cgnnrw
Topic Author
Posts: 1073
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:11 am

Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:15 pm

I'm going to be making my second trip to Sydney in two weeks and I'm looking for some suggestions / tips regarding spotting at Sydney airport. My first trip didn't allow me any free time for spotting as I was attending a four day conference and the program was jammed packed from morning to noon.

For this trip I was able to arrange a few days holiday before heading back to the office. I booked my first two night at the Rydges Hotel at the airport. I stayed there last time on the night before my return flight and really enjoyed it. I was able to get a very good rate and requested a room on an upper floor overlooking the terminal. Also, they have a rooftop bar opened when weather permits. :praise:

My questions:
- any good locations around the airport perimeter accessible via public transportation/foot/bicycle? I won't have access to a car.
- I read about Shep's mound on the airports website, is a visit worth it. How accessible is it?
- best times to spot

I'm not chasing registrations or specific aircraft and I don't have a high tec digital camera, I'll probably use my iphone's camera. I simply want to spend a few hours indulging myself by observing the comings and goings, getting wiffs of aircraft fuel, etc. :bouncy:

Thanks in advance for any and all tips. :bigthumbsup:
A330 man.
 
smallmj
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:39 pm

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:36 pm

YQY isn't a very interesting airport for plane spotting. Not much more than dozen flights per day, mostly Dash8/Q400 aircraft.

Oh, you meant THAT Sydney.... :D
 
Kent350787
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:52 am

This is a good guide https://www.spotterguide.net/planespott ... -syd-yssy/, and yssyforum.net is a good place to ask any further questions. There are a range of good spotting locations, but none are as simple as jumping off a bus or train. The Beach is the most iconic location for afternoon spotting (I was there a little earlier today), and Shep's Mound (RIP Bruce) is good for mornings. I don't know why the Nigel Love Bridge isn't used more, as it is around 300m diagonally from the 16R threshold.

As for besttimes, it depends on what you're after. There are many heavies arriving between 6 and 8am, and clusters of departures between 8 and 9am and then 10-12ish. Then late afternoon into evening
 
bunumuring
Posts: 2531
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:56 pm

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:58 am

Hey mate,
Like many a.netters, I could write a book about spotting at Sydney from nearly four decades of doing it!
I second the suggestions above from Kent350787 and add that the Rydges rooftop bar IS excellent for spotting as well! The last time I stayed at the Rydges on one of their aviation enthusiasts' packages (cute binoculars!) I had an awesome room where I could set up my camera and iPad (for flightradar24) and get the super-early morning arrivals before the sun started causing issues. Walking around the international terminal is easy from Rydges, and the domestic terminals are a simple underground train ride away.
When in the main Qantas domestic terminal, remember to go down to the little QantasLink extension for a different perspective on the action.
I am also loving the shots I have started recently getting from the IKEA Tempe car park, but they really are so dependent on fluking the right combination of light and runway usage. You must have access to a car however to get to IKEA from the airport.
Enjoy the Sydney action!
I'm doing another Rydges aviation enthusiast package next week, courtesy of Santa!
Cheers,
Bunumruing
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
VapourTrails
Posts: 3626
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:19 am

Ah yes, I was going to start a similar topic - so thank you. Specifically with Shep’s Mound, my plan was to get an Uber from Rydges and return? I also notice there is a McDonalds nearby? - which also means additional shelter from weather, and snacks and rest rooms etc. - all to help prolong the stay and make it really worthwhile. Another thing that I really like about this location is that you are right in the centre of the action here. :thumbsup:

Back to the Uber transport, how long is the ride to IKEA Tempe - also another option with facilities, or then the Beach from Rydges via car transport? None of these are within or practicable for walking to or from? Yay another question is answered here, so they do still have the plane-spotting packages then.. :thumbsup: I’ve stayed at Rydges and they also have a free shuttle bus between the Domestic and International Terminals so yes can too recommend this choice of accommodation for new people to Sydney Airport.

There is also a good spotting location inside the Domestic Terminal at the Qantas Heritage Museum, only open on weekdays though. When I was there I had the whole place to myself for most of the time. It’s so quiet too, compared to the bustle of the terminal and relative to its close location. https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attracti ... Wales.html

I seriously need to get back there before this year is out, even considered doing an in-transit flight via SYD so I can be a lazy trip planner time-saver and just do the hang around the terminal thing for a few hours. :thumbsup:

I too will look at the YSSY forum link - thank you.
A.net member: 2001-2004, 2014-
 
cgnnrw
Topic Author
Posts: 1073
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:11 am

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:05 pm

Hello all, thanks for the infos. If Im not mistake the spotting deck at the rydges is now a cocktail bar so that could make for some interesting spotting. :lol:

I checked out the website and it looks like i'll be able to get some good spotting done while I'm here. As I wrote before I'm not after registrations and such, just want to relax for a few hours and get a bit of sun. Yes, I know I'll need SF 50+!

I assume the Qantas museum is pre-security?

In case anyone is interested in meeting to go spotting feel free to drop me a private msg. I'l be at the Rydges from the 22nd-25th January. :thumbsup:
A330 man.
 
VapourTrails
Posts: 3626
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:54 pm

cgnnrw wrote:
Hello all, thanks for the infos. If Im not mistake the spotting deck at the rydges is now a cocktail bar so that could make for some interesting spotting. :lol:

I checked out the website and it looks like i'll be able to get some good spotting done while I'm here. As I wrote before I'm not after registrations and such, just want to relax for a few hours and get a bit of sun. Yes, I know I'll need SF 50+!

I assume the Qantas museum is pre-security?

In case anyone is interested in meeting to go spotting feel free to drop me a private msg. I'l be at the Rydges from the 22nd-25th January. :thumbsup:


No, the Qantas Museum is post-security, it’s above the area of Gate 13. Yes, definitely need SPF50+ and a secure hat (for the wind) and sunglasses. Enjoy!
Last edited by VapourTrails on Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A.net member: 2001-2004, 2014-
 
Kent350787
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:54 pm

The Qantas Heritage Museum is post-security, but in Australia you don't need a ticket to pass security for Domestic terminals. I've been caught a couple of times with it being closed during displayed opening hours, so don't make it the centre of your trip.

Uber should be fine for your transport, but traffic conditions can cause problems on occasion. Being a local I've never thought to head to McD from Shep's Mound, but it is only a 5-10 minute walk. There is a roofed area with wind break at the Mound.

Uber should also be fine for IKEA - I'm sure many people use it to get to and fro. Although it is only around 500m from the threshold, it is several km by road from the terminals.
 
Kent350787
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:01 pm

cgnnrw wrote:
Hello all, thanks for the infos. If Im not mistake the spotting deck at the rydges is now a cocktail bar so that could make for some interesting spotting. :lol:

I checked out the website and it looks like i'll be able to get some good spotting done while I'm here. As I wrote before I'm not after registrations and such, just want to relax for a few hours and get a bit of sun. Yes, I know I'll need SF 50+!

I assume the Qantas museum is pre-security?

In case anyone is interested in meeting to go spotting feel free to drop me a private msg. I'l be at the Rydges from the 22nd-25th January. :thumbsup:


And belive me, you won't want to "get a bit of sun". The sun is crazy intense this time of year. Hat, sleeves, sunscreen and plenty of water. And check out the YSSY forum - the guys are really helpful, although it's not as active as it once was.
 
VapourTrails
Posts: 3626
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:02 pm

Kent350787 wrote:
Uber should be fine for your transport, but traffic conditions can cause problems on occasion. Being a local I've never thought to head to McD from Shep's Mound, but it is only a 5-10 minute walk. There is a roofed area with wind break at the Mound. Uber should also be fine for IKEA - I'm sure many people use it to get to and fro. Although it is only around 500m from the threshold, it is several km by road from the terminals.


Thank you. :thumbsup: It’s a good way to familiar with the area too without the hassle of driving in new unfamiliar places, just speaking for myself here. I’m only three and a half hours away so I plan to get the bus there and then fly back.
A.net member: 2001-2004, 2014-
 
cgnnrw
Topic Author
Posts: 1073
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:11 am

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:22 pm

"And belive me, you won't want to "get a bit of sun". The sun is crazy intense this time of year. Hat, sleeves, sunscreen and plenty of water."

Thanks for the tips, yes I've been warned about the effects of being exposed to too much sun. I've coming from cold, rainy Germany where the sun hardly shines so the the idea of sunny Australia is very prevalent at the moment. But seriously, I will take the proper precautions.

Glad to know I can go through security at the domestic terminal to visit the Qantas museum.
A330 man.
 
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csturdiv
Posts: 1963
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:33 am

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:30 pm

bunumuring wrote:
Hey mate,
Like many a.netters, I could write a book about spotting at Sydney from nearly four decades of doing it!
I second the suggestions above from Kent350787 and add that the Rydges rooftop bar IS excellent for spotting as well! The last time I stayed at the Rydges on one of their aviation enthusiasts' packages (cute binoculars!) I had an awesome room where I could set up my camera and iPad (for flightradar24) and get the super-early morning arrivals before the sun started causing issues. Walking around the international terminal is easy from Rydges, and the domestic terminals are a simple underground train ride away.
When in the main Qantas domestic terminal, remember to go down to the little QantasLink extension for a different perspective on the action.
I am also loving the shots I have started recently getting from the IKEA Tempe car park, but they really are so dependent on fluking the right combination of light and runway usage. You must have access to a car however to get to IKEA from the airport.
Enjoy the Sydney action!
I'm doing another Rydges aviation enthusiast package next week, courtesy of Santa!
Cheers,
Bunumruing


I have not been atop the Rydges since they changed the conference rooms over to the bar. How is it up there on the patio, are there plastic/plexiglass walls or is it still open air? I live a few train stops away (towards the city, not the other way) so getting out there is not a problem, but I have not done it in ages (since I do not drive and cannot access the beach or Sheps Mound). Was kind of thinking about getting out there this upcoming Australia Day weekend.
An American expat from the ORD area living and working in SYD
 
bunumuring
Posts: 2531
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:56 pm

Re: Sydney spotting suggestions/tips

Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:50 am

Hey guys,
Just stayed again at Rydges. Awesome as always.
The cocktail bar tends to get crowded, especially the open air bit.
I was jostled by a few kids but no real drama. The drinks are great and some food is available too, but remember, successful spotting there really is dependent upon the time of day and light conditions.
As for Shep's Mound, it is near McDonalds and e BP petrol station, a good 15 min walk I reckon. The main problem I've found at Shep's Mound over the years is the lack of a toilet and the crowds that sometimes build up there.
Another benefit of the Shep's Mound location is the newish apron built just the other side of the building next to it. This apron is often used to park interesting stuff like the Guns N Roses 767 in 2017. It is easy to see planes on this apron but difficult to photograph them while parked there.
As I've previously mentioned, IKEA at Tempe is a great place for photography : I called in there on the way home for a bit. There was one other planespotter photographing there too.
There's a great spot near St Peters railway station as well during the morning hours only, and when flights are coming in from the north. It has free parking and access to toilets and cafes...
CGNNRW! I will be in Melbourne on the days you listed otherwise I'd be happy to meet you and drive you around. I had been thinking of a trip out to Richmond as well to try to catch the Coulson 737 tanker.
Csturdiv, likewise if you would like a lift...
Cheers
Bunumuring
I just wanna live while I'm alive!

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