Christchurch Airport Guide
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Christchurch Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
They are charging folks 5 dollars to sit in a chair and don't allow blankets.
To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at Christchurch Airport.
What to Expect
- Christchurch airport is a single, large terminal that services both domestic and international flights.
- Free WiFi is available. See WiFi information in the airport guide below.
- There is a 24 hour cafe available located landside, below security. Some reviewers found the food expensive and of poor quality.
- Though this is technically a 24 hour airport, there are restrictions. You will need to prove you have an early departing flight to stay in the terminal late at night.
Where to Sleep
- Overnight stays are strongly discouraged at this airport. Any travellers remaining overnight in the International terminal will be directed to sit in cold metal chairs landside near the automatic doors, which allow exposure to the elements all night. Air-conditioning is blasted all night long, making the terminal frigid inside. Airport staff is known to be rude and unaccommodating, patrolling the area every half-hour to wake up sleeping passengers, whether sleeping in a chair or on the floor.
- Travellers who can prove they have an early departing flight can pay a $10 NZD fee to spend the night in a special room with bean bags for sleeping. The room is warmer than the rest of the airport, and the bean bags are reportedly comfortable, but on busy nights the lounge fills up fast. It is open from 8:30 PM to 5:00 AM each night.
- For uninterrupted sleep, there are several nearby hotels that provide a free airport shuttle. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.
Good to Know
- Free showers can be found landside, in the International arrivals hall.
- Economy class passengers can pay to use one of the first class lounges. See Airport Lounges below for locations and rates.
For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Christchurch Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.
In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
- Air New Zealand Koru Club - Location: Domestic Departures, Airside. Lounge Access: Air New Zealand Koru Club Membership.
- Air New Zealand Koru Club - Location: International Departures, Airside. Lounge Access: Air New Zealand Koru Club Membership.
- Manaia Lounge - Location: International Departures, Airside, opposite Gate 29. Showers are available. Hours: 4:30AM - 7:30AM • 1:45PM - 8:30PM (Daily).
Free unlimited WiFi is available at Christchurch airport. Connect to the "CIAL_Free_WiFi" network. Additionally, Internet kiosks are available in Check-in Hall, Departures and Arrivals Halls.
If sleeping in Christchurch Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport with a free airport shuttle:
- Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport - (5 min walk or 2 min ride from the airport terminal) Located just 700m from the airport terminal, this is the closest hotel to the airport. Free 24-hr airport shuttle service available on demand. For airport pick-up, call from the Freephone (dial 27) at the Accommodation Directory Board in the International Arrivals Lounge. Pick-up location is by the flagpoles in the Courtesy Shuttle collection area outside of the International Terminal.
- Commodore Airport Hotel - (3 min from the airport) Free 24-hr airport shuttle service available on demand. Pick-up location is by the flagpoles in the Courtesy Shuttle collection area outside of the International Terminal.
- Airport Palms Motel - (3 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle service available daily from 7:00AM to 8:00PM.
- Airport Christchurch Luxury Motel & Apartments - (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle service available from 7:00AM to 9:00PM (Monday through Friday) and 8:00AM to 9:00PM (Sat, Sun, and public holidays). For airport pick-up, collect your luggage and then call 0800-800-631 or use one of the blue payphones in the Domestic Terminal baggage claim area or International Terminal Arrivals Hall. Pick-up location is by the flagpoles in the Courtesy Shuttle collection area outside of the International Terminal.
- Airport Gateway Motor Lodge - (2 min from the airport) Free 24-hr airport shuttle service available. For airport pick-up, call from the Freephone (dial 26) in the Arrivals Hall to the left of the main exit.
- Jucy Snooze - (10 min walk from the International & Domestic terminals / 3 min drive from the airport) Accommodations include sleep pods with shared facilities or Twin, Queen and Family rooms with private ensuite. The pods can be rented by the hour or overnight. A free shuttle service is available. Dial 54 at the directory board in the arrivals area.
To see more options there is a list of hotels near Christchurch Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.
- Antarctic Attraction - Travel to Antarctica without hopping on a plane! Real snow and ice, Hagglund rides, and a simulated 4D cruise are just some of the fun and interactive experiences available at the International Antarctic Centre. Location: 8 minutes walk from the International Arrivals Hall. Follow the blue footprints! Hours: 9:00AM - 5:30PM.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - ASB, ANZ and BNZ ATMs are located throughout the airport terminal. Foreign currency ATMs are also available (see Currency Exchange below).
- Baby Care Facilities - Change and feed your baby in privacy and comfort in the Parents Rooms, located in both Domestic and International areas of the airport.
- Baggage Trolleys - Available throughout the airport, free of charge.
- Banking - BNZ offers full-service banking, excluding foreign currency exchange. Location: Check-In Hall, landside, Ground Floor. Hours: 9:30AM - 4:30PM (Mon-Fri); 10:00AM - 2:00PM (Sat).
- Car Rentals - Yes, see our Airport Transportation section below.
- Children’s Play Area - Location: International Departures lounge.
- Currency Exchange - Travelex kiosks are available in these locations: Check-in Hall (landside) • International Departures (before Customs & Security Screening Area, 1st floor) • International Departures lounge (airside) • International Arrivals (airside, after Customs & Security Screening) • International Arrivals Hall (landside). Hours: Open for all International flights. Travelex ATMs dispense AUD, NZD, USD, and Euro 24-hours a day from these locations: Check-in Hall • International Departure Hall • International Arrivals Hall.
- Duty-Free & Shopping - Duty-free shopping is available to both departing and arriving passengers in the International Terminal. In addition, there is a MAC cosmetics, Relay newsstand, and two gift shops.
- Family Entertainment - Time Zone, Time Out, and Kidzone offer video games, prizes and interactive entertainment for the whole family. Three locations: Level 1 Food Hall • International Departures lounge • Domestic Departures.
- Food & Drinks - Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours: Long White Cafe (International Arrivals, landside, ground floor).
- Information Desk - Yes, available, look for airport ambassadors as well who can offer you assistance. You can also head to i-SITE located in the International Arrivals Hall (7 days a week). While their main focus is tourism they do provide other services such as towel rentals, driver’s license translation services, etc.
- Luggage Storage - Luggage, keys, bikes, sport equipment and other travel-related items can be stored at Luggage Solutions, located on the ground floor. Rates and hours are unknown.
- Pharmacy - Unichem Pharmacy offers a full-range of baby supplies and full-time pharmacists on duty. Location: Spitfire Square, just a short walk from the terminal.
- Post Office - Full postal services are available at Relay newsstand. Location: Food Court, Level 1. Hours: 3:30AM - 8:15PM. In addition, stamps, postcards, and a mail drop box are available at iSite in the International Arrivals Hall.
- Showers - Free showers are available. For a fee of $5 (+$5 refundable deposit) you will be provided with soap and towel. Location: International Arrivals Hall, landside, washrooms. Additionally, there are showers in the Manaia Lounge. [ see Airport Lounges above ]
- Spitfire Square - Located on Memorial Avenue at the entrance to the airport, this retail hub offers a variety of dining options (some open late night!), a pharmacy, a supermarket, a 24-hr fitness center and limited shopping.
News for Airport Sleepers
The airport recently toughened up its policies, due to some travellers who were spending over a week inside the terminal and cooking on their camp stoves in the bathrooms. You must now have a ticket proving you have an early morning flight if you want to stay inside the international terminal at night. See our blog post here.
The airport has a wristband policy, so now only travellers who have proven that they will be departing on an early morning flight will be permitted to stay inside the terminal. On July 17, I received an email from Alexander telling me that they are now charging $5 to sit on a chair in a heated room. He says "The 5 charge isn't mandatory. Its for a heated room with a TV and chairs with cushions but you're still not allowed to lay down. The alternative is bare metal chairs next to two high use doors that pump in cold air."
The Domestic terminal closes around 11:00PM, around the time of the last domestic flight of the day. The International terminal stays open 24 hours, but overnight “resting” is only permitted in certain areas. Report to Airport Security for information on the location of these areas.
Metro Red Bus services connect the airport to the city centre and other Christchurch locations using two lines: Purple Line and Number 29. Tickets can be purchased directly from the driver and depart from the International Arrivals Terminal.
The Purple Line travels from the airport to Sumner via Avonhead and back, seven days a week at regular intervals.
Number 29 travels from the airport to the city via Fendalton and back seven days a week at regular intervals.
Number 125 travels from Redmond to Westlake via Christchurch Airport. Available 7 days a week.
These bus services are charged $2.30 to access Christchurch Airport. For map, schedules, fares and more, visit the Metro web site.
The Airport Hopper is a free 24-hour shuttle that transports passengers between the terminals and the EconoPark every 15 minutes. The ride length is about 10 minutes and it travels between stops every half hour.
Several area hotels provide airport transportation service to their guests either for a fee or as a courtesy. Here are a few hotels offering airport shuttle service: Aarburg Airport Motel • Airport Birches Motel • Airport Christchurch Luxury Motel & Apartments • Airport Delta Motel • Airport Gateway Motor Lodge • Airport Lodge Motel • Airport Palms Motel • Asure Bush Inn Court Motel • City Centre Motel • Commodore Airport Hotel Christchurch • Quality Hotel Elms • Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport.
Two shuttle ranks are available near the Terminal: at the Regional Lounge and at the Northern end of the International Arrivals Hall. These shuttles provide a door-to-door service to all parts of Christchurch using multi-passenger vans.
Prices vary based on the provider, so please check the rates before beginning your journey. While a shuttle service will likely be cheaper than a taxi, you will share it with other passengers so expect additional stops.
Travel time from the airport to the city center is about 15-20 minutes. Shuttle services can be booked from the Airport i-SITE team located in the International Arrivals Hall.
There are two taxi ranks near the terminal for passengers leaving the airport: outside the Regional Lounge (between the terminal and the multi-level car park building) and outside the International Arrivals Hall. Travel time from the airport to the city centre is 15-20 minutes. Prices vary by taxi company. It is recommended that you ask the rate before beginning your journey. The standard fare is usually around $45-$65. If you are taking a taxi to the airport, the fare will be an additional $5.50.
To extend your journey to South Island cities and towns, regional transport companies, such as Great Sights and Knight Rider, provide a variety of transportation options. Christchurch Airport's Regional Transport Hub is located at the northern end of the International Arrivals Hall. You can book directly or through the airport i-SITE Travel and Tourism team on (03) 353 7774 or email them on email@example.com.
The following car rental companies are available at Christchurch Airport: Avis • Budget • Europcar • Ezi Car rental • Hertz • Thrifty. Location: within the international arrivals hall, close to the domestic baggage reclaim.
Last Updated: 09 March 2017
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.