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
photo credit: russavia / Wikimedia
August 2015 - Flying standby is great... until you get bumped off of the only flight out of Sydney for the day and your only option is to sleep in the airport and wait for the next outgoing flight. Luckily in terminal 1 of the Sydney airport there is a secluded, third floor saved for staff offices, parents with children, and the unsuspecting, innocent lone traveler who is just waiting for his flight. When you reach the third floor there are bathrooms for men and women(which is usually how it works). upon entering the bathroom you'll see two more doors. One for the actual bathroom and the other for a shower room. The shower room is unfrequented and fairly clean(although i recommend wiping it down with some cloths if you have them). Here you have a door to lock, space to lay down completely along with placing your things near yourself and know they will be safe. It is not the most glamorous but it sure does beat sleeping on the chairs outside the check-in booths that are impassioned by hundreds of travelers. I hope you done feel put off by the idea and enjoy your shower bedroom for the night.
All in all I would stay there again! Happy travels everyone.
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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.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Sydney airport either by purchasing a lounge 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.
- American Express Lounge in partnership with Plaza Premium - Location: Terminal 1, International Departures, Airside, near Gate 24. Lounge Access: tba.
- SkyTeam Exclusive Lounge operated by Plaza Premium - Location: Terminal 1, International Departures, Airside, near Gate 24. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (AUD 77 for 2 hours or AUD 132 for 5 hours).
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).
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 5:00AM 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 5:00AM to 11:00PM, 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 11:00PM, 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 11:00PM, 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 11:00PM, 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.
- 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: 5:30AM - 9:00PM) • SmarteCarte - Terminal 2, arrivals level, near carousel 6 (hours: 5:30AM - 9:00PM). 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.
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.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport
Sydney Bus route 400 offers a scheduled service between Bondi Junction and Burwood, stopping at designated bus stops on the Arrivals Level of Terminals 1 and 3 along the way. A paper ticket or reusable Opal card is required for boarding. For more information on this bus route and other Sydney Buses, go to the Sydney Buses website.
The following car rental agencies operate onsite in the Arrivals level of both terminals: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty.
Terminals 2 and 3 are within walking distance of each other, but transportation is necessary to transfer between Terminals 1 and 2 or 3. There are a few different ways to travel between the terminals:
- T-Bus - This shuttle bus service runs from 6:00AM - 9:00PM, with more frequent intervals during peak times. Bus stops are located at Bus Bay 1 near McDonald’s (Terminal 1) and the first roadway at the center of Terminal 2. Total trip time is 10 minutes and costs AUD $5 per person, one-way.
- Taxi - At the time of this update, a 10-minute one-way trip between the terminals costs about AUD $17 - $22.
- Airport Link - Offers a two-minute train service between the terminals, with frequent departures daily from 5:00AM - 12:00AM. Fare is AUD $5.80 per person, one-way. Discounted service available with the use of an Opal card. Visit the Airport Link website for details.
- Qantas Seamless Transfer - Available to passengers transferring from a Qantas domestic flight to a Qantas international flight, or vice versa, Qantas Seamless Transfer provides a free service between Terminals 1 and 2 or 3. Buses run every 10 - 20 minutes daily from 6:00AM - 9:00PM. The Terminal 1 Transfer Lounge is located outside of the main building, connected by a covered walkway, and the Terminal 3 Transfer Lounge is located landside at Gate 15.
- Virgin Australia Seamless Transfer - Passengers transferring between a Virgin domestic flight and an international flight through any of Virgin’s international partners (including Virgin Samoa) qualify for this transfer service. Contact Virgin Australia directly for more information.
By law, limousines are not allowed to pick up passengers from the airport without a pre-arrangement. Passengers who have not pre-booked a limousine prior to arrival at the airport can hire a limousine at the Royale Limousines desk in Terminal 1 Arrivals.
Redy2Go provides door-to-door shared ride or exclusive ride service between the airport and the Sydney metropolitan area. Services can be pre-booked on the Redy2Go website or requested at any Sydney Airport Travel Desk located in the Arrivals areas of Terminals 1 or 2.
Sheltered taxi ranks are located outside of each terminal, with different types of taxis readily available to accommodate passengers needing baby capsules, wheelchair-accessible vehicles or multi-passenger “maxi taxis”. “Kerbside Supervisors” available on hand to direct taxis and assist passengers in finding the right taxi for their needs. Drivers are required to accept all fares, regardless of distance. Taxis can also be pre-booked from counters in the Arrivals area at all terminals. At the time of this update, the average fare from the airport to central Sydney is AUD $45 - $55 one way.
Sydney Airport is just 13 minutes from central Sydney, and connected by train via Airport Link. Trains run every 10 minutes and stop at both the International Terminal train station, accessible from the Arrivals Level at the northern end of the Terminal 1, and the Domestic Terminal train station, accessible from within Terminals 2 and 3. Trains connect to the City Circle line in central Sydney. Tickets and Opal cards are sold at train stations, with Opal cards offering discounted fares on Sydney trains, buses and ferries. Go to the Airport Link website for more details. For information on Sydney’s city and regional trains, go to the Transport Sydney Trains website.
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.
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.