Airport Guide: Christchurch International Airport

Christchurch International Airport is the second biggest airport in New Zealand and an important international gateway for flights to and from New Zealand. In this airport guide, we’ll explain what you need to know about Christchurch Airport!

Speaking of New Zealand, size is somewhat of a different scale than elsewhere, especially when it comes airports. So while Christchurch is the second biggest airport in the country by passenger numbers, there are actually just a little below 7 millions a year. Nevertheless, the airport plays an important role for domestic and international traffic as it’s even bigger than the country’s capital airport, Wellington.

There are not only many domestic and Tasman services, but also lot’s of long haul flights: Emirates is offering flights to Dubai, China Southern to Guangzhou, Fiji Airways to Nadi, Singapore Airlines to Singapore, China Airlines to Taipeh and Cathay Pacific to Hongkong (the latter two are only seasonal).

Dining & shopping at Christchurch Airport

With a total of 35 shops and dining venues, Christchurch Airport offers a lot of options to buy things before your flight or after arrival. The focus of shops in Christchurch isn’t on fashion or jewelry, but rather on daily needs, press, duty free and souvenirs.

Christchurch International Airport Dining

While there are various dining venues, there’s no real restaurant, but rather a selection of cafés, bars and fast food places. So while you won’t get any fine dining options at Christchurch International Airport, there’s a nice choice of places to grab a small snack.

Sleeping at Christchurch International Airport

While open 24 hours a day, Christchurch Airport isn’t a place to spend the night. The official airport rules don’t allow sleeping at the airport, you are only allowed to “sit”, according to There’s also no comfortable space to stay during the day. Thus, we’d recommend choosing an airport hotel instead.

Novotel Christchurch Executive Room

There are various options between bed & breakfasts, motels and actual hotels just minutes away from the airport. Commodore Airport Hotel and Sudima Christchurch Airport (both 4 star rated) are considered the best and closes options to the airport. You may also think about booking a hotel in town, the Novotel Christchurch was quite nice for example.

Lounges at Christchurch International Airport

There is a total of three lounges at Christchurch Airports. Two of the lounges are operated by Air New Zealand and those are spread between the international and the domestic airport. In the latter, ANZ also offers a second mini-lounge near the gates for those who don’t need to pass security.

Air New Zealand Koru Lounge Christchurch Seating

The only other lounge at the airport is the Manaia Lounge, which is used by various airlines for premium passengers and frequent flyers. Additionally, this lounge can be accessed with Priority Pass. You can also buy access to the Manaia Lounge.

Transportation at Christchurch Airport

Christchurch isn’t particularly big and thus there’s not too much public transportation in general. There are three different local bus lines connecting the airport with the city and other smaller cities around.

Christchurch Airport Bus

The bus is quite affordable, but usually takes approximately half an hour. If you use Uber or a taxi, you’re usually quite a bit quicker and prices are reasonable. Various car rental companies are present at the airport, too.

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