Where is Queenstown?

Queenstown is located in Otago in the south-west of the South Island of New Zealand. The town sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by nearby mountains including The Remarkables Range

Queenstown Ski Fields

The main Queenstown ski resorts are:
Day-trips are also possible to:
There are also various heli skiing operators based in Queenstown including Harris Mountains Heli Ski, Alpine Heliski and Southern Lakes Heli Ski.

Flights to Queenstown

One of the advantages of skiing and staying in Queenstown is that it is relatively easy to get to considering it has its own international airport only 10 km (10 mins) drive from the town centre. From Australia during winter, there are direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Alternatively, you can fly into another NZ airport and get a domestic flight to Queenstown – from Auckland (1 hr and 50 mins), Wellington (2 hrs and 10 mins) or Christchurch (1 hour and 5 mins). Be aware that there are no flights into or out of Queenstown after twilight.

A further option is to fly into Christchurch and self-drive (487km - about 6 hours depending on stops) or bus (about 8 hours including stops) to Queenstown which is an adventure in itself.

Queenstown Airport Transfers

If you aren't self-driving, there are numerous companies that provide door-to-door transfers between the airport and your accommodation. It's also reasonably inexpensive to catch a taxi. 

Cardrona Shuttle Bus Super Shuttle - Queenstown Airport Tranfers
Book a private shuttle or share with a small group and save money and the environment. Airport terminal directly to your accommodation in Queenstown. Pick-ups along the way are also possible.
Rideway Airport Transport, Transfers & Shuttles Rideways - Airport Transfers, Taxis & Executive Cars
Rideways is a global aggregation search-engine for airport transfers, taxis and executive cars. This is an ideal way to start your research and potentially book your transport services in this area. Some areas have far more options than others.

By Bus from Christchurch

Another option to flying in to Queenstown is to fly into Christchurch where flights are generally cheaper and more regular from international destinations. The scenic trip takes about 8 hours by coach including stops along the way.

Wanaka Bus Transport InterCity Buses
Operate daily services from Christchurch (and Chistchurch Airport) to Queenstown. They have a nice simple online booking system showing schedules & prices for various dates.
Bus Transport Kiwi Experience - Hop-On-Hop-Off
There is so much to see and do in NZ. With a Kiwi Experience bus pass, you have up to a year to finish your route. The hop-on-hop-off bus adventures take you to all the best parts and help you to book your accommodation and activities along the way.

Queenstown Car Rentals and Driving

It’s possible to get around Queenstown and to the nearby ski resorts using shuttle buses, but some prefer the flexibility of a rental car. It’s possible to rent a car at the airport or in town. If you only plan to ski at Coronet Peak then a 2-wheel-drive vehicle will suffice, but for the other ski resorts a 4WD would be beneficial.

The Queenstown roads are pretty easy to navigate with good signposting. Parking can sometimes be tricky during peak times, but if you can’t find a park there’s always paid underground parking near Marine Parade on Church Street.

Generally the temperatures in Queenstown during winter are about 3°C - 10°C, but sometimes it snows which may lead to road closures, particularly in the Fernhill area.

It’s easiest to get chains when you hire the car, but if you need chains, you can hire these from petrol stations or a kiosk near the corner of Marine Parade and Church Street.

Ace Car Rentals Ace Car Rentals - New Zealand's Best Value Car Rentals
Ace Car Rentals offer a great range of quality vehicles from cheap compact cars to low km SUV's & people movers. Pick-up locations include Christchurch International Airport & Queenstown International Airport. Highly recommended by the POWDERHOUNDS!
Ace Car Rentals Rental Cars - Booking Engine
The Rentals Cars booking engine searches for and compares thousands of cars from all of the major car rentals services. This is a very time efficient way to find the best price for the right car for you.

Getting to the Queenstown Ski Resorts (Shuttle Buses)

During the winter season there are a number of shuttle buses that operate daily from Queenstown to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona ski resort.

Cardrona Shuttle Bus Private Ski Shuttle Service
Door-To-Door; Hassle-Free!! 8 - 11 seater vans
Private transport to/from QUEENSTOWN to Coronet Peak, Remarkables, Cardrona, Treble Cone & Snowfarm. For your exclusive use for the day; grab a coffee on the way to the hill or a beer & groceries on the way home...it's your private shuttle!
Cardrona Shuttle Bus Cardrona Mountain Transport
Daily scheduled shuttle services operated by Cardrona resort from Queenstown to Cardrona. Pick-ups at a huge variety of accommodation locations. Add to your lift pass or buy a bus & lift package.

For more detailed  information on driving or travelling to the ski resorts see: 

Getting Around Queenstown
The CBD of Queenstown is quite compact and it is easy to walk around the streets to explore the shops, bars and restaurants. However Queenstown has grown significantly and it spreads out into sprawling suburbs that are beyond easy walking distance. Some of the Queenstown accommodation is within the centre of town, but much of it is not within easy walking distance. If you don’t have a car and want a night out on the town, there are other options to get around.

The Connectabus is a bus service (with the distinctive yellow buses) that connects major hotels and the town. It operates half-hourly from early morning to late in the evening. The bus also covers the “suburbs” of Queenstown including Arrowtown, Frankton, Remarkables Park, and Fernhill. Timetables for the buses are available at most accommodation and information centres.

The operators of many Queenstown activities provide free transport from your accommodation to get to their activity, or alternatively they have transport from a central Queenstown locations such as The Station.