Our guide on what to do in Arrowtown
Craving a charming little getaway? Well, Arrowtown is the place for you! This quaint, historic town offers a range of activities and experiences that will interest both children and adults alike. From a trip to the infamous Remarkables Sweet Shop to enjoying the picturesque settings of the Arrow River, there are so many things to do in Arrowtown. We’ve narrowed it down to our top 10 must dos in the former gold rush capital of New Zealand!
See our top 10 must do’s on your trip to Hanmer Springs…
1. Visit the Remarkables Sweet Shop
This colourful little candy shop fits perfectly into the classic architecture on Buckingham Street. Filled with an overwhelming assortment of classic kiwi lollies, international favourites and homemade fudge, the Remarkables Sweet Shop will make anyone with a sweet tooth want to cry with joy. Enjoy the free fudge samples and sweet-filled shelves of temptation.
2. Pan for gold in the Arrow River
Arrowtown originally started during the Gold Rush, when it was discovered that gold could be found in the Arrow River. Though the Rush is over, visitors to Arrowtown can still have a go at panning for gold. Only a two-minute walk from the town centre to Arrow River, this is the perfect budget-friendly family activity and there are experts ready to teach those keen on how to do so successfully.
3. Be entertained at the Dorothy Brown Cinema
Not surprising that the most charming town in New Zealand also has the most charming cinema as well! Showing both contemporary and art house films, this boutique theatre boasts extremely comfy and spacious seats that also has a neighbouring bar and bookstore! We recommend indulging in their famous cheeseboard and a glass of local Pinot by their fireplace, before heading into your movie.
4. Practice your swing at the Arrowtown Golf Club
One of the most picturesque golf courses in New Zealand, you can practice your swing while surrounded by the beautiful Southern Alps and Otago’s hilly landscape. The 18-hole course offers plenty of challenges that attract top-notch golfers. The views from the golf cart aren’t bad either, with plenty of historic stone cottages and towering trees to admire.
5. Walk up Tobins Track
A leisurely hour-long return walk on Tobins Track is the perfect expedition for any skill level. With gorgeous views at the top of Arrowtown and the Wakatipu basin, there’s really no better way to soak in the surrounding beauty of Arrowtown. Don’t forget to pack the essentials – water, snacks, your camera and perhaps some fudge from the Remarkables Sweet Shop!
6. Visit the Arrowtown Autumn Festival
There’s never a bad time to visit Arrowtown, but doing so in Autumn is definitely a must! During the months of March and April, the trees of Arrowtown turn from green to vibrant hues of yellow, orange, gold and red. The contrasting colours are a spectacle worth seeing and are a drawcard for photographers far and wide. The most special time to appreciate this natural phenomenon is over ANZAC weekend at the end of April, when the sleepy town comes to life with market stalls, musicians and the annual street parade to celebrate the changing colours of the trees.
7. Grab a pastry at the Arrowtown Bakery
Whether you’re after a venison pie, a perfect caramel slice or a classic British scone with cream and jam, every craving will be met at Arrowtown’s most popular bakery. One of their best-kept secrets is their fruit-flavoured iced tea; once you have a sip, it will be all you’ll want to drink for the duration of your time in Arrowtown. The raspberry flavour is our favourite!
8. Walkthrough the historic Arrowtown Chinese settlement
A great historical activity that is also free, a visit to the Historic Arrowtown Chinese settlement is a humbling experience. Remains of the rustic huts from the Chinese settlement during the Gold Rush at the end of the 1800s tell the story of a modest lifestyle these foreigners once had. A very different contrast to the historic homes that still stand on the other side of the town, these tiny homes will fascinate kids and adults alike.
9. Go for a bike ride
There are numerous cycling trails to choose from in Arrowtown, including biking around the historic town centre, the Arrow River or venturing out to the connecting trails around nearby Lake Hayes. For the more adventurous bikers, there are also multiple mountain biking trails to have a go at with trails for any skill level.
10. Indulge in a traditional Sunday roast at the New Orleans Pub
Around since the late 1800s, the New Orleans Pub is the perfect place to enjoy a Sunday roast after a big day of exploring. With generous portion sizes and reasonable prices in an iconic setting, you’ll feel like you’ve settled right into home for your big meal of the day.
Excited for your charming little getaway to Arrowtown? Take a look at our Arrowtown holiday homes and start planning your escape now!