Transportation in Queenstown is relatively easy. That’s basically because there is not much. Most tourist either arrive with a rental car or with a tour bus. Thus, the public transportation system is not very well developed. Nevertheless, there are some ways to get around in Queenstown.
There is no train station in Queenstown. This means, that you definitely need a car to get to Queenstown. There’s a train departing in Dunedin, but you need to transfer to a bus at one point to reach Queenstown. In addition, it’s not really a frequent service. Thus, to get to Queenstown you better have your own car or fly to Queenstown Airport. The latter is located close the city center and most hotels in the area. The Hilton is just a mere kilometer away for example.
There is one local bus operator in Queenstown called Ritchies Connectabus. There are six different lines in and around in Queenstown. Additionally, there are four daily services to Wanaka. Line 11 of the Connectabus services connects Queenstown Airport with the city center every 15 minutes during the day. The charge for this ride is 12 NZD (~ 8 Euro / 8.50 US-Dollar). The other five lines come with a charge according to the distance travelled. The standard fare for short rides is 4.50 NZD (~ 3 Euro / 3.20 US-Dollar), while a day pass (all destinations) costs 33 NZD (~ 21.50 Euro / 23 US-Dollar). More information about the schedules and prices can be found on the operators website. The following lines are offered by Connectabus as of now (all to and from Queenstown City Center):
In addition, there are a couple of taxi companies in Queenstown. However, you should be aware that taxis in Queenstown are everything but cheap. Usually, the base fare is 5 NZD (~ 3.25 Euro / 3.50 US-Dollar), while every kilometer is charged 4 NZD (~ 2.60 Euro / 2.80 US-Dollar).
While the distances in Queenstown itself are quite short, you should have some cash handy if you take a taxi to Arrowtown, Blanket Bay or even the Hilton. Other than that, taking a taxi in Queenstown is very safe and convenient.
Queenstown is known to be the adventure capital of New Zealand. Thus, there are quite some special means of transportation. These include scheduled water taxi services between the Hilton and the city center as well as a few services to other destinations. Plus, there’s the Skyline Gondola, which connects Queenstown with an incredible viewpoint. However, the prices are quite elevated.