I'm travelling soon to Auckland going to Manila and has a layover way back in Sydney for 12 hrs. Can I leave the airport? Or do I need a transit visa or whatsoever? I'm a first time traveller with NZ passport holder.

  • Just making sure that you're the NZ passport holder? The sentence isn't entirely clear, and I just want to make sure I don't give you the wrong advice :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 10, 2012 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


I'm a Kiwi too, and I assure you, you're totally fine to leave the airport.

Evidence? Just 6 weeks ago I was flying through Sydney enroute back to NZ, and had 10 or so hours to kill. I caught the train into town, met up with a couple of friends for lunch and wandered around a bit, and then headed back to the airport.

I didn't even need to collect my luggage - it was checked right through, so when I checked in for the next flight, I just confirmed that with them. No problems whatsoever.

If you have the new NZ black passports, you can even use the Smart Gates - where you just walk through with a photo taken of you and a scan of your passport, don't even need to queue for the customs. It's all set up to be very straightforward for Kiwis and Aussies to visit and / or work in each others' countries.

Enjoy Sydney. It's a bit expensive to get into downtown, but check out the Wikitravel page about how to get around that if you want to, otherwise take the train - it's pricey, but it's so easy to get in and out of the city.

  • 2
    This answer is completely correct, but it's worth pointing out that it's only correct for a New Zealander! Kiwis are given special status in Australia (and vice versa!) and you do not generally even need a visa to work in Australia, let alone visit for a few hours. For citizens of other countries the answer will be different.
    – Doc
    Dec 10, 2012 at 14:51
  • @Doc, yes, good point. He did say he was on a NZ passport, so I answered for that, but yes, citizens of other countries will have different experiences, and may require a visa.
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 10, 2012 at 18:00

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