Welcome to Arrowtown: A Photo Essay

This guest post from Amanda of A Dangerous Business is part of Blog4NZ. Blog4NZ, running March 21-23, is a grassroots blogging and social media event put together by travel bloggers to bring awareness to New Zealand tourism in the wake of the Feb. 22 Christchurch earthquake. Bloggers of all sorts will be sharing memories, photos and stories from New Zealand during these 3 days in order to bring awareness to the fact that, despite the quake, the country is still very much open for business.

Welcome to Arrowtown: A Photo Essay

Roughly a 20-minute drive from the ski resorts and bungy jumping bridges of Queenstown, New Zealand, lies a quiet little town that not everybody knows about. But this town, while being ridiculously cute and modern, has the ability to transport visitors back in time for an afternoon.

This is Arrowtown.

Arrowtown, New Zealand

Nestled up against an arm of the beautiful Southern Alps, Arrowtown really sprang into life around 1861, when gold was first discovered in the Arrow River.

Arrow River, Arrowtown, New Zealand

But, unlike many former gold mining towns that faded away as the gold became scarce, Arrowtown has evolved today into a popular destination for travelers looking for a relaxing day trip from Queenstown.

Arrowtown Blog4NZ Arrowtown is quite small, with only about 2,100 residents calling the area home. But this only adds to its ambience and charm.

Walking down the main street on a sunny day is almost picture-perfect, with many of the buildings dating back to the days of the gold miners, and many others built to look like they came from that same period.

Arrowtown, New Zealand

Arrowtown Post Office

Visitors to Arrowtown can learn a bit about the town’s history (as well as the history of New Zealand’s Lakes District) at the Lakes District Museum, try their luck at gold panning, browse through numerous art galleries, price gold and jewelry at the Gold Nugget, and stop into a variety of cafes and restaurants for a snack or meal. I’d also suggest visiting Patagonia Chocolates, where they make delicious treats by hand each day in the store.

Those with a love of the outdoors can also golf, hike, and even rent bikes nearby.

Arrowtown, New Zealand

And the best part? Historic Arrowtown is small enough to be explored easily on foot, making it a great destination for all sorts of travelers.

Arrowtown, New Zealand

So if you’re going to be in the Queenstown area and want to take a break from the jetboating and the skiing and the skydiving, consider a trip to Arrowtown for the day.

And, before you leave, be sure to take a photo like this:

Arrowtown, New Zealand

I mean, how could you possibly pass this up?

Have you visited Arrowtown — or any other former gold mining town — before? What do you think it is about these sorts of towns that make them so charming?

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