|Districts:||Circular Quay | City Center | Coogee Beach | Darling Harbour | Kingsford Smith Airport | North Sydney | Potts Point | The Rocks | West|
Approximate flight times to Sydney: from New York 21 hours 45 minutes; from Toronto 21 hours 25 minutes; from London 21 hours 7 minutes; from Los Angeles 14 hours 31 minutes (not including layovers).
The Sydney Airport is in the midst of extensive renovations, designed to make travel through the busy airport more smooth and enjoyable for passengers. Among the planned improvements: 100 percent checked bag screening (Sydney has spent $90 million on upgraded systems to make travel safer and speedier); a $500 million expansion of the International Terminal to include larger spaces, centralized processing, food, retail, and beverage vendors, waiting areas, and new and better facilities; a $65 million car park with superior customer service; a $20 million upgrade for the Domestic Terminal, with better passenger services and facilities, including food and retail options. In addition to the improved appearance, the Airport seeks to move more passengers through easily and conveniently.
Those using the International Terminal, or T1, will have the use of lounges, the observation deck, convenient children’s playrooms and a children’s cinema where the little ones can watch television, baggage storage, a pharmacy, money exchanges, TRS desk, traveler’s information desk, complimentary showers (but no towels!), a smoking area, prayer room, TTY phones, wheelchairs, wireless internet and much more. The Domestic Terminal, T2, has fewer amenities, but is still quite convenient for guests. T2 also has internet access, food and beverage outlets, money exchanges, ATMs, and other necessities.
There are myriad shops, including tax and duty free shops. You can find gifts, fashion, flowers, and souvenirs all at the airport. In addition, numerous eateries are available so you can get refreshment before continuing your travels. There are parking structures in both T1 and T2: you can find valet, budget, and curbside options, or pre-book online at the Sydney Airport website to save money.
If not the cheapest option for getting into Sydney from the airport, it is, at least, a very convenient one. Each terminal has its own supervised taxi stand. The supervisors help coordinate your ride and are quite useful when you have baby strollers, lots of luggage, etc. You can easily order taxis with car seats, extra storage capacity, handicap accessibility, and “maxi taxis” for groups. There is a three dollar surcharge for any fare originating from the airport. From the airport to the center of Sydney, it costs about $50; to Manly $81; to Circular Quay $43; and to Darling Harbour $43. To calculate approximate fares, visit World Taxi Meter. If you would like to book your taxi in advance, you can do so with one of the following companies:
Taxis Combined Services
Silver Service Fleet
RSL Ex-Servicemen’s Cabs & Co-Op Members Ltd.
St. George Cabs
Sydney buses make pickups at both International (T1) and Domestic Terminals (T3). There are CityRail buses available to take you wherever you need to go in the city, and they are typically very fast. To plan your route optimally and avoid being confused after a long plane trip, use the bus route planner at the NSW Government Transport Info site. For example, you may enter that you want to depart from the airport, at Terminal 3, at 9:30am on your scheduled day of arrival and go to the Sydney Opera House. The planner than gives you options: you can take the South Line Train and arrive at Circular Quay Station Platform in about a half hour. This is an invaluable tool and will help you make your transition into the city much easier.
It is typically faster and less expensive to travel into Sydney by bus than by train. Coach buses from neighboring capital cities and New South Wales regions arrive at the Sydney Coach Terminal, on Eddy Avenue, very near Central Station.
Many visitors, particularly those coming from the Brisbane and Melbourne areas, choose to drive. From Brisbane, it takes about 11 hours of nonstop travel on mixed terrain with some high quality roads and some very narrow, winding sections, and from Melbourne it is nine on mostly high quality, two lane roads. Roads are typically well marked. Foreign drivers need third-party insurance, and should be aware that the driving lane is the left lane, not the right.
Metropolitan and Regional Suburb Transfer
Shuttles are available to take you from the airport to many of Sydney’s suburbs. The shuttles are operated by private companies and have to be booked in advance. To do this, go to the Yellow Pages for Sydney and enter “Bus and Coach Services.” There are over 80 from which to choose for this service. Prices vary widely according to your destination and which company you choose, but to give you an idea, a shuttle from the airport to Liverpool costs between $65 and $70, and from the airport to the Rock is about $50.
Shuttles and Hotel Transfers
Hotels located at the airport have inexpensive shuttles to take you from the terminal to your accommodations. You can check with your hotel for schedules and fares. In addition, many hotels in Sydney offer a shuttle service for its guests. Check with your hotel to see if they offer a pick-up service. If so, it is likely very inexpensive and a convenient way to get to your lodgings with a minimum of stress.
Visitors can travel into the heart of Sydney via train, which is a fast way to get to your accommodations – a trip into the city takes only 13 minutes. The trains are run by Airport Link, an independently owned company. There are stations in the International and Domestic Terminals, and trains leave every 10 minutes. Visitors can easily get to the City Circle, from which many main attractions are only a short walk. You can purchase your tickets from the station, a vending machine, or online. To City Circle, it costs $14.40 for adults and $9.90 for children. From City Circle, you can go anywhere in the city or catch another train for the suburbs. You can visit Airport Link for a fare calculator, ticket orders, and other information.
Several major car rental companies have desks at the arrival levels of both the International and Domestic Terminals. You can choose from Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Budget, Thrifty, and Red Spot. The city is only about 8 kilometers from the airport, so the drive will be short – especially if you’ve pre-booked your car. The route into the city is clearly marked with signs.
To find great deals on car rentals in Sydney, visit our car rental page
If you have to travel between the International and Domestic Terminals, you can catch a T-Bus. This travels between T1 and T2 and costs $5.50 one way for one passenger. It takes about 10 minutes to get between terminals, and the T-Bus runs regularly in the morning, and then every 30 minutes until 8:00pm. You can also take the Airport Link Train between terminals, and Virgin Blue and Qantas offer transfer services for their customers.
To get from the Remote Long Term Car Park to the Domestic Terminals, use the P-Bus. This takes about five minutes, and the buses run every 10 to 15 minutes.
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