Working out in Queenstown Airport in New Zealand?

SFO-AKL Air New Zealand Business Premier
Queenstown Airport workout
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I landed into Auckland Airport at 5:30 am, but my connecting flight to Queenstown didn't depart until 10 am.  I figured it was time to do some bodyweight workouts at the airport for this long layover, but then I checked the kiosks to see if I could change onto the earliest available flight.  Sure enough, I was able to get onto the 7:30 am flight without a change fee since I had booked a refundable flight for only $100.  The difference between a discounted restricted fare ticket and a fully refundable ticket was $20, so I went for the refundable option in case I could change to the earlier flight.  So the $20 gamble definitely paid off as the 7:30 am flight was selling for $200.

Air New Zealand uses all economy class seating for their domestic flights.  Security and boarding is quick and easy.  Although I was designated a middle seat since I basically got one of the last available seats, it was a seat closer to the front of the plane with 35" of pitch space instead of the standard 31".  The flight between Auckland and Queenstown is just under 2 hours, so I arrived at 9:30 am, which is 2 1/2 hours before my anticipated arrival.  I went to the car rental agency to see if I could pick up my car early, but they were fully booked and I was directed to come back during the time I actually reserved for at noon.  So I decided to take a walk around the airport "neighborhood".  And low and behold, three blocks away from the car rental agency was a Snap Fitness.  Oh snaps!!

Can't think of a gym with a better backdrop

I immediately went inside and asked how much for a day pass.  At first, the front desk agent, who is also a personal trainer, said that a 3-day pass is $20 NZD (~$13 USD), and that using the gym for one day would be the same price.  But when I explained that I was only going to be here for a few hours, he said it'd be $10 NZD (~$6.50 USD), so I immediately handed him my Citi Premier credit card for the payment and got changed into my gym shorts.  The only card that earns bonus 2X at gyms is the World of Hyatt credit card, which I currently do not carry.  Since I would be earning 1X on this purchase regardless of the card, I turned to the Citi Premier since as a MasterCard with no foreign transaction fees, it typically has the best exchange rates, followed by Amex and then Visa.

Snap Fitness, which also has gyms in the U.S., usually isn't as decked out as larger gyms like 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport and LA Fitness.  But they typically have mostly everything you need, especially when you're desperate for a workout.  This specific gym had free weights that went up to 65 kg (~143 lb) as well as several power racks and a deadlifting platform.  And yes, I found myself busting out my phone to convert kg to lb.

Yesterday in the U.S. was leg day with heavy squats and deadlifting since I was scared that I wouldn't get another good workout until another 2 weeks.  But boy was I in luck, so I stuck to shoulders and core followed by HIIT on the spin bike.

Cardio sucks.  But what a view!

Bottom Line

When it comes to flights and picking up your car, delays always suck.  But boy was I glad there was a delay this time.  Because for $6.50, I smashed a 2-hour workout.  When you've got time to kill, there's nothing better than to hit the gym or at least go for a run since you reap the health benefits instead of just sitting around aimlessly and angrily.  Always try to stay active whenever you can, even on vacation.  And in this instance, it was a no brainer since I had 2 hours to kill.  New Zealand would not be a funeral for my shoulders and core, at least.  Why can't all airports have cheap gyms within walking distance??


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