Yes, Sydney has an iconic harbour, beautiful beaches, and a great small bar scene. But sometimes even Sydney locals need to escape to somewhere new.

That often means going to the airport. And that often means a stressful operation of finding Sydney Airport parking! Sydney Airport is the busiest airport in Australia, with three terminals serving millions of passengers a year, so it’s no surprise parking has been hard to come by in the past.

The good news is that’s changing. Sydney Airport has done a lot of work to improve the parking situation, and nearby suburbs have lots of options for travelers happy to get a shuttle to the airport. Read on for a guide to the Sydney Airport parking options available to you.

Several aeroplanes at Brisbane Airport parking at their gates, seen through a window flecked with water drops

Sydney Airport on-site parking

If you’re a no-fuss traveler, parking on-site at Sydney Airport is a great option. You’ll be right next to the terminals, so you won’t have to mess around.

The downside? This is the most expensive Sydney Airport parking around. That being said, plan ahead and you stand to save a lot. All of the prices quoted below are available through the online booking platform – you should be using it to save on parking.

At Sydney Airport the P1, P2, P3, and Blue Emu car parks cater for the domestic terminals, while P7 is the car park for international travelers.

P1 and P2: The closest parking to the domestic terminals

If you don’t like walking, P1 and P2 are a great option for your domestic travel needs. These car parks are right in the middle of the domestic terminals. P2 is a 5 minute walk from either, while P1 is a 3 minute walk.

Guaranteed spaces can be booked online ahead of time, and see you park in the open air lots between P1 and P2 and the Domestic Terminals, or on level 4 of the P1 lot. Non-guaranteed spaces are a bit cheaper and generally get you a spot in P2. You can still book these online.

P1 and P2 also offer Valet Parking for an extra fee. The valet drop off area is a 2 minute walk from the terminals, and operates between 5.30am and 11.30pm. Because Sydney Airport has a late-night curfew on flights, you’re unlikely to need the service outside those times. There’s also a Virgin premium valet service for another extra fee, only available to Virgin Australia business class passengers. That buys you an extra minute, being just 1 minute from the terminal.

How much you want to pay to avoid walking from your parking spot to the terminal is up to you. At it’s cheapest (a non-guaranteed spot booked online) you’ll pay $54 for one day, $143 for 3 days, $212 for 7 days.

P3: Slightly discounted airport parking

Sydney Airport make a bit deal of P3 being the best parking for longer domestic trips. Really, it’s just another car park further away from the domestic terminals. It takes 8 minutes to walk from the car park to the terminals, and it’s anywhere between $3 and $25 cheaper than P2, depending on how long you book.

Online rates are $44 for a day, $138 for 3 days, and $209 for a week. If you’re parking for months at a time it’s a lot cheaper that P2: two months of P3 parking is $900, while P2 is $1,347. But at that point, you might as well get a taxi.

Blue Emu: The cheapest Sydney Airport parking

Blu Emu is the most affordable parking on-site at Sydney Airport, but it’s the furthest from the terminals. There’s a free shuttle bus that whips you to the domestic terminals in 15 minutes. You can park at Blu Emu if you have an international flight, but you’ll need to get the shuttle to the domestic terminal, then get the terminal transfer bus or the train to the international terminal, which should take half and hour or so.

There’s open-air and shaded parking available. The shaded option will cost you extra. For a day parking outdoors you’ll pay $30, three days will cost $92.50, and you’ll pay $121 for a week.

P7: Sydney Airport parking for international travelers

If you need to use the international terminal you have less choice than your domestic peers. P7 rates are fairly close to those of P3, but the long term discounts are slightly better (two months parking costs a low $840!)

P7 is a 5 minute walk from the International Terminal. You can cut that down by paying extra for guaranteed or valet parking, which are 2 and 3 minutes walk from the terminal, respectively. These work the same as they do at P1 and P2.

The cost of parking at P7 is $59 for a day, $142 for 3 days, or $230 for a week.

Cars in a parking lot from above, with lots of free parking spaces - Sydney Airport parking is rarely this empty

Pick-up and drop-off at Sydney Airport

You’ve got a few choices if you’re picking-up or dropping-off, depending on whether you want to head into the terminal or not.

Quick drop-offs

At both the domestic and international terminal there are roads you can park on and to drop people off. This is a very quick-stay area, and Sydney Airport asks that you park no more than one minute. There’s no cost if you follow those rules.

Slightly longer goodbyes

For more important send-offs, Sydney Airport offers 2 and 3 hour Quick Trip rates for P2 and P7. You’ll need to pre-book these online, but you’ll be able to use them at any time on the day you elect.

A 2 hour Quick Trip is $20, and a 3 hour pass is $25.

Express pick-up parking

When you’re picking someone up, the cheapest option is to use the Express pick-up zones – there’s one for both the domestic and international terminals. The person you’re picking up will need to follow the yellow signs to the car park, an 8 minute walk from the domestic terminal, or 5 minutes from the international terminal. The parking lot is free for 15 minutes, but will charge you if you stay longer.

The trick is timing. One hack locals use is to grab a coffee at the fast food restaurants on Ross Smith Avenue (there’s a McDonald’s, KFC, and Krispy Kreme). The parking there is free for a limited time for customers, so you can hang out there until the flight comes in.

Arrange for the traveler to call you once they’re out of the terminal, then drive to the Express pick-up car park.

Priority pick-up parking

Both terminals have a priority pick up zone, which differs to the Express pick up zone in two ways. It’s more expensive and it’s closer to the terminal. Your passenger will only have to walk 2 minutes from the international terminals, or 4 minutes from the domestic terminal.

Rates start at $4.20 for 15 minutes and get more expensive after that. You’ll need an e-TAG to use this parking option, as the charges are automatically applied to it.

Pick-up from Blu Emu

Blue Emu is a potential free parking option when you’re making a pick-up, but it’s not the best option. The first hour of parking here is free, but exceed it and you’ll pay the $34 single day rate.

Theoretically you could park, catch the shuttle to the domestic terminal, meet your passenger at the gate, and get the shuttle back in under an hour. But you’ll add time going through security, waiting for the bus and getting to your car. It’s very unlikely you’d do it under an hour, and it’s out of the question for the international terminal.

If you’re keen to meet someone at the gate, use the Quick Trip offer at P2 or P7 and get 2 hours parking for $20, or 3 hours for $25. It’s a much easier, cheaper option than Blu Emu.

The shuttle bus for Blu Emu Sydney Airport Parking

Off-Site Sydney Airport Parking

There are a number of private parking garages near the airport, most of which have a complimentary shuttle service that make up for the distance. These tend to be cheaper than the on-site options, and a better choice for the budget conscious traveler.

Park & Fly

Park & Fly in Sydney is a good parking choice for either international or domestic travelers. It’s right next to Sydney Airport, and a 10 minute on demand shuttle bus will get you between the car park and all of the terminals. It’s generally cheaper than parking at P3 and P7, especially for short stays, but more expensive than Blu Emu.

The undercover parking is all valet style, while outdoor parking is self-park. That only saves you $2 though, so you might as well book undercover parking. There’s also a frequent parker program that essentially gives you 10% of your spend back in vouchers.

Same day entry and exit is $42, three days is $118, and 7 days is $177.

Park on King

Park on King is another option for Sydney Airport parking on King Street, Mascot. It offers an on demand shuttle bus as well, as well as car wash and car servicing services (at extra cost), and a loyalty program. 

Unlike Park & Fly, the difference between self-parking and valet parking is a bit more expensive, so we’re quoting both options here. Self-parking will take you longer, which could be a problem if you’re the type to run late.

Same day entry and exit is $18 for self-park and $25 for valet, 3 days is $63 for self-park or $100 for valet, and a week’s parking is $117 for self-park or $180 for valet.

Getting around at your destination

If you’re taking a domestic flight, consider GoGet Car Share once you get to your destination. Instead of waiting in line for a rental car, dragging out your already long trip with forms and ID checks, join GoGet and book one of our airport cars. We can get you moving as soon as you land!

We have cars at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide airports. You’ll also find more GoGet cars across each of those cities.

GoGet members can access our cars 24/7 with a smart card. Once you get yours, you can book a car and swipe into it right away, no delays or human interaction required! You can also book cars by the hour by the day, which is much more convenient than traditional airport car rental.

You can learn more abut GoGet here, or join as a member with the button below.

Join GoGet

A man standing by a GoGet Audio parked at Melbourne airport

Avoid Sydney Airport Parking: Alternative Transport

If the cost of Sydney Airport parking is a bit steep for you, remember there are other options, like getting a taxi or taking public transport.

Public Transport

In Sydney, you can take the Airport Link train from the CBD – you can catch it from Central station every ten minutes. You can pay your fare with an Opal card or a single use ticket. The journey costs $18.70 for adults and $15 for children, but children under the age of four can ride for free.

Taxis and rideshare (eg Uber)

Getting a taxi or rideshare is probably the most convenient way to get to Sydney Airport, and there’s no parking required! Fares will vary depending on where you are picked up from and which service you use. Ridesharing services like Uber, Ola, and Taxify are sometimes cheaper, but they have higher fares in peak periods.

A one-way taxi from North Sydney to the airport will cost you around $60, depending on traffic. A taxi from Manly to the airport will cost around $95, and a taxi from Parramatta to the airport will cost around $110. You should book in advance so you have an idea of what you’ll be paying ahead of time.

Taxi fares to Sydney Airport aren’t cheap, but if you’re traveling for a couple of weeks or more then a taxi or Uber to and form the airport might end up even cheaper than parking!

Toy Uber and Lyft cars - Lyft won't help you avoid Sydney airport parking, but Uber can

Get dropped off

If you have a charitable friend, you might be able to swing an airport drop-off and pick-up. If you offer to return the favour it’s not too much too ask.

To make it easier your friend could use a GoGet to drop you off – that way they can drop you to the airport whether they have a car or not. If you’re heading to the airport from work, a colleague could book a GoGet near your office, drop you to your terminal, then return the car on their way back to work.

You can learn more abut GoGet here, or join as a member with the button below.

Join GoGet

Sydney Airport parking: Not too hard, not too cheap

Parking at Sydney Airport can be an expensive affair, but thanks to online booking and third party parking lots nearby, it’s not nearly as stressful as it used to be. Remember to plan ahead and book parking ahead of time. Of course, if you can get someone to give you a lift or take public transport, that could be an even better option!