- 0.1 The Insider’s (secret) Guide to Arrowtown for families
- 0.2 (Shhhhh!)Best Eats
- 0.3 (Shhhhh!) Best Icecream
- 1 Shopping!
The Insider’s (secret) Guide to Arrowtown for families
Arrowtown…..ahh Arrowtown – where a slower pace meets world-class eateries, divine shopping and of course the enigmatic Arrowtown river, playing backdrop to a lively little village scene. Come in the summer and you can be entertained by live outdoor music at The fork and tap local pub after a refreshing dip in the languid river. Come in Autumn and be wowed by the bursts of colour dotting the surrounds. Enjoy the famous annual Autumn festival– the season where Arrowtown truly shows off. In Winter, the village is equally breathtaking when blanketed in snow. You could be forgiven for thinking you have stepped back in time as antiquated buildings sleep under the hush of the snow and the smell of lit fires season the air. Springtime gives way to bursts of apple blossoms lining the quaint streets, and a breath of fresh mountain air signals that Summer is not far away….
Arrowtown is the perfect bite-sized adventure experience. If you are after an action packed day then you can find it by following the river trails, as far as Macetown or as high as Tobins Track
You can get your hands wet searching the river for gold or explore the perfectly preserved Chinese Gold Mining Settlement . If you are after a more leisurely pace then check out the Green for your choice of eateries, shopping and entertainment regularly happening on the Village Green. The River tracks are mostly flat and easy going so even a stroll along the famed river banks won’t get you breaking a sweat. Make sure you pack your camera as you will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning photo ops.
The Postmasters Arrowtown
Stepping into Post masters is like stepping back in time. Restored to its former glory after a house fire in 1907, the building – now a popular restaurant – is considered a historic gem of Arrowtown. Elegant yet relaxed – the different dining areas mean you can choose a more intimate setting inside or soak up the sun outside surrounded by beautiful gardens. Postmasters is open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and cake, – the kids’ menu really is outstanding. Littlies are spoilt for choice with options ranging from healthy lunchboxes and sandwiches to Fish ‘n’ Chips served in newspaper and divine breakfast pancakes. Colouring-in pages are provided to keep little fingers busy and there is also a high chair for wee ones.We also recommend the signature Postmasters Platter – one of the best sharing plates we’ve come across with something for everyone’s tastes and plenty of it! Postmasters is part of the First Table experience, with 50% off the food bill if you book the first table of the night online with First table
Fresh on the scene, Slow Cuts has fast become a local’s favourite eatery. The prices are excellent for value and the menu is an exciting departure from the usual fare. With yummy slow cooked meals, delicious burgers and freshly made salads, there is something for everyone on this funky menu. I recommend the tasty jerk chicken sandwich; the pineapple salsa is super kid friendly!
The Arrowtown Bakery
Always a favourite with locals, with even the far-flung Queenstowners making a trip to Arrowtown especially for an Arrowtown Bakery pie. The Thai Chicken pie is the best! The lines outside the bakery at lunchtime are always an indication of a place worth stopping at – especially if you wish to create a picnic and head on down to the river with the kids. Perfect!
New kid on the Block: Unwind Café and Bar
For a long time, the Arrowtown locals have bemoaned a lack of fish and chips takeaways – a kiwi staple! Unwind Cafe has come to the rescue with a takeaway fish, chips and burgers menu from Thursday through to Sunday. Fresh Blue Cod is the highlight and the Falafel burger is surprisingly good too!
(Shhhhh!) Best Icecream
Patagonia down near the kid’s skate park is the business when it comes to premier ice cream goods. Choose from a palaver of flavours from Banana split to fig and pistachio .
For a more ‘kiwi’ experience, head to the Icecream Shed .Right next to the village green, in front of the restaurant, the Stables, is the tiny ice creamery – dishing up old favourites like hokey pokey and mint choc chip. You can also get creative and have the kids make their own at the local 24 dairy up the road. They have a fully-fledged sundae dispensary.
(Shhhhh!) Best activities
For the more active family…..
Head on down the River – if it’s Summer do it on tubes! The lazy current is bliss in a bubble on a perfect Otago Summer’s day. In cooler months warm up with a family bike ride. Click here for your family bike package deal from Queenstown Bike Hire .
During warmer and cooler the months the well maintained Arrowtown Heritage walk around the river is ideal for walking or biking with kids of all ages. Head up to the top of Tobin’s Track for a more heart pumping pace or head out to Macetown, an abandoned gold panning village in the mountain valley beyond Arrowtown.
Gold panning is also available as an activity with (hopefully) a payoff and can be done season round — but is best in the warmer months when the river isn’t as icy!
For kids who love to visit local Skate parks, the Arrowtown one is a well-known, well-loved spot and borders the village with a pretty river view backdrop.
Cruisey Sunday arvo….
For the family who likes to cruise, there is plenty to explore at a leisurely pass. Again, with the river track being mostly flat and well maintained and with stunning views in Autumn as golden orange leaves blanket the ground, a relaxed walk around the Arrowtown river is certainly doable. Pack a picnic from the Arrowtown Bakery and break up the walk with scenic stops along the way.
The Chinese Settlement at the beginning of the track is exciting to explore, kids love seeing relics from times gone by. Meander through well-preserved huts with remnants of old minors from the past and see how they once lived. Great photo ops!
As a treat, (because these things need to be limited!) visit the Remarkables sweet shop for a truly remarkable array of delicious handmade fudge and a surprising collection of sweets from all over the world. Mum and Dad can reminisce over some of their favourites from way back too!
Embrace your inner child – your kids will love you for it! Get dressed up in Victorian Costume from Arrowtown’s Gold Rush Boom time! Embrace the era and create a memory you can hold forever, as well as some great professional photos from your Victorian Gold Rush photo shoot! Book your shoot here.
For the Girls
Good quality Goods.Is just that, beautiful things for beautiful people. Well-made and trendy, any girl could get lost for hours in the treasures on display.
You always find something to fall in love with here – and it’s usually on sale, so you can get something else sweet too! Bargain and banging streetwear.
For the Guys
Guys and girls alike will love this funky little shop packed fill of interesting bits and pieces. The emphasis on functionality makes it appealing to the male shopper, as well as the slight off-the-wall element. This is the place to find that unique, memorable gift.
For the kids
Lots for Tots
Lots and lots for the little tots here! A great place to shop for a kid’s birthday gift, or find something unique and well made to take home from a holiday.
A magical wee shop filled to the brim with crystals and unicorns, mermaids and dream catchers. Let your kids be enchanted and pick take home crystals from the huge range on display.
- Insider Tip: Benefits of connecting with Nature and disconnecting from devices
Here at Queenstown Insider we think technology is great – we wouldn’t exist without it! But as the pace of technology expands to embrace all aspects of our lives we also believe in seriously disconnecting and reconnecting with our surrounds. Arrowtown is perfect for this, with views captivating even the most hardcore tweeting tween, here is an opportunity to go device free for the day – limit the number of photos you take and you will have a photo challenge on your hands as well as more precious pics! Take a deep breath, plant your feet firmly on the ground and enjoy the moment your in – it’s well worth it and we bet you will sleep better that night too!