Sleeping in Airports

Christchurch Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Christchurch Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

They are charging folks 5 dollars to sit in a chair and don’t allow blankets.
– Alexander

CHC Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Christchurch International Airport.

What to Expect

Christchurch Airport (Code: CHC) consists of a single terminal with a combined check-in hall for domestic and international flights. There are more than 34 retail stores and a dozen or so eateries, though most of the eateries are located in the landside food court. Some reviewers found the food expensive and of poor quality. Free WiFi is available to help pass the time.  For added comfort, economy class passengers can pay to enter one of the airport lounges. See Airport Lounges below for locations and rates.

Sleeping in Christchurch Airport

christchurch airport guideThough billed as a 24 hour airport, there are restrictions. The airport’s rules state that there is “no sleeping at the airport,” and that “there are no sleeping facilities at the terminal and visitors are not permitted to set up bedding or lie on the floor or furniture. Staff may ask you to provide your flight booking details. If you can prove that you have arrived after 10:30PM and will depart before 8:30AM, you will be allowed to sit (not sleep!) in a chair for the duration of your wait. Otherwise, you will be asked to leave the airport. Should you be granted a stay, seating is said to be cold metal chairs near the automatic doors, which allow exposure to the elements all night. Furthermore, air-conditioning is set to “Arctic”, making the terminal frigid inside. Come prepared with warm clothes and a travel blanket! Those not wishing to face such restrictions may want to consider one of the nearby airport hotels. There is one hotel that is a 5 minute walk away and other nearby hotels with shuttles. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

Free showers are available in the International arrivals hall.

For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Christchurch Airport Guide.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change.  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.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

  • Air New Zealand Lounges – Multiple Locations – (1) Domestic Landside, (1) Domestic Departures and (1) International Departures.
  • Manaia Lounge – Location: International Departures, Airside, opposite Gate 29. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs.

Airport Hotels & Sleep Pods

If sleeping in the airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near Christchurch airport with free shuttle service:

  • Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport – (7 minute walk or 2 minute drive from the airport) Located just 700m from the airport terminal, this is the closest hotel to the airport. Free 24-hour airport shuttle is 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 minute drive from the airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle is available on demand. Pick-up location is by the flagpoles in the Courtesy Shuttle collection area outside of the International Terminal.
  • Airport Palms Motel – (5 minute drive from the airport) Free airport shuttle from 7:00AM – 8:00PM (Monday-Friday) and 8:00AM – 8:00PM (Saturday-Sunday and public holidays).Outside of these times, the hotel can arrange a taxi at a discounted price.
  • Airport Christchurch Luxury Motel & Apartments – (5 minute drive from the airport) Free airport shuttle is 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 the hotel using 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 – (4 minute drive from the airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle is 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 minute walk from the International & Domestic terminals / 3 minute 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 (no overnight service). 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.

Airport WiFi/Internet

Free unlimited WiFi is available at Christchurch airport. Connect to the “Unlimited FREE Airport WiFi” network.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

Communications

  • Post Office – Drop off your last minute postcards to friends and family from the airport’s mailboxes located in the Food Court and International Departures. Stamps can be purchased from Relay – Locations: Food Court • Domestic Departures • International Departures, Hours: 4:00AM – 8:00PM • i-SITE – Location: International Arrivals, Hours: 8:00AM – 6:00PM.
  • WiFi – see “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.

Family Services

  • 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.
  • Family Entertainment – Make the pre-flight wait time pass in flash with the following family-friendly activities:
    • Children’s Play Area – When you want to ensure your kids burn off all their energy before their flight, take them to the Kid’s Zone. Location: International Arrivals Hall.
    • Giant Puzzle – If you want a fun challenge, make an attempt to solve the Canterbury Planes giant puzzle. Location: Domestic Arrivals, Level 1.
    • Mini Explorer Passport Activity Book – Pickup an activity book and pencil crayons from one of the information desks. The book has drawings to colour in, fun facts and a postcard; all of which will help keep your little one preoccupied while waiting for a flight!

Fitness

  • Stretch & Relaxation Area – Unwind and relax in between flights in the airport’s dedicated Stretch & Relaxation Area. The space is equipped with basic yoga and pilates equipment. And even for the inexperienced yogis, there is a pre-flight stretch routine for workout inspiration. Location: International Departures.

Food & Drinks

  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. The following options are open 24 hours: Long White Cafe (International Arrivals, landside, ground floor) • AirGo Convenience Store (International Arrivals, landside, ground floor). The Subway at Spitfire Square is open 6:00AM – 2:00AM (see Spitfire Square below for more details).
  • Water Stations – Thirsty? Drinking water fountains are available free of charge landside and airside throughout the airport.

Information

  • Information Desk – If you have any questions, there are information desks available. Locations: Landside, Ground Floor, Check-In Hall • Landside, First Floor, next to Food Court • International Arrivals, Ground Floor. These desks are staffed by the airport ambassadors who are happy to provide assistance from 8:00AM – 5:00PM.You can also head to i-SITE, while their main focus is tourism, they do provide other services such as towel rentals, driver’s license translation services, etc. Location: International Arrivals Hall. Hours: 8:00AM – 6:00PM.

Luggage

  • Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage trolleys are available free of charge.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Luggage, keys, bikes, sport equipment and other travel-related items can be stored at Luggage Solutions, located on the ground floor. Sample Rates: Small item (Keys, etc.) for $8.00/1st 4 hours or $12.00/day • Carry-on bag for $10.00/1st 4 hours or $14.00/day • Golf bag for $18.00/day. Hours: 4:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon, Tues, Thurs & Sat) and 4:00AM – 8:00PM (Wed, Fri and Sun).
  • Luggage Wrapping – Protect your luggage, pram, wine, etc. with services provided at Luggage Solutions (see above). Rates: Standard bag for $15.00 • Over-sized (Golf bag, etc.) for $20.00 • Wine Box Sealing for $6.00.

Medical Services

  • Pharmacy – TravelPharm provides over-the-counter medications. Prescriptions are not processed here. Location: Level 1 beside Domestic Arrivals. Hours: unknown. Spitfire Square (see Shopping below for more information) also offers a Unichem Pharmacy for prescription needs.

Mobile Charging

  • Mobile Charging – USB ports and power outlets are located at the charging stations available throughout the airport. Additionally, wireless charging is available in the airport Digital Innovation Zone, located in the Domestic Arrivals Hall, Level 1.

Money

  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Machines are operated by ASB and BNZ. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: unknown. Foreign currency ATMs are also available (see Currency Exchange below).
  • 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.

Prayer Rooms

  • Multi-Faith Prayer Room – Prayer rooms are available for visitors of any faith. Location: Ground Floor, next to the domestic baggage collection point. Hours: according to the Domestic Terminal hours of operation.

Rest & Relaxation

Shopping

  • 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.
  • 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-hour fitness center and limited shopping.

Showers, Salon & Spa

  • 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 ]

Things to do & see

  • 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.
  • Art in the Airport – Christchurch Airport features many murals and sculptures, so be sure to keep an eye out for these stunning pieces. Additionally, the airport has many themed air bridges which are covered from the floor to the ceiling with an image to temporarily immerse passengers in a unique landscape.
  • Digital Innovation Zone – Discover new forms of technology at the airport! The zone allows travellers to interact with unique touchscreen flight trackers, 3D holograms and robots. Location: Domestic Arrivals, Level 1.
  • Ping Pong Table – A game of ping pong is a great way to pass the time before a flight. The table is accessible 24 hours a day, and the best part, it is free to use! Location: Landside, outside the airport’s entrance/exit.
  • Play Me Piano – For all the piano virtuosos, or even novices, there is a piano which is moved to various locations in and outside the airport. With the words “Play Me” painted on it, travellers are welcomed to play a piece.

Airport Hours

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.

Airlines

Christchurch airport is served by the following airlines: Air Chathams • Air New Zealand • Cathay Pacific • China Southern Airlines • Emirates • Fiji Airways • Jetstar • Korean Air • Qantas • Singapore Airlines • Sound Airlines • Virgin Australia.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Airport Hopper

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.

Bus

Metro Red Bus services connect the airport to the city centre and other Christchurch locations using three lines:

  • The Purple Line travels from the airport to Sumner via Avonhead and back, every 30 minutes, seven days a week.
  • Number 29 travels from the airport to the city via Fendalton and back, every 30 minutes, seven days a week.
  • Number 125 travels from Redmond to Westlake via Christchurch Airport. Available 7 days a week.

For map, schedules, fares and more, visit the Metro web site.

Car Rentals

The following car rental companies are available at Christchurch Airport in the International Arrivals area: Aerodrive • Avis • Budget • Europcar • Enterprise • Ezi Car rental • Hertz • Thrifty.

Hotel Shuttles

Several hotels near Christchurch Airport offer 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   •   Commodore Airport Hotel Christchurch   •   Quality Hotel Elms   •   Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport.

See also Airport Hotels above.

Shuttles

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.

Taxis

Taxis are located outside the International Arrivals Hall (exit through door 7). Travel time from the airport to the city centre is 15-20 minutes. It is recommended that you ask the rate before beginning your journey. If you are taking a taxi to/from the airport, the fare will be an additional $5.50.

Regional transport

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.

Last updated: 2020-06-16

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.