Arrowtown Chinese heritage site, Kawarau Suspension Bridge and Gibbston Valley of the Vines day trip
For families where there are various degrees of fitness levels the Arrow River Bridges excursion is relaxing with plenty to see and do for all interests. Everyone is fascinated by people plunging off bridges with rubber bands attached to their ankles and Kawarau suspension bridge will not disappoint. Arrange with your bike rental operation for a convenient pickup. This bike ride for wine lovers is part of the Gibbston wine trail. In the peak summer season bookings for restaurants and cafes are recommended and overnight stays in the Gibbston Valley forward bookings will avoid disappointment.
Arrow River gorge exploration is a great way to experience the outdoors on Arrowtown’s doorstep.
Arrow River Bridges trail highlights
- Crosses five bridges over the Arrow River creating a cycle trail interesting for kids as well as all age groups
- Arrowtown Dudley’s cottage is the start for the journey
- Willow lined Arrow River forms part of the trail
- Southern Discoveries suspension bridge is a favourite for photographers
- Knights Family Underbridge and take in a spectacular downstream view of where the Arrow River drops into the gorge
- The 80-metre Edgar Suspension Bridge is a showstopper with views of down into the Arrow Gorge
- Trail partially follows old gold mining paths with information plaques detailing the history of the paths
- Cross over the historic Kawarau Suspension bridge and AJ Hacket’s bungy centre. There are cafes, toilets and perhaps a bungy jump in the day
- Bungy viewing deck has information plaques about the history of the area, the bridge and tips about where to get the best photos
For families with their own bikes if you need air in your tyres head to Better by Bike right by Dudley’s Cottage at the trail start point and they’ll be happy to oblige. And last minute water bottles and sunscreen available for purchase as well.
Wheelchair accessible except for a short 20 metre section under the Knights Family under bridge at Arrow Junction which is impassable without assistance.
- Distance: 13.7 km (one way)
- Grade: Easy
GIBBSTON RIVER WINE TRAIL SECTION
This trail is a continuation of the Arrow River Bridges Trail. As part of the Queenstown Great Ride network, the trail starts at the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and winds its way above the Kawarau River through Gibbston, Valley of the Vines. What a way to start your day trip from Queenstown, AJ Hacket and bungy jumping… Gibbston is approximately ½ hour drive time from Queenstown and on Arrowtown’s doorstep. Convenient and if cool climate wines and pinot noir plus are your thing you have twelve vineyards to check out. The Valley of the Wines is remarkable… read more on Gibbston wine trail.
- Distance: 8.7 km
- Grade: Easy / Moderate
For cyclists who would like a leisurely lunch check out either Kinross or Gibbston Valley wines to sample what the boutique valley wineries have to offer.
PICK UP POINTS
Arrowtown & Queenstown
Better by Bike offers fully supported, self guided bike hire with optional return shuttles. Ride at your leisure
What’s included when you hire from Better By Bike?
- New season Electric bikes from Moustache and Hardtail Mountain Bikes from Specialized
- Full range of sizes available for adults and kids, right down to baby seats
- Helmets, maps, optional gel seats, panniers, backpacks and phone carriers
- Fully supported, so any issues we are there to help pronto
- Return to base shuttles from any of our rides, which are flexible and don’t need to be pre booked
Better by Bike sells water and sunscreen. Hydration and protection from the sun is the key to an enjoyable ride.
GIBBSTON RIVER TRAIL
The great outdoors is on Arrowtown’s doorstep. Check out the Department of Conservation trail, Gibbston River Trail on the south side of the Kawarau River gorge. The Gibbston River Trail is a walking and mountain bike track that stretches 11km from the historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge along the south bank of the Kawarau River.
Source DOC and check online for up to date information.
Gibbston River Trail
- Time: Kawarau Suspension Bridge to Peregrine Wines 1-2 hr, 5 km
- Kawarau Suspension Bridge to Peregrine Wines via Peregrine Loop 2-3 hr, 6.7 km
This track is unrivalled in the Wakatipu basin for its scenic river and landscape views and its historic features. The modified landscape tells the story of the 19th century gold mining on the Gibbston Flats and the dynamic force of the Kawarau River.
- Time: 1 hr return, 2.7km
11 arched timber bridges protect archaeological evidence from the earliest days of Otago’s mining heritage, including a collapsed mining tunnel and several large tailraces. Two steel truss bridges cross the deep chasm of Camp Creek – one passing through the upper branches of an old willow tree.
The Peregrine Loop is for walking only.
- Time: Peregrine Wines car park to Gibbston Back Road 1 hr 20 min, 3.2km
- Peregrine Wines to Church Lane 55 min, 2.2km
This easy track links to the Gibbston River Trail. Walkers and mountain bikers are safely separated from the Gibbston Highway on a graveled track along the farm fencelines. The track also links to Coal Pit Road and the Gibbston Back Road.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE