Date: October 17, 2015
Airports in the South Pacific offer up a warm welcome to the region with these five pleasant gems. Rather than focusing on frivolous extras, the top five terminals are praised for providing passengers with a clean and efficient design that caters to essential traveller needs. Free showers are readily available, as are free Wi-Fi and sleeper-friendly couches. There are also a handful of local touches, including large windows with sweeping views and natural light – and, a giant Lord of the Rings inspired statue. All these niceties are amplified by the friendly staff that happily answer questions and help with directions at most of the top five terminals. Must have something to do with all that New Zealand and Australian sunshine!
These are the Top 5 Best Airports in the South Pacific based on overall airport experience as determined by voters in our 2015 Airport Survey:
1. Wellington International Airport, New Zealand (WLG)
Wellington International Airport – and all its Lord of the Rings décor – climbed from 4th to 1st place in our South Pacific best airports list. In addition to transporting passengers through Middle Earth beneath giant statues of Gollum, this small airport’s “chill” staff are “real kiwi friendly”! Couple that friendliness with window-side sofas, general cleanliness, 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi, free showers and quiet sleep-able corners, and you’ve got yourself a number one ranking! The only downside to WLG is that while the existing seating is comfortable, there is hardly enough of it to keep everyone happy. See also Best Airports in the World.
Airport Services/Facilities: Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($) • Showers. For more information, visit our Wellington Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of jonnycakes73 on Instagram
2. Adelaide International Airport, Australia (ADL)
Also climbing in the 2015 South Pacific rankings is Adelaide International Airport. Voters praised this airport for being spacious-yet-compact, logically laid out, filled with helpful signs and packed with great shopping. Restaurants too happily remembered, with one survey respondent recommending the coffee and the pineapple iced donuts. The terminals’ modern and clean design easily accommodates the volume of passengers that walk through Australia’s fifth busiest airport. As one voter put it, the place “puts a smile on your face”! The only real drawback to ADL is that it closes overnight, making it impossible to sleep here. The good news? The city centre is only 6 kilometers away, and it is connected to the terminal with a variety of public transit options. See also Best Airports in the World.
Airport Services/Facilities: Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($) • Musical Performances. for more information, visit our Adelaide Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of henrifanti on Instagram
3. Auckland International Airport, New Zealand (AKL)
Auckland international airport lost a few points in the hearts of this year’s voters after a few renovations that left the terminal a little less comfortable. Previously, travellers loved the numerous cushioned benches located in and around the food court area. However, this year a number of them were removed making comfortable seating a little more scarce. Voters recommend showing up to the airport early with an eye mask in hand, so as to shield yourself from the light that radiates off the 24-hour McDonalds. That said, a number of positives can still be relied upon – like the constant sound of recorded birds, the free showers, the free luggage storage, and the particularly friendly staff. The terminal remains well-designed, generally quite clean and filled with natural light. Though travellers would love to have more than 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi, Auckland remains a favourite among our voters. See also Best Airports in the World and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • 24-hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Showers. For more information, visit our Auckland Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of ashleycarruthers on Instagram
4. Brisbane International Airport, Australia (BNE)
Highlights at Brisbane International Airport include the free showers, free Wi-Fi, luggage storage and ultra-comfortable couches, located near the prayer rooms. Given that a number of people often spend the night in the airport, there is also a general feeling of safety and community that helps to ease a weary traveller’s eyes closed. Otherwise, the airport is small, easy to navigate and kept nice and tidy. Sections of the airport have been under renovation in the past year, which has caused some frustration to travellers; however, improvements are becoming visible as work draws to a close. Other nice features of BNE include the helpful airport ambassadors and the free bus to Skygate Mall, where visitors can find discount shopping galore! See also Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Free WiFi • Free Showers • Free Luggage Carts • Luggage Storage ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($). For more information, visit our Brisbane Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of iannn277 on Instagram
5. Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand (CHC)
Christchurch’s fifth place ranking is a slightly controversial one. If you’re travelling through with no intention of spending the night, CHC is fantastic. With unlimited free Wi-Fi, free showers, interactive games, luggage storage and a nearby Antarctic attraction, the terminals are both pleasant and entertaining to be in. However, things change a little when you try to sleep. Although the terminal is open overnight, passengers hoping to catch some shuteye must prove that they arrived after 10:30pm and will be departing by 8am the following day. If you meet the criteria, you will be allowed to sleep in the Air Lounge (subject to availability) or on a chair after paying a fee of NZD$5. See also Worst Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Free WiFi • Free Showers • Nearby Antarctic Attraction ($) • Interactive Games ($) • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Christchurch Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of olivia_misskitty on Instagram
Top 10 Best Airports in the South Pacific
Below is a list of the Top 10 Best Airports in the South Pacific as voted by travellers in our 2015 Airport Survey:
- Wellington International Airport, New Zealand (WLG)
- Adelaide International Airport, Australia (ADL)
- Auckland International Airport, New Zealand (AKL)
- Brisbane International Airport, Australia (BNE)
- Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand (CHC)
- Queenstown Airport, New Zealand (ZQN)
- Sydney International Airport, Australia (SYD)
- Melbourne/Tullamarine International Airport, Australia (MEL)
- Gold Coast International Airport, Australia (OOL)
- Nadi International Airport, Fiji (NAN)