Arrowtown Lifestyle Outdoors

Bike it or Hike It in Arrowtown

Written by Margo Berryman

 Cycling and walking trails in and around Arrowtown are a standout activity in spring

and as temperatures warm up the hills literally come alive with people out exploring, according to Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association manager Nicky Busst.

“Picturesque and awe inspiring are just some of the many ways Arrowtown is described during spring and we are so lucky to have trails that are suitable for all ages, abilities and confidence levels.” 

“There are fifteen listed walks renowned for their mountain, river, lake and forest views including the easily accessible Arrowtown River trail, the recently improved Bush Creek trail or the Sawpit Gully track which is a favourite with locals.”

Arrowtown is a main hub for the extensive Queenstown trail which is one of the country’s great rides covering more than 130 kilometres.

“ Cyclists can start or finish their ride in Arrowtown and it is a great option for those riding part of the trail who want to stop for lunch in town. We have so many cafés and eateries it’s an easy choice,” says Nicky. “Walking and cycle trail maps and guides are available at the Lakes District Museum and everything is well sign posted ensuring an easy and relaxed journey.” 

Backcountry Exploration

The Arrowtown trail network is intrinsically linked to the Mahu Whenua trails that traverse the higher reaches of historic high country farms including Motatapu, Mount Soho, Glencoe and Coronet Peak stations.

The Mahu Whenua covenants were officially sanctioned by the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust to celebrate the formal registration of the largest private land covenant agreement ever initiated in New Zealand.

The covenants protect 53,000 hectares of iconic landscape, the habitat of unique native plants and animals, public access, and important historic, cultural and recreation values of the area.

The area runs between Lake Wanaka and Arrowtown and is bordered by the Shotover River and the Cardrona Valley. The protection by the covenants is equal in size to the combined areas of Paparoa and Abel Tasman national parks.

“ For those wanting to explore further afield the Mahu Whenua trails offer incredible opportunities to have a real backcountry adventure,” says Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association manager Nicky Busst. 

“ All the current trails are listed and maps for these areas are available at the Lakes District Museum. The line-up includes the challenging three-day Motatapu Track which is suitable for experienced trampers only.”

About the author

Margo Berryman