Queenstown is a stunning destination rife with walking trails to suit all abilities. From leisurely walks through the gardens to conquering mountain summits, you're sure to find a beautiful backdrop no matter where you go. For those of us with toddlers, it can be hard to choose which trails are best for those little legs and big imaginations. We've put together Rockababy Rentals's favourite walks to do around Queenstown with your minis, so you can save time on planning and get the most out of your family holiday. We've even included our top coffee spots along the way!
1. Arrowtown Millennium Walk
Arrowtown is a quaint, historic gold mining town set alongside the Arrow River, about a 20 min. drive from Queenstown. Known for its beautiful backdrop and preserved streets, it’s a definite must-see if you’re in the area. The Arrowtown Millennium Walk is a 4.2km loop trail along the banks of the river. The track is fairly flat, so it’s perfect for little legs! It’s a wide, easy track made of gravel, so it pairs well with our all-terrain Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle strollers. It’s also a great option for you to bring along the balance bikes! At a normal pace, the loop should take about an hour but there is lots to explore along the way so allow yourself some extra time for pit stops. Walk downstream through the shade of the willow, sycamore and larch trees to check out one of the first quartz mines in New Zealand, where they started extracting gold in the 1860's.
Arrowtown is also home to the Chinese Settlement, where you get a glimpse into the past. The village, located along the trail at the edge of town, features partially restored huts where the Chinese miners used to live, which are a hit with the kids as they love the tiny houses.
For coffee I recommend The Fork and Tap as food is great and it has a cool beer garden with a playground in it which is fenced off from the road. -Abby, Owner
Famous for its fall foliage, Arrowtown offers a spectacular display of autumn colours and leaves to kick around during mid-April. The part of the river closest to town is very shallow, so it’s perfect for toddlers to splash around in safely during the hot summer months. Visit in winter for a frosty wonderland or in the spring when you can add in a visit to the Remarkable Vets to feed the baby animals! No matter what time of the year you’re visiting Queenstown, a walk along the Arrow River provides a beautiful scenic outing for you and your minis.
2. Queenstown Gardens
Found in the heart of Queenstown, your littles will love what the Queenstown Gardens has to offer! The lakefront playground has recently been upgraded with better, brighter equipment and the backdrop is definitely Instagram worthy.
You can join in the fun or supervise from the sidelines with a coffee from The Bathhouse Cafe, which is right next door. -Abby, Owner
Follow the trail across the bridge and around the lake, where you have a choice to walk up into the gardens or down below along the lakefront. No matter the time of year, you'll find plenty of great photo op spots in an abundance of beautiful native trees and other flora.
The Queenstown Gardens also has plenty of opportunity to interact with (or more likely chase) the ducks. If you visit in the spring the gardens are overloaded with fluffy little ducklings. Feeding the ducks can be a fun activity for you and your toddlers, but remember to bring food that is good for them. Contrary to popular belief, bread lacks nutritional value and can be harmful to the ducklings growth. It's best to bring things like grains, rice, nuts (unsalted) or halved/quartered grapes.
Despite being a short walk to the main CBD, the Queenstown Gardens offer a tranquil setting for you and your family to enjoy away from the hustle and bustle and you can easily fit it into your visit to Queenstown.
3. Frankton Beach
Frankton Beach is another great spot on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Whether you're coming from Kelvin Heights or Queenstown, the Frankton Arm trail offers a flat, wide track that is perfect for a family outing. Bring your toddlers on a scenic ride with the balance bikes or take a walk together with the stroller. Once you arrive at Frankton Beach, you are met with a stunning view of The Remarkables mountain range; another great photo spot with one of the best backdrops in Queenstown.
Grab a coffee along the way; one end has the Hilton and the other way is The Boatshed. -Abby, Owner
During the summer, the water gets really warm and it's shallow enough for safe swimming. You'll also find picnic tables, a free BBQ area and public toilets there. If you plan ahead with a picnic and some water toys, it can be a nice way to spend a sunny afternoon! If you're visiting when the lake is too cold to swim in, you will still find this location is a beautiful spot regardless of the time of year.
We love sharing our backyard with visitors from all over, so we hope you enjoy these suggestions for walking trails in the Queenstown area. Rockababy Rentals can help you take advantage of this special time with your family by providing equipment rentals from car seats and strollers to balance bikes, toy boxes and outdoor toys for all seasons!