Public Transport in Queenstown


How to Get Around in Queenstown

Getting around Queenstown is super easy with a wealth of options such as public buses, taxis, airport shuttles, track shuttles, ski field shuttles and water taxi. The public buses have the most extensive public transport service in Queenstown is the most affordable way of getting around.

While most shuttles and transport to/from Wanaka, for instance, must be paid and booked in advance, the public buses are either paid with cash when you get on the bus or with a GoCard (see below). Pricing is based on your end destination.

So follow our guide to public transport in Queenstown to see how to get around the “Adventure Capital of the World”!

Queenstown’s GoCard

The GoCard is a way of paying for Queenstown’s public transport without rummaging for change. More to the point, the GoCard makes any trip on the Queenstown public buses only NZ$2. This card is only worth getting if you are planning on staying in Queenstown a while, as you have to buy the card for NZ$5 and be topped up with a minimum of NZ$10. There is also the option to have seven days of unlimited travel (excluding Wanaka) for NZ$47 on your GoCard.

All you need to do with the prepay smart card is load it up with some money and swipe your way on and off the Queenstown buses on the electric card readers.

You can buy and load up your GoCard at from your coach drivers (pay by cash only) or at our Camp Street kiosk, Queenstown Lakes District Council and Otago Regional Council offices (pay by cash or Eftpos).

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Buses in Queenstown

Queenstown Hub is outside of the O’Connells Mall on Camp Street.

Bus Services from the Queenstown Hub

Bus 1. Queenstown – Remarkables Shopping Mall
Queenstown Hub, Copthorne Hostel/Millennium, Copthorne Apartments, Hensman Road/Rees Apartments, Sherwood Discovery & Gold Ridge Hotels, Marina Heights, Frankton Bus Shelter, Airport, Remarkables Shopping Mall, Robertson Street, Douglas Street (and vice versa)

Bus 2. Queenstown – Arthurs Point
Queenstown Hub, Industrial Place, McChesney Road, Shotover Top 10 Holiday Park/Atley Road, Nugget Point/Shotover Lodge/Swiss-Bel Resort/Coronet Peak (and vice versa)

Bus 1. Queenstown – Fernhill/Sunshine Bay
Queenstown Hub, Steamer Wharf/Crowne Plaza, Rydges Hotel, YHA Lakefront, Heritage Resort, Mercure Resort, Tanoa Aspen Qt, Fernhill, Lordens Place (and vice versa)

Bus Services from the Frankton Bus Shelter

Buses to and from Queenstown Airport every 15 minutes

Bus 1. Queenstown – Remarkables Shopping Mall to…
… T
he Remarkables Shopping Mall: Frankton Bus Shelter, Airport, Remarkables Shopping Mall, Roberton Street, Douglas Street (and vice versa)

… Queenstown: Frankton Bus Shelter, Marina Heights, Sherwood Discovery & Gold Ridge Hotels, Hensman Road/Rees Apartments, Copthorne Apartments, Copthorne Hostel/Millennium, Queenstown Hub (and vice versa)

Bus 2. Frankton – Arrowtown
Frankton Bus Shelter, Amisfield Winery, Manse Road, Adamson Drive, Arrowtown Museum/Ramshaw Lane (and vice versa)

Bus 4. Frankton – Lake Hayes Estate
Frankton Bus Shelter, Glenda Drive, Quail Rise, Lake Hayes Estate/Nerin Square (and vice versa)

Bus 3. Frankton – Kelvin Heights
Frankton Bus Shelter, Hilton Hotel DoubleTree Hotel, Willow Place/Kawarau Falls, Loop Road, Mincher Road, Balmoral, Bay View, Four Views/Grove Lane (and vice versa)

 Stephane PAKULA on Flickr© Stephane PAKULA on Flickr

Bus Services Between Queenstown and Wanaka (via Cromwell)

Bus services with Ritchies run five times a day between Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell, all via Queenstown Airport. Three of the trips are direct, the rest go via Cromwell.

Accommodation drop-offs can be arranged when booking but out of town pick-ups/drop-offs can incur an extra charge. There is also the option to be picked up/dropped off in Arrowtown. The price is NZ$23 one-way (or NZ$40 return). Note that bookings are essential.

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Taxis in Queenstown

Taking a taxi in Queenstown is a good option when the bus services are no longer running on an evening or if your destination is far from the bus route. Otherwise, it is not the most cost-effective method of public transport in Queenstown. Taxi starting prices are usually around NZ$5 and are on average NZ$4 per kilometre. Taxi companies in Queenstown include:

  • Bluebubble Queenstown
  • Green Cabs
  • Corporate Cabs
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Water Taxis in Queenstown

Sometimes it’s just quicker to go straight across Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown Water Taxis goes between Steamer Wharf, Beach Street, Queenstown to multiple jetties along Lake Wakatipu including:

  • Frankton
  • Kelvin Heights
  • Jacks Point
  • Kingston
  • Halfway Bay
  • Cecil Peak
  • Hidden Island
  • Walter Peak
elisfkc on Wikipedia© elisfkc on Wikipedia

Airport Transfers in Queenstown

By Bus

Take Bus 11 to Queenstown with prices starting from NZ$4.50 (depends on destination). See bus route above. Airport to Wanaka/Arrowtown/Cromwell can be organised with Ritchie Connectabus and Alpine Connexions – see bus services between Queenstown and Wanaka above.

By Taxi

Taxi services run from Queenstown to anywhere in the area. See “Taxis in Queenstown” section above.

By Shuttle

Super Shuttle off a door-to-door service at usually a discounted price for multiple people. Buckley Transport and Tracknet take people from Queenstown Airport straight to the many hiking tracks in the nearby national parks.

Learn more at Which Airport to Arrive in New Zealand.

Bart Rmgens on Wikipedia© Bart Römgens on Wikipedia

Shuttles to Tracks and Ski Fields

Because Queenstown is a hub for adventure activities, there are plenty of public transport options to get to those hard-to-reach hiking tracks, such as the Routeburn Track, Milford Track, Holllyford Track, Kepler Track, etc. Shuttle services need to be booked in advance from the following companies:

  • info&track
  • Tracknet
  • Glenorchy Journeys
  • Buckley Track Transport
  • Go Orange

Bus and shuttle services to the ski fields of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona and/or Treble Cone with the following:

  • Go Orange
  • NZSki Snowline Express
  • info&snow
  • Real Journeys
  • Easyski
  • Snow Shuttles
  • QT Snow Transport


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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