In Arrowtown our vibrant history melds with glorious nature to make an enchanting must-do experience. A walk down Arrowtown’s heritage main street is a journey back in time, while the hills and rivers that teemed with gold mines a century and a half ago are now a mecca for hikers and bikers.
Historic Arrowtown is a New Zealand treasure, and it is recognised as a Tohu Whenua. It is a scenic 25-minute drive from Queenstown, and a popular winter base for international ski teams. It's charming and quirky – a delightful gold-rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River.
The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a procession of small-town heritage buildings that stretch into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miners’ cottages that date to the 1870s. The buildings in this lovely precinct house shops, galleries, bars and restaurants – many classy, most individual, not one from an international chain. It is a wonderful place to browse and relax, enjoy a meal, and soak up Arrowtown’s lively heritage.
Buckingham Street is home to the Lakes District Museum with its memorable display of life in a goldfields town. Many of the early gold miners were adventurous Chinese men, and the restored remains of their very separate village lie by the river. The museum serves as the town's information centre – a first stop for local information and maps of walking and cycling trails. If you’d like to make Arrowtown the uncrowded base for your visit to New Zealand’s Queenstown region, there are varied accommodation choices, which the friendly staff will help you book.
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