How to travel from Arrowtown to Queenstown
Queenstown is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the charming and quaint Arrowtown. After you’ve had your fun panning for gold, strolling along the Arrow River and exploring the historic village of Arrowtown, continue your holiday with a trip to Queenstown for some adrenaline-pumping activities!
With multiple modes of transportation and routes to choose from, the journey between Arrowtown and Queenstown is guaranteed to be a memorable adventure within itself! To help you choose which route to take, we’ve put together our top tips on how to go from Arrowtown to Queenstown by either car or bike, with both routes providing exciting stops along the way. For where to stay in the Southern Lakes, take a look here!
1. By car
This roadie is definitely a goodie, with only 20.5 kilometres standing in your way from start to finish. To start out, you will pass the luxurious Millbrook Resort, which offers an exclusive golf course and a range of delicious restaurants open to the public. It’s worthwhile pulling over just to admire the beauty of this property.
From there, the scenic drive will take you through the picturesque valleys and farmland that stand between you and Queenstown, with a high probability you’ll run into lots of cows and sheep during this portion of the drive. Don’t be surprised if they cause a bit of a traffic jam while crossing the road and enjoy the entertaining show as you wait for these farm animals to cross in an orderly fashion.
Once you get past the farmland, you’ll reach the access road to Coronet Peak – which offers stunning views during every season of the year. The drive up to the top is a bit steep but it’s a sealed road, so it’s pretty smooth sailing. Just make sure you have snow chains if you decide to go up in the winter.
After you take in all the dreamy views on the top of Cornet Peak, the drive continues along the Shotover River. You’ll soon approach a place called the Onsen Hot Pools. Offering private pools that are perfectly placed to give you surreal views of the region, this is a pit stop you don’t want to skip on your way from Arrowton to Queenstown! While most patrons go in the evenings for a romantic stargazing session, booking a private pool in the afternoon allows you to enjoy the scenery, watch the jetboats zoom past below and gaze out at The Remarkables in the distance.
The final stretch of the journey is a scenic drive that continues along Gorge Road and will eventually bring you to Shotover Street in Queenstown, which links up perfectly to the town centre, allowing you to dive right into your next activity on the itinerary!
2. By bike
If the weather is nice, why not choose the more outdoorsy option of a scenic bike ride from Arrowtown to Queenstown? A casual bike ride will take you anywhere from two to four hours, depending on how quickly you want to spin the pedals. But no matter what speed you and your group decide to go, you’ll have amazing scenery to take in the whole 32 kilometres!
The bike track is well groomed the whole way, with very little uphill biking required. You’ll be joined by some of New Zealand’s most iconic rivers, get to ride across five different bridges and be amongst some of the most remote and untouched farmland in the region.
There are plenty of cosy picnic spots to enjoy if you’re wanting a break from the bikes during the trip – with the best spots being along the shores of Lake Hayes. There’s also plenty of wineries to enjoy a quick recharge at, with Wet Jacket Wines being the quirkiest and most accepting of patrons wearing biking attire.
After biking past Lake Hayes, you’ll get to cycle over the historic local landmark known as the Shotover Bridge, which is a great location for some stunning photo opportunities. Once you pass over the bridge, the trail continues along the Shotover delta, which is a flat trail all the way to Lake Wakatipu.
The final portion of the trail is absolutely breathtaking, with the scenery of The Remarkables and Lake Wakitipu becoming more and more prevalent with every pedal.
The perfect reward for your efforts after reaching the town centre in Queenstown is a quick trip to Patagonia Chocolates for a refreshing ice cream or an indulgent dessert treat, which is conveniently located right on the lake shores in the heart of the town centre.
For those who want to ditch the bikes after travelling from Arrowtown to Queenstown, there are several companies that offer to pick up your bikes from your Queenstown accommodation, allowing you more time for more adventures!
Excited to enjoy the journey between Arrowtown and Queenstown? Check out our Queenstown holiday homes and start planning your scenic trip now!