Historic Arrowtown

** 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!

22 thoughts on “Historic Arrowtown

  1. I have been wondering where this pot was 🙂 You took some totally gorgeous photos here – isn’t it the prettiest of places – I’d so live there if I could. Siddy and I went for a stroll along the river and there were so many pathways to follow he became quite manic, wanting to try them all. It seems you might have to head back this way some time in the future in order to get some more hikes in 🙂 xoxo

  2. Reblogged this on The Contented Crafter and commented:
    I wondered what had happened with this post – I had a moment of blind panic thinking I might have to write something myself, but Laurie came through 🙂 This is one of my favourite places in this country, I hope you can see why as you look through LB’s magical lens ……….

  3. A feast for the eyes! I’m struck by how similar frontier/gold mining towns look in New Zealand and Canada. Sure would love to visit the “Wool, Quilting, Embroidery” store! I didn’t know the flat white was a Kiwi invention?! I drink those all the time here! Who knew?

  4. The only problem with that town is the quilt, embroidery, fudge stores and pub are all too close together. I’d be fat and broke in a heartbeat! I love the vintage feel of that town. I’m glad you found the “spot”. 🙂 Great photos and thanks for sharing them.

  5. I agree with you, Laurie: there is so much to see and do there and it’s all gorgeous. I finally got a shot of some sheep on the North Island near Hobbiton. It’s hard to find a way to photograph them since they’re along the highways.

    You got some amazing photos in Arrowtown. I tried, but mine lacked the finesse of yours (of course). xo

  6. ??!! OK, me again !! I think I must have been in a holiday coma apon my return. I also remember this post yet don’t see my message. What the what? (oh yes, that’s a real question).
    That was a fab little town! Loved that lunch bar too, even if I did wait a long time for apple pie. It was worth it. It kind of blows my mind that sooo many hopeful dreamers made the trip to NZ during the gold rush. As you know, It’s a flippin crazy hike by plane. Then we traveled by car on paved roads and it’s a long day. How long must that have taken back then? A year? Those people had nerves of steel and conviction. I’d imagine once you got there, you’d just stay. Done like dinner.
    Well, glad they built such a cute little town and those who’ve kept it vibrant do a heck of a job. I wonder if I’ll ever get back? I hope so. Cheers from here xo K

  7. Pingback: A Pause in the Story | Life on the Bike and other Fab Things

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