Date: October 15, 2014
Throughout the South Pacific, you will find a number of small yet pleasant international airports that serve destinations in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. A general theme amongst those voted into our Top Five Best Airports list was that they were clean, efficient and relatively comfortable. While designated rest zones, sleep pods and transit hotels are not available, transit travellers will find free showers, varying amounts of free Wi-Fi and sleeper-friendly seating.
Here are the Top 5 Best Airports in the South Pacific based on overall airport experience as determined by voters in our 2014 Airport Survey:
1. Auckland International Airport, New Zealand (AKL)
The ambience of the airport is amazing, it is really relaxing and calming with the sounds of birds playing and soothing lights. – a traveller
At this point, it should come as no surprise that Auckland has once again been voted the best airport in the region. It has been a consistent regional winner with us for as long as our list has existed! Travellers love the soothing environment the airport creates with its pleasant staff, the sounds of birds playing, the overall cleanliness and the emphasis on natural light. There are plenty of long armrest-free benches that keep sleepers happy, as do the free showers in the international transit areas! Food and shopping options are decent throughout, but the free Wi-Fi is limited to only 30 minutes.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • 24 Hour Food Options ($) • Hotel at the Airport ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Luggage Trolleys • Free Showers. Visit our Auckland Airport Guide for more information.
2. Brisbane International Airport, Australia (BNE)
Lovely staff, great atmosphere, small but perfectly formed! – a traveller
Brisbane is another favourite airport in the South Pacific, again because it creates a soothing and comfortable environment for airport sleepers. It earns a ton of points with voters for providing long leather couches and showers on the second level! Furthermore, the airport is generally quite small, clean and easy to navigate. The staff here have earned a reputation for being friendly and helpful. Activity-wise, there aren’t a ton of things to do – especially because a section of the airport is under construction as of September 2014.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Free Wi-Fi • Free Luggage Trolleys • Free Showers • Luggage Storage ($). Visit our Brisbane Airport Guide for more information.
3. Adelaide International Airport, Australia (ADL)
Great long, leather, padded benches for sleeping on in the main area. – a traveller
After rebuilding Adelaide Airport in 2005, this city soared to the top of favourite airport lists. ADL efficiently makes use of a small space, and prioritizes the incorporation natural light. Entertainment options may be limited, but you can certainly pass some time taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi. The numerous restaurant options are also a welcome offering. What tends to irritate travellers here is that at times, the security line-ups can be quite long and seemingly inefficient. The airport also discourages sleeping in the airport, which is irritating to those travellers seeking refuge the night before an early flight.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Free Wi-Fi • Luggage Storage ($). Visit our Adelaide Airport Guide for more information.
4. Wellington International Airport, New Zealand (WLG)
I was ready to sleep on the floor when a staff guy came to tell me that there was a better area to sleep… so nice! – Chacha
We can only suspect that Wellington International Airport makes it into the South Pacific top five list as a result of its Lord of the Ring’s theme. After all – who isn’t enthused by a quick trip to Middle Earth when travelling through New Zealand? Beyond the Gollum statues, the airport also offers up a number of other conveniences, including 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi and a few quiet nooks for sleeping. The airport is generally quite small, which makes navigating it straightforward and efficient. Furthermore, it is always kept quite clean. The only major thing to be aware of here is that while sleeping is possible, it is often discouraged by airport staff.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Free Wi-Fi • Luggage Storage ($). Visit our Wellington Airport Guide for more information.
5. Darwin International Airport, Australia (DRW)
Of course, it’s an airport, but it has everything you need for free. – a traveller
Darwin is a tiny international airport in northern Australia that services Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Voters appreciated the lily pad inspired carpets and its cushioned seats and couches – great for sleeping. The free Wi-Fi and the free showers make this place even more enticing. The airport has become popular because the city of Darwin is surprisingly expensive and the airport has a number of early departures. That said, because the airport is so small it can often be a bit noisy making earplugs a welcome thing to have.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Free Wi-Fi • Free Luggage Trolleys • Free Showers • Luggage Storage ($) • 24 Hour Food Options. Visit our Darwin Airport Guide for more information.
Something must be going well in the South Pacific – we were unable to gather enough votes to confidently declare a list of worst airports in the region! Could airports really be that good there? It is important that we receive as many votes as possible in order to publish accurate results, so please vote!