Auckland Airport (AKL)
History, Facts and Overview
(Auckland, North Island, New Zealand NZ)
In the late 1920s, the city's airport began its life as the Auckland Aero Club, which was based on level farmland on the southerly outskirts of Auckland. However, whilst this aerodrome grew in size and popularity, it was not until 1960 that construction began to convert the grounds into the city's number one airport, replacing the already existing Whenuapai Airport to the north.
Auckland Airport (AKL) officially opened at the beginning of 1966 and offered services between Sydney and further Australian destinations. The long runway was actually built partly on back-filled land next to Manukau Harbour and was immediately able to accommodate large aircraft. In 1997, Auckland Airport added an international terminal, while more recently in 2005, further improvements were made, separating the main arrivals and departures areas.
In total, Auckland Airport is home to over 100 different shops, situated throughout the terminals, within the Airside Shopping Mall, before the main security area, and along John Goulter Drive. Passengers will be able to purchase goods from duty-free outlets no later than 20 minutes before the actual departure time. Popular shops at Auckland Airport include Beachculture clothing, Choc Stop confectionery, Made in New Zealand clothing, and Regency Express, DFS Express and DFS Galleria duty-free stores.
Offering 'A Taste of New Zealand', the Kiwi Discovery food store is a good place to sample some local specialities. A 'Collection Point' is available as a pick-up point for tax-free goods bought at certain participating stores throughout the country.
Passengers in need of refreshment will find that Auckland Airport is home to plenty of eateries that you can choose from. Within the International Terminal, the Blue Bar, Café Down Under and Jean Batten Food Court are worth a look, while in Domestic Terminals, the Qantas Café and Velluto Espresso Bar are amongst the main offerings.
Business passengers at Auckland Airport will find a series of 'wireless hotpots' located within both the domestic and international terminal, and many specified cafés. Conference and meeting rooms are also on hand should they be required, such as the Cabin, Clubhouse and Coachrooms within the Air New Zealand terminal area.