Taking a day off from all the excitement, not to mention the expense of Queenstown, we wanted to find what else was in the vicinity.
We started driving north on highway 6 and just 15-minutes in we came across a sign for Arrowtown. Shortly after taking the turn which runs adjacent to the beautiful Lake Hayes, we were side tracked by a café sign on the side of the road, giving me yet another excuse to stop for a coffee.
The Walnut Cottage is an idyllic spot that isn’t too hard to find if you’re heading in this direction.
I have to admit, though, the food didn’t quite live up to my first impressions of the cottage, which immerses you when you when you enter the gardens through a picket walk through gazebo. But hey, the coffee was good. That all that matters, right? And trust me, the encounter is worth the stop.
Just five minutes further and we arrived in the gold rush village of Arrowtown. In comparison to Queenstown, the tourists were few and far between, which was refreshing.
We started with the Chinese settlement village, a trail that takes you through the time when the Chinese moved to the region, something I’d recommend checking out before hitting the shops.
Afterwards, we walked along Buckingham Street which is brimming with antique furniture stores and boutiques, my favourites were definitely Ikon and the Ogle Giftware Store, I could have bought everything in sight. Too bad it was pricey.
And of course, we couldn’t miss out on the fudge at the famous Remarkable Sweet Shop (there’s also one on Beach Street in Queenstown if you don’t make it to Arrowtown).
You can taste as many fudge flavours as you please, I managed a few without feeling sick. But in the end I went with the chocolate peanut butter.
I found out about the Blue Door pub a couple of weeks before the trip, supposedly a hidden gem that only locals know about, but unfortunately there was noblody in there when we found the door ajar.
If you’re visiting Queenstown or the Otago area stop by in Arrowtown. Not least because of its character and charm but it offers something that Queenstown doesn’t. The western style buildings and community feel transports you to a different era. Somewhere that will indefinitely take up more of my time next time I visits the area South.