Jet-set go: Auckland Airport gears up for July school break travel rush

03 July 2024

Families making the most of the mid-winter break means a couple of busy weeks at Auckland Airport these July school holidays.

Auckland Airport Chief Operations Officer, Chloe Surridge, said around 55,000 people will be taking to the skies on the busiest days over the school break at Auckland Airport –the equivalent to the entire population of Nelson arriving and departing on peak days.

“We’ve got a busy weekend ahead of us as families gear up for the school holidays. There’s not quite as many people flying as the peak of summer, but the July break is traditionally when we see strong demand for both domestic and international travel.

“Australia is by far and away our most popular international destination, with China, the United States and Fiji in the next three spots. That’s driven by a mix of people using the school holiday break to go further afield to catch up with friends and family, or to hit the northern hemisphere tourism sights where the weather is warm.

“Locally, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown are the top three destinations from Auckland.”

With construction of the new domestic jet terminal in full swing, there are a few changes at the international terminal to allow the building work to be completed while keeping travellers safe.

“Shutting up shop isn’t an option for an airport, so we’ve got to get the work done while staying fully operational. That means temporary changes to access in and around the terminal. We are working hard to minimise the disruption as much as possible and we appreciate your patience as we upgrade the airport.”

Recent changes include a new walk between the terminals – the green line – being adjusted to skirt around the construction of the new domestic jet hub while also showcasing 36 spectacular Department of Conservation walks from across New Zealand. A new Park & Ride car park on Puhinui Road is now open, offering another parking option for travellers coming from the south.

At the domestic terminal, a bathroom refresh, including a new parent room and three gender-neutral toilets, has been completed. Additional seating space beyond security will also be opening mid-way through the first week of the school holidays.

Top tips for travellers:

  • The ground floor of the Transport Hub at the international terminal is now open with undercover lanes for public drop-off and pick-up, plus taxi, rideshare and shuttle drop-off, Auckland Airport Valet and bus services operating. Parking levels above open later this year
  • New pedestrian walkways connect the international terminal to parking and the pick-up zone for taxis, shuttles and rideshare. If you’d prefer to catch a bus to the temporary pick-up zone or Car Parks D and E, catch the blue shuttle bus outside the main arrivals door – Door 11
  • Park & Ride South on Puhinui Road is now open for travellers looking for another parking option
  • The easiest way to pick up arriving travellers is to use one of two Wait Zones. Located just a few minutes’ drive from either terminal, the Wait Zones give you 30 minutes free parking until your traveller lets you know they’re ready and waiting for pick-up. Look for the bright pink Wait Zone signs
  • ·The “green line” walkway connecting the domestic terminal and international terminal is open but has changed to avoid construction of the new domestic jet terminal. A shuttle bus also operates every 15 minutes between the two terminals
  • When you’re packing your bags, double-check to make sure that what’s in your luggage can be carried on an aircraft – Aviation Security remove around 130,000 noncompliant items a year from passenger bags every year
  • Aviation Security has introduced new technology at the international terminal for a smoother journey without compromising safety. You can now keep your electronics (laptops, phones, iPads) and liquids, powders, and gels in your bags - no more taking them out – however, volume limits and restrictions remain the same. Don’t forget to pack camera film in your checked-in bag. Camera film cannot go through the new x-ray machines at security. This type of screening will gradually be introduced at the domestic terminal over the remainder of the year
  • The Sunflower Hidden Disability lanyard is recognised at Auckland Airport. Check out the resources and support available to help make travel easier for those with invisible disabilities
  • Complete the NZ Travel Declaration online ahead of your international flight to New Zealand. Head to complete the free declaration up to 24 hours ahead of your trip to New Zealand
  • Travellers play an important role in protecting New Zealand's economic and environmental wellbeing by making sure bags are checked to ensure they don’t contain fruit or other items that could bring unwanted pests and diseases into the country.

Busiest days

International departures

  • Sunday 7 July
  • Friday 5 July
  • Saturday 6 July

International arrivals

  • Saturday 20 July
  • Sunday 21 July
  • Friday 19 July

Domestic departures

  • Friday 5 July
  • Friday 12 July
  • Thursday 4 July

Domestic arrivals

  • Thursday 4 July
  • Friday 5 July
  • Friday 12 July


Notes to editor:

New Zealand school holidays:

Saturday 6 July to Sunday 21 July

Australian school holidays:

New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania: 6 July to 21 July

Queensland: 22 June to 9 July

Victoria and Western Australia: 29 June to 14 July