Local Information

Local Information

Historic and picturesque Arrowtown is a much-visited holiday destination in Otago, New Zealand, located only 20 minutes drive from Queenstown in the South Island. A former gold-mining town, its heritage is evident as soon as you visit, and it has a rich history just waiting for you to explore.

The town is built on the banks of the Arrow River, a rich source of gold in the 1860s that led to the town’s boom, with the population of the previously small community rising to over 7,000 at the height of the gold rush.

Modern Arrowtown is permanent home to just over 2,000 people, but every year (and all-year round) it welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world to its unique collection of restaurants, cafes, shops, offices and art and craft galleries.

Its unique historical character has been wonderfully preserved and many of the buildings you can see in Arrowtown today are the original homes built by European and Chinese immigrants during the town’s gold mining days.

Arrowtown’s excellent Lakes District Museum doubles as the town’s information centre and is located on the main street. It is hub for the heritage of Arrowtown and the surrounding area.

Shades of Arrowtown is located handily to many of these activities and can also assist you with your plans – just chat to us about your interests during your stay and we’ll be more than happy to make recommendations and perform bookings for you.

For further visitor information on and imagery of Arrowtown, you can visit the town’s official website.

There are a huge range of activities that can be enjoyed in and around the town, including:

  • Gold-panning
  • Visiting the gold-mining ghost town of Macetown
  • Lake District Museum & Gallery
  • Dorothy Browns Arrowtown Cinema
  • Lord of the Rings tour
  • Four-wheel driving
  • Winery visits and tours
  • Playing golf at the nearby international-standard golf resort, Millbrook
  • Browsing and buying at the town’s unique collection of shops
  • Skiing at one of the many excellent local fields
  • World-class trout fishing
  • Fine dining
  • Many outstanding walks and mountain bike tracks
  • …or simply relaxing and taking in the beautiful scenery!