Sydney Australia Airport

"Sydney Australia Airport is a pleasant experience!"

We all know that airports can be ghastly places - busy, large, confusing and we all dread getting delayed! Reality is most of you will pass through Sydney Australia Airport at some point.

The reality is that the airport offers some great facilities including a good range of eateries as well as nice shops for browsing. This page will give you more details on the three terminals as well as info on airport hotels and how to claim tax back at the airport.

Facilities at the Terminals

There are 3 terminals at Sydney Australia Airport:

Terminal 1 is the International Terminal and sits a bit further away from the domestic terminals. You have to get a shuttle bus to get between the doemstic and International terminals (at a cost of approx $5.50)

Terminal 2 is the main domestic terminal if you plan to fly with Jet Star or Virgin Blue

Terminal 3 is another domestic terminal but only for flights run by Qantas.

The majority of stores are once you get through immigration and security:

This terminal, as you would expect is the largest and has some very chic shops - Ralph Lauren, Armani, Boss, Burberry, Oroton (Australian leather shop), Nine West for shoes and some great Aussie stores like Billabong and Beach Culture.

There's obviously a huge duty free shop and plenty of electronic stores to look at too.

It's easy to spend a couple of hours here looking around at all the lovely stores.

From a food and drink perspective there are lots of options. There are plenty of fast food type chains such as Subway, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks (aka burger king) and some more Australian ones like Sumo Salad Oportos and Boost. You'll also find more sit down table service restaurants too that usually have wifi if you would rather have this sort of experience

In terms of other services, there's an Australian Post here to send those last minute postcards, ANZ cash points, foreign exchange and a place to have a massage - not a bad idea if you have some time to kill. They are open 6am til 10pm and you get a 10% discount if you book in advance on the airport website (it's called Mandarin)


There is really nothing before security but once past the checks the area has had a face lift and offers some great Aussie stores and eateries.

You'll find Witchery, French Connection, Blue Illusion and Beach Culture as well as a Virgin music store and gift shops, magazines, drinks etc.

The food court area is always a hub of activity with all your favourites here including McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, Boost, Sushi, Dunkin Doughnuts, Sumo Salad and a bar overlooking the planes.


The Qantas Terminal is very business orientated! Again there is nothing until you go through security and then you'll find Witchery, French Connection, Guess and great book store, Australia Post. There are a few eateries but no where near as many as the other terminals. I guess this is because most are business travellers which get to use the lounge facilities.

It seems that the airport has done a deal with ANZ as you won't find any other ATM's in the airport other than ANZ. Just something to think about if you want to avoid the usual $1.50 charge for withdrawing cash if you aren't a member of ANZ.

Getting To and From The Airport

There are plenty of ways to get to and from Sydney Australia airport. A taxi will probably cost you about $35 from the centre of Sydney. It should take between 20 and 30 minutes but can take much longer in rush hour

The train from Central is quicker but if there is more than 2 of you, it might work out cheaper to get a taxi. The trains are very regular though and are a good idea if you are planning a journey in rush hour. They stop directly at both the International Terminal and Domestic Terminal.

There is plenty of short and long stay parking too if you want to leave your car at the airport. The short term parking is between terminal 2 and 3 and good for stays of a few days. Anything longer you probably need to use the long term parking, It's about 1.5km from Sydney Australia Airport and they run a shuttle bus every 10 minutes. The journey takes about 6 minutes.

Sydney buses runs a service to Bondi Junction so a good option if you are planning to stay in the East of the city.

Best Sydney Australia Airport Hotels

As you would expect, there are a few hotels in the area to choose from. These ones seem to be the best:

  • Holiday Inn Hotel Airport Sydney - basic but good for one night
  • Ibis Hotel Airport Sydney - you have to pay for the shuttle bus to the airport, what you would expect from Ibis, price as you would expect for an airport hotel - ie more than normal!
  • Mercure Hotel Airport Sydney - probably the best of the bunch as the bar and restaurant aren't too bad. Pricey still on the high side though!

  • How To Claim Tax Back At the Airport

    Products and services bought in Australia are subject to a 10% tax called GST. If you have a foreign passport (ie you are not Australian) you can claim this 10% back on purchases you have made in Australia. There are a few rules though

  • Anything you want to claim you need to have with you at the airport once you've got rid of your luggage - ie it needs to be in your hand luggage.
  • You need a receipt and if it's over a $1000 I think you need a personalised receipt with your name on it
  • Each receipt needs to be $300 or more from each store
  • You need to get to the "Tourist Refund Scheme office in the international terminal 1 and be there at least 45 minutes before your scheduled flight takes off- the office is signposted.

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