So you’ve just spent a month checking out New Zealand and your flight home leaves from Auckland International Airport. You spend your last night partying in the city, and now, bleary eyed and weary, you need to make your way from the CBD to the airport to say your final goodbyes and board a plane for a twenty hour flight back home.
So what’s the best option to get to the airport?
As usual, it’s a trade off between time and cost.
According to Taxifarefinder.com, a taxi to the airport from downtown will cost about $63 and take around 30mins. With traffic those numbers could easily double, so if you’re in a hurry to make your flight and are travelling around rush hour, it may be beneficial to leave earlier.
The Uber app agrees that best case it will take a half an hour to get to the airport and gives a generous range of $45-60 for the cost.
SuperShuttle have a shared option of $25 per person and an exclusive use for $125.
The Skybus actually stops at a few places between the CBD and the Airport, takes about an hour and costs $18. It leaves every ten minutes during peak times and every thirty minutes off peak. Tickets are purchased online or you can use the HOP card. They’ll also let you jump on without a ticket and buy one using a credit card when it reaches the transfer stop in Queen Street.
Buses and Trains
Buses and trains are run by AT and they have an AT Hopcard (costs $10) which allows you to preload funds in exchange for a lower fare. Fares given below are listed as $hop card fare/$cash fare
Catching the train to Papatoetoe and then switching to the bus represents the most cost effective way to get to the Airport, and as long as the arrival time of the train comes close to the departure time of the bus, you’ll get there in about an hour.
- Either the Southern or Eastern line $4.80/$7.00 train 35min
- 380 bus $1.90/$3.50 bus 25mins
The Mana Bus is a regional bus service from Auckland to other towns and cities, departing from Auckland CBD and with a stop at Manukau. The 380 bus mentioned above departs from Manukau before heading to Papatoetoe and then on to the Airport, so connecting the two makes a lot of sense. Now the normal trip from CBD to Manukau is priced at $26, but occasionally Mana have a sale (Ange got a ticket from Auckland to Te Puke for $1) which makes the Mana to Manukau/380 to Airport a great option. Being a regional service, there are limited buses per day, so the schedule may not work for you either. Do not buy the Skybus tickets from the Mana Bus website – they sell the $18 ticket for $20!
- Mana to Manukau $1 bus 25 mins (according to their website)
- 380 bus $1.90/$3.50 bus 25mins
- So the best price would be the bus/bus combo if you found a Mana special which matched your schedule: $2.90 and about an hour via Manukau
- Then $6.70/$10.50 and an hour for the train/bus combo from Papatoetoe
- If you don’t want to change modes of transport, take the Skybus for $18
- If you’re not in the CBD and are ok with sharing but want to travel with fewer people, take the SuperShuttle for $25
- Otherwise if there’s just you or a party of up to four, take an Uber or a taxi for half the time but three times the cost.
- Lastly if there are more than four of you, you can book out the SuperShuttle, though a taxi van will probably end up cheaper than $125.
Auckland traffic, especially during rush hours can be congested, so if you need to minimise your exposure to delays, it may pay to take the train, then bus. Likewise maintenance on the rails may disrupt your journey, so definitely do some research to make sure you’ll be able to make your flight.