While we do love all our mountains and lakes, they certainly do make getting around a challenge at times! Here’s how best to navigate the region.
Queenstown is very hilly, however the town centre is thankfully located on some of the only flat land found in the region! So if you’re staying central, it’s easy to get around by foot. There’s also a beautiful (and flat) lakefront walk which connects the whole township, so avoid the busy roads and take the scenic route. If your accommodation is located up the hill for those breath-taking lake views, you can walk down into town easily enough, but perhaps plan to take a taxi home, the walk back up is not for the faint of heart. Of course, for those of you who like a good challenging walk, this means there’s plenty of options for you, so head on over to the Walks and Hikes page for inspiration.
Pretty much as above! Queenstown’s hills will be challenging for even the fittest cyclists, however if you’re handy to the lakefront track, then it’s a great option to get in and out of town. Queenstown does have a multitude of cycling and mountain biking trails outside of town, as well as a wonderful cycling trail that links the Central Otago vineyards. We can arrange bike hire, including e-bikes, throughout your stay, as well as guided cycling tours.
Queenstown has a public bus network called Orbus which connects central Queenstown with Fernhill, Remarkables Park, Frankton, Kelvin Heights, Arthurs Point, Jack’s Point, Lake Hayes Estate and Arrowtown. All services run between 6:00am and 10:00pm, except for Fernhill and Remarkables Park which run until midnight. Buses run every 15 minutes to one hour depending on the route. The buses are efficient, but don’t always take the most direct route (most notably Arthurs Point to Arrowtown, which travels via Frankton).
If you’re planning on making the most of these bus services, we highly recommend you purchase a GoCard. These cards reduce the fare from $5.00 per adult and $4.00 per child, to just $2.00 per person. The cards cost $5.00 themselves, and take a minimum top up of $10.00. The cards can be purchased in cash from the bus driver, or from the Orbus kiosks at Queenstown Airport and on all buses on the Orbus network (cash only).
For schedules and more info, visit www.orc.govt.nz
Taxis are readily available in central Queenstown and from the airport. All drivers are licensed, making it a safe way to get around, especially after dark. A typical fare from the airport into central Queenstown is around $35.00. If you’re staying outside of the main township in places like Arrowtown or Arthurs Point, it’s recommended you make a booking as early as possible as it will take time getting a driver to you. This is also highly recommended during events or the festive season, whichever part of town you’re staying in.
Queenstown Taxi – +64 (0)3 450 3000
Perhaps the most scenic way to get around is by water taxi! Scheduled services run between Queenstown Bay (central Queenstown) and Bayview, Frankton and Kelvin Heights (take note anyone staying at the Hilton properties). Fares start at $10.00 for a one way trip, or $15.00 for return. Concession fares are also available. If your private villa happens to come with its own wharf, it’s also property to get private water taxis.
UBER AND OLA
There is a limited but growing number of Uber and Ola drivers servicing Queenstown. Often taxi drivers in New Zealand double as drivers for these apps, but not always, so there is no guarantee you will be with a properly licensed driver. That said, they generally are significantly cheaper than taxis.