Road Tripping Around New Zealand Chapter 13: Digging for gold in Arrowtown

4 December 2015

We were feeling a little sad to leave Wanaka. Even though we were here for 3 nights, we still wished we could spend more time here. We are halfway through our trip and each time we have to leave to go to a new place, we cannot help but leave a little piece of our hearts here.

I guess that is what travelling is all about. You fall in love with so many places.

Our morning breakfast at Federal Diner with a relatives of Corrine. This place is wonderful! You gotta stop by here when you are in Wanaka!


They actually live here in Wanaka, how blessed it must be to be seeing this view on a daily basis!


Thank you for making time to meet us in such short notice!

We were actually heading to Queenstown but found out that we would be passing by Arrowtown from one of the free brochures we took from the motels. When you are travelling, always take all the free brochures!! There are a lot of information in the brochures and they are usually more updated and accurate than information you get from the internet.

Well, on the way to Arrowtown, we passed by Cardrona Hotel! It is known for its distinctive hotel of gold rush vintage which is on the opposite side of the river to the original township of which few buildings remain. It is located in a scenic setting on the Crown Range road which connects Wanaka and Queenstown. Details here.


This rustic and iconic pub was said to one of the most photographed pub in New Zealand. You can find out more about the place here. I love how the place was kept the way it was. We felt like we were transported back to the 50s.


Just a few minutes drive away, we arrived at the Crown Range Summit.


There are two ways to drive between Queenstown and Wanaka, and this one is the most memorable. It’s the highest main road in New Zealand. The road over the range, known as the Crown Range Road, is the highest main road in New Zealand and it is also known as one of the most dangerous roads in NZ.

I can understand why but the view is definitely worth it.


We simply stood there in awe under the hot sun, just to admire the view and appreciate the efforts of the people who worked hard to build the roads back in 1800s. It can be difficult to drive here during winter. For more information, you can check this out before planning your driving route.


We have arrived at Arrowtown and the first thing I see is the vintage post office! I have to stop by it!


I love everything about it. I actually spent quite a while inside the post office just admiring the rustic design of the place. You will find a souvenir shop inside and me, being the stationery addict, found it hard to resist buying everything in the shop.

If you have some time, do take a walk around Arrowtown. It is a historic gold mining town located by the banks of Arrow River. There are many well preserved buildings used by European and Chinese immigrants dating from the gold mining days of the town and you will enjoy taking photos of the buildings and shops during your walk around town.


The town also falls under strict appearance covenants applied by the local authority that aim to preserve the appearance of the town.


There seemed to be a lot of tourists there and this town is generally a nice place to shop, honestly. The cafes by the small roads were a perfect place for resting your tired legs. Since I was not really interested in shopping, I was done pretty quick and joined Corrine, who had ‘escaped’ to the river banks.

Since I can’t seem to find Nurul and Effa who were probably shopping somewhere , I decided to join Corrine. The minute I saw this, I knew that there were more beautiful views ahead.


I was right. I literally gasped seeing this. I am a city girl, this was peacefully beautiful to me.


I was enjoying the view here and guess what, the people who were busy by the river banks were actually trying their luck to dig for gold. Lol. I was amused. It was good that I understood a little mandarin so I knew what they were talking about.


Oh well, good luck to them. I decided to step into the river and man the water was freezing cold! Yes, and it was summer and the weather was very hot! Oh well, yolo.


The lupins made the view so much more beautiful. I wish I can wake up to this everyday.


Simply amazing. I had no idea about this river bank so thank God for Corrine who discovered it!

Time to make our way to Queenstown. The only souvenir I bought were some candies for my nieces and nephews and this was specially for my brother lol.


Believe it or not, some people were asking me if I really bought sheep droppings when I uploaded this photo on my instagram. Yes, you are right. I came to New Zealand to buy sheep droppings.