Sydney Airport parking
As an airport with a huge amount of traffic running through it every year, SYD offers ample parking throughout its three terminals. It offers separate car parks for domestic and international passengers, as well as valet parking options at T1 and T2.
Short and mid-stay parking
All car parks serving domestic passengers are inside the Domestic Precinct close to the T2 and T3 Terminals. The P1, P2 and P3 car parks sit opposite both of these buildings.
The P1 and P2 car parks are best for short stays. You may leave your car in these short-term areas for as little as 0-30 minutes or as long as 3-24 hours. The airport charges a premium rate for each additional day your car stays in P1 and P2 beyond 24 hours.
Like P1 and P2, the P3 car park offers normal rates for stays between 0-30 minutes and 3-24 hours. However, the set charge for each additional day is much less than it would be in P1 and P2. For this reason, P3 the better option for domestic passengers who wish to leave their car at the airport for an extended period. It takes around eight minutes to walk from P3 to either domestic terminal.
The Blu Emu Car Park is the budget parking option for domestic passengers wishing to leave their cars at the airport for one day or more. A free shuttle bus takes you from The Blu Emu Car Park to the Domestic terminals in about 15 minutes.
You’ll find a valet service on Level 3 of P1 and P2. There is also a drive-up valet service on the departures roadway of Terminal 2. The standard valet services allow you to drive up, leave your car with an attendant and head straight to the check-in desk.
Virgin Australia offers a premium-class valet service outside its business lounge in Terminal 2, exclusive to its ‘Velocity Gold’ and 'Velocity Platinum’ customers.
International Car Parks
The large International car parks are just opposite Terminal 1 (T1). P7 is a multi-storey car park with clever lighting that makes it quick and easy to find your parking bay. Normal rates are charged in P7 for anywhere between 0-15 minutes and 3-24 hours and you will incur a set premium charge for each day your car sits in P7 beyond this 24-hour period. The first 15 minutes in P7 are free, which makes it great for picking up or dropping off.
P9 is the open-air car park for international passengers, which charges a set rate for stays of between three and 24 hours and a set fee for each additional day beyond 24 hours. P9 is typically more expensive than P7.
Guide to Sydney Airport
- 133 SYD/133 793 (in Australia), (+61) (2) 9667 6111 (outside Australia)
- NSW 2020
- T1, T2, T3
- Car, train, bus, coach, shuttle, taxi, bicycle
- Free throughout T1 and T2
Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD) is also known colloquially as Kingsford Smith Airport or Mascot Airport. SYD is by far the busiest airport in Australia, offering flights to 43 global and 46 domestic destinations.
Sydney Airport also serves as a hub for cargo flights within Australia and across the world. It served 41.8 million passengers in 2016.
Location of Sydney Airport
Sydney Airport is in the suburb of Mascot, six miles (nine kilometres) to the south of the city centre. As you might expect for such a popular airport, SYD is easy to reach from all directions. It’s close to the suburbs of Canterbury, Rockdale, Huntsville, Revesby, La Perouse and Marouba, as well as Botany Bay, which sits right on the edge of the airport.
It takes no more than 30 minutes to reach the airport from the city centre by car and trains and buses run regularly from the airport to the city and its many suburbs. The Route 400 bus runs both east and west of the airport, making it reachable from Bondi Junction and Burwood.
History of Sydney Airport
Sydney Airport is one of the longest-running airports in the world. Its story began in 1919, when the Australian Aircraft and Engineering Company leased land in Mascot with a view to building a new aerodrome. The first flight took place in November of its first year.
By 1925, the federal government had taken control of the airport. Also by this time, SYD was serving as a base for flights to and from Melbourne in Victoria and Adelaide in South Australia. Extensive work was carried out in the 1940s to add a new passenger terminal, while the mouth of the Cook River was diverted to accommodate two new runways.
Extensions in the early-to-mid-1960s led to a much larger north-south runway. The construction of the International Terminal in 1970 allowed the airport to accommodate jumbo jets for the first time. Further extensions to the north-south runway in the 1970s made it one of the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The Australian Government sold the airport to commercial third parties in 2002. SYD is now under the sole management of the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited. Development plans include the addition of a high-rise office block, more parking bays and continued terminal expansion.
Sydney Airport has a large number of shops. These include huge duty free areas, convenience stores and designer clothes outlets. You’ll also find a choice of places to eat, including snack bars, fast food and world food joints and even gourmet restaurants run by famous Australian chefs.
Whether you want to sit back and blow off steam, grab a bite to eat or pick up some essentials in time for your flight, SYD provides everything you’d expect from a major global airport.
- Short-term parking
- Long-term parking
- Budget parking options
- Domestic parking
- International parking
- Pick-up and drop-off zones
- Valet parking service
- Information desk
- High-street brands
- Newspapers and magazines
- Convenience food
- Duty free
- Designer goods
- Footwear and sports fashion
- Electronic travel gadgets
- Travel clothing and accessories
- Health and beauty
- Fast food
- World food
- Gourmet restaurants
- Baby-change facilities
- Currency exchange
- Executive lounges
- Children’s play area
Sydney Airport hotel and parking
As a guest in the largest city in Australia, you‘re spoiled for choice when it comes to places to stay in and around SYD. Here is a quick guide to three of the most popular hotels located close to Sydney Airport.
Rydges Sydney Airport is a high-class, modern hotel, just five minutes’ drive from Terminal 1. It features luxury rooms and suites with comfortable beds, minibars, free WiFi and a huge 42-inch flat-screen TV. While all rooms at Rydges are of a good standard, you can upgrade yours to take advantage of a private terrace for the ultimate in sophistication and relaxation. There’s also a plush grill restaurant, a sports bar, a vibrant café and even a gym. Rydges also provides a free shuttle bus to the airport. Parking is available at extra cost to all guests. At the other end of the scale is ibis Budget Sydney Airport. This economy hotel is pretty bare in terms of amenities, with no restaurants, bars or gyms. However, each air-conditioned room comes with a flat-screen TV and Internet access for a surcharge. You’ll find a desk in your room, which is great if you need to get on with some work before you settle down for the night. Use of the breakfast bar, a shuttle service and parking are also available at extra cost. Ibis Budget is a six-minute walk to and from Sydney Airport.
Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport is an upscale hotel that overlooks SYD. It takes just 12 minutes to walk from the Stamford Plaza to the airport. The lavish rooms come with free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and desks. There are also minibars and all the equipment you need to make a cup of tea or coffee. Each suite features a separate lounge area and room service is available around the clock, so when you need a bite to eat at any time of day or night, you’ll never be left feeling hungry.
You can also eat gourmet food at the on-site Argentinian restaurant at Stamford Plaza or catch the latest match in the relaxing sports bar. If all that isn’t enough, you can also catch up with colleagues and hold meetings in the hotel’s business centre. Both self-parking and valet-parking options are available to guests. It takes just six minutes to drive from the Stamford Plaza to SYD Terminal 1.
Top things to do in Sydney Airport
Grab a souvenir of Sydney and Australia
If there’s one thing that Sydney Airport isn’t short of, it’s things to remind you of your time in Australia.
Shops like Australian Way, Think Sydney, Think Australia and A Little Something all offer a host of high-quality, Australian-made items that are a million miles from the tacky kangaroo t-shirts or koala keyrings you find in a lot of souvenir shops.
Australian Way and the 'Think…' stores focus on high-end Australian clothing. A Little Something and Produce by Around Australia offer gourmet foods, wines, champagnes and more. Whether you want souvenirs to remind you of your time down under or you’re looking for gifts to give friends and family, Sydney Airport ticks the boxes.
Get a glimpse of indigenous culture
If you have time, it’s always worth visiting the fantastic Aboriginal art galleries dotted around Sydney. But if you’re stuck in the airport or you simply haven’t had time to explore what the city has to offer, The Rainbow Serpent may have the answer.
The gallery showcases a wide range of work from artists in the local community. You’ll find everything from painted silk and wood sculptures to boomerangs and didgeridoos. All of this draws a fascinating picture of ancient local culture.
Find designer bargains
The Heinemann Tax & Duty Free store offers over 28,000 products at knock-down prices. In terms of beers, wines and sweets, you’ll find a host of familiar and exclusive names at this store.
You can also choose from a massive range of items from the world of fashion. These include designer-brand cosmetics, fragrances, sunglasses, watches, jewellery and more. Brands include Jimmy Choo, MCM, Montblanc, Fendi, to name a few.
Enjoy the taste of Southeast Asia
Sydney Airport has a large number of restaurants, ranging from cheap fast food to gourmet delights. During your time at SYD, you can try food from Japan, China, Italy and Hong Kong.
Celebrity cook, Wolfgang Puck, has his own bistro at the airport, while cult chef and wholefoods champion, Mike McEnearney, also brings his classic wood-fired chicken to SYD at Kitchen by Mike.
Even the burgers are gourmet at Sydney Airport. At Benny Burger, Shannon Bennett serves up her familiar brand of creative dining that has influenced chefs across Australia and around the world
Buy Italian designer clothes
Sydney Airport’s Terminal 1 is home to an outlet for luxury Italian fashion house, Max Mara. In keeping with its location in a busy airport, the Max Mara store sells a range of high-end travel accessories and essentials. These include sunglasses, scarves, wallets and jewellery.
In fact, you’ll find stores bearing the names of 13 designer brands within the international terminal. These include Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co. and Kate Spade New York. These stores give you plenty of options if you need to look the part in time for a meeting or if you just want to travel in style.
Wine, dine or get down to business
There are a number of business lounges throughout Sydney Airport where you’ll be treated to free WiFi, a light buffet and, in some cases, an à la carte menu. The Emirates Lounge, for example, has its own separate bar, dining room, bath and shower room, prayer room and children’s play area. There’s also a business centre for when it’s time to stop relaxing and get down to business.
Top things to do near Sydney Airport
Soar high above the city
There are a few different helicopter tours on offer in Sydney. These include Sydney Helitours, Altitude Aviation and Blue Sky Helicopters. Sydney Helitours is actually based within the grounds of SYD.
On a thrilling 20-minute flight, you can take in 360-degree views of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Bondi Beach, Manly Cove and the city’s breathtaking skyline. Sydney is packed with awesome scenery and there’s nowhere better to take it all in than from high above.
Sat nav instructions: Sydney Airport, 472 Ross Smith Avenue, Sydney Airport NSW 2020, Australia.
Hit the surf at Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach is renowned across the world for its coastline that stretches over half a mile (one kilometre). Take a morning stroll along the beach, watch the surfers riding the waves or just relax in the sun with a mid-afternoon snack on the glistening white sand.
It takes 23 minutes to travel the 7.6 miles (12.2 kilometres) from Sydney Airport to Bondi Beach via Gardeners Road.
Sat nav instructions: Queens Elizabeth Drive, NSW 2026.
Discover wrecks beneath the sea
Abyss Scuba Diving offers guided boat, wreck and deep-sea diving for adults of all experience levels. If you have diving experience, you can go on reef dives outside Sydney Harbour. You’ll see many different shipwrecks, including that of the Centurion (a wooden clipper ship that sunk in 1897) and the Royal Sheppard (which went down in 1890).
During your dive, you may also get to hang out with Australian fur seals and grey nurse sharks.
Sat nav instructions: 278 Rocky Point Road, Ramsgate NSW 2217.
Uncover the secrets of Australia’s greatest building
Embark on a Sydney Opera House Tour to see the World Heritage-listed building and one of Australia's defining landmarks up close. During a backstage tour, you can enjoy a cooked breakfast with the performers and backroom staff. You can also take a journey through the rehearsal spaces, hear stories and find out insider secrets from your expert guide.
You’ll then learn the history of this unique building and get the chance to walk on the very stage that has been graced by the likes of Luciano Pavarotti.
Sat nav instructions: Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.
See the best of Chinese landscaping
The Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour is just a few minutes’ walk from Chinatown in the southern part of Sydney. The garden takes inspiration from the private royal gardens of the Ming Dynasty and is brimming with beautiful Chinese architecture, waterfalls, exotic plants and lakes.
If you’re looking for place to relax, think or clear your mind away from a bustling airport, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is the perfect place to do it.
Sat nav instructions: Pier Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
Explore Darling Harbour
There’s more still to Darling Harbour than the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Get your mind blown at the 9D Action Cinema, get your taste buds blown by an array of food and drink options and, at certain times of the year, catch the free fireworks displays on evenings to really bring your time in Sydney to life.
Sat nav instructions: Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW 2000
View the night sky as you’ve never seen it before
The Sydney Observatory overlooks the harbour on the aptly-named Observatory Hill. Go on a Night Tour to see the stars in all their glory as you gaze into the night sky. Or go along in the daytime to get in free and see many fascinating exhibits and great views of the city.
Sat nav instructions: 003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point NSW 2000.
Get in beach mode in Manly
Located just 10.5 miles (17 kilometres) from Sydney is the trendy, beachy suburb of Manly, which is ideal for a relatively relaxed session of surfing, if you have a morning or afternoon to spare. The sun scorches the long, white sands of Manly throughout the summer and its shops are perfectly set up for you to while a few hours away without a care in the world.
Sat nav instructions: Manly, New South Wales 2095
There are three terminals at Sydney Airport. Terminal 1 (T1) is known as the International Terminal, but is also the base for Qantas Domestic flights.
Terminal 2 (T2) is known as the Domestic Terminal. It is a hub for interstate and regional flights from the likes of Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Australian Air Express. Terminal 3 (T3) is solely a base for interstate Qantas flights.
The airlines currently offering public flights to and from Sydney Airport are:
|Air New Zealand||1|
|Air Tahiti Nui||1|
|All Nippon Airlines||1|
|Cathay Pacific Airways||1|
|Cebu Pacific Air||1|
|China Eastern Airlines||1|
|China Southern Airlines||1|
|Delta Air Lines||1|
|Indonesia Air Asia X||1|
|KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines||1|
|MEA - Middle East Airlines||1|
|Qantas Airways||1, 2, 3|
|REX - Regional Express||2|
|SAS - Scandinavian Airlines||1|
|Singapore Airlines Cargo||1|
|South African Airways||1|
|Thai Airways International||1|
|Virgin Atlantic Airways||1|
How to get to Sydney Airport
If you’re using sat nav, Sydney Airport T1 is located at Arrival Court, NSW 2020. T2 is just off Keith Smith Avenue, NSW 2020.
To find your way to T1 from Sydney city centre, make your way on to Park Street near Sydney Harbour Bridge, drive east towards Castlereagh for 1,312 feet (400 metres) and continue on to William Street. Turn left on to Bourke Street and then right to on to the M1, which continues for 6.5 miles (10.4 kilometres) before you take the Marsh Street exit for the Airport and follow signs for T1.
For T2 on Keith Avenue, drive on to Airport Drive from Arrival Court. Continue on Airport Drive and head towards Sir Reginald Ansett Drive for 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometres) and you’ll find Keith Smith Avenue in 1,968 feet (600 metres).
Sydney Airport is just a 13-minute train ride from Sydney city centre (Airport Link service). Trains run every 10 minutes to both T1 and T2/T3 and go via the City Circle in the middle of the city. Regional trains run from all over the city. The best source of information on regional travel is the Transport Sydney Trains website. For areas outside Sydney, your best bet is to get to Sydney Central Station and hop on a train to the airport from there.
Sydney Buses operate the 400 bus, which runs between Bondi Junction and Burwood to bus stops right outside T1 and T3. You can find the 400 bus timetable on the Sydney Buses website. This service runs every 10 minutes or less.
Research the airport and plan your trip
Sydney is very busy and very big, so a little research will go a long way to helping you find your way to the correct terminal in time for your flight. The SYD website provides interactive maps of its three terminals (T1, T2, and T3) to make your visit easy.
Check-in no later than two hours before your flight
In most cases, you can check-in three hours before your flight and Sydney Airport recommends that you arrive no later than two hours before take-off. This ensures you’ll have enough time for check-in, security screening and border controls. It also allows extra time in case of any unexpected delays.
There are dedicated smoking areas
The state of New South Wales prohibits smoking within 13 feet (four metres) of the building. For your comfort, though, Sydney Airport has outdoor smoking areas. There are plenty of signs around each terminal to help you find your way to a nearby smoking area.
There are height restrictions in the car parks
The P7 multi-storey car park does not allow vehicles over 7 feet and 2.5 inches tall (2.2 metres) inside. The P9 parking area has a height restriction of 11 feet five inches (3.5 metres). For more information, go the International Car Park page or Domestic Car Park page on the SYD website.
Trolleys cost money on the landside end of security
Airside luggage trolleys at Sydney Airport are free to use as you can almost always pick one up that another user has left. If you pick up an unused trolley landside, however, you’ll have to pay for it.
Sydney Airport FAQs
Is it possible to spend the night at SYD?
Only the International Terminal (T1) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, spending the night inside isn’t always possible in the Domestic terminals. When sleeping is possible, you’ll find that most benches have comfortable armrests, but you may find the marble floors too cold. The ‘Waiting Area’ in T1 is the designated area for passengers needing to spend the night.
Are there printers at the airport?
Yes. The Australia Post shop offers a fax, photocopying and printing service, as well as digital photo printing.
Are dogs allowed inside?
No pets are allowed at SYD unless they are working dogs or in a safe crate. You should get in touch with your airline for more information.
When does the airport open?
T1 is open from 3am to 11pm every day, although customs doesn’t start processing until 4am. T2 is open from 4am to 11pm.
How far is Sydney Airport from Bondi Beach?
Bondi Beach is around 0.62 miles (one kilometre) in length and SYD is around 7.6 miles (12.2 kilometres) from Bondi Beach on Queens Elizabeth Drive.
Is free WiFi available at SYD?
Yes. WiFi is available for free throughout T1 and T2.