New Zealand Guide

Transportation in Queenstown – Bus, Taxi, Uber or Car Rental?

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Queenstown is a beautiful lakeside town with a small but very charming city centre and it is surrounded by majestic snowy mountain peaks and famous ski fields. The town is found on New Zealand’s South Island and it is the main gateway to get to the Southern Alps. It is also known as the Adventure Capital of the World and it is one of the most popular tourist towns in all of New Zealand. Planning to stay in Queenstown this coming holiday? Great idea! No matter when you are travelling to Queenstown, it is always a good time to come! Here’s what you need to know to navigate your way around this lovely town:

Getting to Queenstown, New Zealand

By air

flying to Queenstown New Zealand
Credit: Queenstown Airport Facebook page

Queenstown Airport (ZQN) has got frequent daily flights coming in from big cities in New Zealand and Australia. Whether you are coming from Aukland, Wellington or Christchurch, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or the Gold Coast, you can fly to Queensland multiple times a day with Qantas, Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue and Jetstar. The airport is located just 7 kilometres from the centre of Queenstown, taking approximately 15 minutes to get down there. How convenient!

  • Taxis: It takes around NZD$40-50 to get a taxi from the airport to the centre of Queenstown with Blue Bubble Taxis or Green Cabs.
  • Buses: Ritchies Connectabus has got busses leaving every 20 minutes from the airport to the centre, costing NZD$12. Take Connectabus 11/12 to head straight to the centre of town. If you are planning to travel by bus more often, buy a GoCard at the airport. You can read more about the GoCard further down this article.

By land

road trip to queenstown new zealand
Credit: OpenStreetMap [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]
Nature is stunning, wild, raw and unspoiled around Queenstown and yet the road access is excellent! Coming overland promises a very scenic drive, making it worth the long hours of being on the road. If you have a lot of time, you may want to consider coming overland from Dunedin via the Southern Scenic Route. It’ll be an unforgettable experience! From Christchurch, you can drive in 6-hours straight to Queenstown, via the Mackenzie Country and Lindis Pass. Sceneries are breathtaking! In the wintertime, the Lindis Pass sometimes closes, rerouting you via Oamaru and Alexandra. This adds 2 to 4 hours to the ride.

Getting around in Queenstown

The centre of Queenstown is small and charming, making it easy and to get around on foot! Queenstown encourages people to walk, bike or cycle around town with perfect lakeside roads dedicated to paediatricians and cyclists. However, at some point, you got to explore the mountain peaks, lakes, rivers and ski fields around the lively city centre. Here are the options you have:

Travelling by bus? Get a GoCard!

Queenstown public transport
Credit: Otago Regional Council

Want to see more of the surroundings using public busses? Line 10/11 runs frequently between Queenstown centre to The Remarkables Park and Arrow Town. A day pass costs ZND $33. If you are planning to stay in Queenstown for a longer period of time and you prefer to travel by bus, go get yourself a Gocard. The GoCard costs NZD$5 and it needs to be topped up with another 10 to use it but if you are planning to move around by bus, the GoCard will be saving you a lot of money! Without it, a one-way ride will cost you ZND$5 but with your GoCard, all rides including up to Arrowtown will be only NZD$2. You can get the card at Queenstown Airport, O’Connell’s Mall kiosk, or any buses that are part of the $2 bus network. The buses run from 6 am in the morning until 12 am midnight.


Queenstown taxi

Taxis are not the cheapest way of getting around but the can be convenient sometimes. fares start at NZD$5,- and then another NZD$4 per kilometre. Check out this page for some estimated fares and distances.

Related: Things to do in Queenstown: 10 activities you should not miss


Yay, you will find Uber in Queenstown! Do note, Uber drivers are not permitted to pick up or drop-off clients from the airport. Get an estimated fare for you Queenstown travels with Uber here.

Water taxis

Yes, Queenstown has also got water taxis, getting you across the lake in no time. Just perfect! This is a fast, scenic and fun way of getting around in Queenstown! The price of a single boat ride is NZD$9. Read more about Queenstown’s Water taxis.

Get the Moovit App

Moovit is a handy public transport app with live directions, get-off notifications and more.

Car rentals

Car rental queenstown new zealand

Want to be independent and go drive around the mountain roads? You can rent a car at the airport or in town around Shotover Street as long as you brought your international drivers licence and credit card. The prices for car rental really depend on the season and what kind of car you are after. The prices start from NZD$35/day for a small car. Check out Gorentals and book your Queenstown vehicle in advance!

Related: 8 Restaurants in Queenstown, New Zealand You Must Try At Least Once

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