Date: 16 April 2013
Flight time: 2 hrs 50 mins
Flight rating: 5 planes out of 5
|Air New Zealand’s KiaOra in-seat on-demand entertainment system.|
e-Travel Blackboard was invited to experience the delights of Niue island courtesy of Air New Zealand and Niue Tourism. This is part three of four flight reviews travelling Sydney-Auckland-Niue-Auckland-Sydney.
Today’s flight ex Niue was the inaugural Tuesday service arriving Auckland Wednesday. The benefit of the second fortnightly service means travellers can now visit Niue for 4, 7, 10 or 14 days compared to 7 or 14 days in the past.
Niue's 'Hanan" International airport (NIU) is less than five minutes from the town of Alofi. It's a small rural style airport with check-in, bag drop and the departure tax collection desk (NZ$34) all in the one small room. Boarding passes were pre-issued and a manual manifest system used. There were no computers or self-service kiosks in sight at Niue airport.
Note: For passengers connecting beyond Auckland no through boarding passes are issued in Niue.
Niue Airport is a undergoing massive renovations (April 2013). The departure lounge resembled a building zone. We unfortunately couldn't see outside for the inaugural A320 Tuesday arrival as all the windows were boarded up. Thankfully it wasn’t a long wait and in the adjacent arrivals hall we could hear the local Niuean musicians and dancers entertaining the new arrivals.
Cabin, Meal and Service
The flight wasn'f full and I was lucky enough to have a row of three seats to myself. I wanted to nap so I asked the flight attendant to wake me for the meal service. She replied they're coming now and i’ll ask them to serve you first. I would have been the 10th row to be served so that was really nice. What great service Air New Zealand.
Being a lunch time flight the meal choice was a Ploughman’s lunch or chicken in red wine sauce. I had the chicken which was flavoursome and had fresh vegetables which weren't so plentiful on Niue so they were relished.
The flight departed and arrived 30 minutes early which was great news giving us more time in Auckland for our overnight connection. The Melbourne passengers were happy too as they now had extra time in Auckland guaranteeing they'd make their connection.
e-Travel Blackboard Tip
Niue has excellent duty free liquor prices but don’t expect to buy it at the airport. Liquor is bought at the bond store in town. Surprisingly when I arrived at the store the owner had a copy of my arrival card so with proof of identity I could buy at the duty free rates. All liquor is delivered to the airport and you collect it airside on departure.
How to book
Book Air New Zealand flights online Australia, New Zealand or contact your local travel agent.
For information about Niue visit the Niue Tourism website.
Allways Dive Expeditions, Adventure World, Omniche Holidays or booking.com.
About Niue Flights
Air New Zealand operates a weekly Saturday service Auckland to Niue crossing the dateline arriving Niue Friday. An additional fortnightly service was introduced on the 16th April 2013 ex Auckland on a Wednesday arriving Niue Tuesday.
Return flights depart Niue Friday each week arriving Auckland Saturday or fortnightly on a Tuesday arriving Wednesday.
Connection times may require Australian passengers to overnight in Auckland outbound to Niue. Same day connections may be available for some cities on the return journey.
Air New Zealand operates an A320 service with approx 170 all-economy seats for the 3 hour journey.