Parking at Christchurch

    At least 2 hours prior to plane take off
    Minimum of 30 minutes after plane lands
    At least 2 hours prior to plane take off
    Minimum of 30 minutes after plane lands

    Christchurch Airport Parking

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    Christchurch Airport parking

    Whether you’re working away for the day or treating the whole family to a well-deserved break, the terminal at Christchurch Airport benefits from convenient on-site parking facilities and there are plenty of off-site options, including park and ride, long-term storage and mechanical services available further afield.

    Short-stay parking

    Located right in the middle of the airport site, CHC’s short-stay car park is ideal for those taking a quick trip, whether it’s a few hours or a few days. The car park is equipped with plenty of mobility parking options, as well as the new parent parking spaces, which are located right next to the fully covered walkway that will take you straight to the terminal in a matter of minutes.

    Long-stay parking

    If you’re going to be away for a week or so, Christchurch Airport’s expansive long-stay facility provides open-air parking with HD CCTV and 24/7 access. After you’ve dropped your car off, it’s only a five-minute walk to check-in and the long-stay car park is conveniently close to the international arrivals hall when you return from your trip.

    Park and ride

    If you are travelling on a budget or flying with heavy bags, there are numerous park and ride facilities around CHC, including the airport’s own EconoPark service. Most facilities offer complimentary bus services that run between the car parks and the terminal building every 15 minutes and take between 10 and 15 minutes each way.

    It is useful to note that the pay station in EconoPark only accepts cards and that, if you’re paying with cash, you’ll need to validate your ticket before you leave the terminal. CHC’s EconoPark is fitted with mobility and parent parking spaces and, if you fancy walking to check-in instead, there is a bright green line that runs continuously from the car park to the terminal doors.

    Express Park

    If you’re only making a fleeting visit to the airport, CHC’s Express Park is the closest to the terminal, reachable on foot in around a minute. The first 15 minutes of parking in Express are free, which makes it a great place from which to wish friends and family safe travels or wait to welcome them back, but the facility can also be used for premium parking. Complete 24/7 security coverage and three levels of covered parking give your car security and protection from the elements while you’re away, although it’s important to note that a 7.2-feet (2.2-metre) height restriction is in place.

    Pick-up/Drop-off

    If your passengers have got a plane to catch or they’ve touched down and are ready to go, CHC’s Loop system is a pick-up/drop-off only zone right next to the terminal with no waiting or parking permitted. If you need a bit more time, though, the Express Park is just over the road.

    Guide to Christchurch Airport

    Christchurch Airport during sunrise
    • +64 3 358 5029 (business hours) +64 3 353 7777 (24/7)
    • Christchurch 8053
    • One integrated terminal
    • Car, bus, taxi, train, rental
    • Unlimited free WiFi
    • www.christchurchairport.co.nz

    Christchurch International Airport (CHC) is the main airport serving New Zealand’s South Island. Its single terminal building and innovative perpendicular runways accommodate over a dozen domestic and international airlines, with upwards of one thousand flights to and from over 30 locations around the world taking place each week.

    CHC was the first international airport in New Zealand and remains the second-busiest in the country, with over six million visitors passing through each year. Christchurch Airport is one of only two major airports in New Zealand and the only one on the South Island capable of accommodating the largest category of long-haul aircraft, including the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380, which makes it a vital economic and cultural gateway for the city of Christchurch and the south of New Zealand.

    Location of Christchurch Airport

    CHC is situated in the suburb of Harewood, just over seven miles (12 kilometres) north west of Christchurch city centre. The main access road into the airport is linked to both Memorial Avenue, which leads directly to central Christchurch, and State Highway 1, which runs the entire length of both islands and serves as the backbone of New Zealand’s road network.

    The airport can be reached from downtown Christchurch via taxi in 20 minutes or by a number of convenient bus routes that run every half an hour and take between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on where you get on. Although CHC has no dedicated rail facilities, Christchurch Railway Station Addington is located on the edge of Christchurch city centre, just six miles (10 kilometres) away, making it a quick taxi ride to check-in.

    History of Christchurch Airport

    In 1935, the local council picked Harewood as the best site for a new aerodrome and, two years later, the 561-acre (227-hectare) site held a 3,000-feet (915-metre) runway and a small terminal building. In 1940, the airfield became RNZAF Station Harewood and grew steadily for 10 years until the airport became the first in New Zealand to receive government clearance for international operations. Following the boom in international air traffic and visitors in the 1950s, a new and considerably larger terminal building was designed by famous New Zealander architect, Paul Pascoe, who took inspiration from some of the world’s most successful and iconic airports. The new terminal building opened in 1960.

    Since then, the investment, development and expansion of CHC’s access routes, parking facilities and runways has been almost constant and the recent completion of a major terminal upgrade has allowed Christchurch Airport to welcome even more international visitors to New Zealand.

    Airport facilities

    Being the South Island’s major domestic and international hub, Christchurch Airport is responsible for the comfort, sustenance and entertainment of over 16,000 visitors every day and, as the airport has grown in size and capacity over the years, so has its range of facilities.

    CHC’s site now features many high-street shops, many of which are housed in the airport’s purpose-built Spitfire Square retail complex, selling everything from travel essentials to luxury cosmetics and cutting-edge technology. The airport has a mouthwatering selection of fresh and fast food from a range of international outlets and local favourites and even its own small cinema.

    If you have any special requirements for your visit to CHC, you can find all the information you need on the airport’s special assistance page.

    Facilities at Christchurch Airport include:

    • Business facilities
    • Car rental
    • Cash machines/ATMS
    • Collection points
    • Currency exchange
    • Family facilities
      • Change tables
      • Children’s play area
      • Family entertainment zone
      • Nursery rooms
    • Food and drink
      • Bars
      • Cafés
      • Fast food
      • Pre-packaged food
      • Restaurants
    • Gym facilities
    • Hospitality ambassadors
    • Information desk
    • Internet access
      • WiFi
      • Kiosks
    • Lost and found
    • Lounge
    • Luggage services
      • Storage
      • Wrapping
    • Medical services and first aid
    • Meeting rooms
    • Parking facilities
      • Express park
      • Long-stay
      • Park and ride
      • Pick-up/Drop-off
      • Short-stay
    • Pay phones
    • Pharmacy
    • Phone and laptop charging
    • Post office
    • Prayer room
    • Shopping
      • Convenience stores
      • Duty free
      • High-street brands
      • Luxury goods
      • Retail park
    • Showers
    • Smoking areas
    • Special assistance facilities
    • Toilets

    Christchurch Airport hotel and parking

    As the premier international airport for the south of New Zealand, Christchurch Airport is surrounded by a variety of hotels, motels and independent B&Bs, ranging from the affordable to the luxurious, with many providing options for parking your car for the duration of your trip.

    JUCY Snooze Christchurch’s selection of contemporary, alternative and affordable rooms, dorms and pods are ideal whether you’re looking to save some money on your trip or catch up on sleep before or after your flight. JUCY Snooze is a 10-minute walk from the terminal or a 20-minute drive from the city and, although the hotel doesn't offer parking deals beyond a complimentary space in their secure car park for the duration of your stay, it does provide a 24-hour courtesy airport shuttle service. It also offers discounts on vehicle rental with every room reservation, which can make getting around Christchurch even easier.

    If you’re travelling first-class on business or celebrating the start of your holiday in style, the prestigious Sudima Airport Hotel is only a five-minute walk from check-in. The hotel provides gym and spa facilities, an on-site restaurant and bar, 24-hour room service, business facilities and high-speed WiFi, as well as on-site secure parking for up to 14 days and a complimentary, 24-hour on-demand shuttle bus service that will take you and your luggage to and from the terminal forecourt in only two minutes.

    Although there are no on-site hotels at Christchurch Airport or hotels offering deals in conjunction with CHC’s comprehensive range of car parks, the airport itself provides many comfortable lounges in which visitors can rest and relax in overnight for a fee. Only a few minutes’ walk from the on-site car parks and considerably more affordable than many of the nearby hotels, this service is particularly useful if your flight is first thing on a morning.

    Top things to do in Christchurch Airport

    The world on a plate

    Whether you’re in the mood for noodles or fancy a freshly ground coffee to go, CHC’s terminal building is packed with a wide variety of food and drink. From familiar fast food outlets to New Zealand’s unique twist on Japanese sushi, Christchurch Airport houses a range of international eateries along with its in-house bars, cafés and restaurants. The range provides breakfast, lunch and dinner menus throughout the day, including a number of vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free options.

    Retail details

    Christchurch Airport’s retail hall is fitted out with shops that provide all your travel and holiday essentials, whether it’s factor 50 sunscreen or a brand-new bestseller. The airport also features outlets offering luxury cosmetics and world-renowned skincare collections, as well as cutting-edge technology, disposable cameras and those all-important spare batteries.

    Taking pride in its rich Kiwi heritage, CHC is also home to a selection of shops selling some of New Zealand's best local produce. From high quality souvenir t-shirts to locally-made jewellery and homeware, there’s sure to be something to remind you of your trip or inspire someone else at home to visit.

    To make shopping even easier, Christchurch Airport operates a convenient collection service that means you can leave all your purchases behind and enjoy your travels, safe in the knowledge that everything you bought will be ready for you to pick up on your return.

    Pop-up paradise

    Situated only 2,300 feet (700 metres) away from the terminal building is CHC’s brand-new entertainment complex, Spitfire Square. Featuring even more restaurants, cafés and bars from around the world, as well as a 24/7 gym and a huge supermarket, Spitfire Square also has space for a number of pop-up shops selling everything from freshly baked cakes to handmade clothes and contemporary lifestyle accessories.

    Whether you’re after a certain something or just stretching your legs, Spitfire Square is a great way of getting out of the bustle of the airport while remaining just a few minutes away from your departure gate.

    South Island on screen

    If you’re looking for something completely different, Christchurch Airport has its very own 54-seat cinema, located on level 1 in the terminal building. Flying South, an emotive 23-minute film that tells the story of three generations of a New Zealand family as they journey across the spectacular South Island, is shown every half an hour, giving you the opportunity to experience the famous warmth of the South Island people and its breathtaking landscape in a completely unique way before you fly.

    Top the leaderboard

    CHC is also home to a fun-filled video games arcade featuring a selection of all-time classics to bring out the retro gamer in you, alongside some of the latest cutting-edge releases to keep today’s generation of gamers entertained.

    Sit back and relax

    If that all sounds like too much hard work and you’d rather just catch up on that book you're reading, check your emails or even top up your sleep, you’ll be pleased to know that, for a daily charge, many of the executive lounges at Christchurch Airport will let you in regardless of the airline with which you’re flying. With complimentary refreshments, free high-speed WiFi, a wide selection of magazines and newspapers, business facilities and even showers, all away from the noise of the check-in hall, you can get everything done in peace or just enjoy doing nothing at all before take-off.

    Top things to do near Christchurch Airport

    The restored Peacock Fountain in Christchurch Botanic Gardens at twilight

    Explore Antarctica

    As strange as it might sound, New Zealand is one of the closest countries to the Antarctic and was one of the original 12 countries to sign the Antarctic Treaty System, which has protected the virtually uninhabited continent’s unique ecosystem and promoted the sharing of scientific research since 1959.

    The International Arctic Centre, located directly across the road from CHC, lets you experience what life is like on the frozen tundra, learning about the human impact on Antarctica as well as Antarctica’s monumental effect on the globe. With interactive indoor displays replicating the effects of an Antarctic blizzard, a 4D Antarctic cruise simulation and even a resident raft of inquisitive Little Blue penguins, you can discover what it’s like to set foot in a frozen world, only a five-minute walk away from check-in.

    A groundbreaking experience

    Thanks to its position spanning the fault between two enormous tectonic plates, New Zealand has been blessed with a spectacular array of volcanoes, but it also means that earthquakes are simply a fact of Kiwi life. Quake City is a truly unique, multi-sensory exhibition that explores what it is like to live through a seismic event and explains how Christchurch has rebuilt and grown even stronger after the quakes of 2010 and 2011.

    By combining personal accounts and artefacts with cutting-edge geological readings of the ground under your feet and pioneering research into quake-proof architecture and predictive technologies, Quake City is a powerful celebration of progress and community located in the heart of the city.

    A royal rose garden

    Founded in 1863 with an English oak planted in commemoration of the marriage between Prince Albert, who would soon become King-Emperor Edward VII, and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who would become his Queen, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens cover 52 acres (21 hectares) and sit on the banks of the Avon River.

    The visitor centre contains a café, gift shop and a permanent exhibition exploring the heritage of the gardens and the history of the plants it keeps. With a lovingly restored Victorian glasshouse containing an impressive array of tropical plants and cacti, an extensive garden of culinary and medicinal herbs and a renowned collection of over 250 varieties of cultivar and heritage roses, Christchurch Botanic Gardens always has something worth seeing (and smelling), whatever the season.

    It’s play time

    Named after one of New Zealand’s most beloved children’s authors, the Margaret Mahy Family Playground features an incredible assortment of playground equipment, interactive spaces, gardens, artwork, water features and picnic areas, all to be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

    Only a 20-minute drive from the airport and with free parking and facilities, the Margaret Mahy Family Playground is a unique way for you and your kids to blow off some steam before settling into your flight.

    Step inside an architectural, economical and ecological marvel

    Built in the wake of the 2011 earthquake that left Christchurch Cathedral badly damaged, the Transitional Cathedral was built as a temporary refuge while options for the expensive repairs were considered. Standing 69 feet (21 metres) tall, the Cardboard Cathedral, as it is more commonly known, is primarily composed of 96 cardboard tubes that form the frame of the building and shape its distinctive, high-pointed roof.

    Upon completion, the innovative Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, and his team handed a symbolic cardboard key to the bishop and, since then, the building has seen numerous equally economic and ecological alterations after it was decided that it would remain as a permanent feature of the Christchurch community. With a busy schedule of concerts and civic events throughout the year, the Cardboard Cathedral has to be seen to be believed.

    History in the Southern Hemisphere

    Established in 1867 by Julius von Haast, whose eclectic collection of bones, plants, birds, rocks and minerals formed its first exhibition, Christchurch’s Canterbury Museum and its vast selection of cultural curios have risen to global significance over 150 years of exhibitions and events celebrating all manner of subjects.

    From Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities to unique Antarctic artefacts and the most important collection of colonial historical material in the world, Canterbury Museum has something to fascinate everyone and, as a popular hub of Kiwi culture, offers free entry all-year-round.

    Set sail

    Got a day to spare and want to unwind before flying back to the stress and commotion of day-to-day life? Why not wander down to the Antigua Boat Sheds, hire a boat or canoe and row yourself down the beautiful Avon River?

    Built in 1882, the Category I Heritage listed boat sheds have been in use ever since and are thought to be the only surviving boat sheds from the era in the whole of New Zealand. Whether you have lunch in the Edwardian stylings of the Boat House Café or you take a picnic onboard with you, floating down the river is one of the most relaxing ways to spend a New Zealand afternoon and a quirky way to explore Christchurch.

    Which terminal?

    Christchurch Airport’s huge 254,563 square feet (77,591 square metre) terminal building integrates all of the domestic and international flights arriving and departing every day. As the South Island’s biggest and busiest international airport, CHC serves as the base for Air New Zealand and is frequently used by a number of other major airlines including Emirates, Qantas and Virgin Australia.

    Air ChathamsMain terminal
    Air New ZealandMain terminal
    Air New Zealand Link (operated by Air Nelson)Main terminal
    Air New Zealand Link (operated by Mount Cook Airline)Main terminal
    Cathay PacificMain terminal
    China AirlinesMain terminal
    China Southern AirlinesMain terminal
    EmiratesMain terminal
    Fiji AirwaysMain terminal
    Jetstar AirwaysMain terminal
    QantasMain terminal
    Qantas (operated by Jetconnect)Main terminal
    Singapore AirlinesMain terminal
    Sounds AirMain terminal
    Uzbekistan AirwaysMain terminal
    Virgin AustraliaMain terminal
    Airline Terminal

    How to get to Christchurch Airport

    Car

    Christchurch International Airport is easily accessible, only 20 minutes’ drive from Christchurch city centre via Memorial Avenue and only five minutes from State Highway 1, which runs from the north of New Zealand to the south and provides direct access to CHC from anywhere in the country. Wherever you’re driving from, you can use the postcode Christchurch 8053 to make your way there.

    Bus

    Christchurch Airport is connected to three different bus routes – 29, 125 and the Purple Line – that run through downtown Christchurch and numerous surrounding suburbs, giving you plenty of bus stop options. The bus journey to CHC will take anywhere from half an hour to an hour depending on which route you choose and where you get on, so make sure you leave enough time to check-in before your flight.

    Train

    Christchurch Airport does not currently have its own rail station, but Christchurch Railway Station Addington is only 10 minutes’ drive away and is conveniently located between the airport and the city centre, making it a quick and affordable taxi ride in either direction if you’re getting the train.

    Useful tips

    Leave plenty of time before your flight

    Responsible for the majority of the South Island’s international travel and a major hub for domestic flights, CHC can quickly become busy, especially during peak hours. The airport recommends that you leave at least 40 minutes to check in for domestic flights and between two and three hours if you’re flying internationally. You can keep track of your flight using CHC’s live arrivals/departures page.

    Opening times

    While Christchurch Airport stays open 24 hours a day to serve international travellers, the domestic terminal is closed to the public after the last domestic flight at around 11pm. If you’re flying domestically first thing in the morning or last thing at night, it’s a good idea to check with your airline in advance when check-in for your flight opens and closes.

    24-hour food

    If you’re taking off first thing and hankering after something to eat or struggling with thirst after a late-night flight, you’ll be pleased to know that CHC has a 24-hour café located landside in the international terminal, serving a limited selection of food and drink.

    Stay fresh with a free shower

    There is a suite of free showers in the international arrivals hall at CHC, ideal if you’re looking to freshen up after a long-haul flight A number of the nearby shops also sell towels and a range of bathroom essentials if you’ve forgotten yours.

    Executive lounges for everyone

    For a one-time daily fee, some of the executive lounges at Christchurch Airport permit entry to all visitors, regardless of the airline you’re flying with or the type of your ticket. So, if you want to get away from the noise of the terminal and get on with work or have some sleep, it’s worth checking if there’s room.

    Know where to pick up and drop off

    Whether you’re picking people up or dropping them off, you can use the Express Park for 15 minutes completely free. Located just one minute away from the terminal, it’s perfect for wishing friends and family a happy trip and for welcoming them back.

    Christchurch Airport FAQs

    How do I get to Christchurch Airport?

    CHC’s single terminal is easily accessible by car and by public transport. For more information, take a look at the 'How to get to Christchurch Airport' section in this guide or consult the airport’s own transport guide for more details.

    Where can I find more information about my flight?

    CHC’s live arrivals/departures page contains information on every scheduled flight for the next 48 hours, including day and time of departure as well as your airline and flight number.

    Why are the runways at CHC perpendicular?

    Because of its position on New Zealand’s south east coastline, Christchurch Airport is able to take advantage of prevailing winds from both the north east and the south west. These winds can make it easier for planes to land and take off as well as save on their fuel consumption. The team that operates CHC’s state-of-the-art control tower ensures that no two flights are ever scheduled to take off or land on both of the runways at the same time.

    What do I do if I have lost something at the airport?

    All lost and found items are stored with the Airport Services team, who can be called directly on +643 353 7749 if it’s urgent. The team is only responsible for items lost in the terminal building, so if you believe you’ve left something on a plane, you need to contact your airline as soon as possible.

    What special access facilities are available at the airport?

    Christchurch Airport has gone to every effort to ensure that all of its visitors can enjoy their time at the terminal. While CHC aims to make your stay as comfortable as possible, if you require assistance on your flight, they recommend getting in touch with your airline as early as possible, to make all the necessary arrangements for your time at the airport.

    You can find a comprehensive list of CHC’s accessibility features here.

    Is there anywhere for me to charge my mobile devices?

    There are numerous power outlets available throughout the terminal at Christchurch Airport, with the majority being located in the food hall, although the bench islands throughout the departures hall also feature power sockets with built-in USB connectivity.

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