Arrowtown is a historic former gold mining town, rich in heritage and one of the South Island's iconic visitor destinations
Located only a scenic twenty-minutes drive from Queenstown, the distinct four seasons and charming character make Arrowtown a must-do for visitors from all over the world. This delightful town has maintained its rich heritage and historic buildings and is now a vibrant destination with world class food and beverage, shopping and attractions.
Arrowtown is built on the banks of the Arrow River, once a rich source of gold which attracted miners from around the world in pursuit of their fortune. In 1862 thousands of miners flocked to the Arrow River to the cry of “gold!” At the height of the gold rush, the population reached 7,000. While the miners have now gone, the legacy of those early settlers has been retained in Arrowtown through careful preservation this history has become a treasure in its own right. The Lakes District Museum, on the main street, is the focal point for the history of Arrowtown and the surrounding areas and is also the town's Information Centre.
Arrowtown is charming and quirky–a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. No longer simply a little brother to Queenstown, Arrowtown is an enchanting destination in its own right. It’s an easy half- or full-day trip from any of our holiday homes and you’ll likely find yourself wanting to go back for a second visit.
Sophisticated food and shopping
While Arrowtown has successfully preserved its rich heritage it has also developed into a world-class destination. Arrowtown has a unique ambience with the historic downtown area offering a sophisticated range of fine clothing stores, art studios, galleries, cafés and restaurants, boutique accommodation and traditional pubs and bars. Free WiFi public access hot spots give visitors internet access in central Arrowtown so that planning your day is even easier.
Autumn in Arrowtown
In addition to the unique heritage precinct, shops and great food and wine, Arrowtown is also renowned for being one of the most amazing places in New Zealand to experience the colours of the four seasons. In any season the town is a photographer’s dream but autumn is when Arrowtown truly shines. Famous worldwide for its stunning autumn colours, you’ll be dazzled by hues of gold, crimson and orange on the hillsides and surrounds during April and May. The Arrowtown Autumn Festival celebrates this golden season and provides popular activities and entertainment in mid-April.
Activities and attractions
One way for the active traveller to take in the Queenstown-Lakes District’s gorgeous scenery is via our many scenic walking tracks. If that sounds like your kind of holiday, Arrowtown is a great place for hiking or biking with easy access to the ‘Queenstown Trail,’ with tracks leading to Gibbston Valley, Lake Hayes and Queenstown. There are also many smaller walking trails and cycle tracks, of varying degrees of difficulty, that either start or finish in Arrowtown. If you’re looking for a challenge, the famous Macetown and Motatapu Tracks are right on Arrowtown’s doorstep.
Arrowtown is also a popular base for snow enthusiasts during winter, with four world class ski areas between 20 – 60 minutes’ drive away. The town is also a year-round golf lover’s paradise with three superb golf courses only five minutes away. There is the popular local Arrowtown Golf Course, The Hills course and Millbrook Resort, offering a 27 hole championship course that is home to the NZ Open.
- Expand your taste buds, with the vast range of ice-creams at Patagonia Chocolates
- Explore the historic Chinese miners village
- Catapult yourself back in time, wearing a vintage costume for a portrait picture at the Museum
- Hire an e-bike and boost down to Gibbston Valley for lunch, along the Wakatipu Cycle Trail
- Get lost in time at the Lakes District Museum
- Chat to the artist at work, carving Pounamu at The Jade Factory
- Watch the world go by, al fresco, drinking craft beer at The Fork & Tap
- Walk up Tobin's Track, for a birds eye view of Queenstown, Cornet Peak & The Remarkables
- Grab the keys to the local prison, and have your own, self-escorted private tour of The Gaol
- Burn your cellphone battery capturing the world-famous Arrowtown Autumn colours
- Browsing through the boutique shopping precinct
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