Our guide to exploring Queenstown in an EV has all the information you need to make the most of your trip. From where to go and what to see, to tips for driving an EV and finding charging stations, we've got you covered.
When it comes to exploring the wider Queenstown region, an electric vehicle (EV) is a great way to roll – you’ll save money on petrol, enjoy a quiet ride as you take in Queenstown’s landscapes, and zero emissions make going electric feel real good.
Driving to Queenstown
If you’re driving to Queenstown, it’s a good idea to plan your route in advance and identify locations where you can charge up your electric vehicle. There are several apps you can use to find charging stations.
· Plugshare has a free app and website.
· New Zealand’s transport agency Waka Kotahi has a list of charging stations.
You’ll find two types of charging stations on the road: fast charging and hyper fast charging. Fast charging stations take 30-60 minutes to charge your EV, while the hyper fast chargers can give you a full charge in around 15 minutes. Charging stations cost around $10 per 100km, so significantly less than petrol.
Picking up your Tesla in Queenstown
We understand that travel can be hectic. That's why our Airport Pickup service is designed to make your experience stress-free from the moment you arrive in Queenstown. Our agent will meet you at the airport and take you straight to your rental car, which comes with a charging cable/adapter. And if you're staying in a hotel in Queenstown, we'll make sure you have everything you need to charge your vehicle overnight.
If you’ve never driven an EV before, you might wonder if you need a lesson. The short answer is no. If you’re an experienced driver, the controls of an EV are the same as a petrol car. You may need a few minutes to familiarise yourself with your EV, we'll be happy to show you the ropes and ensure you're comfortable behind the wheel. You might be surprised by some things, such as the lack of engine noise and how fast acceleration can be. One unique feature of EVs is regenerative braking, which allows the car to recharge its battery when you take your foot off the accelerator which can feel a bit different. But while these quirks may feel a little odd the first time you drive your EV, you’ll get used to them fast.
EV-friendly hotels in Queenstown
Looking for EV-friendly accommodation in Queenstown? We've got you covered. Our list of hotels provides a range of options to suit your needs, with all hotels offering EV charging facilities. We want to ensure that your stay in Queenstown is as comfortable and convenient as possible.
· The Heritage Hotel has a Tesla charger and a universal Type 2 charger that takes 4-10 hours to fully charge an EV.
· The Rees Hotel has a Tesla charger and a Type 2 charger. Charges are free to hotel guests and a flat $5 fee for the public.
· Sherwood’s environmental focus means they have an EV charger.
· Boutique Victorian villa hotel Hulbert House has an EV charger.
· Hotel St Moritz has two Tesla chargers.
· Crowne Plaza also has two Tesla chargers.
Charging your EV in Queenstown
If your accommodation doesn't have EV charging facilities, don't worry. There are several convenient locations around town where you can pull up and charge your vehicle. Check out Plugshare for a comprehensive list of EV charging locations in Queenstown.
· In central Queenstown, there’s a ChargeNet charging station with two chargers on Athol Street, a Tesla Destination charger on Park Street by the Queenstown Gardens, and another on Beach Street.
· Queenstown Airport has six Tesla Destination chargers. These work for any EV that has a Type 2 charging port or adapter.
· PAK’nSAVE in Frankton has a fast charger so you can top up your EV while you stock up on groceries.
· There are two Tesla Destination chargers in the parking basement below Kmart in Frankton’s Five Mile Shopping Centre.
· The Tesla Superchargers in Queenstown are in the Remarkables Park Town Centre.
· Ski fields Coronet Peak and The Remarkable both have Tesla Destination chargers.
Charging your EV takes between 15 minutes to an hour, depending on whether you’re using a fast charger or a hyper fast charger / Tesla Supercharger. While you're waiting for your car to charge, there are plenty of things to do in the area. Take a walk around town, grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants, or check out the local shops. Just be sure to keep an eye on your car's charging progress and return promptly to unplug it for the next person.
Why not take a stroll through the Queenstown Gardens or grab a delicious Fergburger to enjoy by the lake. You can also stop by one of Queenstown's top-notch cafes to caffeinate and relax.
Coronet Peak is a popular spot for mountain biking in the summer, and it's also a great place to charge your car while you hit the trails. In the winter, you can charge up your car while you do a few runs on the slopes. If you're looking for a bite to eat while you charge your car, Frankton and Five Mile have a variety of delicious local eateries to choose from.
Adventuring around the Queenstown region in our Tesla
With PlugN Drive NZ, it's easy to hire an EV and explore all that beautiful New Zealand has to offer. However, it's important to plan your journey with range in mind, taking into account the range of your car, and how different factors such as hilly roads and using your heater/air-con can affect your range. With a bit of forethought, you'll be able to enjoy a smooth journey and make the most of your time on the road!
Charging in the local regions is a little patchier than in Queenstown, but there are still plenty of places to top up.
Glenorchy has a ChargeNet station on Mull Street, and there are Tesla Destination chargers on Kinloch Road and on the Glenorchy-Queenstown road.
Hampshire Holiday Parks - Arrowtown offers EV charging.
The nearest chargers to Gibbston are in Queenstown or Cromwell.
The nearest EV charger to Kingston is south of the village between Nokomai and Parawa on State Highway 6.
Heading south Lumsden Four square, Tuatapere and Winton all have ChargeNet fast chargers
Cardrona hotel has a Tesla destination charger
Te Anau has a ChargeNet fast charger and an Tesla destination charging station
If you’re in town to ski, you can drive up to Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, and both ski fields have Tesla Destination charging stations. We recommend allowing plenty of time to get up the mountain, carrying chains, and checking each mountain's snow report before you go