We spent our final full day in Queenstown touring the nearby Arrowtown and Gibbston Valley in our zippy blue rental car. Driving in this region of South Island always promises to be beautiful, and we were not disappointed.
To be honest, I wasn’t so enthused about visiting Arrowtown because it is heavily advertised as a “historic gold mining town”, and I was so sure that it would not be as impressive as the Sovereign Hill that we have back home. Rather than being an immersive and interactive historical experience, which is what Sovereign Hill offers its visitors, Arrowtown is merely a small settlement built in and around some of the remaining infrastructure and leafy avenues left over from the gold rush days. The result is a small town full of charming boutique shops, quaint cafes and restaurants, a handful of great art galleries, and lots of history to walk around and discover (the most impressive of which is the restored Chinese Settlement). It was definitely a place that one could easily fall in love with at first sight… and taste – I highly recommend the famous sticky buns from Provisions!