Arrowtown Chinese Settlement

Queenstown & Wanaka

Strung along the creek, near the site of Arrowtown's first gold find, is NZ’s best example of an early Chinese settlement. Interpretive signs explain the lives of Chinese miners during and after the gold rush (the last resident died in 1932), while restored huts and the only remaining Chinese store in the southern goldfields make the story more tangible. Subjected to significant racism, the Chinese often had little choice but to rework old tailings rather than seek new claims.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Queenstown & Wanaka attractions

1. Lakes District Museum & Gallery

0.24 MILES

Exhibits cover the gold-rush era and the early days of Chinese settlement around Arrowtown. Kids are kept engaged by the likes of an 'Odd One Out' game…

2. St Patrick's Catholic Church


Apart from its impressive Star of David–shaped rose window, this 1874 stone Gothic Revival church, built from local schist rock, wouldn't be worth noting…

3. Arrowtown Gaol

0.41 MILES

With gold rushes came lawlessness. Arrowtown's prisoners were originally manacled to logs, but in 1876 this schist jail, now surrounded by homes, was…

4. Chard Farm

5.73 MILES

The most picturesque of the Gibbston wineries, Chard Farm's rustic cellar door is reached by a precipitous 2km road overlooking the Kawarau Bridge Bungy…

5. Gibbston Valley

6.66 MILES

The area's oldest commercial winery (established in the early 1980s) offers tours of the winery ($35) and NZ's largest wine cave ($20). It also has a…

6. Pisa Conservation Area

7.74 MILES

Covering much of the Pisa Range, this conservation reserve has several walking trails through the tussock grass. To get the full show, the 19km tramp to…

7. Peregrine


Peregrine by name, peregrine by design…the award-winning construction of the cellar door, shaped a bit like a falcon's wing in flight, looks particularly…

8. Rockburn


Producers of one of the region's most acclaimed pinot noirs; its cellar door is in the front yard of the rustic Gibbston Tavern.