Getting to & around the Lake Wanaka region
Getting to Wanaka is just the first part of your spectacular journey. By air, bus or self-drive, getting here is easy. A scenic 60 minute drive from Wanaka, Queenstown Airport is an international gateway into the Lake Wanaka Region. A number of transfer options are available including self-drive, private transfers and shuttles and the regular bus services.
Christchurch and Dunedin Airports are within a 5 hour drive and are linked by bus services and car rentals.
Three international airports are in close proximity to Wanaka and the Queenstown Airport is serviced daily from all major New Zealand airports and over 40 services a week from Australia directly into the international airport. From Queenstown it is a short drive to Wanaka or you can catch one of the scheduled shuttles. Regular coach services to and from the main centres arrive and depart daily and if driving yourself then you can choose your destination.
- Queenstown Airport - 60 min drive
- Dunedin Airport - 3 hour drive
- Christchurch Airport - 5 hour drive
- Wanaka Airport - 10 mins
Wanaka Bus Services:
Regular coach services link Lake Wanaka with Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch, Invercargill and the West Coast including Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.
- Alpine ConneXions - daily coach service to Cromwell, Alexandra, Dunedin Airport and Dunedin. 4 times daily to Queenstown
- Connectabus - two daily coach service between Queenstown and Wanaka
- Inter City - daily coach services to Queenstown, Christchurch and West Coast
- Atomic Shuttles - daily coach services to Queenstown, Christchurch, Dunedin and West Coast
- Southern Link - daily coach services to Queenstown and Christchurch
- Catch A Bus - daily coach service to Dunedin
- Naked Bus - daily bus services to Wanaka from major towns and cities
Driving to Lake Wanaka
Driving on the South Island roads of New Zealand is fairly straight forward with wide, relatively quiet roads and some of the most amazing scenery just right outside the window. Just remember to watch the road and keep left.
All the major car and campervan hire companies are available at Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown airports. Many of these offers specials and discounts so keep an eye out for these.
New Requirements for Overseas drivers
From 1 October 2015 all rental car companies and operators are encouraged to make sure every overseas driver is adequately prepared for driving in New Zealand and understands ‘what’s different’ about driving in New Zealand. By completing the AA on-line assessment and printing a ‘certificate of completion’, signed by you, you can present this to your car rental provider to show you have taken steps to prepare yourself for driving in New Zealand.
DriveSafe.org.nz also provides basic information about New Zealand road rules and etiquette, along with links to more details about everything that drivers unfamiliar with our roads need to know. It offers valuable guidance to visiting drivers at the three key stages of their trip – before they arrive, when they pick up their rental vehicle and during their journey around New Zealand.
Take the Tourist Driving Theory Quiz to learn the essential Road Code rules you'll need to know to help you stay safe and minimise your chance of an accident in New Zealand. To help tourists the New Zealand Transport Authority has developed steering wheel tags which aim to get vital safety tips to visitors at the time when they need it most.
|Queenstown (via Crown Range Road)||68 km||1 hr 10 mins|
|Christchurch||424 km||5 hrs 25 mins|
|Dunedin||276 km||3 hrs 30 mins|
|Franz Josef Glacier||287 km||3 hrs 35 mins|
|Milford Sound||394 km||5 hrs|
|Mt Cook||203 km||2 hrs 30 mins|
|Tekapo||198 km||2 hrs 30 mins|
|Invercargill||285 km||3 hrs 35 mins|
|Greymouth||469 km||5 hrs 50 mins|
|Picton||773 km||9 hrs 40 mins|