Car rental in Queenstown
Renting a car makes any holiday easier, but it’s especially true for those booking flights to Queenstown.
Get to and from your hotel easily, take a trip out to the nearby ski fields, or head out on longer road trips and see the natural wonders that surround Queenstown on your own time schedule, all between the activities that the adventure capital of New Zealand is best known for.
Where to hire a car in Queenstown
The easiest way to get a hire car is to book with one of the rental car companies at Queenstown Airport. There are 9 options at the airport: Ace, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Ezi, Hertz, Jucy and Thrifty. These can be found in 2 separate areas – some are by the baggage carousels while others are a short walk from the terminal.
Car rental offices can also be found in Queenstown CBD. These are mostly grouped along State Highway 6A, with some further north around Shotover Street and Stanley Street.
What to expect when driving in Queenstown
Many of the roads near Queenstown are narrow and winding, making trips longer than you might expect by just looking at a map.
In winter, be aware that many of these roads may also be covered in snow and ice. Make sure to check weather reports before going for a drive and consider renting a 4WD while in Queenstown at this time of year to stay safe.
Popular road trips from Queenstown
Queenstown to Milford Sound
The Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful landmarks, and the drive leading to it is one of the best in the country. From Queenstown, it’s a 4-hour drive along State Highways 6 and 94, part of which goes through the Fiordland National Park. Once you arrive, consider taking a hike or booking a boat trip to see the Milford Sound from a new perspective.
Queenstown to Franz Josef
Five hours up the coast, along State Highway 6, is the small town of Franz Josef, popular because of its proximity to the glacier. The drive north goes past lakes, valleys and mountains, and also includes unmissable views of Haast Pass, Mount Aspiring and Mount Cook.
Queenstown to Central Otago
There’s so much to see and do near Queenstown, and the 3-hour drive to Central Otago ticks off a lot of these options. By following State Highways 6, 8 and 8a, you can see the historic Arrowtown, Cromwell and Clyde before stopping by Lake Wanaka.
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Please note: all information is correct as of December 2018.