Air New Zealand resuming Sunshine Coast direct flights on June 25

Air New Zealand resuming seasonal Sunshine Coast direct flights on June 25, 2023.
Photo credit: Getty Images / supplied

Air New Zealand is restarting its seasonal Auckland-Sunshine Coast direct flights on June 25.

There will be three return flights per week departing Auckland at 9:10am on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and departing Sunshine Coast at 12:40pm on the same days.

It will bring Air NZ's total number of Australian destinations to nine, four of which are in Queensland: Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns and Sunshine Coast.

The route gives Kiwis looking for an escape from Aotearoa's winter months to somewhere warmer another option with a convenient arrival time.

"You'll leave Auckland in the morning and land in the Sunshine Coast just before lunch, clear Customs, take a short taxi ride to have some fish and chips on the beach, then check into your hotel and your holiday begins," Shelley Winkel​, Consumer PR Leader at Tourism and Events Queensland, told Newshub.

"New Zealanders love our coastal lifestyle and we're excited that with this direct route you can be enjoying our beaches within half a day of leaving Auckland."

Air NZ's General Manager Short Haul Airline Jeremy O'Brien said the route is always popular with Kiwis due to its "incredible beaches, rich food culture and laid-back nature".

"We've always seen great success on this route, and we expect this season to be no different," he said.  

"Couples, families or even solo travellers are guaranteed to have a great time - there's something to do for everyone."

Winkel​ said the Sunshine Coast's surfing beaches are beloved and "a little bit more low-key compared to the Gold Coast", but the area has much more to offer beyond those.

"Sitting behind the Sunshine Coast is a whole hinterland full of beautiful drives, there are loads of fantastic restaurants, you can take boats out and go dolphin watching, you can go for walks around Noosa, which is a really popular destination.

"It's also positioning itself the craft brewery capital of Australia. Per capita, there's more breweries and distilleries than anywhere else in the country. So you can head off to one of those and kick back with a great craft beer, often while watching the ocean swells come in. It's a really lovely lifestyle."

Air NZ's Sunshine Coast route will use Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft and run through until October 15.