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Your guide to Arrowtown
All About Arrowtown
Located 10 miles away from the adventure hub of Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island, Arrowtown is a small 19th-century mining town whose low-slung wooden buildings look straight out of a Western movie. Arrowtown is located on the banks of the Arrow River, and soaring mountains form the backdrop for the historic main drag of Buckingham Street, now occupied by mom-and-pop restaurants and small shops.
Just outside town, you’ll also find a wide array of hiking trails, such as the New Chum Gully Track and Crown Peak Hike, allowing you to see some of the amazing scenery of the central Otago region. And less than 20 minutes away, you can ride the churning waters of the Shotover River through dramatic canyon landscapes. If you drive east on State Highway 6, passing sheep and deer paddocks along the way, you’ll come across Central Otago, one of New Zealand’s best wine regions, particularly known for its pinots.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Arrowtown
Thanks to an array of outdoor activities, there is no bad time to secure your vacation accommodation in Arrowtown. During the summer, you can enjoy long, warm days with excellent conditions for hiking. If you are traveling over the school holidays, keep in mind it can get quite busy in both Queenstown and Arrowtown during this time. In the fall, the crowds thin out as the leaves burst into a brilliant display of orange, red, and yellow. There is also a fun, five-day autumn festival held in October featuring 30 different events, including a parade, art exhibition, and gold panning competition. During the winter, you can strap on your skis and head out on some of the nearby slopes.
Top things to do in Arrowtown
You will find the Shotover River a 20-minute drive west of Arrowtown. Originally known for being one of the world’s richest gold-producing waterways, this fast-moving river weaves its way through a magnificent canyon. Today, it is a popular spot for white-water rafting and jet boating. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can even go for a ride on a canyon swing or zipline.
Crown Range Road
This beautiful road, which connects Wanaka and Queenstown, is one of the best ways to explore the epic scenery of the Crown Range mountains around Arrowtown. It reaches an impressive altitude of 3,677 feet, making it the highest road in New Zealand. You’ll find many great lookout points along the way where you can stop to take photos.
More than 15 different hiking trails wind their way around town, ranging from one-hour jaunts like the Arrow River Trail to multiday journeys such as the Motatapu Track, which connects Arrowtown to Wanaka, passing Macetown, Roses Saddle, and Fern Burn along the way.