When you arrive at Auckland’s airport for the very first time, you’ll be among the 72% of international visitors to New Zealand via Auckland who are new to visiting the country. A quarter of the travelers who visit Auckland’s airport are there for business, which makes Auckland’s airport a very busy place.
And we’re willing to bet that you don’t want to be one of the many people who get lost on your very first day. Here’s what you should know about making it through Auckland International Airport and on to your destination as easily as possible:
The airport has two separate buildings for international (west building) and domestic flights (east building). International departures are on the ground floor, with customs, gates and arrivals on the first floor. The separate domestic terminal has departures and arrivals on the ground floor.
The international terminal is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The domestic terminal is open from 5am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
To transfer to a different terminal you can use the interconnecting walkway (outside of Door 1 in the international terminal, and Doors 5, 9 and 10 at the domestic terminal) which takes about 10 minutes, or you can take the free bus service that runs every 15 minutes.
For international flights, we suggest you allow three hours for customs and security checks, processing and any unexpected delays. Getting through security to your domestic flight is less complex, but allow at least two hours to be safe. Flight information displays are located at numerous places in the concourses of both terminals.Auckland Airport offers ambassadors, known for their bright blue coats. They can provide help and directions if you need them. Help desks and ‘i-SITE’ tourism kiosks are located throughout the airport. You can also obtain flight information on your cell phone by texting the flight number (with no spaces) to 2040. A text message will be sent back with your details. Each text costs $0.40 NZD (plus applicable international fees, depending on your phone plan). Alternatively, call 09 275 0789 or 0800 247767 and enter your flight number.
If you have time before leaving the airport, wander over to enjoy the observation area on the first floor of the international terminal. The space houses a display of Percival Gull, the aircraft used by pioneer aviator Jean Batten.
Auckland’s domestic terminal will be renovated from January 2013 onwards. These changes include creating an area for better taxi/shuttle access, directing commercial and public cars to different areas, changing the direction of traffic flow for some roads, and installing covered canopies for public drop-off passengers. Airport management recommends allowing extra time due to possible delays these renovations may cause.
Traveling To And From The Airport
Auckland’s airport is accessible by bus, rental car, taxi and shuttle. The airport is approximately a 40 minute drive from the center of Auckland city.
Numerous companies offer taxi and shuttle service. Fares are usually $60 – 80 NZD one way to the city. You can pre-book shuttles and taxis, but both are available on arrival.
There are lots of options for rental cars – many companies offer services from within the airport, but there are also a number of companies available in the surrounding suburbs. Prices vary; check the provider websites for more information.
To get to the airport from Auckland city centre, take the Gilles Avenue exit on the South Western Motorway and follow the signs. Drivers should be aware that the New Zealand Transport Agency is making an extension to the motorway and adding new lanes. Delays may occur. The agency advises visitors to plan extra time for travel to and from the airport.
There are several buses that travel to and from the Auckland Airport. Some of these might not operate on weekends – be sure to check the schedules.
- Airport – Auckland. Airbus Express runs directly to the city center every 10 minutes, with tickets costing about $16 NZD one way. Cash only tickets are available from the driver, or you can purchase tickets from the machines at the international terminal. The buses are blue and the trip takes between 45 minutes to an hour.
- Airport – Manukau. This service runs every 30 minutes and takes about 25 to 40 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from the driver and are about $4.50 NZD one way. Buses are orange.
- Airport – Botany/Pakuranga. These buses run every 30 minutes; the trip takes roughly one hour. Tickets can be purchased from the driver and costs $5.40 NZD.
- Airport – Northshore. Tickets can be purchased from the driver or from the ticket machine at the international terminal. Tickets cost about $18 NZD one way. Buses are blue.
Train stations and ferries can be connected to via bus. For more information including public transportation timetables, maps, fares and stops, visit Auckland’s public transport website.
You’ll find more information to help you through the airport, including the locations for baggage claim, shops, eateries, internet access and more here.