Christchurch and Auckland are New Zealand’s major international gateways, but international flights are available to smaller regional airports from selected international locations. Airports in Queenstown, Hamilton and Rotorua offer trans-Tasman flights from Australia.
Travelling from one end of the country to the other by car and then returning to the gateway city by air is a popular option for many travellers.
Biosecurity is an important issue for New Zealand.
Auckland International Airport
New Zealand’s biggest airport is 21 kilometres (40 minutes) south of the city.
20 international airlines operate to 32 international destinations, with 100 international flights and 300 domestic flights every day.
Facilities: More than 60 retail outlets. Numerous cafés and food outlets. Luggage storage and wrapping services. Showers. Currency exchange.
Transfers: Follow the walkway between International and Domestic terminals (ten minutes’ walk) or catch the free inter-terminal bus departing every 15 minutes, 5am to 10:30pm. Those with more than one hour before their connecting flight may check in at the Domestic Transfer Desk in the International terminal.
Rental vehicles: Rental car service desks are located in the International terminal and on the ground floor of the car-park building opposite the Domestic terminal. Campervan operators usually offer a shuttle service from the terminals.
Connecting transport: Taxis and shuttles depart from ranks outside the terminals. Transfers to the city cost NZ$60 to NZ$80 by taxi or NZ$30 to NZ$40 per person by shuttle. The Airbus Express service departs every 15 minutes to the central city. Purchase a ticket on board for about NZ$16 per person. See Maxx for more information.
Christchurch International Airport
New Zealand’s second-largest airport is 15 to 20 minutes’ drive from the CBD.
Scheduled direct flights operate to and from ten international and 17 domestic destinations.
Facilities: More than 35 retail outlets. Numerous cafés and food outlets. Luggage storage and wrapping services. Showers. Currency exchange. The first phase of a major terminal redevelopment was completed in early 2011, offering enhanced retail areas and lounges.
Transfers: Domestic and International terminals are located in the same building. Those transferring from an international to a domestic flight must claim their baggage and proceed through Customs before checking-in their bags at the Connections Desk in the International Arrivals area.
Rental vehicles: Rental car and campervan service desks are located in the International and Domestic terminals.
Connecting transport: Taxis and shuttles depart from ranks outside the terminals. Transfers to the city cost NZ$40 to NZ$65 by taxi or NZ$21 per person by shuttle. Bus services depart from the Coach Park outside the International terminal. www.metroinfo.org.nz
The Arrival Declaration Card contains a Customs Declaration section. Visitors must declare goods that may be prohibited or restricted, e.g. weapons, goods or currency in excess of allowances, and goods for commercial purposes. www.customs.govt.nz
At some airports, a departure tax of NZ$25 is collected from all adult international passengers upon departure. The tax can be paid by cash or credit card. Note that Auckland and Christchurch Airports do not charge this tax. Some regional airports may have a small fee payable on domestic flights.
Duty Free Shopping
Goods may be purchased at airport stores on arrival and departure, and downtown duty free stores will deliver purchases to airport collection points.
Passports & Visas
Passports are required for all visitors and must be valid for at least six months after the date on which the visitor intends to leave New Zealand. Visas are not required for most visitors staying less than three months. Please check requirements with the New Zealand Immigration Service. www.immigration.govt.nz
No vaccination certificates are required when entering New Zealand.