13.5 kms one way
Grade 3 / Intermediate
Head to the start of this trail adjacent to Dudley's Cottage at the Arrowtown River car park and follow the signs - within a few minutes the trail crosses Manse Road, where you’ll come across the David John Gallery and Christina Roach Gallery in an historic stone cottage.
The trail through iconic and peaceful Millbrook Resort is well-signposted. Slow down and take in the gorgeous architecture and landscaping – and make a mental note to stop in on the return journey or come back another day (Millbrook Resort offers a great cafe, retaurant, bars, pro-shop and golf courses and of course the Day Spa, not to mention the first class accommodation options). One of the favourite local views on the trail is from the top of Christine’s Hill. From here, Lake Hayes twinkles in the foreground, with the appropriately-named Remarkables Mountain Range in the distance.
An optional detour at the bottom of Christine's Hill left onto Speargrass Flat Road reveals more of Queenstown’s magnificent architecture and art. Be sure to stop in at the old dairy factory for a visit to the Thomas Brown Gallery on your right. Marvel at the stone and schist craftsmanship dotting the landscape. Historic Thurlby Domain with its exquisite trees and tumbledown stone ruins, is a popular wedding venue and a real favourite with photographers and do make a note of the gorgeous rustic 1930's cottage - Jewel on Speargrass - a great spot to stay during this or your next visit.
Turn back along Speargrass Flat Road until you reach Slopehill Road. Although a quiet section of road - please take care - normal road rules apply.
At Rutherford Road there is the option to ride a short 700m section of quiet road to connect to the Lake Hayes Trail and enjoy the 8 km scenic ride around this beautiful lake. This is one of the most scenic short loops in the trail network and is very popular with walkers and cyclists. Following an anti-clockwise direction is slightly easier and the reserve is a perfect picnic spot. The lake is often very calm, producing incredible reflections of the mountain ranges that surround it. Ride back along Rutherford Road to rejoin the Countryside Trail, and from here enjoy expansive views of the Wakatipu Basin and green pastures backed by dramatic schist peaks. A short downhill from Domain Road will bring the trail back alongside the Shotover River, before arriving at the Old Lower Shotover Bridge.
If you’re tempted to continue on to Queenstown or Gibbston, just follow the signs. Otherwise, enjoy the 360 degree photo opportunities on the Old Lower Shotover Bridge, then head back the way you came to Arrowtown.