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4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

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Melbourne, Australia
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214 posts
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4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

Hello all,

We, 4 adults, have about 5 hours 'free' at Auckland airport on the way home to Melbourne from the USA. We are due to arrive at 08:40 and should depart at 15:30, so I'm looking to fill in 4-5 hours.

Does anybody know if we will be 'permitted' to leave the airport or will we be 'in transit'? Arriving on NZ005 departing NZ125

If we are able to leave, I was thinking of renting a car and getting out and about - what do you think? I thought I had heard somewhere about an 'In Transit' bus that did City tours - where you can't get off but get a tour of the city?

Thanks in advance!

Auckland, New...
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1. Re: 4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

Hi Max

Since both your flights are with Air NZ, you could ask the checkin staff in LAX to check your bags all the way through to MEL. I'm assuming you hold US passports? If you do, you can 'land' and leave the airport to go out and about.

Five hours free time is not much. But you could aim for a good lunch somewhere in the city which is about 40-50 minute drive (car/taxi/bus/shuttle) depending on the traffic.

I'm not sure of an 'in transit' bus. But there are a few other options that you might like to have a look at:

1. http://www.explorerbus.co.nz/

2. greatsights.co.nz/luxury-bus-tours/Auckland.…

To use a bus to get to the city and back, you can use airbus: http://www.airbus.co.nz/home/ or shuttle, otherwise taxi or rent a car (which could be a bit pricey for a 5 hour visit)

You could easily spend your free time in the city, or if you prefer to wander around the airport area, there's a few attractions such as the Butterfly Creek, Pirates Minigolf, Golf Driving Range and Villa Maria winery.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: 4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

Thanks Ben,

We are Aussies returning home, our luggage will be checked through to MEL so we'll be travelling light. I like the idea of lunching somewhere other than the airport. I haven't checked out rental cars just yet, but with 4 of us it may be more economical. I looked at some '1/2 day tours' they were about $90NZ each.


New Zealand
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for South Island
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3. Re: 4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

Hi Maxine :)

After arriving in NZ from the US we do encourage our visitors not to drive on their first day. Sadly there are far too many accidents caused by driver fatigue. Jet lag kills.

Please consider taking the bus and exploring the city in safety :)

Wanaka, New Zealand
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4. Re: 4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

Hi there,

It will take you about half an hour to taxi into the city, or longer if you travel by bus. I would allow for even longer (perhaps an hour) to get back to the airport so you are still on time if there is a traffic jam or accident etc. Because of this, you aren't really going to have too much free time in the city.

Another option, like previously mentioned, would be to visit Butterfly Creek and Treasure Island Mini Golf which are just a 2 minute taxi drive or fairly easy walk from the airport. Perhaps not as interesting as getting into the city, but at least the mini golf will allow you to stretch your legs after a long flight, Butterfly Creek has a reasonably nice cafe where you can have lunch, and there will be no concerns about not getting back to the airport on time.



Edited: 27 January 2010, 18:38
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5. Re: 4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

Hi Max, Suggest you check bags through to Melbourne.

At Auckland get a taxi to take you to Eves Pantry and deli 401 Manukau Road and grab some delicious picnic items. Then get taxi to drop you at Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill. About 200 acres to explore with native trees and gardens and a volcano to climb for a fab view of auckland region. Use one of many picnic tables in the shade to have a special outdoor lunch. There is a cafe in park if you prefer that. There are sheep, docile cattle and bantams in the park. The taxi can pick you up at an arranged time to return you to airport about 14 km away.

Keen sailors, Auckland.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: 4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions! You have all offered great advice!


Colorado Springs...
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7. Re: 4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

THis is what I did with similar time on a trip a few years ago. There was a bus or shuttle that you can find the schedule of online. I took that to the harbor and asked where to buy tickets to ride on an America's Cup yaught (dang, is that how you spell it?) Anyhow, it was awesome. I also took the ferry over to an island, walked around naked on a n*d* beach and then took the ferry back. Now you four may not want to do THAT, but if one couple wants to .,.,....then.....DO IT! Have fun!

8. Re: 4-5 Hour Layover at Auckland.....any suggestions?

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