Arrowtown - Gold Mining town 1863
The gold rush was era was stumbled across by one of Willam Rees’s Maori sheep shearers in 1863. William being the first white man to set up a station in Queenstown. It didn’t take him long to realise how much gold was present and before long 1,500 men descended upon Arrowtown, Macetown and Skipper’s Canyon in search of treasure!
Arrowtown had a booming economy and small villages formed around the Arrow river with 420 kgs of gold being pulled out on the first season. In today’s value that was about 18 million dollars. It was the richest gold region in the world at that time.
The good fortune eventually started to twindle as the Winters got colder and miners had to haul gold from further afield in dangerous conditions. Most left to find gold elsewhere and Arrowtown’s economy shrank dramatically.
To save the town the local Otago council drew up a plan to sell the dreams of gold mining to the Chinese and so they came to do the final stretch of hard labour. This boosted the economy and the Chinese miners stayed until the 1920s in their stone-built houses. These remain today as Arrowtown noticed a rise in tourism as people wanted to hear the tales of the mining days and to see the ruins.
In present-day Arrowtown, the miners are all but gone but the remains of the gold era are from that. In fact, the locals used their newfound gains to rebuild the town into a stunning old western gunslinger-Esque town with rows of trees leading the path to many a golden story.
Arrowtown should be on everyone’s bucket list whether young or old!
How your Arrowtown trip will work?
1. Tell us where you want picking up from and at what time by clicking the button below
2. We pick you up with all the gear provided for your experience
3. A 30 min scenic drive to Arrowtown with a knowledgable guide to get you started
4. Bike and map orientation (Approx. 15 mins) in Arrowtown
5. In your own time, ride back to Queenstown (3 hours), Gibbston Valley (2 hours) or stay in Arrowtown
6. Text us one hour before pick up and we will be there to collect you and drop you back to your accommodation.
7. Tick Arrowtown off your bucket list