The Crown Range Road is the most direct route between Wanaka and over to Arrowtown or Queenstown. It is a very high road and susceptible to ice and snow during winter months, but the views are stunning.
Its only 56kms long with Cardrona skifield and town at the mid point. The other way round (SH 6) takes about 20-30 minutes longer through the gorge.
When we arrived at Queenstown Airport we had decided that we would rent a car and us it for 24 hours to get around and see some of the countryside out of the town. We picked up this nifty number for $90 (included extra insurance cover) from Thrifty Rental Cars. It was a late model Toyota Corolla and it did the job nicely. If you are going down on a long weekend or holiday then I recommend that you book ahead as many of the other rental companies in the airport had already booked out when we arrived. We were able to conveniently leave the vehicle at our accommodation the next day and they picked it up.
Air New Zealand has the most service to Queenstown. They fly to and from many cities within New Zealand. Most international flights will pass through Christchurch or Auckland.