Transit through Auckland airport in New Zealand: connections, safe travel area and hotels

transit hotels in Auckland airport New Zealand

Auckland International airport (AKL) is the primary gateway into New Zealand for travellers from all around the world. It serves as hub for Air New Zealand and Jetstar Airways, and is located in the residential suburb of Mangere, 20 kilometres away from downtown Auckland. Whether as direct routes or under codeshare agreement with their flagship carriers, hundreds of flights by Air Canada, Air China, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific (to and from Hong Kong), China Eastern (to and from Pudong airport), Emirates, Fiji Airways, Hainan, Hawaiian, Korean Air, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, United and Virgin Australia are handled from its terminals.

Making a connection in Auckland airport

If you are catching a connecting flight in AKL towards either a domestic destination or an overseas international airport, make sure that you are ready to comply with the health and safety regulations in effect on your arrival date. For instance, don’t forget to wear a face mask, carry some proof of your negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to travelling or else a medical certification, fill out all required health declaration forms and submit them online, and also bring a printed copy with you. Requirements will continue changing as the situation evolves, so stay alert to modifications until the time of your departure.

Auckland airport of New Zealand has two distinct terminal buildings: the domestic one and the international one. They stand 500 metres apart from each other, and are linked by a free shuttle bus that runs every 15 minutes, between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m every day. Alternatively, you may walk from one terminal to the other by following the green path designated for this purpose. Passengers required to undergo managed quarantine upon arrival, those coming from countries belonging to a safe travel corridor and international travellers in transit at the airport won’t need to use these means to get around. Instead, they will be guided through the terminals according to the category below they fall into.

Managed hotel isolation

Depending on your airport of origin or the countries you have visited within 14 days prior to arrival in New Zealand, you might be required to isolate in a designated hotel until it is safe for you and the rest to enter the territory. It is what we know as managed quarantine. Since this is organized well in advance of your landing at the airport, you will be received and escorted to your hotel as well as given all the necessary instructions by the people in charge.

International transit through the Health Management Zone in Auckland

If you will be in transit at Auckland airport before resuming your journey to a regional or international destination, it is likely that you will remain less than 24 hours as a transit passenger, a period of time during which you will be asked to stay inside the Health Management Zone for travellers whose country of origin has no agreement with New Zealand. This specific area is found in Zone B of the international terminal, where you can order food delivery, use contactless payment kiosks, relax, go to the toilet and charge your electronic devices before catching your outbound flight.

Safe Travel Area for passengers from countries that are part of a travel bubble

Passengers arriving from a country with which New Zealand has a travel corridor agreement are escorted to the Safe Travel Area in Zone A of the international terminal, where they are exempt from PCR testing or quarantine, although other regulations such as temperature checks and the completion of Health Declaration Forms may apply. We can’t stress enough the importance of checking for modifications regularly, due to the changing nature of the global situation.

The closest hotels to Auckland airport

Should you need to book a hotel to spend one or more nights close to the airport terminals –as long as you are allowed to leave the transit area-, the following are the nearest hotels to Auckland airport in New Zealand.

The Novotel Auckland airport, with direct walking access from the international terminal and a 5-minute walk away from the domestic one. It has an onsite gym and a business centre at the disposal of guests featuring free WiFi internet. The soundproofed rooms are fully equipped with minibar, safety deposit box, bathroom and desk, and can accommodate up to four people including children in all categories: superior, executive or suite. There is a bar-restaurant inside the premises, while breakfast can be delivered to the guest’s room and packed lunches are available.

The Ibis Budget Auckland airport, a 3-star establishment by the worldwide renowned Ibis hospitality chain, offers good value for money services and amenities that include free shuttle services to and from the airport terminal, complimentary parking spaces, 24-hour reception, comfortable beds, well-appointed rooms with private toilet and shower and a wide range of occupancy options that go from individual to family, not forgetting twin and queen economy rooms.

The Heartland Hotel Auckland airport in New Zealand is conveniently situated a 5-minute drive away from the terminals and provides confirmed guests with free shuttle transfers around the clock. Part of the Airpark Business Centre, it features an open-air swimming pool, a hot tub and a private parking lot. Rooms, which can accommodate solo business travellers, couples, groups or families, may be interconnecting ones upon request, and feature coffee and tea facilities, a fully equipped bathroom and, in some cases, a kitchenette. Breakfast can be delivered to your room, while there is also a lobby bar serving drinks and light meals. 

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