Our guide to the bus routes around Queenstown
The OrBus Service provided by Ritchies runs frequently and connects passengers to surrounding suburbs and places of interest. Given there's no rail service in Queenstown, it's a choice between the bus, taxi rental car or walking!
The council has introduced the OrBus low fare bus service to ease traffic troubles with cars and reduce the impact that private transport has on the environment.
Queenstown Bus Routes:
The buses run on a regular basis from 6.00am until late, seven days a week. There are four return routes:
- Fernhill to Remarkables Park - every 15 minutes until midnight
- Arrowtown to Arthurs Point (via Frankton) - half-hourly on peak and hourly off-peak, until 10pm
- Kelvin Heights to Frankton Flats - hourly through until 10pm
- Lake Hayes Estate to Jacks Point - half-hourly on peak and hourly off-peak, until 10pm
The main bus stop is on Camp Street, more or less opposite the Village Green area. There are plenty of bus stops along the routes with a number located outside motels and hotels for added convenience.
Queenstown Airport Buses:
The buses run to and from Queenstown Airport on a regular basis from 6.00am until midnight. Just head out of the main exit and across the road to the bus stop - it's well signposted.
Queenstown Bus Fares:
The 'Bee Card' is a smartcard that offers passengers cheaper fares (than cash) in nine regions around New Zealand, including the Queenstown and Otago region. Adults can travel anywhere within the Queenstown bus network for just $2 with the Bee Card while it's $1.20 for children.
- You can purchase the card online, create a profile and top up. The card balance is transferred to everywhere you travel in New Zealand and works the same way.
- The minimum amount to top up the card is $5.
- The card can also be purchased online or 'in person' from the bus driver, the Otago Regional Council office at Terrace Junction, 1092 Frankton Road or the Stanley Street ticket hut.
- You don’t need a Bee Card to take the bus and can pay with cash but it costs more at $3 per trip for an adult. For trips paid in cash that start or end at the airport, it's $10. So, you are better with a Bee Card.
- One key point - you only need one card so if for example you are travelling as a couple you just need to purchase the one card.
Every bus offers free wifi and bike racks.
More Bus Information:
For timetable information and the latest news, please visit the Otago Regional Council website.
Queenstown to Wanaka:
Ritchies provides a daily service (5 times a day) between Wanaka and Queenstown, via Queenstown airport. On some services the bus travels via Cromwell. For timetable information and prices visit Ritchies website.
Intercity has a twice-daily bus service between Queenstown and Wanaka. The bus departs Athol Street in Queenstown at 8:00am and 12:35pm and travels via the Cardrona Hotel. The return service leaves the Wanaka lakefront at 9:50am and 2:30pm via Luggate and Cromwell. View their website for more details.
Intercity is the bus operator for nationwide travel. From Queenstown, there are daily servies to Dunedin, Christchurch and Wanaka. This includes stops at Cromwell and Alexandra. The default bus stop is on Athol Street, just off the Village Green.
All buses offer free WiFi and provide some interesting on board commentary on scenic spots.