Airport & Botany Bay is an arbitrary district name, for the areas surrounding Botany Bay and also those directly south of Sydney, which includes Sydney Airport, Redfern, Alexandria, Brighton le Sands, Mascot and Rockdale among others.
The area between the airport and the city has historically tended to be light industrial. However, urban consolidation has led to new apartment living and associated facilities scattered throughout the warehouses. Outlet centres have opened in this area too, with the Alexandria area around Green Square hosting weekend shopping buses, whose occupants browse through the clothing, homewares, and other miscellany for sale.
Towards the coast, Botany Bay and Brighton is the centre of Sydney's Greek community. It is a great place to cool off and have a coffee by the water without waves. There's Greek yum cha and ice-cream on offer until late at night.
Rockdale and Mascot offer traditional suburban shopping strips with local specialty shops and restaurants that have been replaced by the air-conditioned shopping malls in most places in Sydney.
By public transport
The factory outlet area is best accessed by train to Green Square on the Airport and East Hills Line. Mascot shops is probably best access by the daytime high-frequency Metrobus M20 (prepay only) connects Mascot to the city. The Brighton-Le-Sands and Botany Bay foreshore is best accessed by the 303 bus from the city.
The Eastern Distributor is the link out of the city to the south and to the airport. Parking along the beach areas can be problematic on sunny weekends and holidays. Parking in the industrial outlet areas can be difficult during business hours, but usually some timed parking can be obtained.
Captain Cook first landed in Botany Bay in 1770, and raved about the place. However, when the first fleet of convicts arrived 18 years later to start the colony, they didn't care it. Too sandy, and no fresh water, and they moved on to Sydney Harbour. Since then sections of Botany Bay have been reclaimed for container terminals and Sydney Airport, and industry and oil refineries built on its foreshores northern and southern foreshores. However, the bay is still popular for swimming and windsurfing, and a 10km walking cycleway runs along its foreshore from Kyeemagh to Dolls Point. There is a memorial to the first fleet. Cafes, restaurants, clubs, ice cream are available also. Parking is usually available, except on the busiest of summer weekends. Public transport access is by train to Rockdale, and then 478/479 bus to Brighton le Sands. Both services run frequently.
- Planespotting from the carpark behind the old control tower on the shore of Botany Bay adjacent to the main north-south runway. The carpark is closed after dark. There is a small beach and access to the security fence only metres from the main runway. At dawn you may see some of Sydney's racehorses being led into the water here for a swim. Car & pedestrian access is from General Holmes Drive, and there is an infrequent bus service.
- Windsurfing. Botany Bay is one of Sydney's premium spots for windsurfing when the wind comes up in the afternoons.
Alexandria is the city's outlet centre, adjacent to Green Square station in Alexandria.
- Sydney Luggage Centre, 1147 Botany Rd, Mascot, ☎ +61 2 9669 6381. Mon-Fri 8:30AM to 5PM (Sat to 3:30PM, closed Sun). Made it all the way down under and that wheel has fallen off your suitcase? Come here to get the spare, or buy a sturdier replacement. This long-established luggage retailer is one of the largest in Sydney (CBD store also). Service over the phone can be limited.
- Hong Ha, 1151 Botany Rd, Mascot, ☎ +61 9667 2069. This tiny Vietnamese bakery is an institution. Visit the original store, which gets queues down the street at lunchtime, and order their famous chicken roll (with optional fresh chilli).
- South Sydney Graphic Arts Club, 182 Coward St, Mascot (Between Botany Rd and O'Riordan Streets), ☎ +61 2 9667 4321. Opens 10AM (Mon-Fri), 12PM (Sat-Sun), closes 10PM (midnight on Wed-Sat).. This is a members' club, but not if you live more than 5KM away, so take advantage of this little secret for cheap drinks & eats. Tuesday nights have even cheaper meals.
- Hotel Formule 1 Sydney Airport, 5 Ross Smith Ave, Mascot, ☎ +61 2 83391840. Check-in: 12PM. Closest hotel to the domestic terminals T2 and T3, this is a basic budget hotel with convenient access to 24 hr Krispy Kreme and McDonald's next door.
- Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport Hotel, Cnr O'Riordan & Robey Streets, Mascot, ☎ +61 2 9317 2200. A short walk north from the domestic terminals T2 & T3. This is a well-appointed 4* hotel. Tip: Ask for an upper-level airport view room, it's one of the best outside the control tower!
- Holiday Inn Sydney Airport, Cnr O'Riordan St & Bourke Rd, Mascot, toll-free: 1800 899 960. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. A longer walk (10-15 min) from the domestic terminals, this hotel has the advantage of being very close to Mascot station, providing quick and cheap access to Sydney CBD.
- Mercure Sydney Airport, 20 Levey Street, Wolli Creek (walk west from the terminal over the bridge along Marsh Street), ☎ +61 2 9518 2000. The only hotel within walking distance from the international terminal (T1). Formerly known as the Hilton. A taxi to the international terminal costs about $7-8, there is also a shuttle bus which costs $6.
- Rydges Sydney Airport, International Terminal. Due to open by late-2013, this 4* hotel will be conveniently located adjacent to T1.
- Novotel Brighton Beach (opposite the beach at Brighton le Sands), ☎ +61 2 9556 5111. By far the largest hotel in the district, linked to Brighton Beach by a footbridge. Situated in the heart of the restaurant area along Bay Street.