Simultaneous epitaxial growth of film and nanowire array on a substrate is of both scientific significance and practical importance for nanoscale optoelectronics. Nevertheless, in situ building conducting connection between individually isolated nanowires grown on insulating substrates is still challenging. Herein, we demonstrate a novel and facile strategy for the simultaneous epitaxial growth of nonpolar a -plane ZnO film and obliquely aligned nanowire array on Au-coated r -plane sapphire substrate. The morphology, structure, components, and optical properties of the as-synthesized ZnO nanostructures were investigated using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, field-emission transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. A cooperative growth mechanism is proposed: Au-catalyzed vapor transport initiates the co-occurrence of nonpolar a -plane and polar c -plane ZnO nuclei, and subsequently, the non-upward directed Au catalyst helps the nonpolar a -plane ZnO nuclei develop into a ZnO conductive film at the bottom and zinc self-catalyzed vapor–liquid–solid growth helps the polar c -plane ZnO nuclei develop simultaneously into obliquely aligned nanowire arrays. The proposed strategy realized in situ synthesis of nanowires with conductive connection and it can benefit the application of ZnO nanowires in optoelectronics.