Auckland International Airport, New Zealand's largest airport, is in the southern suburb of Mangere on the shores of the Manukau Harbour. There are frequent services from Australia and other New Zealand cities. There are also non-stop flights from locations in Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the United States, and Vancouver (Canada) and Santiago (Chile). Air New Zealand flies right through from London (Heathrow Airport) with a stop in Los Angeles.
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 blue 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.
Transport options from the airport to central Auckland and the suburbs includes buses, shuttles and taxis.
Airbus Express is an efficient bus service that runs from the domestic and international terminals to central Auckland. The service runs 24/7 at 10min intervals during the day (07:00-19:00) and 30min during the night. The bus alternates between two routes to the CBD, one via Mt Eden Rd, the other via Dominion Rd. Both run down Queen St, the heart of the CBD and terminate at the ferry terminal, near Britomart Transport Centre. The entire trip takes 40–50min. Fares are $16 one way or $28 return for adults, and $6 one way or $12 return for children. Tickets can be purchased on-board from the driver, on-line, from the Airport i-Site kiosk or from selected hostels. A $1 discount card is available from the Airbus website under "Frequent Traveller" which can be printed and redeemed when purchasing a ticket on board.
Other bus services run to the suburbs. For the city centre, a cheap option is the 380 Airporter bus to Papatoetoe Train Station from where suburban trains connect to Britomart station in the city centre. This method will cost $3.40 + $5.60 = $9 to the city centre. Total time approx 20min + 33min + 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 per person cost approximately:
Taxi fares may be $50–76 from the airport to a city location, about the same as it costs to hire a car per day. Once you have three or more people together a taxi is cheaper per person than a bus or shuttle.
The international terminal has ATMs on both sides of security. There is a typical food court in the departures area before security, a McDonalds and a coffee shop in the arrivals area, and some more café-style food after security. There is the usual collection of expensive shops and souvenirs on both sides of immigration.
If you have time to kill, there is miniature golf about 1km (15min walk) from the terminal. It is complete with a hole on a pirate ship, which beats hanging around in the terminal for hours.
Lockers are available in the terminal for $15 per day.
The InterCity Sky City Coach Terminal (located at 102 Hobson St, behind Sky City Plaza) is the main hub for national carriers InterCity Coachlines and GreatSights New Zealand. Regional Northland operator Northliner also departs from this location. Facilities include an InterCity Coachlines ticketing office, free Wi-Fi, café and luggage lockers.
The Overlander train runs from central Wellington to Britomart Transport Centre at the north end of Queen St in central Auckland. The 681 km (423 mi) journey takes about 12h. The trip runs much of the length of the North Island with stopping-off opportunity at Tongariro National Park. In a single day you will pass every kind of scenery: coastline, volcanoes and mountains, green farm pastures and dense New Zealand bush from $119.
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