Getting to Queenstown

Every year, visitors from all over the globe fly, drive and hitch their way to New Zealand’s home of adventure, Queenstown. Located in New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown is surprisingly easy to get to thanks to an international airport and a selection of stunning scenic routes and highways.

Over the years, Queenstown has grown from a quiet lakeside holiday spot for kiwis to a year-round, high-energy international destination. Driving to Queenstown? You’re in luck. The journey will take you through some of the country’s most impressive scenic routes along alpine passes, rugged coastlines and quaint regional towns. And with limited public transport options, hiring a campervan is one of the most popular ways to travel in the South Island.

Flying to Queenstown

Domestic and international flights arrive into Queenstown Airport daily, coming in via an incredibly scenic approach over Lake Wakatipu or the nearby Crown Range. A bustling little terminal, Queenstown Airport services domestic routes from all major New Zealand ports as well as international routes from Australia’s main cities. It is also the base for Queenstown’s many scenic flight operators. The flight time from Queenstown to Sydney is around three hours and a flight from Auckland will take just under two. It takes approximately 15 minutes to drive from the airport to downtown Queenstown. Find out more about flights to Queenstown.

Driving to Queenstown

Thinking of exploring the South Island by car or campervan? You are in for a scenic adventure. While there are many routes to Queenstown, one of the most popular is the drive from Christchurch to Queenstown. You’ll pass Mt Cook/Aoraki, New Zealand’s highest peak; the incredible turquoise-blue glacial water of Lake Tekapo and the often-admired hills of the Lindis Pass. Alternatively, the Southern Scenic Route is a 610 kilometre (380 mile) journey from Dunedin to Queenstown along the rugged southern coastline, offering possible wildlife encounters in the Catlins and a visit to Invercargill, New Zealand’s southernmost city.

Approximate Drive Times to Queenstown

  • Christchurch to Queenstown
    • 480km (6 hours)
  • Auckland to Queenstown
    • 1,550km (21 hours)
  • Dunedin to Queenstown
    • 278 km (3 hours 30 mins)
  • Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown
    • 356km (4 hours 15 minutes)
  • Invercargill to Queenstown
    • 187km (2 hours 30 minutes)
  • Queenstown to Milford Sound
    • 287 km (5 hours)
  • Queenstown to Te Anau
    • 84km (2 hours 30 minutes)