** This post, accidentally published as Private, is now available for view as Public **
We took another day trip, this time to Arrowtown, an historic gold mining town about 20 minutes from Queenstown.
Located alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River, the town was established in 1862 by local Maori man and sheep shearer, Jack Tewa (known as “Maori Jack”) during the height of the Otago gold rush. The settlement grew quickly as pioneers constructed cottages, shops, hotels and churches, more than 60 of which can still be seen today. At the height of it’s popularity, the number of residents of Arrowtown grew to 7000.
Now, with its population at just over 2,000 residents enjoy excellent educational facilities, and a range of quality amenities including, library, museum, swimming pool, internationally acclaimed golf courses, medical centre, a nearby airport, hospital, ski fields, an ice rink, and events centre (this per the Arrowtown website).
With the gold rush long over, Arrowtown focuses on tourism. Film production, viticulture and farming are also major income earners for the town.
Arrowtown received worldwide attention when The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in and around the local environs.
The temperatures this day felt much more like fall, and we gathered for lunch in the New Orleans Hotel. Pub style dining, which we encountered frequently, has you ordering your food and drink at the bar, and delivered later by a server. New Zealanders tend to be more relaxed and this style of dining was welcome. Given our large group, we wrote down our orders and enjoyed our bevvies while we waited. How fun to enjoy Proseco while Merle Haggard played on the radio.
Before heading out in much cooler weather, we enjoyed what I have become addicted to: the flat white.
The Kiwi’s like to joke that there are more sheep than people in New Zealand, and while I’ve seen thousands, I’ve not had the chance to photograph any of them. These metal sheep will just have to do.
I wish I’d had more time to walk along the Arrowtown Riverwalk and learn more of the history. If I have any regret about this amazing vacation, it’s that there is just too much to see and do, and it’s just impossible to see it all. I particularly would like to be doing more hiking.
No complaints though. It’s been an incredible journey so far!