This is the first post in a series giving you the lowdown on how best to successfully (and cheaply) get out of the airport and into the city.
Tips of Arriving in Auckland Airport
1. Auckland airport provides free luggage carts in the baggage claim area.
Yippee free baggage carts. Expect that agents with sniffer dogs may come and sniff you while you’re waiting at baggage claim. If you’ve had fruit in your bag previously, the dog may detect it. This is not a big deal provided there is not prohibited food in your bag currently (see point #7). The customs agent will just ask as you a few questions while you’re standing there.
2. Free Sim Cards
You can get a free 2degrees Sim card for your phone at one of the tourist information booths. Look for the sign or just ask. These SIMs are perforated in order to convert easily to a Micro Sim for your iphone.
Note that cell phone calls are super pricey in New Zealand. This is the case with any of the cell service providers. You do not pay to receive calls or texts in New Zealand, only to send.
3. Free maps
Tourist desks at New Zealand airports have tons of free little guides and maps. Auckland airport has them for all of the country, even South Island destinations. Grab a few.
4. The AirBus
Taxis in New Zealand are expensive. The Auckland Airbus is $16 and runs frequently (every 10 minutes weekdays daytime, and every 30 minutes in the middle of the night). It’s 24 hours. You can pay cash to the driver. You might want to consider the AirBus route when selecting your accommodation.
There are reliable ATMs at the airport. I don’t believe there are any additional fees for using the airport ATMs vs. other ATMs.
6. Going between the domestic and international terminals involves a short walk outside.
You can take a shuttle bus but the walk is dead easy. Maybe 5 minutes. There is a blue line painted on the pavement that you just follow. There is one part where the blue line stops and it’s slightly confusing, but you can’t get lost.
7. Make REALLY sure you don’t have a banana in your bag.
The border control agents are not effing around! There is an instant $400 fine for having fruit or other prohibited food in your bag and not declaring it.
You’ll get a declaration form to fill in on your flight. Take it very seriously. No shit!
The good news – If you’re carrying something and you’re not sure if it’s allowed, just declare it. It’s no problem to do so. They will deal with it quickly and it probably won’t hold you up at all in getting out of the airport.
If there is a airport you know like the back of your hand, would you like to do a guest interview and provide similar info to what is provided above? If yes, email us. kathryn(at)rtw-travel-guide.com.
We’re focusing on international gateways airports that are popular with leisure travelers/backpackers. We’d love to have you contribute!