Starting in the immaculate Queenstown Gardens, you’ll head out on the Frankton Track and make your way towards the Kawarau Bridge. You’ll pass through the Kawarau Falls Scenic Reserve and the Zoological Gardens which follows the Kawarau river. A lovely, peaceful stretch of trail, with the Remarkables towering above you, you’ll continue here until you reach the Old Lower Shotover Bridge.
Once past the bridge you’ll ride past Shotover Country on your left and the river on your right as it merges into the Kawarau river. With some beautiful swim and picnic spots along the way, we heartily recommend packing a picnic and your togs for a quick dip! The trail continues winding on with a couple of punchy climbs but super fun descents. Get ready for a bit of a climb up Thompsons Hill and up and away from the river. The climb is 100% worth it for the awesome views out and over the basin. A few fun switchbacks and you’ll find yourself on Morven Ferry Road. Head right and you’ll be heading towards Gibbston, head left and you’ll be on your way to Arrowtown.
The trail turns into a bit of tarmac road for a about 1km, before re-joining the formed trail. Not a busy road, but still be aware of traffic up and down the road as you go. Before too long, you’ll cross under SH6 where there is a gorgeous waterfall and be heading towards Arrowtown along the Arrow River Bridges Trail.
Don’t forget to stop at the bee hives sponsored by various businesses in Queenstown. An initiative called Bee the Change works to educate and encourage bee populations through business sponsorships. A fantastic initiative, you can read more about it here.
You’ll soon cross the Southern Discoveries bridge – a great place to stop for a water break – before the winding trail down into Arrowtown. Willow-lined river trail, water holes, plenty of dog walkers and other bikers make this section of the trail a bit busier as you get closer to the centre of Arrowtown.
Once you’ve enjoyed the bliss and peacefulness of the Arrow River running alongside you, rest your weary legs at one of the gorgeous cafes or restaurants and take in the history of the place.