If you’re visiting the South Island, you’ll definitely want to check out Cromwell, which is one of New Zealand’s historic mining towns. Once you’ve explored Cromwell, take a road trip to Queenstown to experience New Zealand’s adventure capital. Whether you’re a solo traveller or visiting with family and friends, this guide has everything you need to know about the journey from Cromwell to Queenstown.
Cromwell to Queenstown – Road Trip Itinerary
3 August 2023
The driving distance between Cromwell and Queenstown by car is about 60km. The drive begins at the junction of State Highway 6 and 8B and takes just under one hour (drive time can vary depending on traffic). If you’re comfortable driving by car along a winding route, the Cromwell to Queenstown drive through Central Otago is beautiful. Just make sure you have a map handy as reception is on and off!
You can opt to take the Intercity bus from Cromwell to Queenstown if you prefer. Intercity bus services depart daily, and prices start at $7 per person. These buses don’t require any transfers, so you don’t have to worry about changing buses on your way from Cromwell to Queenstown.
If you want to sit back and enjoy the scenery between Cromwell and Queenstown, you can take a taxi. This option may suit you if you want to get dropped off at the Queenstown Airport rather than in town. Make sure you select a reputable company with a solid reputation and be sure to agree on a firm price before starting your journey by taxi.
If you’re visiting New Zealand, it’s important to plan ahead before driving from Cromwell to Queenstown. Be prepared to take your time when driving on unfamiliar roads. New Zealand’s State Highway 6 is windy with tighter sections and can be busy in summer.
Whether you’re planning on exploring Central Otago’s history or skiing on your holiday, get the most out of your Cromwell to Queenstown road trip by researching the activities you’re interested in before arriving.
Before driving from Cromwell to Queenstown, check the weather forecast, so you know what to expect.
Before you head on your drive through Central Otago, check out Cromwell’s historic precinct. Many of Cromwell’s historic buildings were relocated to higher ground after the completion of Clyde Dam in 1990, which created Lake Dunstan on the site of the original town.
If you’re a confident mountain biker, check out the scenery along Central Otago’s Lake Dunstan cycle trail, which goes along Lake Dunstan between Cromwell and Clyde.
If you’re a bit of a petrolhead, you’ll love getting on the track at Highlands Motorsport Park, located just outside the Cromwell township. Drive around their Go Kart circuit, or check out their Supercars for some heart-stopping fun.
Visit Goldfields Mining Centre to learn about the mining history of Central Otago. Visitors can join one of the guided tours and try their luck panning for gold.
Stop at the Roaring Meg Lookout to check out this powerful stream that is used to generate hydroelectricity.
If you’re a wine enthusiast, you might like to visit Gibbston Valley, where you can experience wine tasting and tour the vineyard through an immersive wine journey.
Inject some fun into your road trip by bungy jumping over the Kawarau River at Kawarau Gorge. Known for its breathtaking views, Kawarau Gorge is the perfect place to try bungy jumping for the first time!
Located about 40 minutes from Cromwell, Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town full of restored buildings and cottages. Bike through the town, explore on foot, or check out the museum to learn about its history.
Stop and rest at Lake Hayes, which is home to a beautiful scenic reserve. Wander the walking trails or enjoy a picnic before heading to Queenstown.
Once you reach Queenstown, take a relaxing walk along the shores of Lake Whakatipu or ride up the Gondola and check out the Luge. Then, take in the mountain views over lunch at the Stratosfare Restaurant. Explore our website for full details about our Skyline attractions.
Queenstown has no shortage of stunning hotels looking out to the mountains. We’ve put together our favourite places to stay in Queenstown to help you choose your accommodation. Looking for more New Zealand travel ideas for destinations beyond Cromwell? We’ve got you covered! Read about the best jet boating in Queenstown, things to do on a Dunedin to Queenstown road trip, and the best mini golf in Rotorua. Don’t miss Wanaka, Dunedin, and Christchurch while you’re in the South Island, too.
Best Things to Do in the Queenstown Gardens
Learn about the history, features & activities in this park in the heart of Queenstown. Plan your visit & discover the beauty of Queenstown Gardens today.
Best Pizza In Queenstown
The best pizza Queenstown has to offer for lunch, dinner, or night time. Discover the best pizza places in Queenstown for fresh pizza in a great location!
Queenstown Golf Courses
Our guide to the top Queenstown golf courses at New Zealand’s world-renowned golf destination. Tee off from a picturesque Queenstown Golf Club today!