Sleeping in Airports

Best Airports in the South Pacific 2016

Date: October 15, 2016

In our annual survey, we asked travellers to rate airports in the South Pacific based on their overall airport experience. They ranked their experiences on these factors:

  • Comfort (Rest Zones & Gate Seating)
  • Services, Facilities & Things to do
  • Food Options
  • Immigration/Security
  • Customer Service
  • Cleanliness

In 2015, we saw these same top five terminals on our Best Airports in the South Pacific list – although the order did shuffle around. The airports on this list have impressed travellers with their layover friendly amenities. Most of them offer showers and comfortable couches where you can stretch out and relax. With a few improvements to the dining and entertainment situation, the South Pacific will be well on its way!

Here are the Top 5 Best Airports in the South Pacific based on overall airport experience, as determined by voters in our 2016 Airport Survey.

1. Brisbane International Airport, Australia (BNE)

Best Airports of 2016: Brisbane Airport

I think it’s the best airport in Australia. Excellent shower facilities specially for long haul connections – survey respondent

Brisbane Airport’s claim to South Pacific fame is its highly sleepable environment. Plenty of comfortable couches are scattered pre and post security, and in a few areas, you’ll even find dimmed lights and soothing music. Some travellers this past year were even directed to these areas by helpful airport staff who realized they were in the airport for the long haul. Superior shower facilities further delight those who spend hours here, as does the free Wi-Fi. The ease of navigation through BNE all but makes up for the fact that there is no 24-hour coffee shop, and that activities themselves are limited. ( Photo courtesy of gcspritz / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounge ($) • Free WiFi • Free Showers • Free Luggage Carts • Luggage Storage ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($). For more information, visit our Brisbane Airport Guide.

2. Adelaide International Airport, Australia (ADL)

It’s a clean, efficient, friendly airport that is large enough for facilities, but small enough to navigate. – survey respondent

Adelaide International Airport may not have a ton in the way of flashy amenities – but it does do small very well. The terminals are praised for being reliably tidy, and the overall layout is easy to navigate. Staff in the terminals are consistently friendly, and they manage to keep lineups to a happy minimum. Couple those features with free Wi-Fi, and you’ve got the second best airport in the South Pacific! Be warned however that ADL does close overnight, so if you find yourself here overnight you must head into the city centre, 6 kilometers away.

Airport Services/Facilities: Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($) • Musical Performances. for more information, visit our Adelaide Airport Guide.

3. Wellington International Airport, New Zealand (WLG)

Best Airports of 2016: Wellington Airport

There are couches everywhere but the best are under Gollum. – survey respondent

After a brief stint as the South Pacific’s best airport, Wellington International Airport fell in our rankings this past year. Though travellers remain delighted by the enthusiastic use of Lord of the Rings paraphernalia, a few long queues and overnight noise lessened the overall appeal. That said, WLG is still deemed a highly sleepable airport, thanks to the plethora of couches, free showers, luggage storage, and a generally clean and relaxed environment. ( Photo courtesy of time.two.wander / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Showers. For more information, visit our Wellington Airport Guide.

4. Auckland International Airport, New Zealand (AKL)

The airport is clean, well organised and very efficient. A pleasure to wait there for 3 hours. – survey respondent

Voters praise Auckland International Airport for being friendly, welcoming and delightfully clean. Natural light, free showers and the sound of recorded birds are a wonderful alternative to stagnant airplane air, and the terminal itself is easy and efficient to navigate. Benefits aside, there were a few complaints this year about the availability of decent food and chairs. Renovations continue to wreak havoc on prime sleeping benches, and when you do find a good restaurant, it will likely be especially noisy and crowded.

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi (30 minutes) • 24-hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Showers. For more information, visit our Auckland Airport Guide.

5. Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand (CHC)

Best Airports of 2016: Christchurch Airport

The airport provides special lounge (for overnight sleepers) which is clean and quiet and they offer blankets and mats – survey respondent

Last year, Christchurch Airport squeaked onto our best airports in the South Pacific list, with quite a bit of debate – and this year is no different. Short-term transit passengers continue to enjoy the unlimited free Wi-Fi, free showers, luggage storage and a few simple attractions. However, the over-nighters sing a different tune. The airport asks potential sleepers for proof of a flight that arrives after 10:30pm and departs by 8am the following day. Those who qualify are permitted to stay overnight in their sleeper lounge, where they’re provided with blankets, mats, beanbag chairs and games. However, the price of this lounge has increased from NZD 5 to NZD 10 this year making it comfortable, but contentious. ( Photo courtesy of wasitreally / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Unlimited Free WiFi • Rest Zone ($) • Free Showers • Interactive Games ($) • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Christchurch Airport Guide.

Now that you’ve read about the best airports in the South Pacific, read on to see what awaits on the Worst Airports of the South Pacific list!