Getting to Queenstown is easy whether you decide to fly, drive or catch a coach.
Queenstown International Airport receives daily direct flights from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and great road access on major New Zealand highways makes driving into Queenstown an easy and beautiful experience. Exploring the region once you’re in Queenstown is simple with a range of local transport options.
Where is Queenstown?
Queenstown is located in the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand and is very accessible with multiple daily direct flights from all New Zealand’s main centres. Direct scheduled services from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Gold Coast in Australia are also available.
For visitors that choose to drive, experiencing the beautiful Southern Scenic Route through Otago and Southland is a stunning way to arrive in Queenstown or meander down the South Island from the West Coast or Canterbury, taking your time to take in the scenery along the way.
Explore the interactive map to plan your scenic journey to Queenstown, New Zealand today.
Travelling to Queenstown
Fly to Queenstown
Queenstown Airport is the gateway to the lower South Island. Located 15 minutes from downtown Queenstown, the Queenstown Airport services the region with daily domestic flights operated by Air New Zealand and Jetstar. It receives direct scheduled services from New Zealand’s main metropolitan ports of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Direct scheduled services from Australia's eastern ports Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Gold Coast are also available via Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Qantas. Getting into the town centre from the airport is easy with shuttles, taxi services, buses and rental cars available. Bus fares are just $2 if you have a Bee Card (or $4 cash) and Bee Cards can be purchased from your bus driver (using cash only).
Queenstown Airport is also New Zealand’s busiest helicopter base and is frequently used for ‘flightseeing’ on fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. There are many great products available for visitors to explore the region by air.
Drive to Queenstown
Driving to Queenstown is a very scenic option and if you’re planning to travel by road you can drive yourself, hop on a bus or join a coach tour. Major New Zealand highways connect Queenstown to surrounding South Island regions and you’ll come across incredible natural landscapes and different attractions on the drive to Queenstown.
Roads to Queenstown are well signposted from the surrounding regions. New Zealand highways are fully sealed and well-maintained but some side-roads to activities & attractions may be loose gravel and require more time and care.
In New Zealand we drive on the left hand side of the road and some of our roads can be narrow and winding. It is also possible to encounter sheep and cattle on rural roads in New Zealand. It pays to give yourself extra time and to understand New Zealand road rules and signs. Visit Drivesafe New Zealand for helpful tips and information if you are planning a self-drive trip to Queenstown.
There are daily buses to Queenstown from Wanaka, Dunedin, Invercargill and Christchurch to Queenstown as well as scheduled coach tours and backpacker tour buses. There are also rental car and motor home depots based at Queenstown Airport and some operators have offices in downtown Queenstown.
Getting around Queenstown is easy, whether you hire your own car, use the $2 public bus network or explore the region by foot or by bike on the Queenstown Trail. Or take the lake and hop on the Queenstown ferry network from Frankton Arm to Queenstown. You can check out the ferry timetable here.
Many local activity operators also offer free transport from the town centre and hotels making it easy to get out and about and experience what the region has to offer. The compact downtown area of Queenstown means many restaurants, attractions and accommodation are within walking distance of each other.
If you prefer to self-drive, Queenstown is home to the best known rental car brands from around New Zealand and the world. With car rental outlets at Queenstown International Airport, and in downtown Queenstown, picking up or dropping off your rental vehicle is easy and convenient. Some rental companies also provide bike racks as an add-on for their vehicles if you're looking to bring your own bike with you, or you can hire a bike when you're here.
Campervans and motorhomes are a great way to explore the Queenstown region and hiring a campervan or motorhome in Queenstown is easy, with both internationally recognised and local vehicle hire companies operating in the town centre or airport.