Wanaka is 41 miles (67 km) northeast of Queenstown, and is easy to reach by private car or bus. With a rental car or private transfer, the straightforward drive will take about an hour; by bus, it's slightly longer.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 1 hour
Many travelers to New Zealand like the flexibility of renting their own car, as New Zealand's public transport service isn't extensive. Driving yourself to Wanaka is the easiest way of getting there from Queenstown. There are a couple of possible routes, one via Arrowtown, and the other straight to Arrow Junction. The road to Wanaka converges after Arrow Junction. The route via Arrowtown is very slightly slower.
Travelers who don't want to drive themselves can arrange for a private transfer or taxi service to transport them.
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Buses take a longer route from Queenstown to Wanaka, going via Cromwell. A couple of buses leave Queenstown in the morning, arriving in Wanaka an hour-and-a-half to two-hours later. Some of these buses also act as airport transfer services for travelers who arrive in Queenstown by air but plan to stay in Wanaka. Seats on these buses should be reserved in advance.