Home > Sydney airport
Finally you arrive at Sydney Australia airport. You do have your Australia visit visa don't you?
Sydney Australia airport from across the bay
First stop the incoming duty free (think cocktails on the beach). Use the credit card for that.
Next the airport money exchange to get a few Aussie dollars.
Then find the train or the Sydney airport shuttle bus (after checking platinum Amex card for limo possibilities).
Simple? You bet! Here's how to make it easy. And if you need to find a hotel or apartment compare rates here for the best deals
Sydney Australia airport duty free:
best buy location for cognac and cigars
So you don't have to schlep your purchases across the world. Just buy them when you arrive.
If you're 18 or over you can bring in, duty free:
You'll find Australia duty free shops after customs, before you reach the baggage claim area.
They also carry perfume, toiletries and sweet things. I wouldn't bother with those, unless there's something special you've been looking for. They're better bought out of the airport.
And if you've spent time in certain countries, or on farms or in the wilderness, you'll probably have your boots and other items fumigated as well.
Quarantine regulations apply
Boots may need fumigating
Lantana: pretty but deadly
All this is necessary to protect Australia from imported pests and diseases. While you're in Australia - in almost any part of it - look out for a plant with a pretty pink and yellow flower which grows wild nearly everywhere. This is lantana, also known as Paterson's curse.
It was imported by early British settlers who used to grow it in their gardens at home. Here it smothers native plants, depriving native animals of food and shelter. It is unbelievably difficult to get rid of and endless volunteer bush conservation groups spend hours and hours rooting it out.
So please be careful with what you bring in with you. For more information go to 'What Can't I Take Into Australia' (Opens in a new page).
Australian notes and coinsThere are several places to change money in the Arrivals Hall of the International terminal. If you're departing then you'll find money exchanges both before and after baggage screening stations.
ATMs are located in all terminals, domestic and international. Australian ATMs take cards from almost any country, even some countries that money exchanges don't cover. We've been able to use them to get money from an Indian bank account, something that's impossible from most other parts of the world.
If you're waiting between flights, or just want to freshen up before you go on, there are free showers at Kingsford Smith International Airport. They're on the first floor (departures).
Go towards the Observation Deck - between The 'A' and 'B' check-in counters. You'll find them there. Men to the left, women's'to the right. They're free but you'll need to bring your own towels. Or stand around until you dry off! Some people use the hot air from the hands/hair dryers to speed the process.
There's enough space in the shower cubicle to take your luggage in with you (and keep it dry).
On arrival at Kingsford Smith Airport you'll find bathrooms, parents' rooms and nursing facilities right near the baggage collection areas.
A massage after the flight:
baby change room at Sydney Australia airport
There are baby change rooms all through the airport. These have change tables, nursing areas and a microwave oven to heat food and baby formulas.
If you're flying with young children and need to spend some time in the international terminal there are children's play areas both before and after bag security checkpoints.
And all bag security screening points have a dedicated queue for families. Just let the screening staff know you're flying with young children.
Volunteers donate up to twelve hours a week to greet visitors and answer their questions.
You'll see them walking around - they all wear bright gold (yellow) jackets.
Just stop any one of them and you'll get a helping hand.
The Gold Ambassador Volunteers can also be found at special help desks at these locations:
Get brochures at Sydney Australia airportYou'll find a travellers information and services desk at the arrivals level in each terminal.
Here you can get brochures, buy maps and make bookings for:
Kingsford Smith Airport has all the usual passenger and baggage screening machinery as well as walk through metal detectors and explosive trace detection systems.
Closed circuit television cameras and security patrols also cover all of Sydney Australia airport.
A GPS will get you to Sydney Australia airportMost routes to Sydney Australia airport have the aeroplane symbol on road signs. At intersections they will point you to the most direct way to go. As you get closer to the airport the signs will start indicating domestic and international terminals.
A good road map or Australian GPS is essential for getting around easily. A GPS will also show all Sydney traffic cams - very handy.
Sydney is in the state of NSW and the airport is in the suburb of Mascot.