14 Rankers Reviews
11 Heritage Attractions
At Arrowtown, over 300 miners settled in the cold valley, constructing stone buildings. By 1885 there were at least 10 huts and 2 stores. Some such as Ah Lum’s have been well renovated and evocatively cast us back to life in those times.
The start of the walk is signposted from the large parking area below Arrowtown, at the bottom end of Buckingham Street.
An even track winds through the gully with information panels and old stone buildings dotted amongst the exotic trees.
Following the discovery of several Otago goldfields in the 1860s, many storekeepers became disgruntled at the flight of miners to the newer (and potentially richer) claims being broadcast by word-of-mouth on the West Coast. Remember it was the merchants, not the miners who made money from the gold. The Chamber of Commerce hit upon the idea of attracting Chinese Miners from Victoria to come and fill the gap. By 1871 there were 2641 Chinese miners and business owners in Otago.
Anti-Chinese sentiment started to bubble, as European miners became resentful of their separate ‘shanties’ and exclusive social nature. Local storekeepers were losing money, as the Chinese would prefer to shop at their countrymen’s establishments for staples like dried vegetables and rice whisky. Their predilection for opium and gambling reinforced the social divide and racism was rife.
Select Committee reports showed the Chinese were invariably law-abiding, industrious, frugal and clean. They often reworked the tailings left by Europeans and their diligence paid off - further fuelling resentment.
South Island ▷ Queenstown Region ▷ Arrowtown
Showing 13 reviews of 14.
Great place. Every couple of minutes a new bus arrives with tourists.
Interesting historical information about the Chinese miners and how the kiwis behaved towards the Chinese. The old houses are impressive. Cannot imagine to live like that!
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Beautiful location, interesting history, great walk/run, good facilities.
Most people go to Queenstown, but when you are around the area you should definitely not miss out on this historical little town Arrowtown above it. It is a beautiful, nice little town and the people there are incredibly friendly.
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We loved the Chinese Settlement, very well explained and gives you an idea of the historic chinese immigration to New Zealand. The town is very well preserved and it is worth a visit. Lovely walks and very good to stretch your legs after a long day. Better to go out of 'tourist rush hours'.
Interesting to learn about the early settlers. Panning for gold was great fun. A lovely town, worth visiting.
Arrowtown is a lovely little town with an interesting spot about chinese settlers coming to New Zealand for gold digging.
Well worth dropping by to get a sense of history and conditions the Chinese worked under.
Informative and interesting, well looked after.
Anne and Steve Bartlett
Interesting reading and seeing what like was like in the chinese settlement in the gold rush. Some of their houses and buildings were still there.
Richard and Janet
Fascinating early settlers place; a lovely spot and a meander around the old chinese settlement was informative and a real eye opener.
A pleasant little walk with a few little huts to go in and ruined sites to see. Admittedly made better by the Lakes Museum which was $8 but great.
Des & Ann Bidwell
Excellent all round. Chinese Settlement very interesting. Also local display of patchwork quilts - super!!
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍