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Sydney airport is a complex containing both the international airport and the domestic airport, but unlike many other busy airports neither part is open 24 hours.

I usually work in a backpacker hostel in Sydney so I've dug up this information for guests who wanted to sleep at the airport to catch 6am flights numerous times, but right now I'm having a lot of trouble finding the details.

During which hours are Sydney Domestic and Sydney International closed overnight?

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My first hand experience of "sleeping" at the Sydney international terminal is that they purposefully make the in-terminal seating as unsuitable as reasonably possible for sleeping , they do ticket and passport checks at closing time and let bona-fide travellers linger miserably for some more hours and then at maybe 2am-3am ? kick you out into a cold windy shelter - again designed to be inhospitable. || I arrived after having had 1st my baggage and then me lost on a nightmare ??? hour trip from China (30+ hours?)(maybe not) with no clothes apart from long trousers and a long sleeved shirt... – Russell McMahon Jan 13 at 11:40
... STUPID and never again. I ended up putting a newspaper layer inside my shirt and still froze. Not enough paper to make a decent blanket when others wanted it too. A single newspaper layer over you when just above zero roof is radiating coolth works wonders :-). Better solution is catch a train (from AT airport to town etc and find a hostel for the night). I was travelling next day to Gold Coast and stayed with others mainly for "solidarity" but regretted the gesture :-). – Russell McMahon Jan 13 at 11:44
FWIW: I now when out of NZ ALWAYS carry a lightweight synthetic jacket which is ~ 0 weight and ~ 0 volume and astoundingly good at saving ones life. ALWAYS :-). – Russell McMahon Jan 13 at 11:45
up vote 11 down vote accepted

As Murphy's Law dictates, the very next Google search I did for this info after giving up and submitting it as a question here, was successful!

From the Sydney Airport website:

Sydney Airport opening times are:

T1 International terminal is opened everyday from 3AM to 11:00PM (0300 to 2300)
• Customs are opened for departures passenger processing at 4AM daily (0400)

T2 Domestic terminal is opened everyday from 4AM to 11:00PM (0400 to 2300)

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So I wonder what happens if you're trying to sleep there - will they just turf you outside? – Mark Mayo Oct 9 '13 at 7:19
@MarkMayo: I encourage you to branch off a new question! – hippietrail Oct 9 '13 at 7:20
@MarkMayo Not from firsthand experience, but I have no doubt they would boot you out. – dlanod Dec 8 '13 at 10:57

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