Thursday, 19 September 2013

Arrowtown and Historic Chinese Settlement

Arrowtown is a charming, quirky and delightful gold rush village located via a scenic 20 minute drive from Queenstown.

In the heart of Arrowtown lies Buckingham Street.  It contains small town heritage buildings that stretch out into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miner's cottages. It is also home to the Lake District's Museum; which contains a memorable exhibition, depicting what life was like in the goldfields town.

Buckingham Street

There are shops, galleries, bars and restaurants along this stretch of road. All have their own individual style and not one International chain can be found here.

One of the enclaves of shops in Arrowtown

Gibbston Valley Cafe

There are a lot of picturesque walking and cycling trails in Arrowtown and these are well worth doing. The trails vary in length from ones that take a few hours, through to ones that take a few days. The ones that take a few days are great for fans of camping.

Historic Chinese Settlement 

Photo Credit: NZ History Online

On the banks of Bush Creek, you can find the partially restored Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. This is a reminder and tribute to the contribution made by the Chinese goldminers; and business people, to the region's goldmining, cultural and business history.

Here you will discover how the Chinese settlers lived during the goldmining days during the late 1880's.

Census figures for 1874 reveal that there were 3,564 Chinese in Otago. Often victims of discrimination they lived on the fringes of European settlements and in isolated gullies close to their mining claims. Chinese that died were either buried in graves in a Chinese section or just outside the cemetery. 
- Source: NZ Department of Conservation Website

Ah Lum's store was built from mortared stone rubble and has an iron roof. Inside, there are five rooms, as well as a loft space. This is one of the few original buildings to remain standing. Ah Lum acquired the store in 1909, and the building began to serve as a shop, a bank, a place for socialising and accommodation for both travellers and visitors. The store stocked both Asian and European supplies.

Ah Lum's store

A path within the Chinese Settlement

Chinese Settlement, Arrowtown, NZ

Chinese Settlement, Arrowtown, NZ

This hut is carved into the side of the mountain

A Miner's Hut
For more information on what there is to do in Arrowtown, check out the following website.

To view more pictures taken in Arrowtown, click here

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