At the tail end of my trip to Australia, I had a flight from Sydney to Vancouver in Air Canada Signature Class. Prior to the flight, my niece, with whom I was travelling, and I decided to check out the Air New Zealand Lounge in Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport.
Truth be told, I left the decision up to my niece, who thought that the entrance to the Air New Zealand lounge looked nicer than the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge next door.
I’m not one to argue with a nine-year-old, so we decided to set up shop for a couple of hours before our flight to Canada.
Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney – Access
The Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney is located in Terminal 1 of Sydney’s airport. The lounge is located near Gate 59, on the third floor of the airport.
To access the lounge, you’ll want to make a right turn immediately following customs and security. There are a number of signs throughout the terminal to point you in the right direction, should you wish to do some duty-free shopping prior to your lounge visit.
Once you’ve arrived near Gate 59, you’ll head up to the third level by an escalator or an elevator. The entrance to the Air New Zealand Lounge is to the right of its neighbour, the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Sydney.
There is a striking display of New Zealand’s natural beauty as you head through the entrance to the lounge. I appreciated how the screen added a pop of colour against the jet-black and wooden walls.
Passengers have the choice of scanning their boarding pass or being welcomed in by one of the lounge’s attendants.
Access to the Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney is reserved for Airpoints Elite, Gold, Elite Partner, and Koru members, as well as passengers travelling in businesspremier on Air New Zealand flights.
Travellers with Star Alliance Gold status, as well as passengers flying in business class on a Star Alliance airline, may also enter the lounge.
As for guesting privileges, Airpoints Elite members can bring a single guest when travelling on Star Alliance flights, and up to three guests when travelling with Air New Zealand.
Airpoints Gold, Elite Partner, and Koru members, as well as passengers with Star Alliance Gold status, can bring one guest into the lounge.
We enjoyed access with our Air Canada Signature Class tickets for a flight from Sydney to Vancouver.
Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney – Seating
The Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney is a very spacious lounge, measuring almost 1,500 square metres. There is seating available for up to 299 passengers.
Once you enter the lounge, you’ll find a long table set up with stools for passengers to sit on while they eat or work. The primary dining area is just behind here, set up with a long black bench and steel chairs with seating for two.
Opposite from here is a cozy seating area, with your standard airline lounge chairs and some pink wing-tip chairs set against the wall.
In front of the bar, there are a handful of low-set armchairs with circular coffee tables in between.
To the left of the bar is a bright seating area set up with pink and black wing-tip chairs facing the tarmac. There are also some more armchairs set against the wall, underneath vintage Air New Zealand posters.
Moving into the rest of the lounge, there is a tall high-top table set up with stools, which serves as a working space for passengers who need to get some work done before their flight.
On the opposite side of this area begins the main seating area. You’ll find a bright-pink bench set up with white coffee tables in front of a mixture of armchairs and wing-tip chairs.
Along the windows, you’ll find some comfortable leather chairs and ottomans, which makes for a perfect spot to watch aircraft moving about the terminal. During my visit, the Air Canada 777 was parked just outside of the lounge.
In the far end of the lounge, you’ll find some nooks set up with benches and pillows.
Another long table serves as a work area, complete with cushioned white stools to sit on. This area is particularly bright, as it has windows on both sides.
About midway through the lounge is a kids play area. There are a few seats for adults to relax while they watch their children play nearby.
After having something to eat in the dining area, we moved to the main seating area to relax before the flight. I appreciated the mix of seating in the lounge, as it caters to all types of travellers.
I also thought that the lounge was aesthetically pleasing, with a mix of Air New Zealand’s black-and-white colour palette with pops of bright pink and decorations.
The size of the lounge is also very nice, as there’s plenty of room for guests to move about. It wasn’t particularly busy during my visit, but I imagine that even when it is, seating isn’t hard to come by.
Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney – Dining
The main buffet station is located to the right when you first enter the lounge. There are plenty of food items available for guests, although the selection of hot buffet items was rather small.
When I visited, staff were just transitioning from the breakfast service to lunch. I was more in the mood for lunch food than breakfast food, so I waited a few minutes until everything was set up.
The hot items available during my visit were cajun chicken scallopini, saffron rice, roasted potatoes, and steamed cauliflower and broccoli.
The rest of the buffet had plenty to offer, including salads, baked goods, cheeses, meats, and bread.
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I opted to try some of the cajun chicken scallopini and saffron rice, which was pretty tasty.
Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney – Bar
There are a number of bar stations scattered throughout the lounge. At each one, you’ll find refrigerators with cold drinks, such as beer, wine, juice, and soft drinks, as well as a coffee maker, hard alcohol, water towers, and soft drink dispensers.
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The main bar is located immediately in front of you as you enter the lounge. It’s staffed with bartenders who will pour you a glass of New Zealand beer or wine, or whip you up a cocktail of your choice.
One of the lounge’s signature features is a barista station, located to the left of the bar. You place your drink order on a touchscreen, and then the barista calls your name once it has been prepared.
I wish more lounges had live barista stations, as it offers a substantial improvement to automatic coffee makers. I opted to sip on one last flat white in Australia while I got some work done prior to my flight.
Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney – Showers
The Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney has a number of shower rooms, which are located near to the restrooms.
Inside, you’ll find a simple yet elegant arrangement, with an LED-backlit mirror, sink, toilet, and walk-in shower. You can find towels placed on a rack near to the shower.
The restrooms were kept very clean during my visit, and they had a nice, spacious layout.
The Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney is a spacious, quiet space with plenty of seating, a barista station, and shower rooms. It’s a great place to relax prior to an international flight, and has been thoughtfully designed to accommodate all types of travellers.
Overall, I think that this is a great example of a lounge that has something for everyone. With a range of seating options, a play area for kids, work spaces, a barista station, and plenty of natural light, you won’t have a hard time finding something to suit your needs.
For what it’s worth, my niece’s favourite part of the lounge was all the free stuff inside.
I’d happily return to the Air New Zealand Lounge Sydney on a future visit, and I’m now curious to see how the airline’s other lounges compare.