Discover some of Arrowtown’s most popular events that attract locals and worldwide visitors to this beautiful town every year. No matter your age, interests, or favourite travel season, Arrowtown will have an event to suit you. So go on, get the calendar out, mark these special event dates with a giant red circle and start counting down the days!
Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival
When is it: 21 – 25 April 2023
Who’s it for: A family-friendly event for all ages
What to expect: Community, festivities and colour
This iconic event is a celebration of Arrowtown’s most loved season, Autumn. Thousands come to enjoy the town’s colourful landscape and festive atmosphere in the town centre. The Autumn Festival runs over five days and has more than fifty events to attend. A few favourites include the local art exhibition inside the Lake District Museum, the gold panning championships, fun dog show, outdoor movie screening, infamous quiz night, and the pie, pint & pinot event.
The ASB market is the most eventful day of the festival, which you do not want to miss. Buckingham Street comes alive with vibrant music and dance performances. Over 120 market stalls sell the best NZ-made products, and a vintage car show creates a historic atmosphere loved by all.
When is it: 19 November 2022
Who’s it for: Avid runners and outdoor enthusiasts
What to expect: Scenic trails, breathtaking views, and personal accomplishment
‘The World’s Most Beautiful Marathon’. There’s not much else to say really. This event is one of the Runaway Marathon Series and brings thousands of visitors to the Queenstown Lakes District every year. With four distances to choose from, there’s every reason to participate.
Run the 3km, 10km, 21km, or the full 42.2km course and explore the region’s most stunning locations, including Millbrook Resort, Lake Hayes Walkway, Lake Whakatipu, Shotover River, Queenstown Gardens and Arrowtown. You’ll run past mountains, countryside, and lakes all the way to the finish line, where you’ll receive your completion medal. Who knew running could look this good?
The long lunch
When is it: 2 December 2022
Who’s it for: Groups of passionate foodies
What to expect: Fine dining, friendship, and sun
Arrowtown’s long lunch is a beautiful summer’s day out that celebrates community and the local cuisine. Every year, hundreds of chairs and tables are lined up along Buckingham Street for a lunch service like no other. The town’s most renowned restaurants and chefs work together to create a delicious array of platters for the table to enjoy. Live music performances surround the streets for some lunchtime entertainment.
A silent auction is held during the event, with fantastic items and prizes to be won. All profits go back into the community and are donated to a local charity or organisation. The Arrowtown long lunch is a feel-good, flavoursome experience in a gorgeous outdoor setting. So bring your friends, bring your family, and take a seat at the table.
When is it: 10 – 11 December 2022
Who’s it for: Athletes that run mountains for fun (and sideline supporters)
What to expect: Remote wilderness, challenge, and pain
This event is not for the faint-hearted. In fact, it’s one of the toughest mountain running races in the world. The WILD is a brutal but beautiful race across Otago’s secluded mountains, valleys, and ridgelines, with three distances to choose from. The 20-mile course for enthusiastic, fit mountain explorers. The 50-mile course for high-achieving athletes. And the 100-mile course for the hard-core mountain goats that live to test the limits of the human body.
Whether you’re a competitor or a spectator, Arrowtown is the ideal base location. Race registration and briefings are held in the town centre, along with the prize-giving ceremony and after-match party celebrations. All things you wouldn’t want to miss!
Arrowtown is known for its variety of vibrant annual events and is a popular destination during these dates. Be sure to book your stay at Arrowtown House early to avoid missing out! We can’t wait to see you.
Check out more local events here