There’s a lot that goes into planning a trip. First, you’ve got to save all of that money that you’ll be spending on food, trinkets, and local shopping. Second, you have to have all the logistics squared away within that budget. And even when that’s all done, you need to figure out what you or your family is going to do while out and about. For a supposedly relaxing event, it can get pretty stressful.
One detail that is repeatedly overlooked is how you’re going to get to the airport and, most importantly, where you’re going to store your car while on holiday. It’s such a hassle to have to call a cab and rely on a third party to handle your local logistics. If you have a family, the prices can be astronomical for a vehicle large enough to haul all your kids, parents, in-laws, luggage, and sporting equipment. Also, you know your route. When dealing with your own planned out schedule, nobody knows how to get to your destination better than you.
So, why put that responsibility elsewhere? More and more, people are choosing the option to park their vehicle close by the airport. It’s a much more convenient way to control the pre and post events of your holiday. Plus, after you’ve gotten off of the plane, kind of homesick and a little drained, there’s no better comfort than getting into your own car, with your own music, headed towards your home. Here is a list of car park options for every major airport in Australia, starting with the big ones.
- Sydney Airport, also known as Kingsford Smith Airport, is a huge award winning international airport and is the largest in the entire continent. It services nearly 350,000 flights a year with tons of Sydney Airport Arrivals, and shuttles 43 million passengers within them. It’s located about 8 kilometers south of the Sydney city centre in the suburb of Mascot.
- Getting to Sydney Airport, like in most major cities, is not necessarily the most enjoyable time. Traffic time is bound to keep you out of range for at least an hour upon entering the central business district. Even with the new improvements made in the entry points, one still has to allocate ample time to get in and out.
- Around the complex, there are plenty of hotels and services directly catering to travelers. There are a few options with regard to Sydney Airport parking, but in terms of overall service and quality, your best bet is a private company like Park & Fly. Per their website, turn onto Wentworth Avenue from either Joyce Drive or the M5 Southbound, make a left onto Botany Road, and hook a left into the Parkade. You can’t miss it. Once you’re in there, you can use any of their in-house services. There’s valet service, so you don’t have to haul your luggage up and down multiple levels. There’s free on demand shuttles to any of the terminals within Kingsford Smith. You can even have it detailed so that it’s shiny and new the second you get back. For peace of mind, they have on-site guards patrolling around the clock, and CCTV cameras for added measure.
- Melbourne airport is the second busiest. It’s located a few kilometers northwest of the city centre at Tullamarine. It serves as a portal to the southernmost part of New South Wales, and is your go-to stop if you’re heading out to Tasmania. When it comes to parking around Tullamarine, you have a few options. But most importantly, unlike the one-stop-shop option you have in Sydney, considerations regarding the length of your holiday have to be made.
- Parking is divided into short-term and long-term options. If you’re looking for short-term parking, you can usually find some pretty decent options on the airport premises. They’re walking distance from the terminals and are primarily meant to be used within the day. For that reason, they charge by the hour, making them a pretty horrible option in terms of a vacation. Long-term parking, on the other hand, will charge by the day. The longer you’re out of the city, the cheaper the rates get in the long run. Be sure that you book your stay way in advance.
- There are 16 major options to choose from around the Tullamarine area, most of them offering shuttle service. The biggest price difference is whether or not you choose covered or uncovered parking. If you’re going to choose uncovered, know that the major complaint regarding parking in this area is the amount of bird and the bird droppings that will turn your car–no matter what color it is, into a blotchy white mess. On top of that, Victoria has the highest rate of car theft incidents. As of 2018, 53,564 vehicles were stolen. That’s one every 10 minutes. So be sure to find the most secure option possible.
- The average price for parking around the airport is about 45 AUD per day. You can find some deals online for three days for around 30 AUD and seven days for only a little over what the base daily rate cost. Take into consideration the dates in which you’re flying out. If you’re planning on parking around Christmas time, prepare to spend above the average price for the rest of the year.
- Adelaide, out of all the major airports in Australia, probably has the fewest options in terms of private businesses offering parking. It has been a major complaint of people around the area travelling in and out. If you’re flying out of Adelaide, here’s what you can do.
- The airport itself has some long-term parking solutions that are relatively close to the terminals. It’s about a 10 minute walk away, depending on how many bags you have. If you’re carrying multiple pieces of luggage, there is a bus that runs every 20 minutes starting at 4:30AM up until 11:20PM.
- Prices for Adelaide Airport’s in-house parking options run from 31 AUD per day up to 105 AUD for a week and an additional 10 AUD every day thereafter. Because of the close proximity, the likelihood of the parking slots being full is pretty high.
- It’s a good idea to reserve further ahead than you normally would for other neighboring airports. They do have a convenient entry option if somehow didn’t pay in advance online. You can tap your credit card at the entry gate or get a ticket and pay on your way out at the exit station.
- More economical options are available in Adelaide through a few companies. Airport Security Parking has a covered parking area and provides on demand shuttle service directly to the terminal. Off season rates start at 22.50 AUD per day and go up to 135 AUD for 20 days.
- A wonderful feature of the city is it’s bike routes. If you’re traveling alone and just a backpack, you can easily ride your bike to the airport. The terrain is pretty flat and there’s a complete network of cycling paths in and around the airport. Once you get there, they have everything you need to safely leave it while away. There’s service stations, free parking racks, and a secure storage facility right at the airport. Right by the racks, you can use any of the lockers provided for keeping tools, disassembled pieces, and anything else you feel like you wouldn’t need on your trip.
- Now, for those without a bicycle and on an extreme budget, it is possible to park on the street. Adelaide is a relatively small and very safe city. Most of the suburbs in and around the area are residential and most of them don’t have strict rules when it comes to parking. There is still the possibility that you’ll be fined, though. The longer you’re gone, the more risk you run by somebody calling it in or an officer noticing it’s been there a few days longer than usual. And even if Adelaide is a safe place, there’s still the risk of someone with ill intentions noticing it’s been sitting unattended for successive days. That’s easy pickings. So if you’re willing to roll the dice to save money, go ahead. It’s about a 30 minute walk from Brooklyn Park, your closest suburb just west of the airport.
- Perth Airport has a distinct feature that the others don’t: the domestic and international terminals are separated by a significant distance. About 10 kilometers apart, actually. So if you’re new to the area, remember that terminals 1 and 2 are your base for international flights. 3 and 4 are used primarily for domestic flights.
- No matter which terminal you are flying out of, airport parking rates are roughly the same, depending on the option you choose. Long-term parking for terminals 1 and 2 is 28 AUD per day, 130 AUD per week, and 215 AUD for 15 days. There’s an additional charge of 11 AUD for each succeeding day.
- If you’re flying out of terminals 3 and 4, you have the option of choosing their Fast Track parking, a premier service option that has an entry point a minute away from the check-in counter. This option is a bit pricier at 66 AUD for the first day and 333 AUD for a week. Within the same terminal areas, regional terminal parking is about the same as terminals 1 and 2.
- There are a few private car park companies scattered around, each one having their own perks. The Car Port and Spa are sold as an option for people who don’t mind spending the extra cash on some niche services. They are one of the few companies that offer caravan storing solutions. They also offer an “eco-friendly” wash and wax for your car while you’re on holiday. Sky Park has similar services than the other options, except they offer a free wash and vacuum on your next visit.
General Considerations And Alternate Options
- Regardless of which airport you’re flying out of and which option you choose in terms of parking, it’s still a good idea to ask questions. Their website may have all the information, but talking to someone in person or on the phone is still your best bet at getting all the details squared away. If you’re dealing with an independent operator, ask questions regarding their level of security. Ask if they have any security barriers at the exits. Ask if their CCTVs are up and running and if they provide any security for their uncovered area. If there isn’t and you’re okay with that, it’s still a good idea to ask if there’s a regular patrol of the parking area. These questions may seem trivial, but having the peace of mind before leaving your car is well worth the conversation.
- If you’re staying in a hotel, check to see if they have any long-term parking service available. If you’re around an airport, the chances are pretty high. The upside is that there’s a sure set standard in terms of surveillance and security. They have a reputation to uphold and a stolen vehicle doesn’t look good on their record. They also may have walkways leading directly to the terminals if you’re close enough. The downside is the cost. Most hotels charge up to 15-20% more than independent operators do specifically because they have a much higher level of security. They also don’t usually offer online deals the same way other businesses do. If you decide to go with the hotel option and they’re not directly linked to the terminals, be sure to ask about their shuttle schedule. Unlike private businesses, they probably don’t offer on-demand service in this regard.
- If you’re going to be gone for a significant amount of time, lets say a few months, a long-term garage rental would be better suited for you. This offers a maximum level of security and you can be absolutely sure that it won’t be moved or left out, exposed to the elements. Often times, if these garages are full, they can refer you to individuals who rent out their garages or storage units for this specific purpose.
It’s good knowing that you have plenty of options to choose from all around Australia. Most are easy, relatively affordable, and established to give you the most convenient option while away. Always remember to book ahead to get the best possible price. All the figures stated above are based on same-day purchases. They can easily go lower. So relax, plan ahead, and rest easy on your holiday.