Day Trip from Queenstown to Arrowtown NZ (The Gold Mining Village)


After arriving in Arrowtown it will be easy to see why so many travelers visit this charming village in New Zealand. Once know for gold mining, Arrowtown is now filled with upscale cafes, galleries, and unique shops to enjoy. Join us as we take you from Queenstown to Arrowtown NZ for some hiking, wine tasting, and more fun things to do!

Getting from Queenstown to Arrowtown

Arrowtown makes a perfect day trip from Queenstown because of its close location and quaint small town feel. If you have a rental car you can easily make the 20 minute drive. We recommend using the route though Arthurs Point for gorgeous views of the New Zealand countryside.

However, if you don’t have a vehicle there’s a bus from Queenstown city center that leaves every hour. The local bus leaves downtown Queenstown and passes through Frankton before making its way to Arrowtown.

Stop by the small stand in town and get a bus card. The fare will then be half price compared to if you pay by cash onboard! 

→ 18 Fun Things to do in Queenstown On Your First Visit

Queenstown to Arrowtown Bus Ride

History of Arrowtown New Zealand 

Arrowtown is historically known as a great gold mining village that sprang up in 1860’s New Zealand. Throughout town you can still see the influence that its past has today, from the Lake Districts Museum to the historic buildings and small streets.

Are you feeling lucky? One of the most fun things to do in Arrowtown NZ is rent a gold pan and head to the river. While most of the gold in the area has already been mined, it isn’t unheard of to find some small gold flakes from time to time!

Arrowtown Museum

Our Morning in Arrowtown NZ

After getting off the bus our day in Arrowtown started where many others do. We walked down the main street before heading to the local bakery that is often packed from open to close.

Arrowtown Bakery & Cafe is the perfect spot to sip and coffee, enjoy your morning, and sample some local specialties. We highly recommend the meat pies and cheese rolls!

Arrowtown New Zealand

Climbing German Hill About Arrowtown

For outdoor lovers there are plenty of fun things to do in Arrowtown! Surrounding the town center is a range of different hikes as well as bike rides. We took the short climb up German Hill which had amazing views of the valley and surrounding countryside.

The hike in total took a little over an hour, and the steep climb was well worth it. If you still have some energy left, another popular hike near town is the Sawpit Gully Loop.

Another popular activity is to go on a self guided bike ride between Arrowtown and the Gibbston Valley. If you book it in advance the company will arrange all your transportation and is a great way to not only see Arrowtown but the surrounding countryside. 

Arrowtown NZ Hike

Exploring Downtown Arrowtown NZ

After our hike, we headed back to Arrowtown and stopped into the Fork and Tap. What originally drew us in was the half a dozen horses standing outside and the many people sitting on the back deck enjoying some lunch.

The horses really fit right in with the old time feel of the village! Fork and Tap serves pints of beer from all around New Zealand as well as massive burgers and fish n’ chips.

After we got our fill we wandered the old streets of Arrowtown. We went into the the old post office to take a photo, wandered around the Lakes District Museum & Gallery, and even sampled our way through the local cheeses at the Gibbston Valley Cheesery.

Arrowtown New Zealand Guide

Should You Visit Arrowtown New Zealand?

Yes! All in all, Arrowtown is a great place to visit. While it’s small in size, you can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring. If you have a few days in the area, it’s super simple to take the ride over to Queenstown to see it.

Just be aware, like Queenstown it can be very busy in the tourist season. It’s best to plan your visit on a weekday or in off-season if possible. This is the best way to enjoy all the fun things to do in Arrowtown!

For those who like wine, there is a couple of great places to stop on your way out of town. Stop into both the Akarua Wines & Kitchen and Amisfield Restaurant and Cellar Door. The Gibbston Valley is famous for its wine and these are two great places not to miss! 

things to do in Arrowtown

Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite things to do in Arrowtown New Zealand? Leave us a comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

Where To Stay In Queenstown New Zealand

Ultra Luxury – Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel – Looking for a little luxury in between all your Queenstown hikes? This beautiful boutique hotel has panoramic views of Southern Alps, a restaurant on-site, and is close to all the best ski resorts.

Fun Vacation  – Kamana Lakehouse – Just 5 minutes drive from the center of Queenstown is this amazing accommodation right on Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy rooms with balconies and stunning views of the lake, and an art-deco style restaurant and bar.  

Budget Travel – Mi-pad Smart Hotel – This high end, but budget friendly hotel is the perfect location near all the cities attractions. It’s just a short walk from start of the Tiki Trail in Queenstown, and all the best restaurants and bars in town.

Hostel LifeTahuna Pod Hostel – This fun hostel is in the heart of Queenstown, and incorporates traditional Maori designs into its build. Choose from a multitude of pod rooms, or book a private room. 

For more places to stay around Queenstown you can explore the latest prices here!

Pin For Later 


New Zealand Travel Planning 

Jucy Van: The best way to explore New Zealand is with a Jucy camper! We spent over six weeks driving around the North and South Islands in a van and loved every moment.

 Rental Car: If you’re not renting a van you’ll still need a vehicle to get around. We use Discover Cars when traveling and enjoy having the freedom to go anywhere.

 Flights: It’s easy to find cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Auckland to Queenstown for $40 USD, and New Zealand to Fiji for less than $150! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites for the best deal such as and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over New Zealand! They have everything from a Milford Sound cruise with underwater observatory, to a Otago wine tour with gourmet wine & lunch, and even a Kaikoura whale watching cruise

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for insurance the last few years and they are always there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

South Island New Zealand

Travel Tips & Guides:  10 Helpful NZ Travel TipsNorth Island ItinerarySouth Island Itinerary25 Beautiful BeachesWellington to Picton Ferry15 Freedom Camping Tips27 Delicious Food & Drinks7 Milford Sound Tips

Queenstown: Ben Lomond TrackFergburger (Is it Worth It?)Tiki Trail HikeFun Wine TourQueenstown Hill HikeQueenstown Restaurants 

North Coast: Abel Tasman Day HikeWharariki Beach & Archway Islands6 Picton Things to Do 

East Coast: Banks PeninsulaFrench Town of AkaroaTunnel Beach DunedinHanmer SpringsKaikoura

Mt. Cook & Tekapo: 10 Mount Cook TipsHooker Valley Track5 Can’t Miss Lake Tekapo 

Explore all our North Island New Zealand Travel Tips & Guides

South Island New Zealand

*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *