The quirky yet fascinating and quiet little town of Arrowtown was the location of our hotel. So naturally we went out to explore it and chanced upon a historic place- the Chinese Miners' Village.
It is near the centre of town. This historic place is a lasting reminder of the town's once thriving mining trade after the discovery of GOLD in the 1800's at Arrow River.
The settlement , where early Chinese families migrated after hearing about the gold boom in the area is just around 20 minutes' walk from the main street which is interestingly lined with lovely shops still in their original buildings from the 18th century!
So step back in time and explore this lovely town, especially the educational and inspiring stories of the early Chinese miners who sacrificed a great deal to live a decent life in New Zealand.
Amidst a backdrop of lush natural beauty, the settlement is a good place to visit for the whole family!
It is very common to see even today that there is a big mix of people with Asian heritage in the area. This little town even has a Thai restaurant, plus loads of shops with selling arts and crafts, ordinary foodstuffs, etc.
Arrowtown is a small historic gold mining town and it is located on the banks of the Arrow River.
There is road access directly to Queenstown via the Shotover Gorge and another route via picturesque Lake Hayes.
Just to the north of Arrowtown, on the banks of Bush Creek, is the partially restored Arrowtown Chinese Settlement.
Arrowtown is an easy half hour drive from Queenstown.
Arrowtown is a quaint historic gold-mining town situated in the Central Otago region of South Island, New Zealand.
It is just 20 minutes away from Queenstown.
Arrowtown is a very small quaint town and takes only a few hours for you to walk around. It is worth a day trip and it takes about an hour from the nearby towns.
Arrowtown was well publicised as .....
New Zealand's only living historic gold mining town , so we decided to go for the short 20 minute drive on a wet day, and check it out.
Arrowtown is an old gold mining town....................
In 1862 a shearer found gold in the Arrow River, news spread, and a town grew by the name of "Fox" which is now "Arrowtown" today.
1500 people soon were here living on the edge of the river, only to be washed away in in the 1863 flood. After this terrible disaster the town was then re-built on higher land.
The Arrow River area is pretty to walk alongside, it was rather nice with Autumn leaves, would have been nicer on a fine day. The main Avenue is of large Sycamore and Oak Trees planted in 1867. What a shame we were not here for the Autumn Leaves festival which is held in the last week of April, it would have been stunning! Not only beautiful Trees and golden leaves to look at, but you can try panning for gold in the River!
Quaint, old shops line the streets with more than sixty of them being restored! The town is very tourist orientated, expect to pay tourist prices! It is pretty, and it is definitively worth a look, I imagine it would be extremely busy on a nice day.
Arrowtown is 21 kilometres north-east of Queenstown and is reached by a side road turning off the Queenstown-Cromwell highway near Lake Hayes.
Arrow River, in central Otago, South Island, NEw Zealand once was rich in gold as discovered by William Fox in teh 1860's (source-WIKIPEDIA).
Panning for gold is still promoted here by the Arrowtown Council. You can go to the Arrowtown Centre and hire equipment for panning gold. The kids and hubby of course had a blast looking for that elusive shiny stuff!
Arrowtown itself is quite enchanting. It is in a tranquil setting very much the opposite of Queenstown proper itself which is always heavily populated and crowded with tourists! We had the river almost to ourselves except for a couple of people going for walks along the riverbank. It was another calming exercise to soothe our nerves after the scary drive near the cliffs on the ascent to Coronet Peak.
We were glad to book accommodation away from the hustle and bustle of central Queesntown.
Around the little historic township of Arrowtown are fascinating surroundings - quaint village atmosphere dating back from the gold boom of the 1800's still with their original buildings now housing interesting arts and crafts, including the town's museum where one can also hire tools and other equipment for gold panning at the nearby Arrow River.
Restaurants and cafes are also abundant with what seemed to be a quiet village atmosphere yet
rich in history and culture. After all, they still have the Chinese Miners' Village, richly preserved since gold was discovered in the river around the early 18th century. Understandably, as many places in New Zealand were used as settings for scenes in Lord of the Rings, the town was one of those used in the movie!
The Tolkien movie used also Arrow River and the surrounding lush greenery around Arrowtown.
As I told you in my tip about the LoR tour with Nomad Safaris, the biggest fun about visiting the Ford of Bruinen location was the wild drive through the Arrow River with the 4WD truck and our crazy guide. But you can also visit the LoR place without 4WD, and on your own.
In Arrowtown, drive to the historic Chinese settlement on the outskirts of the small township, and park your car there. (Also possible by the public bus from Queenstown and a short walk.)
From there walk down to the adjacent riverbank, and keep to the right. The film location is about 200 or 300 metres upstream, and almost certainly you will have to wade in the riverbed. In normal weather conditions this is no problem at all. The river is not rough, and the water no higher than ankle-deep.
Standing on the right-hand side of the river, you can see and imagine the film scene, with the Nazgûl pacing down on their horses on the left side. They were chasing Arwen who ferried Frodo across the river on her steed (and BTW, all her riding scenes were stunts as Liv Tyler does not like horses). All flowering plants – in November/December lupins and broom – were edited out of the film.
The following scene of the flooding river was filmed in the Shotover River at Skippers Canyon. They had to combine the rivers as in the Skippers Canyon the river is too deep for horses to ride through.
On the way to the Ford of Bruinen you can walk through the Gladden Fields of the film. They are called Wilcox Green in real life. You get there on a path through a stand of trees beside the river.
Photo 2 shows the Ford of Bruinen as you see it in the film, taken from about the same spot as by the cameraman.
Arrowtown is located approximately 21km from Queenstown, towards Cromwell and offers a place of relaxation and walking trails.
Arrowtown started in the gold rush, with Chinese immigrants. The Chinese village remains are a popular free attraction (not many things are free in Queenstown). The local school children do a study on these each year. Panning for gold is still promoted here by the Arrowtown Council. You can go to the Arrowtown Centre and hire equipment for panning gold. This is located on the main street in Arrowtown,
Arrowtown is also the location of the Lakes District museum. It is a little pricey, however it has been upgraded/renovated within the last decade and still has a lot of useful information about the history of both Arrowtown/Queenstown & the local Maori tribes. I'd allow 1-3 hours to take this all in, depending on how much history/information you're after. There is also a cute wee place behind the museum to get dressed up in pioneer's clothing and get photos done.
Arrowtown has many places to dine, however the one that stands out is the Arrowtown Bakery. It has been around for approximately 20 years and is the place any local from Queenstown/Arrowtown will travel to get a pie! They are amazing and come in every flavour - from lamb & mint to chicken varieties to mince options.
Arrowtown is also an amazing place for walking tracks. There are many just in and around Arrowtown, however my favourite is to walk from Arrowtown to the Lake Hayes Pavilion. You can either return walk/catch the local bus back/forwards or have someone pick you up there. The walk takes about 45 minutes one way and is very much downhill/flat ground. The scenery along here is amazing, looking down over Lake Hayes, looking over the Milbrook golf-course and just walking along local farming land. Of course the other walking tracks in Arrowtown are defiantly worth a go as well.
About 15-20 minutes drive away is the quaint little town of Arrowtown. This is where you can catch your breathe after all the exhilarating rides and breath-taking views of Queenstown.