Airport review: Auckland Airport, New Zealand

Airport review: Auckland Airport, New Zealand


THE FLIGHT


NZ103 to Sydney economy class

THE ARRIVAL


Auckland Airport is set 25 kilometers outside the city center which isn't much in the grand scheme of things though in a compact city such as this it does feel like a bit of a trek. There are several public transport options for making your way out there including a SkyBus from the city center and North Harbour and the 380 Airporter bus run by Auckland Transport. For ease of use I'm opting for an Uber which takes about 20 minutes from inner city Ponsonby.

THE LOOK


Though Auckland is the busiest port in New Zealand it's still relatively modest by world standards with just one international and one domestic terminal. The international facility is appropriately petite though it never feels too cramped with easy access and plenty of seating.

CHECK-IN


I have checked in online for my flight to Sydney and with only carry on luggage to worry about I'm sailing straight off to security and passport control.

SECURITY


There is only a short wait here and the passengers are all processed with typical Kiwi good humor.

FOOD AND DRINK


Auckland Airport isn't huge so you don't expect too much on the food and beverage front but there are some great places to eat here. Try 400 Gradi an outlet of Johnny Di Francesco's famed Melbourne pizzeria. Or check out the sushi at Hayama solid. This being New Zealand the coffee at places such as Retro Espresso is reliably good. Aside from that you have the usual American fast food joints and a few casual eateries that are hit and miss.

RETAIL THERAPY


There is nothing here that's particularly special or inspiring though of course you will be able to find all of the usual Kiwi and all Blacks flavored souvenirs at several shops as well as duty free booze electronics and cosmetics a few local apparel stores, including Icebreaker, and the high end likes of Hugo Boss, Mont Blanc and Coach. There is an online shopping available if you want to make your choices ahead of time.

PASSING TIME


If you have a long layover there is good news: Auckland Airport has 2 hotels close by a Novotel and an Ibis both of which offer free transfers. If you would rather not plump for a hotel the international terminal is open 24 hours a day with public bathroom and shower facilities though no dedicated spots to grab some sleep. Free wi-fi is available through both terminals.

ONE MORE THING


Auckland Airport's facilities aren't limited to the terminals themselves: at Leonard Islett Drive just a short walk or shuttle bus ride away there is the Airport Shopping Center which has among other things banking facilities a post office and a medical center plus the area also boasts a selection of cafes and restaurants a gym and a pharmacy.

THE VERDICT


Auckland Airport is much like the country it services: friendly and the cause of very little hassle. There are few facilities to match the likes of the major Asian hubs but then you wouldn't expect them from an airport this size what Auckland does it does well.

OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE


3.5

Ben Groundwater traveled at his own expense.


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