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Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival 2018

The festive, parading and leafy takeover of Arrowtown, the Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival, returns in 2018 for the 34th time. And, if you’re anywhere near the pointy end of this historic gold mining town from 19-25 April, it should be part of your itinerary.

Only a 25-minute drive from Queenstown, A-town is easy to get to and nothing short of beautiful. Tucked away below striking peaks and next to the Middle Earth-ish Arrow River, Arrowtown sits pretty with stunning architecture and picturesque tree-lined trails. It’s no wonder that each year the Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival draws a massive crowd of locals and visitors that come to watch and take part in the 50-odd events.

The eclectic line up is hard to categorise. Arts and crafts markets are followed by historic tree walks and art exhibitions. Kid’s pottery workshops and lunchtime concerts merge into quiz nights and outdoor cinemas. Then there are the traditional events, like the NZ Gold Panning Championships and festival parade.

The Pie, Pint and Pinot is a particular favourite of festival goers. A simple concept, punters are urged to indulge in “the splendours of locally made gourmet pies, paired with craft beers” and delicious Akarua wines. A simple and ingenious concept.

If that’s all too serious for you, feel free to get involved in the Arrowtown Junior Rugby Club’s Rubber Ducky Race or get fancy dressed up and head to the Arrowtown Bowling Club Mixed Fours Tournament.

There’s also a dog show, ANZAC Day commemoration service, native tree planting morning, The Basin’s Got Talent show, Arrowtown’s Whenua Tohunga Landmark Ceremony and a heck of a lot more.

Having the reputation as a bit of a foodie destination, make sure you check out the best Arrowtown eats, like the Chop Shop, The Fork and Tap, Slow Cuts and The Blue Door when in town.

Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival 2018 will run from 19-25 April in Arrowtown.

words by niall roeder


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