Sydney harbour Sydney harbour – Image courtesy of Hamilton Lund

How to get to Sydney

Sydney – the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia – is located on Australia's east coast.

The city surrounds Port Jackson with the Tasman Sea to the east, and extends about 70km (43.5mi) towards the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north and the Woronora Plateau to the south.

The most convenient route to Sydney is by air to Sydney Airport (SYD), also known as Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, located about 8km (5mi) south of Sydney city centre.


Flight times to Sydney

The following are the most convenient flights to Sydney Airport (SYD).

Within Australia: Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Scoot Tigerair operate frequent daily direct flights to Sydney.

Adelaide to Sydney is 1 hrs 50 min, direct flight
Brisbane to Sydney is 1 hr 35 min, direct flight
Canberra to Sydney is 55 min, direct flight
Darwin to Sydney is 4 hrs 15 min, direct flight
Melbourne to Sydney is 1 hrs 25 min, direct flight
Perth to Sydney is 4 hrs 5 min, direct flight


From New Zealand: Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin Australia offer the most convenient daily flights to Sydney.

Auckland to Sydney is 3 hrs 40 min, direct flight


From China: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific offer the most convenient flights to Sydney.

Beijing to Sydney is 10 hrs 50 min, direct flight
Hong Kong to Sydney is 9 hrs 5 min, direct flight
Shanghai to Sydney is 10 hrs 30 min, direct flight


From Singapore: Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Qantas and Scoot Tigerair operate the most convenient daily flights to Sydney.

Singapore to Sydney is 7 hrs 35 min, direct flight


From United States: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia offer the most convenient daily scheduled flights to Sydney.

Dallas-Fort Worth to Sydney is 17 hrs, direct flight
Los Angeles to Sydney is 14 hrs 45 min, direct flight
San Francisco to Sydney is 14 hrs 40 min, direct flight

Atlanta to Sydney is 20 hrs 30 min, connecting flightˆ
Boston to Sydney is 22 hrs 25 min, connecting flightˆ
Chicago to Sydney is 20 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ
New York to Sydney is 22 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ


From Canada: Air Canada, Westjet, Qantas, United Airlines and Virgin Australia offer the most convenient daily scheduled flights to Sydney.

Vancouver to Sydney is 15 hrs 10 min, direct flight

Toronto to Sydney is 20 hrs 55 min, connecting flightˆ
Montreal to Sydney is 22 hrs 5 min, connecting flightˆ


From United Kingdom: Emirates, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Qantas offer the most convenient daily flights to Sydney.

London to Sydney is 21 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
Manchester to Sydney is 22 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ


From France: Emirates, Air France, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas offer the most convenient daily flights to Sydney.

Paris to Sydney is 21 hrs 50 min, connecting flightˆ


From Germany: Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, Lufthansa and Scoot Tigerair offer the most convenient flights to Sydney.

Berlin to Sydney is 22 hrs 10 min, connecting flightsˆ
Dusseldorf to Sydney is 20 hrs 55 min, connecting flightsˆ
Frankfurt to Sydney is 22 hrs, connecting flightsˆ
Hamburg to Sydney is 21 hrs 10 min, connecting flightsˆ
Munich to Sydney is 22 hrs, connecting flightsˆ

(ˆincludes transfer time.)


Flying in

Sydney Airport (SYD), also known as Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, is located about 8km (5mi) south of Sydney city centre, in the suburb of Mascot.


Transfer between terminals

The T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals are located a short ride away from each other, while the T2 and T3 Domestic terminals are just a short walk from each other.

There are several options to transfer between the international and domestic terminals. Your airline can advise on the best transfer options.

Qantas and Virgin Australia offer their own transfer options – usually gratis – for certain passengers.

Bus: The 'T-Bus' complimentary shuttle service operates frequently everyday between the T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals from 6.00am to 8.50pm. The journey takes approximately 10 minutes.

Bus stops are located on the Arrivals level outside each terminal.

Taxi: Taxi transfers between T1 International and the T2/T3 domestic terminals take around 10 minutes, depending on the time of day, and cost between $17.00 – $22.00 (one way, per taxi).

Rail: The Airport Link train (www.airportlink.com.au) operates between 5.00am and midnight, seven days a week, taking just two minutes and costs A$6.70 (one way, per person) for passengers travelling between the T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals.


Public transport

Taxi: Each terminal has its own taxi rank. The journey time to Sydney city centre is around 30 minutes, and the single fare starts at around A$45.

Companies serving the airport include Legion Cabs (tel: +61 131 451; www.legioncabs.com.au), Premier Cabs (tel: +61 131 017; www.premiercabs.com.au) and St George Cabs (tel: +61 132 166; www.stgeorgecabs.com.au).

Shuttle: Many shuttle bus companies provide a service between Sydney Airport and most city suburbs. These need to be booked in advance. Many hotels can provide a transfer service for guests – usually at an additional cost.

Bus: Sydney Buses (tel: +61 131 500) operates bus 400 from Burwood to Bondi Junction, calling at Terminals 1 and 3. Journey time to central Sydney is around 35 minutes. However, you will need an Opal transport card to use the Sydney Buses service.

The bus stops are located on the Arrivals levels of the terminals.

Rail: The Airport Link (tel: +61 2 8337 8417; www.airportlink.com.au) rail service connects both the domestic and international terminals to Sydney Central Station and the city suburbs. Terminal 1 has its own railway station, while Terminals 2 and 3 share a station.

Journey time to Sydney city centre is around 15 minutes, and the fare is A$17.40.

Note: The trains that service the airport are regular suburban trains and do not have special provisions for luggage, do not operate express to the airport and may have seats occupied by commuters before the trains arrive at the airport depending on time of day.


Car rental

Car hire companies represented at Sydney Airport include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty. Desks for these operators are located on the Arrivals levels of Terminals 1 and 2.


Terminal facilities

Money: Full banking services are available from ANZ Bank in Terminal 1. Currency exchange facilities are located in Terminals 1 and 2. ATMs are located in all terminals.

Food: There are many restaurants, cafés and bars at Sydney Airport offering a wide variety of international and Australian cuisine.

Shopping: A wide variety of shops at Sydney Airport range from souvenir retailers and designer outlets to wine merchants and speciality stores. Duty-free shopping is available in Terminal 1.

Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout Sydney Airport’s Terminals 1 and 2 – internet kiosks are also located both pre- and post-security at these terminals.

Postal and photocopying facilities can be found at Australia Post Office, located in the pre-security departures area of Terminal 1. Mobile telephone hire is available from Optus and Vodafone in the arrivals area of Terminal 1, an additional Vodafone outlet is located in Terminal 2.

Other: Other facilities available at Sydney Airport include a medical centre, located on the third floor of Terminal 1, pharmacies in the public and departure areas of the same terminal along with an additional pharmacy in Terminal 2, showers, a prayer room and several child play areas, all of which are located in Terminal 1.

Children’s toilets are installed in all female toilets and baby-changing rooms are conveniently located throughout the terminals.

There are seven airline lounges in Terminal 1 and one in Terminal 2. There are also two VIP lounges in Terminal 1.


Disabled facilities

Facilities for disabled passengers include ramps, adapted drinking fountains, showers and dedicated toilets. Wheelchairs are available upon request from your airline.

Lowered telephones, text telephones and telephones fitted with induction loops are also available.

Disabled parking spaces are located at the front of Terminal 1 for valid badge holders. Any passengers who may require additional assistance are advised to contact their airline before travelling.


Entry requirements to Australia

UK, USA and Canadian nationals must have a passport valid for intended period of stay. A visa is required, except for those with Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). New Zealand citizens are granted a Special Category Visa on arrival.


Getting around Sydney

See the sights by walking or hiring a bicycle. Sydney also provides an extensive network of public transport, including suburban rail, light rail, buses and ferries. Taxis and hire cars are available.

Numerous ferries service Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. Sydney Ferries operates from Circular Quay Ferry Terminal, a major transport hub in Sydney's central business district, with popular routes, including the beachside suburb of Manly as well as sightseeing cruises.


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Latest update: How to get to Sydney: 10 February, 2020


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