.
  • Food & Drinks - At the time of this update there were no 24 hour food or beverage concessions available at this airport.
  • Information Desk - Information not available
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - Location: SmarteCarte - Terminal 1, arrivals level, opposite Travel Concierge (hours: 530am - 9pm) • SmarteCarte - Terminal 2, arrivals level, near carousel 6 (hours: 530am - 9pm). Rates per item: Small items: $8.00 (0 - 4 hours) • $ 10 (0 - 8 hours) • $ 12 (0 - 12 hours). Large Items: $10 (0-4 hours) • $12 (0 - 8 hours) • $15 (0 - 12 hours).
  • Mobile Charging - Yes. One of our readers found two stations in Terminal 1, landside, near check-in counter B and the eatery • Terminal 1, landside, near check-in counter F.
  • Observation Deck - Location: Terminal 1 - walk through Terrace Bar or use the passageway near check-in counter B to gain access to the stairs leading up to the deck.
  • Pharmacy - Airport Guardian Pharmacies - Locations: International terminal (T1), opposite check-in J (Hours: 6:00AM - 9:00PM) • International Terminal (T1), Airside, on the way to Gate 24 (Hours: 6:00AM - 9:00PM) • Domestic terminal (T2), Airside (Hours: 6:00AM - 9:00PM).
  • Post Office - Australia Post - You can purchase stamps and mail products such as post cards and envelopes, send/receive money transfers (Billpay, Bank@Post, Western Union), purchase insurance and more. Location: International Terminal (T1), oppsite check-in J. Hours: 6:00AM - 8:30PM.
  • Prayer Room - Location: Terminal 1, Airside, level 3 (Hours: 5:00AM - 10:00PM) • Terminal 1, Landside, near the taxi holding area.
  • Showers - Free showers are available, but you need to bring your own soap and towel. Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Gate 24.
  • Smoking - There are designated smoking areas in the Terminal 1 Terrace Bar (landside). If you are a transit passenger, there are no designated smoking areas, so you better travel with a patch or lots of gum.

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Airport Hours

The airport is 3:00AM - 11:30PM (Terminal 1) • 4:00AM - 11:00PM (Terminal 2). If you are inside the International terminal overnight you will be sent to an area where they keep all of the airport sleepers.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport


Many bus services operate to and from Sydney Airport.

Sydney Buses: They operate a timetabled service, Route 400, between Bondi Junction and Burwood which stops at both International and Domestic terminals. For details on fares, timetables and connections to other parts of Sydney view

Hotel transfer - airport hotels only: Airport hotels run shuttle services to the airport for a minimal fee. Please check with your hotel for timetable information and costs.


The airport is 13 minutes by train from the city. There are train stations located at both terminals, which operate as part of the Airport Link train service.

The domestic terminal train station is located directly between T2 and T3 terminals and is accessible from within the terminals from Arrivals. The International terminal train station is located at the northern end of the terminal and accessible from Arrivals.

Airport Link trains run every 10 minutes. The international and domestic rail stations link directly to the City Circle line, which means most city destinations are within a short walk of stations. For more information about Airport Link, including fares, maps and travel planners, visit the Airport Link web site.


Each terminal has its own sheltered taxi rank. Supervisors can organise taxis with baby capsules, wheelchair access, five-seaters and maxi taxis for larger groups or station wagons for large amounts of baggage.

Some approximate return fares you can expect to pay to and from the Airport (quoted in AU Dollars) Sydney City $45-55 (one way) and North Sydney $55-$65 (one way). A $4 airport toll is payable by all passengers taking a taxi from any of Sydney Airport’s taxi ranks.

Car Rentals

Car rentals are available from well-known providers and located at the arrivals hall at both terminals. Car rental companies include: Avis • Budget • Europcar • Hertz • Redspot • Thrifty. Location: Arrivals Area of both terminals.

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Airport Transportation: Inter-Terminal Transfers

The domestic and international terminals are located separately. There are several options available for transfer, depending on your flight details and how much time you have to make your connection.

  • The T-Bus is a shuttle bus that operates between T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic Terminals. The bus stops are located on the Arrivals level at T1 Bus Bay 1 near McDonalds and T2 on the first roadway in the centre of the terminal. Hours: 6am - 9pm. Journey Time: 10 minutes. Rate: $5.50 per person
  • Airport Link offers a $5.80 (one way, per person) transfer ticket for passengers transferring between the T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals. The journey takes only 2 minutes and there are frequent services between 5am and midnight, seven days a week. Visit the Sydney Airport web site for more details.

Terminal Quick Tips

  • overnight sleepers will be corraled into a crowded and uncomfortable area for the night. You will need evidence of a flight the next day.

We Need Your Feedback!

The SleepingInAirports community depends on travellers, like you, to share their airport experiences through airport reviews and survey responses. If you had a good or bad experience at Sydney Airport, tell us about it!

  • Complete our Airport Survey - Your responses to this short (and easy!) questionnaire will help us determine the Best and Worst Airports.
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Last Updated: 13 May 2015

The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.

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