You don't need a car to see the best of Queenstown. With bus routes between the town centre and most suburbs, including Frankton, Sunshine Bay, Arrowtown and Jack's Point, grab yourself a Bee Card and get exploring.

Get insider tips on the best places to walk, eat, and grab a coffee, with our guide to how to see Queenstown by bus.


What you need to know about catching the bus in Queenstown

Bus fares

Adult Queenstown bus fares are only $2 with a registered Bee Card – children under five ride free, and Youth fares are $1 or less depending on age. Bee Cards cost just $5, and the easiest places to pick up a Bee card are at Paper Plus within Queenstown Airport or the iSite Visitor Centre in central Queenstown. Otherwise, you can buy a Bee Card on board the bus (cash only).

Tip: if you’re travelling with a friend, you can use one Bee Card to tap on and pay for two people.

How to top up your Bee Card

Remember you must register your Bee card online before you can access the $2 concession fares. You can also top up your card online, at the airport Paper Plus or the Queenstown iSite, or with cash on the bus. There’s a minimum top-up of $5.00.

Plan your journey

To plan your Queenstown bus trip check out this bus journey planner, which also includes the ferry, or download the free Transit app from the App Store or Google Play for real-time tracking and handy journey planning tools.  

You can view all of the Queenstown bus routes on this helpful map, and buses run to the same timetable every day of the year, except for Christmas Day.

Fun fact: Did you know you can also take your bike on the bus? Each bus has a bike rack on the front of the bus and there is room for two to three bikes per bus.

View of the Remarkables mountain range from a public bus windowQueenstown public bus

Route #1 – Remarkables Shops to Sunshine Bay

You can use public transport from the start of your trip – the Route #1 bus goes from Queenstown Airport to central Queenstown via the Frankton bus hub on  State Highway 6.

Frankton & The Remarkables Shopping Centre

Route #1 starts and ends in Frankton.

The Remarkables Park Shopping Centre is a popular hub for Queenstown locals. Shelter Bar & Kitchen is a great gastro pub, with local wines and craft beers on tap. Saigon Kingdom does zingy, fresh Vietnamese food with friendly service. Tham Nak Thai offers authentic curries and a delicious, feisty Tom Yum. French patisserie Ma Boulangerie Bakery serves up tempting breads, pastries and baguettes. Their pork, carrot and cumin pie makes for a tasty lunch on the go.

Stay a little longer in Frankton and do a class at Fierce Grace Hot Yoga or Align Pilates, two favourite places for Queenstown residents to re-energise, and enjoy a moment of calm. Or drop into the Te Atamira art and cultural events hub for exhibitions, performances, and events that will introduce you to the wealth of Queenstown creative talent.

Fernhill & Sunshine Bay

The last stops along Route #1 are in the local suburbs of Fernhill and Sunshine Bay. Fernhill is home to the Fernhill Bike Park, famous for its freeride jump park which has some of the largest public jumps in the world. Here you can also tackle The Fernhill Loop hike, a 7km loop, starting on a steep trail from Wynard Crescent and climbing to epic viewpoints.

Refuel afterwards at local fav, Chur Fish & Chips or treat yourself to fine dining with a panoramic view of the lake and mountains at Nest Kitchen at Kamana Lakehouse, one of Queenstown’s most spectacular restaurant views.

Catch the bus back to central Queenstown or detour on foot via the scenic Sunshine Bay Track. It’s around 3kms back to town.

Aerial of shopping complex in autumnRemarkables Park Shops

Route #2 – Arthur’s Point to Arrowtown

Arthur’s Point

Arthur’s Point is a great place to stay for families, groups, and couples. It’s quieter and more secluded than central Queenstown and only a 10-minute bus ride into town.

Accommodation options include Swiss-Belresort and Top Ten Holiday Park.

If you’re feeling like something contemplative, book yourself in for a hot tub and a massage at the Onsen Hot Pools Retreat overlooking the Shotover River. Then sample locally distilled gins infused with Central Otago botanicals and fruit at the Gin Garden, cosy up by the fire at Gantley’s Tavern, or head to Rākau for woodfired pizza and gyros.


Route #2 takes you all the way from Arthur’s Point to Arrowtown via central Queenstown and Lake Hayes. Stop off at Lake Hayes along the way, and walk the Lake Hayes Loop with its views of the surrounding mountains, before grabbing a bite at Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen

Take the bus from right outside Mora onwards to Arrowtown. This picturesque gold mining village in the Arrow River valley is a Tohu Whenua, a significant place that has shaped New Zealand’s story. Start your visit at the Lakes District Museum before exploring the historic Chinese gold miner’s settlement by the river, then wander the quaint streets lined with old miner's cottages.

Arrowtown isn’t only a heritage treasure. It’s also a trove of artists’ studios and galleries, boutiques stocking local artisans, food and wine, beautiful walks into the surrounding mountains, and cycle trails.

We recommend you plan to stay a few nights so you can enjoy all this beautiful little village has to offer.

Quirky streets of ArrowtownArrowtown

Route #3 – Frankton Hub to Kelvin Heights

Catch Route #3 to Kelvin Heights from the Frankton bus hub. If you’re staying in central Queenstown Routes #1, #2, and #5 all take you to Frankton.

Walk the 3.5km Peninsula Trail for views across Lake Whakatipu to the Remarkables and admire the sculptures by New Zealand artists that line the track. The trail runs around the perimeter of the Queenstown Golf Club, a fun course for a casual round, with brilliant views of the lake on three sides.

It’s a 10-minute bus ride back towards the Hilton Hotel, where you can grab a bite to eat from Stacks Pub for pizzas and burgers on the sunny deck or enjoy seasonal lakeside dining at the Wakatipu Grill.

Afterwards, hire a bike from Better By Bike rentals at the Hilton and ride back to central Queenstown along the Frankton Track. Or use your Bee Card to catch the ferry back to Queenstown from the jetty right outside the Hilton. The fare is $10 per adult each way.

Couple walking in Kelvin Heights with the Remarkables mountain in the backgroundWalking along the Kelvin Heights Trail

Route #4 – Frankton Hub to Jack’s Point

Route #4 takes you from the Frankton bus hub to Hanley’s Farm. This magnet for local families has an excellent playground and a great pump track designed for everyone from kids through to talented BMXers. Hop off right beside the Farmhouse Café which serves up locally roasted coffee and has a mug library, so you can take a coffee out with you to watch the kids play.

Get back on the bus and carry on to the end of the route at Jack’s Point. Here you can walk a section of the Lakeside Trail, or play a round of golf at the championship golf course. Jack’s Point Restaurant at the golf club offers seasonal, local produce cooked over charcoal in a setting surrounded by towering peaks.

If you’re feeling energetic on your way back, get off at the Frankton bus hub where it’s only a short stroll to Frankton Beach where you can soak up the views or go for a dip on a hot day. From here, it’s around 20 minutes on the bus back into central Queenstown.

Person on trail at sunset with lake and mountain viewsLakeside Trail, Jack's Point

Low emissions travel further afield

Exploring Queenstown by bus is a breeze – and choosing this lower emissions transport option makes for a trip that’s better for our community, your wellbeing, and your pocket.

If you’re going further afield, check out regional bus services Intercity and Ritchies for buses to other Otago and Southland destinations or consider hiring an EV.

EV driving to Moke Lake with mountains in the backgroundElectric vehicle driving to Moke Lake

Whether you get around Queenstown by bus, bike, EV or on foot, share your adventures on social and tell us what your Queenstown highlights have been.