Wellington airport draws global acclaim

By Hana Garrett-Walker

Wellington Airport's new international terminal, The Rock. File photo / Mark Mitchell
Wellington Airport's new international terminal, The Rock. File photo / Mark Mitchell

Opinions may be divided, but Wellington Airport's so-called Rock terminal continues to rake in accolades.

The terminal, which has often been compared to two pumpkins, was this week ranked fourth best in the world by travel website frommers.com.

Since its completion in 2010 it has won 13 awards, including the transport category at the World Architecture Festival and the Registered Master Builders commercial project of the year.

The building's architects drew inspiration from rock formations along the Wellington coastline. It cost $60 million and took five years to complete.

Frommers.com senior online editor Jason Clampet gave USA Today a list of his best and worst airport terminals.

He placed Wellington fourth, after the Jeddah Hajj Terminal in Saudi Arabia, the Leifur Eriksson Air Terminal in Iceland, and the Seoul Incheon Airport in South Korea.

His choice was based on cleanliness, services, on-time departures, navigation and the ease of getting to and from the city centre.

Wellington Airport acting chief executive John Howarth said a terminal provides the first impression and final word on the city it's in.

"Wellington Airport is always looking at new ways to improve the travellers' experience and to be innovative in the way we do that."

The frommers.com best and worst top tens


1. Jeddah Hajj Terminal (Saudi Arabia)

2. Leifur Eriksson Air Terminal, Keflavik (Iceland)

3. Seoul Incheon Airport (South Korea)

4. Wellington 'Rock' Terminal

5. New York JFK Airport Terminal 5 (US)

6. Changi International Airport Terminal 3 (Singapore)

7. Marrakech Menara Airport Terminal 1 (Morocco)

8. Madrid Barajas Terminal 4 (Spain)

9. Carrasco International Airport, Montevideo (Uruguay)

10. Bilbao Airport Main Terminal (Spain)


1. New York JFK Airport Terminal 3 (US)

2. Manila Airport Terminal 1 (Philippines)

3. Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal B/C (Russia)

5. Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 3 (France)

6. Amman Queen Alia Airport (Jordan)

7. New York LaGuardia Airport Terminal 5 (US)

8. Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport (US)

9. Paris' Beauvais Airport (France)

10. Chicago Midway Airport (US)


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