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Arrowtown, New Zealand

Born of Gold.

These pages have some of Queenstown's best activities & tours:

Arrowtown - gold town - near QueenstownArrowtown is just a short fifteen minute drive from Queenstown. The historic gold town of Arrowtown overlooked by the Crown Terrace and resting on the banks of the Arrow River, maintains its fascinating, original gold-mining town character. Arrowtown sprang up overnight when gold was discovered in the Arrow River in 1862. Gold miners in their thousands rushed to stake a claim, and many of them struck it rich.
Arrowtown - beautiful gold leaves in Autumn.These days, Arrowtown is just as famous for its golden autumn leaves.

The Arrow River is said to have been one of the richest sources of alluvial Gold in the world, certainly the richest in New Zealand and in the 1860s attracted a bustling population of rough gold miners from all over the world to Arrowtown.
Now Arrowtown is a major attraction for any visitor or photographer because of its beauty. It is a living historic gold mining town, with many of the original shops and cottages are still used today.

Arrowtown residents embraced the filming of the Lord of the Rings.

The Ford of Bruinen was located just upstream of the town and Dark Riders on the Ford of Bruinenit was here that Arwen Evenstar, daughter of Elrond, carried the injured and dying Frodo across the river on horseback with the Black Riders close behind. The gushing Arrow River and its bush-clad walkways is an internationally preferred site for location filming of movies and commercials. It's also a photographer's dream.

It is all only 15 minutes away from your Queenstown accommodation at Lake Vista and is well worth a visit.

Destination Queenstown logo Old Masonic Lodge building View of Miners Cottage Chinese Village house

Arrowtown's cafe culture is alive and well, with a variety of restaurants to choose from, from fine dining with fabulous locally made wines - to the family takeaway.

Enjoy the natural surroundings. Take a walk along banks of the Arrow river and savour the scenery, or take the opportunity to sample the wide range of activities on offer in the area including Gold Panning.

The Lakes District Museum and Arrowtown Jail remain, as does the old cemetery and the Chinese village. It was not until 1869 that large numbers of Chinese began to reside in the Arrow district. Most were working in the Shotover and Arrow Gorges, although wherever Chinese stores opened communities began to develop. At least 2 such stores were established in Arrowtown by late 1869, and within a year the local newspaper recorded: "

The Chinese element is beginning to be largely predominant here and a stranger entering the town during the usual dinner hour at noon, or at "knocking-off time" in the evening, would almost imagine that he was in a sort of miniature Hong Kong."

Initially most were associated with a Chinese mining company working the Arrow Flat. Up to 45 were employed in this venture in the early 1870s. The stores were sited at the western end of Buckingham Street. For this reason, and because of the availability of a vacant crown land, by nearby Bush Creek, the small Chinese settlement grew at this end of the town.

Further information on Arrowtown here.