13.7 km one way
Grade 2 - Easy
Start your day with a fortifying breakfast or brunch at one of the many cafes in historic Arrowtown – or stock up on picnic provisions and hit the trail! Your journey starts down by Dudley’s Cottage and the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement on the ‘true right’ of the lovely willow-lined Arrow River - the home of the goldrush in the 1800s and is steeped in history.
The trail heads west along the banks of the Arrow River, a river of many moods, sometimes tranquil, often rushing over rocks and bluffs, then widening to limpid pools. There’s no shortage of photo ops at each bridge and a great picnic spot sits beside the Swain Family Bridge - perfect for enjoying the peace and quiet.
One of the most popular photo stops is midway across the awe-inspiring Southern Discoveries suspension bridge. A destination in itself and what a view! Across the bridge, you’ll ride past quaint cottages and grazing horses down Whitechapel country lane – a landscape painting straight out of a picture book. Stop at the Knights Family Underbridge and take in the spectacular downstream view of where the Arrow River drops into the gorge.
Yet another impressive feat of engineering, the graceful 80-metre Edgar Suspension Bridge is guaranteed to deliver gasps of appreciation at the views from its midpoint down into the Arrow Gorge. Once you've crossed the Edgar Bridge, be sure to stop at the Wall of Recognition and offer up a 'thanks' to the landowners and Queenstown community who had the vision to help make the Queenstown Trail a reality.
Getting across busy State Highway 6 is a piece of cake via the Barfoot Tunnel - and onto a part of the trail which follows the original goldminers’ road into Queenstown. Breathe in the thyme-scented mountain air as you make your way over the historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge, home to the world’s first commercial bungy jumping operation. The AJ Hackett Bungy Centre is a stunning piece of architecture, well worth a visit – and has a good café, toilets and of course tickets for that bungy jump you've been promising yourself. On the Bungy viewing deck there are many informative panels about the history of the area that are well worth a read.