Airways / Airports, Sydney
Sydney airport is the busiest in the southwest Pacific but it's still managable! Tax-free shopping was a bit of a let-down so don't expect too much. The view of downtown from the gates was very cool, tho. A nice way of saying goodbye!
If you have a flight departing Sydney airport do NOT make the mistake of thinking the airport is open 24 hours and has a lounge. The airport closes at midnight and the lounge is a tiny corner of the airport with uncomfortable seating, try to come to day of your flight.
I used both the International and Domestic airports in Sydney. Both were very modern and easy to use. The International airport is farther from downtown but has a wonderful aerial view of the city as the airplane is landing across the bay and onto the runway that seems to be practically built on the water.
Depending upon where your hotel or lodgings are located, it will take you from about 20 minutes to almost an hour to reach your destination - especially if you have to drive in rush hour traffic.
I needed to go to North Sydney, which I now know means across the bay from Sydney downtown, and it took about an hour for my taxi to make that trip. Unfortunately, since I am an American and he was a Muslim from Bangladesh, I was regaled with his negative opinions of the American invasion of Iraq for a solid hour. Luckily, most taxi drivers are very personable and interesting which makes these isolated taxi driver incidents bearable when they occur.
The airlines flying out of these airports seemed to me to be stricter on weight limitations than some of their American counterparts. Since I was on a three-week trip, I had a large piece of luggage that happened to be overweight when I checked in for a domestic flight. I had to remove items from my luggage and place them in another bag in order to meet their regulations.
If you do use either of these airports I think you will find them to be easy to navigate, friendly to passengers and efficient and effective in their operations.
After clearing immigration, you will easily find money changing services inside the airport. Interestingly, they cater to the Japanese visitor with an express line for changing yen to Australian money.
I was impressed with both the gate waiting area as well as the very comfortable general waiting area provided to passengers awaiting flights. Surrounded by duty free and other shops, these airports provide relaxing and comfortable areas before you board your flight.
Qantas will fly you to Sydney.. and often have cheap airfare deals going.. which is what I managed to get.
Quantas Airlines was my Choice. This is a picture of TV screen that shows a map of where you are on the trip and things like speed, alitude,Tempture and some other things.Also time to Destination.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to fly on this native-Australian-style-decorated plane... but the plane ride concludes my time well spent in Australia during our trip.
There are plenty of food and specialty locations in the airport both as you arrive and after you have landed to provide refreshment.