10 Best Things To Do In Arrowtown, NZ - Updated 2021

things to do in arrowtown nz

The charming and quaint town Arrowtown is located beside the Historical Arrow River. The river is famous for the availability of gold in its heart. This town is very famous for a day-trip from the tourist-favorite Queenstown. Yet, the charm of this town cannot be cherished properly until and unless you stay here for a couple of days. The history of this town is impressive, especially the history of the gold-mining. Along with the history, the natural beauty of the nearby Arrow River, Coronet Peak, and Lake Hayes are also a gift for the nature lovers. There are plenty of nature trails to take a walk, hike or to lose yourself on amongst the wild nature. Read on to find out the best things to do in the quiet Arrowtown.

1. Explore the sleepy historic town on foot

Posted by Andrew Rowe on Saturday, 15 April 2017

Despite its proximity to Queenstown, this town is sleepy and quiet, unlike the vibrant and lively city. The best way to discover this town is by foot. The city was established in the year 1862, after that, this town witnessed the arrival of the gold miners and the European settlers. The old architecture is still visible in various parts of the town, along with new-age cafes, restaurants, boutiques and other attractions.

There are lots of walking trails spread over various parts of Arrowtown. The Arrowtown Millennium Walk is a 4.2 km (2.6 mile) walkway through the banks of Arrow River. On the way, pass through the site of Criterion Quartz Mining Company, the first quartz mines of New Zealand. Other famous walkways are the Bush Creek Trail, Arrow River Trail, Big Hill Trail, Hayes Creek Trail, and Lake Hayes Walkway. There are altogether 15 listed walkways to enjoy the calm beauty of the Arrowtown!

Arrowtown on Foot

Website: Arrowtown Walking Guide

2. Hiking through the Sawpit Gully Track

The Sawpit Gully Trail in Arrowtown, New Zealand #newzealand #nzmustdo #queenstownlive #hiking #hike #trail #track #walking #autumn #leaves #golden

Posted by Curtis Simmons on Wednesday, 4 May 2016

If you are up for some serious walks through nature, try the Arrow River Trail. On this track, no mountain biking and no pets are allowed. You can only take a hike through the loop. After a charming walk by the Arrow River in an anti clockwise direction, you will reach the Sawpit Gully stream. After reaching the Sawpit Gully, head uphill. The climb is to continue till the German Hill and craggy Brow Peak. Enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Hayes and the surroundings from here.

Hiking through the Sawpit Gully Track

Website: Arrowtown Hiking

3. Try your luck at Gold-Panning at Arrow River

Posted by Judith Richards on Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Arrow River is famous for its gold-mining heritage. This gold in the river has attracted people from all over the world to try their luck. While in Arrowtown, why should you miss the opportunity to hunt for gold in the Arrow River? Gold-Panning is a fun activity to enjoy with the family. You can lend a pan to secure gold from the river and get guidance on how to pan the gold properly. After the whole experience, you can secure the ‘Arrowtown Mining Company’ certificate for gold panning.

Gold-Panning at Arrow River

Website: Arrowtown Gold-Panning

4. Enjoy a wine and bike tour of the Gibbston Valley (from USD 109.0)

Posted by Queenstown i-SITE Visitor Information Centre on Friday, 5 February 2016

For the distance that cannot be covered on foot, biking is the best mode to discover places around Arrowtown. To taste the finest wine produced in this region, you can head on to the Gibbston Valley Winery. The ride starts from the Arrow River Trail, and then proceed towards the Gibbston River Trail and Bungee Bridge. The Gibbston vineyards are located across the majestic Kawarau River. A visit to the oldest Vineyard Home Block and the wine caves gives you special insight to the finest wines of this region. Finally, have a taste of the wines while listening to the stories of wine farming.

Gibbston Valley Ride, Wine & Dine w/ Transport

Duration: 7 hours

5. Take a full day trip from Arrowtown to visit the Lake Hayes

Spring arrived early - Lake Hayes, Queenstown / Arrow town.
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jamie Wang used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Lake Hayes is located around 6 km (3.7 mi) away from the Arrowtown. You can follow the trails like Lake Hayes Walkway to reach this picturesque lake. Although the trip to the lake can be finished in a couple of hours, you can also spend a full day enjoying the beauty of the lake. Lake Hayes claims the honor of being ‘the most photographed lake in New Zealand’. You can bring your own lunch from the town and enjoy a picnic on the bank. Otherwise, you can also visit Amisfield Winery and Bistro for a mouthwatering lunch accompanied by wine tasting.

Amisfield Winery and Bistro

Address: 10 Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd, Frankton, Queenstown 9371, New Zealand

Website: Amisfield Winery and Bistro

6. A taste of different culture: explore the Chinese Settlement of historic Arrowtown

Arrowtown Chinese Settlement
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Beast from the Bush used under CC BY-SA 3.0

During 1860s the Chinese gold hunters arrived in Arrowtown in search of the gold. On the bank of Bush Creek, the Chinese formed their own settlement. One of the most important Chinese figures of the Otago Gold Rush was Ah Lum. Today, this place is a well-known tourist attraction. The old cottages are restored these days; a walk through the Bush Creek will take you to the Chinese Settlement beside the Arrow River.

Chinese Settlement of Arrowtown

Address: Buckingham St, Arrowtown 9302, New Zealand

7. The Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery for the history and art lovers

Posted by Lakes District Museum on Monday, 19 November 2012

After a trip through the various parts of Arrowtown, if you are hungry for more stories of the historical gold hunting, head on to the Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery. Apart from the town’s gold-hunting history, you will get to know about the history of the Maori period and hear the stories from the era of European settlers. There is also the exhibition of old and new artifacts in various areas of the museum. If you are eager to collect any trinkets, head on to the attached book and art shop. The Arrowtown Post-office is also operated from this museum.

The Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery

Address: 49 Buckingham St, Arrowtown 9302, New Zealand

Website: The Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery

8. Want some more doses of the local arts? Try the Arrowtown Gallery

Posted by Arrowtown Gallery on Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Arrowtown Gallery portrays various kinds of artifacts created mostly by local artists. The gallery features both historical and contemporary arts. Apart from local artists, there are also works of artists from the other parts of New Zealand. The gallery also features several portraits of the beautiful landscapes around Arrowtown.

Arrowtown Gallery

Address: 8 Berkshire St, Arrowtown 9302, New Zealand

Website: Arrowtown Gallery

9. Lastly, don’t miss a treat at the famous Arrowtown Bakery & Café

Zamora - The meat preachers bacon, Free Range Eggs, Fresh Avocado Flower, Arrowtown Bakery Cafe Wholegrain Toast and our special Herb Oil. Breakfast in Arrowtown

Posted by Postmasters on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

As you pass through the famous Arrowtown Bakery & Café, you will love the fresh smell of baking bread and goodies. This smell is sure to lure you towards some of the delicacies of Arrowtown Bakery & Café. The pies and pastries are the specialties here; try the steak and onion pie. If you are not in a hurry, enjoy fresh scones with freshly brewed coffee at a leisurely pace.

Arrowtown Bakery & Café

Address: 1 Buckingham St, Arrowtown 9302, New Zealand

Website: Arrowtown Bakery & Café

10. Need a serious adrenalin rush? Try bungee jumping from the Kawarau Bridge (from USD 126.0)

Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge - the site of the first commercial bungy jump in the world.

Posted by Genalyn Da Costa Silva on Thursday, 29 January 2015

Located between Queenstown and Arrowtown, the Kawarau Bridge was the first commercially operated bungee jumping site in the world. It was founded by the adrenaline junkies AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch. Bungee jumping is a true test for your nerves. From the Kawarau Bridge, it’s almost a 43-meter (141 foot) drop towards the river, which is not essentially designed for the faint-hearted.

The Original Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump in Queenstown

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

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The town of the Arrow River....

The name Arrowtown is derived from the fact that the Arrow River flows like a shape of an arrow. This small gold town of New Zealand promises lots of unique adventure activities along with the charm of a quiet holiday. Take a walk or hike through nature, or simply enjoy the surrounding beauty sitting on the river bank; the town has everything stored for you.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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The main purpose of Saptami's life is to explore the unknown. After completing her MBA, she did not want to get into a 9-to-5 kind of job. Saptami wants to be free to be able to travel and explore...Read more

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