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Otherwise known as Kingsford-Smith Airport, Australia's largest airport stands next to Botany Bay, only six miles south of the heart of Sydney. There are no fewer than two separate rail stations, several supervised taxi stands and half a dozen places to get car rental in Sydney Airport, the 27th busiest airport on Earth. Although passengers can easily walk between terminals 2 and 3, 2.5 miles stand between Terminal 1 and the other two terminals. Suburban trains, public buses and free airline shuttle buses all travel this distance in just a couple of minutes.
Who to Book With
An Australian company called Redspot stands alongside Avis, Europcar and four more international franchises at the Sydney Airport car hire desks. These desks can be found in all terminals, at their respective Arrivals areas. Most car rental companies in the fiercely competitive Sydney market include unlimited mileage and car insurance as part of their rates.
Need to Know Essentials
Vehicle collection requires the following documents:
- A driver’s licence to confirm the motorist's age as 21 years or older
- An International Driving Permit for drivers whose original licences are not written in English
- A secure credit card
- A passport for overseas drivers
Motorists can expect heavy traffic no matter when they drive in Sydney, especially when heading for the city centre in the morning or when driving towards the outskirts of Australia's largest city in the early evening. Bondi Beach's surrounding roads are frequently clogged on summer weekends. The Southern Cross Drive motorway provides the most direct route between Sydney's central business district and the airport, while the M5 South Western motorway connects the airport with Sydney's southwest suburbs. Competition among car hire operators is stiff in Sydney, where vehicles drive on the left.
There is no shortage of ways to travel around Sydney, from the wide plethora of car hire selections to Sydney Airport's two rail stations. Passengers whose airlines do not provide free shuttle service between terminals 1 and 3 can nonetheless choose between a couple of affordable bus lines and plenty of taxis.
Airport Link operates both of Sydney Airport's rail stations. The International Terminal Rail Station stands at the International Terminal's north end, while the Domestic Terminal Rail Station is situated between the airport's two domestic terminals, also known as terminals 2 and 3. Airport Link train journeys between Sydney's Central Rail Station and both airport stations cost about £10 per one-way ticket and last just over a dozen minutes. One-way tickets cost roughly the same aboard CityRail services, Sydney's inter-city rail network.
Legion Cabs and Airport Taxi Service are just two of the approximately half-dozen taxi companies stationed at each terminal's sheltered and supervised taxi ranks. Passengers should know that drivers cannot legally refuse any fares from the airport and that road and bridge tolls are added to regular fares. All taxi passengers must pay a £2.30 airport toll.
Sydney Airport to Sydney central business district is about £30
Sydney Airport to North Sydney is about £40
Sydney Airport to Manly is about £70
Sydney Airport to Liverpool is about £75
Advance booking is required for most Sydney Airport bus services. The fares for Route 400 of Sydney Buses, which stops at both Terminal 3 and Terminal 1, range between £1.40 and nearly £3 per ticket, depending on the section. Carbridge operates the T-Bus shuttle which travels between the Domestic and International terminals at a cost of £3.60 per one-way ticket. Several Sydney hotels operate their own free or low-cost shuttle bus services.
Few present-day airports have been in operation for longer time periods than Sydney Airport, whose three terminals greeted a total of 36 million people in 2010. The International Terminal's flights travel directly to nearly every continent on Earth, while the two domestic terminals handle flights to every Australian state, territory and major city. A runway stands between the International and two domestic terminals.
Dedicated car parks stand opposite all three Sydney Airport terminals. Parking in the shaded area at the domestic long-term car park, officially called Blu Emu, costs £3.25 more than parking in the open-air zone, which charges from less than £17 for a single day to over £70 for six days of parking. Another domestic car park is a multi-floor building between both terminals where fares range between £4.50 for the first half hour to £37 for a three-hour period up to midnight. Parking at the new multi-floor International Terminal Car Park is free for the first 15 minutes, followed by a £4.50 fee for the first 30 minutes up to £110 for a three-day period. Passengers can save up to 70 per cent by booking online no matter which car park they choose.
Terminals 2 and 1 both offer wireless internet access through three providers. Wireless internet access is free at Sydney Airport for up to two hours.
Sydney Airport's brightly-coloured Gold Ambassador volunteers stand ready to help passengers at three locations on the International Departures level as well as at designated locations on the Terminal 2 Arrivals level and the Terminal 1 Arrivals level.
Information Desk: +61 2 9667 6053
Shops and Retail Outlets: +61 2 9667 0926
Sydney Airport's information desk contains further information about the airport's numerous concessions to disabled passengers. These include disabled persons’ showers, toilets and parking spaces, and wheelchair-friendly ramps. Passengers requiring special accommodation should make their needs known prior to their airport arrival.
Restaurants and Bars
No other Australian air gateway offers as many eating options as Sydney Airport. Casual dining options range from Taste of Thai to the Itacho Sushi restaurant, to the Italian dishes dominating Trattoria Prego's menu. Fast food franchises include Krispy Kreme and Hungry Jack's, Australia's answer to Burger King. The Boost Fruit Bar's healthy beverage options provide healthy alternatives to the airport's dozens of coffee bars.
International Terminal 1:
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge
Air New Zealand Koru Club
Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge
United Airlines Star Alliance Lounge
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge
Money and ATMs
Passengers can not only exchange up to 50 different currencies at the Terminal 1 Travelex branch, but they can purchase telephone cards and cash passport cards and travellers’ cheques. Currency can also be exchanged at the ANZ Bank branches, which also supply full banking services at the Terminal 1 Arrivals and Departures levels prior to their respective customs areas. ATMs are placed throughout all three terminals.
Terminal 1 contains the SYD Airport Tax and Duty Free shop, but cheap duty-free items are not the only things Sydney Airport sells within its three terminal. The International Terminal boasts the world's first World Planet travel shop alongside a seemingly endless stream of Australian souvenir shops. Relay, WHSmith and NewsLink all sell interesting reading material. Clothing boutiques range from Billabong's casual surfing wear to the latest in Emporio Armani and Bijoux Terner designer goods. The airport boasts a total of 100 diverse shops throughout its three terminals.