A short 20 minute drive from Queenstown lies one of the fastest growing townships in the New Zealand, nestled beneath mountains is the picturesque, historic mining town of Arrowtown, with its two main streets packed with life, great food and fun.
With around 30 places to eat and drink in Arrowtown, you will find something to delight in. Here are some of our favourites, but certainly not all. A tip from a local: Don't be fooled that because Arrowtown is a little out of the way that you won't need to book in advance, Arrowtown is home of some of the best restaurants and cafes in New Zealand. Plan ahead.
The Chop Shop
Arguably one of the coolest restaurants in New Zealand, the Chop Shop is so popular you'll need to wait or get in early.
Loved by locals and visitors alike, this place is where passion, great food and excitement combine. Incredibly fresh produce is always included with a stellar menu. I love this place and you won't be disappointed. (Unless you can't get a seat...)
Image: Saffron Restaurant - Queenstown.com
Our family and friends has been dining here for years, owners Peter Gawron and Melanie Hill have always pushed the boundaries with new flavours brought back from their travels, great staples and a stunning wine list. Saffron is continuously voted one of the best restaurants in New Zealand. Be sure you pick up a copy of their amazing book, The Taste of Central Otago. Make sure you book ahead.
Image: La Rumbla
One for a grown-up's night out, La Rumbla is a Spanish tapas restaurant with a consistently good, ever changing menu and great service. If you manage to get a night when the crispy squid is on, don't miss out, matched with a great local wine.
Image: Bonjour Restaurant
This is one of our favourite breakfast places; great coffee, fresh pastries and delicious crepes. Open for breakfast and lunch, drop in early because the croissants are the best in the region and sell out early. Breakfast at Bonjour is hard to beat.
This is without question my daughter's favourite place, and the quality of their ice-cream and luxury chocolates is definitely the best in town. A quick stop off to their shop in Ramshaw Lane will not disappoint in any season. Get your sugar fix at Patagonia.
A small town with lots going on, this is a walking town filled with a variety of shops and things to do. A few of our favourite things include...
Dorothy Browns Cinema
Before boutique movie theatres were even a thing, Dorothy Brown was a haven for locals on a Winter's day or pre-dinner. An incredibly cool selection of newly released movies and artistic international films, this is our favourite place to hide out. Recently upgraded, with a boutique book-shop and wine and cheese for your movie, check out their website and book some tickets.
The Remarkable Sweet Shop
Not for people without a sweet tooth but from the amount of excited cries emanating from here, this has to be one of the best sweet shops in the world. All the old favourites such as Milk Bottles, Aniseed balls and Pineapple Lumps are here. Make sure drop in to The Remarkables Sweet Shop to get your sugar fix.
Arrowtown Post Shop
What would an historic township be without some old world charm? The 1915's Arrowtown Post Shop across from the Museum is one of the only remaining post offices in New Zealand still called a "Post and Telegraph Office", send your postcards home with a little bit of history attached.
Gold Panning is a must-do for families on holiday in New Zealand. Hire a pan in town at historic Dudley's Cottage, take the 2 minute walk to Arrow River to get 'panning'. I still remember having my Old Fashioned Costume Photograph taken when I was about 10 years old. A fantastic thing to do with your family.
Mountain biking in Arrowtown, New Zealand
Head up into the hills behind Arrowtown to get your adrenaline pumping or take the more leisurely option of the Arrowtown Gibbston Valley Cycle Trail.
Image: Arrowtown Golf Course - New Zealand Golf and Travel
There are three Golf Courses near Arrowtown, so you will find somewhere to tee off depending on your price range. The Arrowtown Golf Club is historic and scenic, Millbrook Resort is one of the leading golf course in New Zealand, and The Hills Golf Club designed by Darby Partners is private and exclusive. All are absolutely stunning.
Arrowtown hosts around 14 different events every year, talk to our luxury travel team to know more when planning your trip to New Zealand. Two of our absolute favourites are:
Arrowtown Autumn Festival
Image: Gibbston Valley Winery
Held next year between the 20th-25th April 2017, this festival has been going for 30 years and only gets better and more popular. Thousands of people turn up for the Market Day, the colourful street parade, live music and so much more
Arrowtown Long Lunch
Held this year on the 2nd of December, this is a unique event in a spectacular setting. The concept is simple – read through the menus and book a ticket for lunch from one of Arrowtown’s excellent eateries. Then simply turn up at 1pm on Friday 2th December and take a seat at your chosen restaurant’s table on Buckingham Street. Don't forget a hat!