The International Auckland Flight Hub

The International Auckland Flight Hub

Auckland International flight hub took 15th place in the 2015 World’s Best Airport by SkyTrax.  The winners of this contest were determined by polling 12 million travelers, therefore these winners can be considered people’s choice awards.  This is down three places from their 11th place in the 2014 World’s Best Airport contest.

Auckland is visited by 14 million passengers each year, thus it’s a very large and heavily used airport.  There are two terminals; domestic and international.  Due to the large number of people coming and going from the airport terminals, as well as buses and other forms of transportation, they want to remind customers to prepare for potentially lengthy commute times or for potential traffic and or construction.  As a reminder, passengers need to arrive at the airport one hour prior to their flight for domestic destinations and three hours prior to their flight for international destinations.

If you are traveling with small children through the Auckland transit hub you can visit one of the Parent Rooms.  These are rooms dedicated to those with small children that are in need of changing facilities and rooms to nurse or bottle feed young children.  You can find other essentials for children such as milk or infant formula at stores called Kiwi Discovery and Travelpharm.  Look for a place called Collection Point for baby wipes, pacifiers and more.  There are also plentiful toy and kids stores at the Auckland International Airport.  So if you forgot your child’s favorite toy, never fear, you might be able to find a new favorite right at the airport.

Want something to do while on a layover at Auckland transit hub?  You can visit the Airport Shopping Center that is located on the main road on the way to the airport.  This location allows for use by air passengers but by locals as well due to the excellent accessibility and parking.  Feeling like a workout?  Try Jetts Gym!  Prices start at $19.95 and for a limited time, you can register online and get a free three day trial membership. Or play mini golf at Treasure Island Adventure Golf.  This 18-hole “pirate themed” course takes about 45 minutes and is a great way for the kiddos to let off steam prior to their flight.  Maybe instead you’d like to visit some animals and a butterfly pavilion.  In this case you should head over to Butterfly Creek. Here you’ll not only find a tropical butterfly house but also a steam train, an outdoor playground, and petting zoo. At the Butterfly Creek you’ll also find a café and bar for adults looking to relax—all of this under one roof!  If golf is your thing, you might find the Aviation Country Club, the 18-hole golf course and the driving range to your liking.  The Airport Shopping Center is a short ride by taxi, car or by Public Transit from the Auckland Airport.

The Airport Shopping Center outside the airport is not the only option for shopping in and around Auckland.  The airport provides some great shopping selections too.  You will find art, perfume, liquor, cosmetics, accessories, books, watches, electronics and luggage.  Even a candy store for the kids that includes some interestingly named lollipops and some decadent chocolates for the adults!  If you know you’ll be at the airport in a few days, you can pre-shop online and prepay for goods that you simply pick up from the airport on your way through to your flight.  On their website, you can view a lot of options for “specials,” 2-for-1 deals or free with purchase items—all just for shopping at the airport.  Please remember when shopping online with the “pre-pay” option that you can purchase 6 months in advance but all purchases must be made at least 3 hours prior to flight departure.

Auckland transit hub reminds their customers that there is a limit to the amount of duty free items that a person can carry through Auckland and other international airports.  An example of the limit one might carry in their luggage can equal 50 cigarettes, 50 grams of cigars, or a 50 gram total of the two.  There are also limits on the amount of alcohol that can be carried.  These limits represent the amounts for personal use.  Amazingly, 12 cans of beer is the limit…that sounds more like a party and not a personal amount!  The limit is actually 2.25 Liters of liquor and alcohol and not a total count bottles or cans.  So if you buy several different items, make sure they don’t total more than the 2.25 Liter total.  Make sure if you are flying to another country that you also respect and abide by their limits as well.  There are limits on the Auckland International Airport site at the Duty Free Allowances webpage for more information.  If you carry more than the limit, you could be taxed—which of course defeats the purpose of “duty-free” goods.

Is it time to eat?  Why not try some of the very unique restaurants and bars that Auckland mega hub has to offer.  Bookmarque is a coffee shop with twist. Not only do they offer coffee and books, but they also offer alcoholic drinks too.  Stop by and take a look at the newsstand items and sip a cocktail or a hot cocoa.  If you are feeling a little extravagant but don’t feel like paying extravagant prices you could try Shaky Isles.  This is a chain that seems to be well loved by Europeans.  They serve a hearty breakfast that fills you up and gets you ready for your day.  An example of the types of cuisine you might find includes soft boiled eggs with toast and veggies.  If you are feeling especially hungry, add a side of delicately seasoned smoked salmon.  They also open earlier than most of the airport restaurants…and you can get breakfast at 4 am if you so desire.  They are also open later than most, and will be open to the bitter end, when the last plane of the evening gets ready to board.  Customers that visit this restaurant say they serve their food in interesting ways, some in canning jars and most rate it very well with an average 4-star rating!  It’s definitely worth a visit if you are heading to Auckland International.

If you unexpectedly find yourself in need of a room for the night, you won’t find any at the airport, you’ll have to leave the airport and head next door.  Novotel has a hotel located near the airport if you are in need of a last minute room.  This hotel is located adjacent to the International terminal.  There is also the ibis budget hotel that is a short five minute walk to the international terminal at the Auckland airport.  Many other area hotels are available and most of them offer free shuttle service to and from the airport.

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