Things to do in Queenstown when you’re four: Arrowtown

Gold in Arrowtown | Young & Younger

About 20 minutes drive from Queenstown is Arrowtown, a historic gold-mining town nestled below the mountains. We parked down by the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, where you can walk around the the partially restored village (around ten tiny huts) which was established in the late 1800s when the Chinese settlers came to the town to mine gold. It gives a really fascinating insight into their lives and the twins loved exploring the huts, and asking lots of questions about the settlement.

Arrowtown street | Young & Younger

We walked up from the settlement into Arrowtown itself, which is centred around a main street lined with stunning heritage buildings that really invoke the gold-rush era. The town is full of independent shops, galleries and restaurants and is a great place for a wander. My favourite shop was The Stitching Post, a quilt, patchwork and craft supplies shop with a wall full of fantastic New Zealand yarns, and tables stacked with gorgeous fabrics.

Yarn bombed lamp post Arrowtown | Young & Younger

Tree at Arrowtown | Young & Younger

River at Arrowtown | Young & Younger

Back down behind the carpark at the Chinese Settlement is the Arrow River, which provided the twins with a welcome opportunity for some paddling. It’s a beautiful spot, and one I really wanted to go back to again before the end of our trip, but sadly we ran out of time.

Arrowtown stream | Young & Younger

Paddling at Arrowtown | Young & YoungerI was really taken with Arrowtown. I loved the sense of history, the shops all looked interesting (although with two four-year-olds in tow I didn’t get a chance to go into many of them), and the whole place had a laid-back charm. I hope one day I’ll be able to go back there.

 Click here for more things to do in Queenstown when you’re four.



  1. August 7, 2014 / 11:10 pm

    Hi, we love your page about Arrowtown and think your website fills a really good gap. Is there any chance we could use your photos? We are a non profit group representing Arrowtown businesses and we product a guide and a calendar each year. Would love to share you photos in these publications and we could credit you. I’ve just posted your story on our facebook page. We have 1785 likes so our page is really strong and growing! Thanks Sue

    • Heather
      August 8, 2014 / 7:27 am

      Thanks for your comment. Absolutely fine to use the photos with a credit. We loved Arrowtown!

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