How to get to and from Auckland Airport
I always find the journey to the airport the most stressful part of travelling.
It usually involves organising a ride for some ungodly hour, checking and double checking you've correctly calculated the check-in time and making sure you pick a smooth route there.
Only once my bags are checked in and I have my ticket in hand can I relax.
Each day, about 63,000 vehicles visit Auckland Airport and it's where 70 per cent of visitors enter or exit New Zealand. So what's the easiest and cheapest way to get there?
HAIL A CAB
Probably the most expensive option. Before you even open the cab door there's a few dollars on the metre. A taxi from central Auckland costs about $100. If you're catching a taxi from the airport there's a fee of about $7 which is roughly the same across all taxi companies.
JUMP ON A BUS
The Airbus Express is great value. It runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and costs $16 per adult and $6 for a child one way. There's usually plenty of room onboard, it runs every 10 minutes at peak times and takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Extras such as bikes and surfboards cost an extra $6. Payment can be made online, at selected hostels and i-sites, from the airport ticket kiosk or to the driver. AT Hop cards can be used as well. From Britomart, the bus takes one of two routes - via Dominion Rd or via Mt Eden Rd. On both it will pick up passengers from any stop.
DO THE SHUTTLE
Super Shuttle charges about $30 from central Auckland to the airport. It operates a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service to airports in most cities. The minivans with trailers can seat up to 11 passengers. If you're in a van crammed with 11 people you might have to sit through 10 different drop-offs before you arrive home.
ASK A FRIEND
This is my favourite option because it costs nothing. However, I do tend to slip them some petrol money, a few beers, or just return the favour some day. Not only is it fast and cheap but you get to spend quality time with someone you know instead of being in a vehicle with strangers. You might even get some company while waiting to depart.
Historically I've avoided this option because I thought it was too expensive. But rates on Auckland Airport's website appear to be fairly reasonable for international terminal parking, costing between $30 and $46 for 24 hours depending on how close you want to park and whether it's covered or uncovered. It can get as low $7 a day if you book online in advance.
Rail isn't coming to Auckland Airport any time soon. The South-West Multi-modal Airport Rapid Transit has been launched to identify transport needs around the airport in the next 30 years. It's a joint project between Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, NZTA, Kiwi Rail and Auckland Airport.
- Sunday Star Times