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LOUNGE REVIEW: Qantas First Lounge Auckland Airport and smoking patio

LOUNGE REVIEW: Qantas First Lounge Auckland Airport and smoking patio
Series: TRIP REPORT: Double Status Credit run to New Zealand

Time to leave the Hotel DeBrett and head back to Australia. We would be making use of the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland Airport, and popping into the Strata Lounge, which is accessible through Priority Pass. Then it was on to Sydney via Brisbane to finish this Qantas Double Status Credits earning trip to New Zealand. I should point out that the Qantas First Lounge and the smoking patio are completely separate.

I have previously reviewed the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland, which you can read here.

a chair in front of a counter
Catering counter in the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]


The Qantas First Lounge, Auckland, is nothing too special and has required a serious update for about the last ten years. It was slated for a revamp just before COVID-19 hit. The refurbishment will involve combining and expanding the two current lounges into a single premium lounge for everyone from Qantas Club to Chairman’s Lounge members. It has been announced again and is slated for staged completion by the end of 2024.

Back in June 2022 I wrote:

From next week, they [premium passengers] will be corralled back into Qantas’s totally outdated product, which CEO Mr Joyce has been promising to refurbish into one large premium lounge for Platinum, Platinum One and Chairmen’s Club members and business passengers since way back in 2015. Work was announced to commence in 2018, but apparently never did.

2PAXfly 23 June 2022
a room with chairs and a lamp
The Auckland Qantas First Lounge lacks any desirable view, unlike the smoking patio. [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]

At the Airport

Auckland Airport is undergoing substantial renovations after the floods it suffered back in January 2023. This is evident in some of the customs and immigration areas, which look a little temporary but have not substantially affected the lounge zone, which is located on a higher floor.

a map of Auckland airport
Auckland Airport Level 1 map section showing escalator and lounge zone [Auckland Airport/2PAXfly]

Location of the Qantas First Lounge Auckland Airport

After security customs and duty-free shops, the Qantas Lounge zone is located upstairs (Level Two). You access it by escalator outside what is currently the Adidas shop. The lounge is currently open from 4 am until the final Qantas departure of the day.

The Qantas lounge is part of a lounge zone consisting of an Emirates Lounge, the Qantas Lounge, and the Strata Lounge, a Priority Pass lounge.

Lounge zone up the escalators - Emirates Lounge Auckland
Lounge zone up the escalators – Emirates Lounge Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]


This lounge is pleasantly designed, albeit in an outdated Qantas design language. It missed the Marc Newson design era and looks closer to an outdated Qantas Sydney Business lounge.

The furniture has been slightly updated since I first visited this lounge back in 2019. You can see the contrast in the two images below. The first two images are pre-COVID in 2019, and the third from my latest visit in 2023.

a room with chairs and a laptop
Qantas First Lounge, Auckland, May 2019 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Note the carpet (the same) and the black leather armchairs (the same), but the tatty, worn green cushions have been removed, as have the green swirly upholstered chairs that were definitely showing their age.

a green chair with a pillow
Ageing lounge chair in Qantas First Lounge, Auckland 2019 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

The current look – substantially the same, ex green chairs and cushions looks fresher.

a room with a television and chairs
Auckland, Qantas First Lounge 2023 – some furniture re-upholstered, tatty cushions removed. [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

There are a few more contemporary furniture pieces like the brown leather covered lounge/bucket chairs below, but the catering area is much the same as back in 2019.

a chair in front of a counter
Catering counter in the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]

Food & Drink

Food and beverage is modest in this lounge. It usually has a choice of two or three hot dishes, and then a selection of charcuterie. Wine and soft drink selection is modest as well, and all is self-serve. What has been retained is that freezer to the far left of the picture above marked ‘Kapiti‘, which houses an excellent collection of their ice creams.

a freezer with a group of small round objects inside

Here are a few more images from the food selection.

a food in a container
Hot selection in the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]
a buffet table with plates and food
A selection of charcuterie at the Qantas First Lounge in Auckland [Seat 2A/2PAXfly]
a shelf of bottles of alcohol
Beverage selection, Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]
a group of bottles of alcohol on a table
Spirit selection in the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]
a glass of red liquid with a lemon and ice
Enough to make the cocktail suitable for drinking any time of day – a Bloody Mary [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]
a bathroom with a mirror and sink


The lounge bathrooms are still the same, although the non-working shower has been repaired. About the only thing that has changed is that the amenities are not XXX rather than Aspar.

a group of bottles with dispensers
LaGaia Unedited bathroom amenities in the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]
a glass shower with a toilet
Shower in the Qantas First Lounge Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]
a shelf with books on it
Magazine and newspaper display, Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]

WiFi & Business Centre

Connectivity is offered in the lounge via WiFi. It’s a perfectly reliable signal, but there’s nothing special to comment on.

There is a small four-desk business centre in addition to the lounge area for those who need privacy.

a room with a desk and shelves
Business area in Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]
a coat in a closet
Coat and bag storage in Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]

Smoking patio

This almost feels like an anachronism, but one of our party still likes a drag or two. He discreetly exited the Qantas lounge to pursue his indulgence beyond these glass doors. The deck is on the same floor as the lounge zone adjacent to the Qantas and the Strata lounge. To identify the location, look to the map at the top of this post.

a glass door with signs on it
Entrance to smoking deck, Auckland Airport [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]
a wood table on a balcony
Smoking and observation deck with aircraft detailing, Auckland Airport [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]


We had deliberately arrived a little early in the Qantas First lounge so we could also spend some time at the Priority Pass, Strata Lounge. So we didn’t depart as much as swap lounges.

a screen with a schedule
Departures board in the Qantas First Lounge, Auckland [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]

I particularly like the ‘Relax’ instruction under status for flights before boarding on this departures board.

2PAXfly Takeout

This is a dinosaur lounge in terms of design language. In reality, it is perfectly comfortable, although it lacks a little in service and food options. It can get busy when Qantas flights are about to depart, but spending an hour or two in here is quite pleasant.

The new combined premium lounge scheduled to open at the end of 2024 will be most welcome unless you prefer the exclusivity the current First only lounge affords

Other Posts in the Series
<< HOTEL REVIEW: Hotel Debrett – friendly, quirky gem of a hotel in the centre of Auckland, New ZealandLOUNGE REVIEW: Strata Lounge, Priority Pass lounge at Auckland International Airport >>

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