Not every day can be a bluebird day – even here it rains sometimes! Don’t let a bit of rain put you off making the most of all Arrowtown has to offer. Maybe it’s not the best time to go hiking or biking or gold-panning but there’s still lots to do.
What better way to escape the rain than to settle in beside a roaring open fire with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand? Sink in to a leather armchair at the tiny Blue Door bar – if you start feeling peckish cross the laneway to Rosie B’s for a fireside meal. Right in the middle of the main street the New Orleans Hotel, a good old-fashioned Kiwi pub, has a good old-fashioned wood fire. Or head over to Millbrook Resort for a warm-up at the Hole in One Café.
Treat yourself! You deserve it. Relax at the the peaceful, home-like Oddfellows Lodge with a massage, mani-pedi or facial – or take it to the next level with a skin peel or body therapy. Be pampered at The Spa at Millbrook, where after an aromatic welcome ritual you can take your pick from a huge selection of services from a Swiss shower to a body wrap.
Up a charming alleyway from Arrowtown’s main street sits the best cinema for miles around: Dorothy Browns. Grab a glass of wine, a cheeseboard and a blanket and cocoon yourself in this delightful boutique theatre, ready to be transported to another world far from the rotten weather.
Arrowtown is chock-full of history, and nowhere more so than the district’s treasure house, the Lakes District Museum. It’s a pleasure to while away a couple of hours here, finding out about early Maori life, the gold rush, and the pioneering days of the European and Chinese settlers. The museum, which has a strong hands-on focus, is housed in three historic buildings on Buckingham Street.
Arrowtown is fast developing a reputation for fine art. You don’t have to go to a big city art gallery to see the work of major New Zealand contemporary artists – go to Nadene Milne Gallery instead. For 20th century design as well as contemporary New Zealand art head to Gary Mahan Gallery. Just up the hill is the Arrowtown Gallery, with its emphasis on traditional painting styles and local artists. And don’t forget the gallery at the Lakes District Museum, which also hosts mainly local artists.
If you like to keep things sweet, Arrowtown is the place to be. At Patagonia Chocolates Café you’ll find handmade chocolate and delicious ice cream. Remarkable Sweet Shop will tempt you with locally made fudge and nougat as well as New Zealand and imported confectionery. Honey & Cocoa brings the best of New Zealand honey and craft chocolate together. And you’d be a fool to leave Arrowtown without trying one of Provisions Café’s legendary sticky buns!
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