Arrowtown is located about 20 kilometres from Queenstown.
It is a very quaint colonial style town that is worth a half day trip. The scenery in the area is stunning.
Arrowtown sprung up in 1862 when gold was discoveredin the Arrow River. Originally named Fox's (after William Fox, a Californian gold miner) the town began to populate. Within weeks 1500 people, and as the news of gold in the Arrow River spread, people in search of treasure arrived in droves. Tents and shanties built on the river bank were washed away in a spring flood the following year, lives were lost. The town was re built more solidly on the terraces above the river bank. Arrowtown developed eventually into a solid community, which included several hotels, a Bank, Post Office, Gaol, School, and Hospital. At the height of the gold rush, Arrowtown's population grew to over 7000.
Today Arrowtown has retained an ambience sought after by visitors and residents alike. Arrowtown has a population of about 1,700.
Arrowtown's focus is on hosting visiting holidaymakers, in accommodation, dining and sightseeing and recreational pursuits. Film production, viticulture and farming are also major income earners for the town.
Worldwide attention has been received recently with some of The Lord of the Rings trilogy filmed in and around Arrowtown and environs. Commercial viticulture has become well established, with many award winning wines produced locally.
We undertook a very nostalgic journey to Arrowtown in a doubledecker bus, Bangalore had these red colored two storeyed buses when I was a kid and just seeing it in QT helped us decide that we want to take this ride :D
On a ice cloudy day the bus actually drove thru clouds to get us to this quaint town with its own China town( Oh yes, theres one of these even in NZ!), jade/pauwa shops and picturesque parks :) This tour included some cheese and wine tasting as well.