Destination Information: Sydney, Australia (SYD)

Kerwin McKenzieDestination Information Leave a Comment

I love Australia even though its super expensive despite the Australian dollar tanking against the US Dollar. It has many great cities, but let’s talk about Sydney, which is not its capital by the way, that would be Canberra :-).


Sydney Tower



Australia is located in the southern hemisphere and its pretty far away from Europe, the rest of Asia, The Americas, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe. As an example, it takes about 14 hours to fly from the U.S. West Coast to Sydney.

And the fun part is that you cross the International Date Line which causes you to miss a whole day on your way there from the U.S. and have the longest day ever on your way back.


Distant View of Sydney Harbor Bridge


You do have to be cognizant of this as it helps in booking accommodations and ground transportation. As an example, if you leave Los Angeles, CA (LAX) on say a Monday night, you will arrive in Sydney early Wednesday morning. Tuesday never really existed, well for a few hours when you were flying.

On the way back though you depart in the morning at ay 11:30a and you arrive in LAX at about 7a. It’s really strange, but that’s the dateline for you.


Sydney Internatonal


Here are some initial facts about Sydney, Australia that you may find useful:

  • Airlines Serving Sydney Kingsford Airport (SYD): Air Asia (XT), Air Asia X (D7), Air Caledonie International (SB), Air Canada (AC), Air China, Air India (AI), Air New Zealand (NZ), Air Niugini (PX), Air Tahiti Nui (TN), Air Vanuatu (NF), ANA (NH), American Airlines (AA), Asiana (OZ), Cathay Pacific (CX), China Airlines (CI), China Eastern Airlines (MU), China Southern Airlines (CZ), Delta Airlines (DL), Emirates (EK), Etihad (EY), Fiji Airways (FJ), Garuda Indonesia (GA), Hainan Airlines (HU), Hawaiian Airlines (HA), Japan Airlines (JL), JetStar (JQ), LAN (LA), Korean Airline (KE), Malaysia Airlines (MH), Philippines Airlines (PA), Qantas (QF) [home airline], Regional Express Airline (ZL), Scoot (TZ), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Thai Airways (TG), Tiger Air Australia (TT), United Airlines (UA), Vietnam Airlines, (VN), Virgin Australia (VA) [home airline], Xiamen Air (MF).
  • Airport Web site: Sydney-Kingsford International Airport (SYD)
  • Airfare Tip: Check out this post where I talk about how to find low fares or join my Travel Deals newsletter so you know when the deals are available.
  • Airport To The City:
    • Bus – There is a local bus, the 400 that serves the airport. You can find additional info at
    • Train – You can take the train which stops at the Domestic and the International terminals; it takes about 13 minutes to get into the city, so its pretty convenient. One thing to note is that in Australia the International and the domestic terminals are typically on either side of the airport runway. And there is usually a bus for which you must pay that takes you between the two terminals. In Sydney, you can take the train between the two as long as you pay the right fare. If you are connecting from Qantas to Qantas or a partner or Virgin Australia to Virgin Australia or a partner they will give you a coupon for a complimentary ride.To get from airport to the city and vice versa, ensure that you purchase the correct fare based on where in the city you are going. You can use a kiosk or ask at the counter. You are looking at anywhere from 17.20 to 18.20 depending on how far you are going from the Central station.
    • Taxi – Of course you can always take a taxi from the taxi rank. Don’t take a taxi from anyone who walks up to you and offer you one.
    • Uber – Download the Uber App (IOS | Android). Here’s my code to use to get $15 off your first ride – kerwinm20ue.
  • Airport Hotels:
      • There are plenty of hotels at the airport and they prices do vary. I suggest using the hotel search box below to help you locate a suitable property.

  • Neighboring Areas: From the heart of Sydney, there are many ferries out to the neighboring islands that surround Sydney. Be sure and take one just for fun as its a beautiful ride and you get to see the city from a far. You can go to places like Manly and Parramatta.
  • Currency: Australian dollar (AUD). Here’s something interesting, there are no pennies in the currency. So when you shop, they will round up or round down depending on the cost of items. So a total of 20.34 would have you paying 20.35 and 20.31 will have you pay 20.30. It’s a neat system and it works :-).
  • Language:English with an Australian accent that is oftentimes mistaken for a British or New Zealander (Kiwi).
  • Visa Information: U.S. citizens do require a visa, but you can get it online. it cost about 20 AUD and is required for stays less than 90 days. The visa is valid for a year. Only select countries are allowed to apply for a visa online. Everyone else has to apply in person at the local consulate. Alternatively, you can use the IATA Web site for visa/health requirements to see what are the requirements for your citizenship. Oh, Australia is very strict when it comes to bringing in items into the country. the flight crew will make an announcement and you have some paperwork to fill out. Leave all your food that you have with you on the plane as they will be confiscated at the Customs Hall.
  • Social Media Information: Facebook, Instagramtwitter
  • New South Wales Tourism Board


Sydney Harbour at night



Ground Transportation

The system in Sydney is actually quite good a bit pricey, but good. They’ve instituted this thing called an Octopus card now, that makes it easier, but I think you have to get a minimum charge on it. You can still purchase one way journeys though. Sydney is a walking city so you can do that as well. Wear comfortable shoes though.


Things to See/Do

The two most iconic things about Sydney are the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Nope, that’s not a typo, they use the British English as they are a former colony.

But there other things to see as well, here are a few:

  • The Blue Mountains
  • Bondi Beach
  • Manly Beach
  • Paramatta
  • Taronga Zoo

You can find much more information here.

Free Sydney Tour

Check out this free tour at It’s a 2.5 hours walking tour and you can give a donation at the end of you like it. It starts everyday at 10:30a at Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park.


Hotels in the Regions

Things in Sydney can get very expensive in terms of hotels. Actually its quite an expensive city so be prepared to spend a little more than normal. On a recent stay, I stayed at a IHG property where the rates were $299 USD/night. I used points luckily which was 30,000. Shop around for a place to stay and ensure that its near the train station or the buses. You can use the HotelsCombined search box below to help you. I also earn a small commission if you use the box to make your bookings. Thanks for your support.




Umm, I don’t think there is such a thing as Australian food :-). But you can’t go without having a Victoria Bitters and for the record, Australians hate Fosters :-).


Side Trip

There are many possible ones as many interesting countries are within close proximity of Australia. The closest large one is New Zealand. But in terms of Australia, I’d recommend taking a trip to Hobart in Tasmania.

Have you been to this region? If so please leave a comment below about your recommendations and experiences. If you’ve not, then leave a comment if you need additional information about taking the trip.


Comments 0

  1. Good info 

    I was there with my family wife and kids two years ago in june. Easy to get in but hard to get out.
    Have to get out by new Zealand.  But anyway , beatiful country nice people. Will go back again to visit cairns and Melbourne. 

    Keep up the good work .

    José Camacho 

  2. Take the train from Sydney Airport to Central and then take the direct train to the Blue mountains.  It takes about 2 1/2 hours and is a great and cheap scenic tour.  Leave the train at Katoomba, which is the gateway city to the blue mountains.  You can walk to several hotels from the Kattoomba train station or grab a cab.  Then go Scenic world, which is a short cab ride or a medium length walk.

  3. Pingback: Destination Information: Melbourne, Australia (MEL)

  4. Of course there is lots of Australian food! Meat pies and spinach pies for example. And damper and pavlova are typically Australian! And who can resist fresh oysters at Pyrmont markets a short tram ride away from Sydney CBD?

    Toohey’s is a typical NSW beer, and I prefer Tohey’s Old. There are a choice of styles w/ Toohey’s, it’s a mass market beer. Yes, Foster’s is frowned upon, so if you don’t want to be branded as a tourist, don’t ask for Fosters, ask for a schooner or a pint of Toohey’s instead.

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.