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Morning Star Reserve, Queenstown – Stunning Views of the Shotover River

Morning Star Reserve, Queenstown – Stunning Views of the Shotover River

For the best views of the Shotover River you’ll want to head to the Morning Star Reserve. You can see the river from close to the car park, but I highly recommend also walking the Morning Star Track, which takes you above the river and then down to a tranquil beach area.

Views from Near the Car Park

If you’ve only got a few minutes and want to see some great views, you don’t need to venture far from the car park. You can head up to a viewpoint close to Edith Cavell Bridge and from just below there you can see the river area where the Shotover Jet leaves from. There’s also a brewery / bar.

Morning Star Track

With a bit more time it’s a good idea to walk the Morning Star Track. It takes 15-minutes each way and takes you to a scenic beach area. There are some great views along the way – we did in autumn and were impressed by the colours, but it’d be nice no matter the season.

READ MORE: The Shotover River is one of our top 12 rivers in the South Island — check out the others!

The track is very easy and there’s plenty to see. If you’ve kids, or you’re just not a fan of strenuous walks, this is the perfect option. Every now and again you might see the Shotover Jet roaring past.

The Beach

After a short and scenic walk the beach beckons. There is actual sand there (not just stones like most river beaches) and the water looks pristine on a sunny day. We were really impressed with this place – and we only saw one other couple on the whole track.

It was Easter weekend when we did it and most places around Queenstown were packed (especially Arrowtown) – I guess there are so many competing walks and activities that places like this can get lost in the shuffle (which is great if you don’t like crowds).

Morning Star Reserve: The Details

Morning Star Reserve is in Arthurs Point, a short drive from Queenstown. It took us years to visit this place (so many trips to Queenstown since 2017) – definitely an underrated spot. The walk should take you 30 minutes – there’s another track on the other side of the river but we didn’t have time to do it.

Are you planning a trip to Queenstown? Check out our Queenstown Travel Guide for lots of tips!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.