Arrowtown – Gibbston Valley





Even if it were more than twenty minutes from Queenstown, a visit to the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown would be well worth it. But that it is this close to New Zealand’s adventure capital, makes it a must for anyone visiting the city.

Arrowtown is a hamlet that oozes charm. Many of its original buildings are still standing, and its small, but fine selection of shops, galleries and restaurants make it perfect for walking tours.

Buckingham Street is the town’s main thoroughfare; start with a pie at famous Arrowtown Bakery, stopping afterwards for some homemade fudge or salted chocolate at the Remarkable Sweet Shop.

Working your way along the street, be sure to have your camera on hand as this place is seriously photogenic. Quaint buildings like the Arrowtown Pharmacy, Post and Telegraph, and Gold Nugget will make you feel like you’ve walked onto the set of some western movie; but its pretty tree-lined streets and backdrop of oft snow-capped mountains will soon remind you that you’re in NZ’s Southern Alps.  

For history buffs, there’s the wonderful Lakes District Museum and Gallery. But for those who like their history a little more fictitious, the town’s river featured in the first Lord of the Rings film, and Tolkien link aside, is a beautiful spot to just sit and relax.  

Just fifteen minutes away lies lovely Gibbston Valley Wines. Part of the southernmost grape growing region in the world, Central Otago, Gibbston Valley is famous for its Pinot Noir and makes an excellent Pinot Gris and semi-sweet Riesling.

As well as producing some of the best wine in the region in a picturesque setting, the vineyard offers tasting in the country’s largest wine cave. To sample a drop or three, walk down the long corridor of barrels past the cellar of reserve wine and onto the tasting area.

Beyond the cellar door, cheese lovers can get their fix at the Gibbston Valley Wines’ cheesery, or better still, try the four-cheese tart at the winery’s superb restaurant (open daily from 10am to 5pm), whose menu showcases the best of local artisan suppliers, farmers and growers. Don’t miss it.      

Taking part in the New Zealand Mega Famil, e-Travel Blackboard stayed at the Millennium Queenstown Hotel. Touring was provided by AAT Kings New Zealand.

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Mark Harada
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