Auckland Airport

Auckland Airport (IATA: AKL) is New Zealand's largest and busiest airport, with over 70% of international visitors to the nation landing or taking off there. Located in the country's largest city, Auckland, it is also a significant hub for air travel around Oceania.

Understand

The airport is in the southern suburb of Mangere on the shores of the Manukau Harbour. There are separate domestic and international terminals. A free bus runs between the terminals every 20 min and takes a few minutes. The walk is around 800 m and takes about 10 min. It is indicated by signposts and a green line to follow. The path is level, and you are permitted to take luggage trolleys between the terminals. The walk is uncovered and exposed to the weather.

Flights

Worldwide destinations from Auckland
Emirates has three Airbus A380s in Auckland every day.

New Zealand is ideally located for connection from cities in both Oceania and South America. Many of the remote island nations in the Pacific Ocean are primarily connected via Auckland.

There are frequent services from Australia and other New Zealand cities. There are also non-stop flights from locations in Asia, the Pacific Islands, the United States, Vancouver (Canada), Santiago (Chile) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). Air New Zealand flies right through from London (Heathrow Airport) with a stop in Los Angeles.

Emirates fly from Dubai via Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and the airport can accommodate the large Airbus A380s which are used on all three of these daily services. From 2 March 2016 Emirates will have daily non-stop flights from Dubai.

Ground transportation

Transport options from the airport to central Auckland and the suburbs include buses, shuttles and taxis.

Future train?

A train service to Auckland airport has been under discussion for some time, however as of April 2015 there are still no concrete plans to make it happen.

SkyBus (formerly Airbus Express) is an efficient bus service that runs from the domestic and international terminals to the CBD. The service runs 24/7 at 10 min intervals during the day (07:00–19:00) and 30 min during the night. After leaving the motorway, it alternates between two routes to the CBD, one via Mt Eden Rd, the other via Dominion Rd. Both run down Queen St, the main street of the CBD, and terminate at 1 Queen St, across the street from Britomart Transport Centre. When leaving 1 Queen St to go to the airport, it goes along Quay St, and up Hobson St, then down Wellesley St to join Queen St. The trip takes 40–50 min. Fares are $16 one way or $28 return per adult, and $6 one way or $12 return per child. Multi-ride tickets and family passes are available. Tickets can be purchased either online, from ticket kiosks at the airport terminals, on board from the driver, or from selected hostels and i-Sites. You can use an AT HOP card (see Auckland#Get around) for one way fares (but there is no discount). You can buy HOP cards at the i-Site kiosk in the arrivals area of the international terminal. The buses have free Wi-Fi on board.

Other bus services run to the suburbs. The 380 Airporter runs to Manukau City Centre and to Onehunga. A cheap option to get to the CBD is to take the 380 Airporter to Papatoetoe Train Station, from where trains connect to Britomart station in the CBD. Paying cash this method will cost $4.50 + $6.50 = $11 to the CBD ($7.80 using a HOP card). Total time approx 24 min + 36 min + a short wait for the train. Ask for the bus stop at the infocentre. It is very close to the exit from International, the same stop that the Airbus uses.

Shuttles for one person (as of April 2015) cost approximately:

Taxi fares to Britomart (at May 2014) range from $35 (CheapCabs) to $86.55 (the top price for Corporate Cabs booked through Air New Zealand's taxi.co.nz).

Hire cars are very popular given the expense of using taxis in New Zealand. There are plenty of companies to choose from.

There are short-term and long-term carparks within walking distance of the terminals. There is also a park and ride facility with complementary shuttles that take a few minutes to the terminals – this facility can fill up so it is advisable to book ahead. The booking service will give quotes for all the airport-owned parking options. Aeroparks is a privately owned park and ride facility – it is advisable to book this too.

Get around

The International terminal after security is not too large, although the walk to the Emirates gates for the large A380s takes about 8 minutes.

Wait

International departure area

The International terminal doesn't offer any great surprises to the experienced traveller, but the shops will keep you occupied for about half an hour. There are plenty of cafes at which to spend time and the views are pretty good.

Eat and drink

There is a typical food court in the departures area before security, more café-style food after security, and a McDonalds and a coffee shop in the arrivals area.

The international terminal after security has a few eating places including New Zealand pies, Burger King and sushi. There are quite a few coffee shops for a last hit of New Zealand espresso.

Buy

The international terminal has ATMs on both sides of security. There is the usual collection of expensive shops and souvenirs on both sides of immigration. When arriving from overseas, you have to walk through a duty-free shopping area to reach baggage claim. The souvenir shops contain a good number of New Zealand items, including manuka honey, stuffed kiwi bird toys and rugby shirts.

The domestic terminal has several ATMs at various spots. A Westpac one is near the Jetstar desks.

Connect

There is free Wi-Fi for 30 minutes a day. Paid options are available if you want more.

Cope

When departing, you might want to avoid going to your gate until you are called: the gate lounges are dismal, and the waiting area upstairs is much more pleasant, with a nice view of the Waitakere Range and Manukau Harbour.

Lockers are available in the terminal for $15 per day.

There are good children's bathrooms, with locked doors, curtained areas for baby feeding and even some small play areas.

Public showers are available.

Nearby

If you have time to kill, there is miniature golf about 1 km (15 min walk) from the terminal. It is complete with a hole on a pirate ship, which beats hanging around in the terminal for hours.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.