Long layover in Sydney airport-what to do?

Feb 18th, 2013, 04:00 AM
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Long layover in Sydney airport-what to do?

We have a 5 hour layover in Sydney and would like any suggestions on leaving the airport for a few hours before our long flight back to the US.

We will have spent a week in downtown Sydney at the beginning of this trip so we are looking for another option without getting too far away from the airport.

How long does it usually take to get through security mid week-early afternoon?
Thanks for help with these questions.
firstlake is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Two areas that are very close to the airport are Brighton-Le-Sands and Marrickville. Brighton is on Botany Bay, there are enclosed baths for swimming and there's a long walk along the bay front. Marrickville is part of multi-cultural Sydney there's lots of great Vietnamese restaurants and interesting Asian shops. Neither of these places would be on top of any tourist list but they could be diverting for a couple of hours.

Customs and security are usually pretty fast early afternoon mid-week.
Susan7 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 12:52 PM
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I assume you're flying in to SYD from somewhere else in Australia? If so, then presumably you will arrive at the domestic terminal and be departing from the international terminal -- which are on opposite sides of the airfield. However you leave the domestic terminal to get to wherever you decide to go, you need to consider how to get back to the international terminal. Obviously cabs work but other forms of transport may not be so easy.

Depending on the exactitude of a "5 hour layover", personally I wouldn't bother. Based on getting off your in-bound flight, having to get the shuttle bus over to the international terminal and being at the gate at least 45 minutes prior to departure, I wouldn't bother with the hassle of having to go back through security (admittedly, not much of a hassle, particularly compared with the U.S.) for the dubious benefit of an hour or two in a Botany Bay suburb. However, perhaps Susan7 or others can assist with some specifics on how to get from/back to the airport?
tt7 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 01:28 PM
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I'd get a cab to Bronte Beach, take the spectacular walk along the cliffs to Bondi (1.5kms, allow 45 mins). Have a drink at the Bondi Icebergs ( the club beside the fois restaurant ) & get a cab back to the airport.

Or a little farther - Watsons Bay. New owners at the Watsons Bay Hotel make it a very pleasant spot for a drink, coffee or light meal before your flight. Lovely spot with nice walks and that fabulous Harbour view.

If you go there, ask them to call a cab for you - it's not an area where they cruise very often. Some hotels & clubs have a dedicated taxi cab phone, but if not, just ask one of the bar managers.

Just be aware that taxi change over is around 2:30 -3:30, so you may have to wait a little.

There are luggage storage facilities at international & domestic terminals.

Alternatively, as Susan suggests, inner west or a stroll along the foreshore at Brighton Le Sands.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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Actually we are arriving from NZ and plan to take a taxi to and from wherever we end up going.
Thanks for the suggestions-will check them out on a map.
firstlake is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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If you can book your luggage through to the US from NZ, it will be a breeze.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2013, 05:37 PM
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Just another thought, Sydney Airport (unlike many airports) is quite close to the city. The train from the airport takes about 15-20 minutes. You could follow Bokhara's suggestions when you are here for the week: Watsons Bay and Bronte are great places to visit. Perhaps, save something in the city to see on your last day: Botanical Gardens, Art Gallery of NSW, maybe the Rocks and MCA. Circular Quay is the stop you would use if these things are of interest.
Susan7 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2013, 12:47 AM
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I may be wrong but I suspect you may have trouble . If you are arriving on an international flight, then transferring to another international flight, you may have trouble even if your arrival flight is on time. I think they require you to have at least 5 hours between flights and even then it is up to the authorities whether they will agree to let you go out. Not trying to be negative but I think it could go either way. Good luck though.
Peteralan is offline  
Feb 19th, 2013, 01:46 AM
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If you are doing anything in traffic be careful as sometimes it can be a nightmare.
MissGreen is offline  
Feb 19th, 2013, 05:14 AM
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Thanks everyone-I guess I will check out the situation and airport requirements when I am in Sydney for the week-certainly don't want to risk missing my flight home!
firstlake is offline  
Feb 24th, 2013, 03:47 AM
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If I'm not mistaken if you are arriving from another country and want to leave the airport you need to apply for and obtain a visitor's visa (I recall you can do that "on-line"). Upon arrival in Sydney you'll have to clear Immigration & Customs then proceed out of the airport.

Normally, passengers on an international flight connecting to another international flight are considered "in transit" and must remain in the secure area - you don't officially "enter" the country.

What you are considering is no different that visiting Australia for a vacation or extended stay. It makes no difference whether that stay is 5 hours or 5 days - you are still entering the country and have to clear Immigration & Customs.

Now, couple that with the normal delays when you deplane, travel time to/from the airport to the site you plan to visit, going back through Passport Control and the Security check-point when you return to the airport and the fact you need to be at your departure gate about 45 minutes prior to departure and your 5 hours has dwindled down to only about an hour or so of actual "free" time.

Do yourself a favor (and what almost every seasoned traveler would do) - pass the time reading a good book, getting something to eat/drink the airport restaurant or cocktail lounges and browse some of the shops. Stay at the airport - it's not worth the hassle to leave the airport for such a short time.
RoamsAround is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 12:33 PM
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Thanks you make a great point-also we are lucky enough to access to one of the airport lounges so we could just settle in and relax there. We do have the ETA visa-but customs and then security again would really limit our available time.
firstlake is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 07:55 PM
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One of New Zealand's biggest wineries is right near the Auckland airport called Villa Marie. It has a beautiful vineyard and serves lunch/snacks overlooking fabulous scenery.
dutyfree is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 07:57 PM
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I am sorry-was looking at another Auckland thread and changed it!
dutyfree is offline  
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