From outdoor adventures to lazy days in the sun, from golfing to wine tasting, there’s something for everyone.
Arrowtown’s pleasant summer weather and wide array of attractions and activities make it the perfect spot for a break. The relatively low rainfall and temperatures that range from mild to scorching make summer a great time to venture out into spectacular landscapes on Arrowtown’s doorstep, relax over a gourmet meal in a restaurant garden or just splash around in the water.
Arrowtown in summer is made for outdoors enthusiasts. It’s heaven for walkers as the many trails that radiate out from the village are firm and dry, and the long daylight hours and lack of snow means hikers can head high into the mountains on an alpine adventure.
The less ambitious may settle for a stroll in the shade of the willow trees beside the Arrow River, the beautifully clear mountain stream that descends from the mountains to skirt the village. And for those looking for a back-country experience without the need for too much exertion, there’s always a 4WD trip up the river to the gold-mining ghost town of Macetown, or along the death-defying Skippers Road.
A hub for the Queenstown Trail, a well-maintained network of gravel bike tracks, Arrowtown is fast becoming a hotspot for biking too. It’s possible to ride almost entirely off road beside rivers and lakes to Queenstown, but perhaps you’ll be tempted to head the other way, to the famous wineries at Gibbston for lunch among the vines. You can hire a bike in Arrowtown, and there’s always the option of a pick-up if you feel like you can’t make it back after a couple of glasses of chilled rosé.
And Arrowtown’s three highly regarded golf courses, every one of them ranked in New Zealand’s top 15, make it New Zealand’s premier golfing destination.
Take a Dip
If all this activity on a summer’s day gets you hot and bothered, there’s plenty of water around for a dip. The Arrow River has a wealth of swimming holes, and peaceful Lake Hayes makes a great swimming spot as it is not used by jetboats and water skiers and, unlike the glacier-fed larger lakes, the water gets quite warm in summer.
Bring the Kids
Arrowtown is uniquely well set up for kids: there’s a skate park, playgrounds, swimming pool, pump track and cinema. But sometimes the simplest things are the best and the Arrow River offers all sorts of opportunities for paddling, dam building and rope swinging – as well as panning for gold, something the whole family can enjoy.
Rainy Day Pursuits
Of course it does occasionally rain in Arrowtown in summer – it’s good for the fruit trees and grapevines! – but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Just a stone’s throw away, at Lake Hayes and Gibbston, are wineries that produce some of the best cool-climate wines in the world. You could go to the cinema, explore the museum and take in some art galleries, indulge yourself with a spa day or go shopping at Arrowtown’s boutique stores.
There’s plenty on the events calendar to take advantage of the summer weather. In early December the village’s restaurants celebrate the start of summer by taking over the main street for the Long Lunch. In January the century-old Lake Hayes A & P Show is a genuine Kiwi farming tradition, with show jumping, dog trials, sheep shearing and children’s entertainment. And for the music-lovers there’s generally an outdoor rock concert or two out at the vineyards in Gibbston.
If you’ve got the energy, you can be part of the Lake Hayes Christmas Triathlon or, in March, the Motatapu mountain-bike and mountain running races. But if you’re more inclined to watching than participating, there’s the NZ Open golf championship hosted by The Hills and Millbrook in March – and don’t forget the free welcome party in Arrowtown itself.
See for yourself just a few of the things Arrowtown has to offer in summer in the video below. For more information go to the official Arrowtown website.
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