Getting To And Around Queenstown

Getting to and around Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, famed as New Zealand’s resort town, is one of the most-visited parts of New Zealand.

Queenstown is simply filled with tons of activities for visitors to partake in.

In particular, Queenstown is great for visitors who enjoy adventure activities.

Queenstown is home to New Zealand’s third-largest lake, Lake Wakatipu, and it is also surrounded by the Southern Alps.

The physical qualities of Queenstown make it an adventure haven.

In winter, the Southern Alps are great places for skiing and snowboarding.

In summer, paragliding activities can happen instead.

Aside from that, there are also numerous other activities available at Queenstown. 

With all the great activities available in Queenstown, transport is sure to be a question for visitors.

How can they get around Queenstown?

What’s the best option for visitors?

Additionally, how should travellers get to Queenstown?

In this article, we will be working to answer these questions to ensure that you can have a seamless travelling experience to and within Queenstown. 

For more information about lodging facilities, check out these hotels in Queenstown.


Getting To Queenstown 

1. By Plane 

This is perhaps the most straightforward way to get to Queenstown.

Being a popular destination, the Queenstown Airport is the fourth busiest within New Zealand.

There are a variety of airlines that fly here, such as Jetstar, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, and Qantas. Within Australia, you can fly to Queenstown from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, and Gold Coast.

Within New Zealand, you can fly to Queenstown from Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington.

The availability of flights varies according to the season.

During the most popular season, Winter, there will be more flights available. 

If you are coming in from the airport, there are a variety of ways that you can get into town.

The cheapest would be to take Orbus’ Service One.

This runs every fifteen minutes so you don’t have to worry about waiting too long for a bus.

If you are paying cash, this would cost you about ten dollars.

If you have a GoCard, it will only cost you two dollars.

If you want to get a cheaper ride, you can even walk to McBride Street Station.

This station is on Kawarau Road and it is a mere ten minutes away from the airport.

From here, the cost of a trip into town will only cost five dollars in cash.

Alternatively, you could get a taxi to take you into town.

However, this is expensive and will probably cost you 35 to 45 dollars.

If there’s only you and or another person, you can consider getting a Supershuttle shared van.

This service will take you all the way to your accommodation and the total cost will be 26 dollars. 

2. By Bus 

If you’re coming from Dunedin, Invercargill, Christchurch, the West Coast, Te Anau, or Wanaka, you’re in luck!

There are daily services coming to Queenstown from those places. 

In particular, you should look out for the national bus operator, which is InterCity Coachlines, as well as Newmans Coach lines.

These are all daily services to and out of Queenstown.

They also make numerous connections within the South Island.

The fares range according to distance but begin as low as a dollar.

A ticket for these services can be easily purchased online or at the various different ticketing agents, such as the i-SITE information network.

These services all arrive and depart at Athol Street car park in Queenstown. 

Alternatively, you can take the daily tour options by GreatSights New Zealand.

These daily tours come from Christchurch via Mount Cook.

They also have services that go to the West Coast.

Apart from that, you can also look at small shuttle operators who travel to and out of Queenstown, such as Tracknet. 

3. By Car 

To get to Queenstown, Christchurch would be the best starting point.

From Christchurch, it is a six and a half-hour drive.

You’d have to drive through Lindis Pass and Mackenzie Country.

All in all, you should plan for it to take a whole day as it’s a scenic drive and you might want to make stops along the way.

As you drive, you can expect to see huge plains, undulating hills, colourful lakes and several mountain passes.

If you are making this drive in winter, do be aware that snow might cause the Lindis Pass to close at times.

If this happens, you can detour and go through Oamaru and Alexandra to get to Queenstown.

This detour will add two to four hours to your trip. 

If you are driving in from another location, rest assured that you’d be able to drop your car off here.

There are both major national and international rental car as well as camper van companies in Queenstown. 

4. By Train 

You can’t exactly get to Queenstown by train.

You’d have to take a train and coach to get to Queenstown.

The Taieri Gorge Railway is a picturesque train journey that connects Middlemarch and Pukerangi.

Thereafter, you’d have to take a coach connection to get to Queenstown.

However, this is a seasonal train and it might not be available all year round. 

Getting Around Queenstown 

  1. By Boat 

Interestingly, there are boat services available to get around Queenstown.

In fact, there are quite a few boat tours that you can take from the Queenstown Wharf.

Aside from that, there are also water taxi services.

This is a pretty cool way to travel around some parts of Queenstown.

2. By Bus 

Queenstown has one main local bus service available – Orbus.

Orbus operates four different routes and the most commonly used one for tourists is bus service one.

This service runs from the airport to the Remarkables Park Shopping Centre.

If you are coming in from the airport, the bus fare is ten dollars in cash.

Anywhere else, it will be five dollars in cash.

If you are planning to take the bus a few times, it would be wise to get a GoCard for five dollars.

Thereafter, you should top it up with cash for as many trips as you’ll need.

With the GoCard, each ride will cost you two dollars. 

2. By Car 

Renting or having a car would make it the easiest to get around Queenstown, especially if you’re planning to go further out for your activities.

Thankfully, rental car services are easy to find in Queenstown and you can find one that’s suitable for your needs and budget.

If you are using your car within the centre of Queenstown, it is important to remember that parking is at a premium.

Therefore, you might have a hard time finding parking. 


Queenstown is indeed an amazing place to visit and there are great transport systems to and around Queenstown.

If you are planning to visit Queenstown in the future, we hope this article helps you! 

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