Introduction to Arrowtown

Born of Gold

Arrowtown is probably the most well-preserved goldmining town in Otago. Its buildings are protected and many have been lovingly restored so that you feel as if you have walked back in time.

Established in 1862, Arrowtown is set by the Arrow River, 20 km from Queenstown. Being recognised as one of the richest sources of allucial gold in the world, William Fox, a sailor, was the first to claim the discovery of gold in the icy cold Arrow River. Because of this, the town was originally called Fox''s Rushes. However, the original site of the town was moved to its present site further from the river, and rebuilt there due to a raging flood in 1863 that wiped out the original settlement.

A lot of the goldminers in Arrowtown were nomadic and lived in tents, but just months after the inrush of goldminers, hotels, saloons, churches and cottages of stone and timber were built, forming a town. Trees were also planted; the main avenue was planted out with sycamores and oaks in 1867 and is still there today. Arrowtown celebrates its diversity of exotic deciduous trees with the annual Autumn Festival held in mid April, when the trees are at their most spectacular.



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