Plane Spotting Sydney

Plane Spotting Sydney

There are two major hotel whch offer great plane spotting at Sydney Airport. The Stamford Plaza has for a long time been a great favourite due it’s great views from the Domestic terminal side. This hotel has now been challenged from the new Rydges Hotel which offer great Sydney Airport Photography opportunities from it’s runway facing rooms.

The Stamford Plaza Hotel
This hotel is situated in a superb location being just a 5 minute walk from the domestic terminal and the general aviation area. With a rooftop swimming pool that overlooks the runways this hotel comes highly recommended. For those who require liquid refreshment whilst watching the action, try the AV8 bar as this is reportedly the cheapest bar in the hotel.  There are also lots of eating establishments in the domestic terminal just a short walk away.
Location: *** The close proximity to the terminal buildings mean that there is no need to waste time waiting for a courtesy bus.
Spotting: *** Rooms 910-930 give distant, but workable views of the airport. If you ask for a high level room overlooking the airport (floor 7 or above) you should miss little. Flight tracking software will ensure that you tie up the distant movements.
Photos: ** Distant, or low quality side on shots can be had from certain rooms.
Value: * Quite expensive but the excellent views are real compensation.
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     Plane Spotting Sydney
 Stamford Plaza room view onto maintenance  Some rooms have great runway views  With approach shots possible

 Credit for photos 


Above :This video shows the excellent views available from an airport facing room at The Stamford Plaza.


Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel
Location: ***

Is located more or less on the International terminal complex and is only a 1 minute walk away from the many shops and restaurants

found in the terminal complex.

Spotting: ***

Excellent views from airport facing rooms allowing the majority of movements to be seen and read off with a standard set of binoculars.

The hotel advises that all deluxe rooms have views overlooking the airport, with the best views on floors 7 and above. Do not however book a superior Queen room as these all face away in the wrong direction with no views.

The following report credit Royston Wood:

Recently I stayed in Room 728 and every single movement could be seen. Some using Runway 16L/34R won’t be identifiable during landing/take-off, but they should be readable using binos during taxy to/from terminal. Otherwise SBS or FR24 will help air identification.

Whilst the GA ramp is not visible from this hotel, you can either catch the Airport T-Bus Shuttle service or the Airport Link Train from the international terminal across to the domestic terminals (both cost $6 each way), and then it is about a 15 minute walk to the GA area from there.

Up until now I have always stayed at the Stamford Plaza for the views, but now that I have tried the Rydges, I reckon the views are much better from here of the overall action as you get a more spotter friendly ‘side on view’ to everything. 

Photos: *** Great photographs should be possible with up to a 300 zoom.
Value: * You pay a premium for terminal hotels and The Rydges is no exception with rooms starting at around £105
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 Photos of Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel, Mascot  Photos of Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel, Mascot  Photos of Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel, Mascot
 Great views of Runway 16R from The Rydges  Click on photos to expand  Credit for photos 



 Above. Great views at The Rydges


The Hotel Formule 1
This hotel is situated around 50 yards from the GA ramp and hangers and is an ideal base for plane spotting at Sydney Airport.
Location: *** 50 yards from the GA apron and around a 10 minute walk from the domestic terminal.
Spotting: ** No reports of views of the runways from here, however room 602 has reported views over the GA area
Photos: * No confirmed reports of photo opportunities from the hotel.
Value: *** Great value at around £50 a room per night
Comment!   If you want to add or update anything, please use the comment form at the bottom of the page!





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Posted in Australasia, Australia, World
  • PSHcom

    Great new hotel with fantasTic views. The Rydges, Sydney Airport. See photos and videos from this great location

  • Gordon Bermejo

    There is a viewing deck on the 9th floor, there is a entrance fee of $10 and you have to sign a liability disclaimer. You need a swipe card to use the lift to get to the viewing deck but if you do go there, excellent views if landing from that end of Sydney and also taking off shots once the aircraft clear the terminal buildings.
    Of note, the viewing deck at Sydney International Airport is now closed for *security* reasons so next viewing area is if you catch the underground to Domestic and photograph through the glass from the various gates.

  • Gordon Bermejo

    The Formule 1 Hotel is now called the Ibis Budget. Walking distance to Sydney Domestic or you can walk via the cycle way around towards International, the cycle way is only on one side of the motorway, this will place you in position for side on shots for anything coming in over the city and the container terminal at that end of the runway. Or walking away from the Ibis Budget, you can follow the airport fence and get shots of some of the smaller aircraft parked up.

  • moetz

    The Rydges Hotel was alright, however the room is a bit small. Nice view to the airport.

  • andy kelly

    staying at the RYDGES at the moment in room 529, its a deluxe airport view room, fantastic views of the airport and runways, not a lot will be missed with binoculars but SBS or FR24 will help tie everything up. rooms are nice and clean and quite big and tea and coffee etc. if you get a bit bored of viewing from your room, go up to the top floor and the cloud 9 bar where you have even better views of the airport and great photos could be taken here, internet is free, restaurant is a bit pricey but all your usual fast food outlets are in the terminal across the rd 2 minutes walk away. first time ive stayed here and would stay here again.

  • Russ Brown

    Stamford was OK for 16L with planes coming in almost directly above hotel. View into Qantas maintenance area.
    Rydges was much better, views side on to 16R with bigger planes & more activity, a number of gates directly in front of hotel. Also better placed for a quick walk into terminal building.
    FR24 great for tracking incoming planes, but seems to have a bit of a problem tracking things on the ground at that end of the runway.
    Finally, Ridges and Stamford… CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS!!