Queenstown & Arrowtown

Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand’s South Island.  With activities like bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, jetboating, skiing and snowboarding, this is the place to head to for some adrenaline rush!

Queenstown also has a lot to offer for those who want a more leisurely holiday – from cruising across scenic Lake Wakatipu, going up to one of the scenic lookouts for an amazing view of the town or a stroll along Lake Wakatipu.

T S S Earnslaw Vintage Steamship on Lake Wakatipu

My reintroduction to this lakeside town started when we drove into town via The Remarkables on a clear sunny day.  We drove up The Remarkables lookout for unparalleled views of the town,  Queenstown Airport in Frankton, Shotover River and the mountains surrounding Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Panoramic view of Queenstown from The Remarkables

Queenstown Airport in Frankton from The Remarkables

It’s easy to explore this cosy town.  It’s also a very touristy town filled with boutiques, souvenir shops and adventure tour operators.  One can also spend hours strolling along Lake Wakatipu to get away from the hustle and bustle of built up cities.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

A war memorial

Queenstown really comes alive as night falls.  I dare say that Queenstown is the liveliest town in New Zealand after the sunset.

The clock tower which is a landmark in town

Statue of William Gilbert Rees

A busker at the lakeshore

A long line always can be seen outside Fergburger, a local burger institution.  If you are averse to long queues and burgers, fret not.  There is an abundance of chic restaurants and trendy cafes to choose from.

The ever popular Fergburger

A variety of cafes and restaurants at Queenstown Mall

A mere 20 minute drive from Queenstown is the historical Arrowtown.  Established in 1862, Arrowtown was a gold mining town and visitors can still try their luck panning for a gold nugget at the Arrow River.

The well preserved Miners Cottages

Stepping into the main street of Arrowtown, one feels like visiting an old American western town with its well-preserved cottages and shop fronts.

Shops on the main street

Not surprising to find a gold shop as Arrowtown is steeped in gold mining history

A vintage post box still in service

A visit to The Lakes District Museum and Arrowtown Chinese Settlement will no doubt provide visitors an insight of the town and its inhabitants during the exciting gold rush era.

The restored Arrowtown Chinese Settlement

A walk around the Chinese settlement with its restored shelters and buildings shed some light on the harsh living conditions of these early immigrants and their contributions to the region’s gold mining boom.

A small and basic hut in which the Chinese miners called home

Ah Lum’s Store which served as a general store and bank to the Chinese miners

These days, picturesque Arrowtown with its tree-lined streets is very popular with day trippers not only to learn of its rich history but also visiting its many boutiques, souvenir shops and cafes.

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