1. Ride a bike
The cooler weather of autumn makes it the perfect time to bike the many trails around Arrowtown. Wheel along the purpose-built trail to the wineries at Gibbston. Take a spin along the river trail or around Lake Hayes. Hire an e-bike to get an extra bit of energy if you need it. If you’re up to something more challenging, ride the single-track from Coronet Peak back to Arrowtown or head up the Arrow River to the goldmining ghost town of Macetown.
2. Hike the hills
Arrowtown is the hub of a network of hill-walking tracks. It doesn’t take long to get high and get to breathtaking views down into the Whakatipu Basin or across the mountains and valleys of Mahu Whenua. Bring your walking shoes and take your pick from a huge range of tracks from straightforward ambles to experts-only expeditions. These mountains are going to be covered in snow soon, so take the opportunity while you can!
3. Play a round
This is the perfect time to sneak in a bit of golf before the winter chill sets in. Arrowtown’s golf courses rate among the best in New Zealand – all three made the top 15 in New Zealand Golf magazine’s 2020 rankings. Which course will you choose? Exclusive The Hills, home of the New Zealand Open? Gorgeous Millbrook with its 27 holes and attached resort? Or Arrowtown Golf Club with its spectacular views and welcoming club vibe?
4. Explore the museum
Arrowtown is chock-full of history, and nowhere more so than the district’s treasure house, the Lakes District Museum. It’s a pleasure to while away a couple of hours here, finding out about early Maori life, the gold rush, and the pioneering days of the European and Chinese settlers. The museum, which has a strong hands-on focus, is housed in three historic buildings on Buckingham Street, and despite all the scaffolding at the moment it’s very much open!
5. Get some retail therapy
Shopping is a genuine pleasure in Arrowtown’s boutiques. You’ll find unique, locally made gifts you won’t get at the chain stores, and an impressive range of clothing and footwear. You’ll get great service and advice, often from the owners themselves. And this Easter you'll get more bang for your buck as lots of shops have holiday sales. Make sure you pop in to the Athenaeum Hall – five of Arrowtown’s clothing stores are selling off overstocked designer brands at bargain prices.
6. Take a photograph
Come and find out why Arrowtown was named New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Small Town 2020. There aren’t many places more photogenic than Arrowtown in autumn – in fact as the trees frame the historic streets, the Arrow River and tranquil Lake Hayes with dazzling yellow, red and amber, it starts to get hard to take a bad photo. Make sure there’s plenty of space on your memory card!
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