Getting Around Queenstown Using a Car

In Travel Guide - May 30, 2023

Queenstown is a stunning destination in the South Island of New Zealand, offering a range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you want to enjoy the natural beauty of the lakes and mountains, experience the thrill of adventure sports, or explore the culture and history of the region, Queenstown has something for everyone.

But how do you get around Queenstown using a car? Is it the best option for your trip? What are the pros and cons of driving in Queenstown? In this article, we will answer these questions and give you some tips and advice on how to make the most of your car rental in Queenstown.

Why Use a Car in Queenstown?

Using a car in Queenstown has many advantages, especially if you want to have more flexibility and freedom to explore the area at your own pace. Here are some of the benefits of using a car in Queenstown:

  • You can access more places that are not easily reachable by public transport, such as scenic drives, wineries, historic sites, and hiking trails.
  • You can save time and money by avoiding waiting for buses or paying for taxis or tours.
  • You can choose from a variety of car rental options, from budget-friendly hatchbacks to spacious SUVs or campervans.
  • You can enjoy the scenic views and stop whenever you want to take photos or have a break.
  • You can travel with your family or friends and share the costs and fun.

What are the Challenges of Using a Car in Queenstown?

Using a car in Queenstown also has some challenges that you need to be aware of and prepared for. Here are some of the drawbacks of using a car in Queenstown:

  • You may face traffic congestion during peak hours or busy seasons, especially on the main roads between Frankton and Queenstown or on the way to ski fields.
  • You may have difficulty finding parking spaces in the town center or near popular attractions, as parking is limited and often expensive or time-restricted.
  • You may need to drive on narrow, winding, or gravel roads that require more caution and skill, especially in winter when there may be snow or ice.
  • You may need to follow specific road rules and signs that are different from your home country, such as driving on the left-hand side of the road or giving way to traffic from the right at roundabouts.
  • You may need to pay for extra costs such as fuel, tolls, insurance, or fines.

How to Use a Car in Queenstown Effectively?

If you decide to use a car in Queenstown, here are some tips and advice on how to use it effectively and safely:

  • Book your car rental in advance online to get the best deals and availability. Compare different providers and read reviews before choosing one. Check what is included and excluded in your rental agreement, such as mileage, insurance, or extras.
  • Pick up your car from Queenstown Airport or from downtown Queenstown, depending on your convenience and preference. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license and credit card with you. Inspect your car for any damage or issues before driving away.
  • Plan your itinerary and routes ahead of time using maps or GPS. Avoid driving during rush hours or busy periods if possible. Allow extra time for unexpected delays or detours. Check the weather forecast and road conditions before heading out.
  • Follow the road rules and signs carefully and respect other drivers. Drive within the speed limit and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Use indicators when changing lanes or turning. Wear seat belts at all times and do not drink and drive.
  • Find suitable parking spaces near your destination or accommodation. Look for signs that indicate parking fees, time limits, or restrictions. Pay attention to parking wardens and avoid parking tickets. Alternatively, park outside of the town center or use public transport for short trips within Queenstown.

Enjoy your car rental in Queenstown and have fun exploring this amazing destination!