If you want to get into the city or suburbs by public transport, Sydney Australia’s Kingsford Smith Airport gives you these choices.
The fastest way down town.
Trains run every 10 minutes and take 13 minutes to reach Central Station. From there you can change to any suburban service. Central also links to the City Circle, so it’s easy to reach any part of the city centre.
You’ll find train stations
- at the northern end of the international terminal
- between T2 and T3 domestic terminals.
All train travel to and from Sydney airport is subject to an airport access fee on top of the actual fare.
The airport station access fee is around AUD$13 per adult and AUD$11.60 per child or concession holder. Add on the fare to the city – around $4.20/$2.10, more to the suburbs. So, depending on exactly where you’re going to, you will pay something over $17 per adult and $13.80 per child/concession. You can pay by cash or credit card. Here’s how to avoid the airport access fees.
Opal cards are the cheapest and easiest option for transport Sydney airport to city if you’ll be staying for more than a few days. They also give you a discounted off-peak fare ($2.90/$1.47) although the station access fee remains full price. You can buy them at the airport.
Airport transport: Sydney Taxis
If you have three or four people in your group it may be more cost effective to take a taxi, especially for downtown destinations.
Each terminal has a taxi rank which is patrolled and managed by airport staff. Cabs are not allowed to pick up passengers outside these ranks – there’s a $5,000 fine for the driver who does so.
Airport cabs are usually pretty quick in getting people away. In peak hours it’s common in Australia to share a cab with others going in the same direction. The taxi rank manager will organise this. You’ll still pay the normal fare.
Approximate charges for taxis outside peak hours (AUD):
- City $50
- North Sydney $65
- Manly $105
- Parramatta $135
- Liverpool $115
Expect to pay more during peak hours, as roads are more congested and traffic is slower.
Taxi fares work on a combination of distance and time. Extras – above the metered fare – are (per cab) $4.10 airport toll plus any Sydway (bridge, tunnel and motorway) tolls applicable.
There is a timetabled bus service – Route 400 – between Burwood and Bondi Junction which stops at International (T1) and at Domestic (T3). It’s cheaper than the train or shuttle buses but it’s very slow, stopping at every local bus stop. For example, it takes over an hour to get to Bondi Junction from the airport.
So don’t take it unless you have plenty of time and saving money is critical. Even if you’re going to Bondi Junction, or Burwood, it’s much faster to take the train.
Sydney Airport shuttle
A number of downtown hotels offer free shuttle bus transfers to and from the airport. Check when you book. Also ask about their transport Sydney timetables. They don’t meet every flight that comes in.
Airport hotels charge a minimal fee for shuttle bus transfers. Check with your preferred hotel for cost and timetable information.
General (non-hotel) shuttle buses are mainly used for suburban and Australian regional transport. You can book them on the spot through the ground transport travel desks in the arrival halls of both T1 and T2.
Or pre-book – if you search for “Sydney airport shuttle” you’ll get a whole list. But be aware that pre-booked shuttles get wildly varying reviews, the same company can be highly praised by one user and severely criticised by the next. As with trains, if you have a few people and not too much luggage it’s often cheaper and easier to take a taxi.
Sydney to Canberra buses also stop at the airport in the mornings. These need to be booked in advance through Greyhound or Murrays. Both offer similar prices and timetables. Some, but not all, of the buses have wifi on board. These are indicated in the timetables.
Limousine Transport Sydney Australia
Pre-booking is the name of the game if you want your choice of limousine companies for transport. Sydney Australia has many to choose from.
For on the spot bookings there is a Royale Limousine desk at arrival gate B of the International terminal (it has pickup points at Carousel 5 at both domestic terminals).
Otherwise, go to the ground transport Sydney travel desks to book a limo on the spot.
Sydney Australia Airport Terminal Transfers
If you’re transferring between the two domestic terminals – T2 and T3 – it’s a short stroll and it’s well signposted. The only wheels you’ll need are the ones under your suitcase.
Transfers between International and Domestic require transport. Sydney passengers travelling with Qantas or Virgin can use their ‘seamless’ transfer service between the two terminals. Check the details when you book.
Otherwise your options are:
The airport link takes 2 minutes and costs $5.80 per person (less for off-peak travel using Opal card). Trains run frequently between 0500 and 2400.
An airport cab will take around 10 minutes and costs between $17 – $22 (per cab).
A Sydney airport shuttle service between T1 (international) and T2 (domestic) terminals. It costs $5.50 per person and takes about 10 minutes. It’s less regular than the train. Shuttle buses are frequent in the morning peak hours, then run half-hourly. They stop at 2000 (8pm).
The bus stops for the T Bus are on Arrivals level at:
- T1 (international): Bus Bay 21 near McDonalds
- T2 (domestic): Bus Bay 3 near Carousel 6