If yesterday’s blog post proved anything, it was that New Zealand is a goldmine for beautiful spots and scenery. What you may not have known however, is that parts of New Zealand were actually literal goldmines once upon a time. Back in the 1800s, people started hacking away at rocks and sifting through water to extract little hunks of yellow stone that people were happy to pay a lot of money for. Weirdos.
One of the towns to cash in on their stores of gold was Arrowtown, a pretty little place that still looks like it belongs in the 1800s. Arrowtown was a relatively shabby town until they discovered gold and then between 1861 and 1863, over five-hundred miners pulled 340kg of gold from just beside the Arrow River, worth almost $18,000,000 in today’s money, the quiet little spot once known for its abundance of greenstone was now known for its gold rush.
I couldn’t help but feel lucky to visit Arrowtown in autumn. It was less the history that fascinated me, but more the colours that painted the leaves of the trees high up in the hills above the town. I felt like a kid again as we skipped rocks down by the stream and climbed into tiny old buildings. The pictures speak for themselves, this was an absolutely perfect time of year for a stopover, and even though it wasn’t on my list of must-sees, nor will it be etched into my memory forever, it was a really cool little part of New Zealand with an interesting history and calming atmosphere.
After our lesson in history, we continued our journey to one of the main attractions of our trip; Queenstown. What can I say about this vibrant city? Not enough. Whether you’re after a top night out, delicious food,
cracking coffee mediocre Starbucks, amazing landscapes, friendly people or adrenaline pumping activities, Queenstown is literally one of the most diverse and entertaining places I’ve ever been.
We started off by heading up to the Skyline Gondola, which brought us to a fantastic point above Queenstown Bay, offering spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables. We also saw the ledge bungy on the way up, giving me a chance to preview one of my planned activities, although as the jump was a mere 47m, it didn’t quite give me an idea of what to expect from my own jump. More on that later.
Once at the top, you’re given the option to have a go on the luge ride that not only gives you great views, but also gives you the chance to race your new friends down a steep incline in a vehicle that is half go-cart and half soap-box. Needless to say I was shit at this particular activity and my racing style was more John Candy than Cool Runnings. Despite that, I had a good laugh and after a few runs down the hill, we headed back to the hotel to get together for dinner.
Queenstown has plenty of awesome bars and restaurants to choose from. We obviously landed on the one that sold skittle vodka and offered us cheapish drinks. Considering we had an early morning start for our trip to Milford Sound the following day, we were responsible adults and decided to leave the real drunkenness for the following night. This, I will get into tomorrow my dear friends. I know I promised a Milford Sound blog today, but I am notoriously unreliable and if you don’t know that by now well then do you even know me as a person? I didn’t expect to go into so much detail about Arrowtown and Queenstown, but it is a testament to Day 2 of tour that I absorbed so much despite spending most of the day travelling.
I will be back tomorrow with tales of pretty places, dancing with the bulls and riding the locals…or was that the other way around? I can’t remember, but maybe I will tomorrow.
Thanks for reading!
Goodbye and dig for gold.