9 reasons why you should visit Arrowtown in New Zealand

It's a secret no more with word spreading of the must-visit restaurants and boutiques in this historic-meets-hip village. Time to plan a day trip from Queenstown!

The main street in Arrowtown on New Zealand's South Island.
  • Rachael Oakes-Ash
  • November 2019

Lined with historic buildings and pretty weatherboard cottages – now home to artist’s studios, interiors stores and fashion boutiques – the streets and laneways of this former gold rush town are a pleasant diversion and an easy 25-minute drive from Queenstown opens in new window.

Dorothy Browns Cinema

Kick off your hiking shoes or ski boots and sink into a lush couch with a local brew or wine and a delicious cheese board to watch the latest contemporary and arthouse films. You’ll find this boutique cinema, bar and bookstore just off Buckingham Street, perched up high in a quirky cobbled back lane lined with art galleries, bars and restaurants.
18 Buckingham Street, +64 (0)3 442 1964, dorothybrowns.com opens in new window

Aosta

This recently opened restaurant is a collab between jeweller Sir Michael Hill and two-time NZ Chef of the Year Ben Bayly. Serving up dinner Monday to Sunday, the space has an upbeat vibe and features high ceilings, stone, wood and champagne-coloured glass. Expect an Italian-style menu – flame-grilled sardines, crayfish risotto and wild rabbit ravioli, anyone?
18 Buckingham Street, +64 (0)3 442 0131, aosta.nz opens in new window


Attic Homestore

This den of chic homeware design on Ramshaw Lane features an eclectic mix of vintage and bespoke pieces from local designers and their own soft furnishings label. Need a sheepskin beanbag, concrete cube stool or antique chess piece? You’ll find it here.
21 Ramshaw Lane, +64 (0)3 442 0403, attichomestore.co.nz opens in new window

Jenny Mehrtens Artist

Hang with a local artist in her light-filled studio where the walls are hung with works inspired by Maori culture and created using gold leaf and acrylic paint on oak board. Mehrtens offers showings by appointment only – purchase artwork on site or commission an original.
4 Buckingham Street, +64 021 875 337, jennymehrtens.com opens in new window


Slow Cuts

This meat eaters’ paradise celebrates slabs of slow-cooked lamb, beef and steak alongside whole rotisserie chooks, hearty burgers, rustic roast root vegies and food like mama used to make. Go, sit and break bread with the locals in a contemporary wood and steel setting with a huge stone fireplace.
46-50 Buckingham Street, +64 (0)3 442 0066, fb.me/slowcuts opens in new window

Patagonia Chocolates

Founded by Argentinian couple Alex Gimenez and Lorena Giallonardo, Patagonia’s hot chocolate is the stuff of legend – think house-made marshmallows the size of your head bobbing in steamed milk flavoured with melted dark or milk chocolate. Add handmade truffles and gelato by the scoopful and hike off the calories tomorrow.
31 Ramshaw Lane, +64 (0)3 409 8636, patagoniachocolates.co.nz opens in new window


Ikon

Local fashionistas descend upon Ikon on Arrowtown’s main street for hand-picked items from the antipode’s coolest designers. Lose yourself in racks of Trelise Cooper, Karen Walker, Camilla and Marc, Assembly Label and Tigerlily mixed up with global brands Diesel, Fjällräven and Superga.
50 Buckingham Street, +64 (0)3 442 1355, ikonnz.com opens in new window

Provisions of Arrowtown

Folks travel miles just to get their mitts on one of the famous cinnamon-toffee sticky buns oozing with old world comfort from this cute weatherboard cottage and garden café. They sell out quickly so get there early; if you miss out, just ask for the lemon curd doughnut instead, and thank us later.
65 Buckingham Street, +64 (0)3 442 0714, provisionsofarrowtown.co.nz opens in new window


The Fork and Tap

This heritage pub built in 1870 is an institution in Arrowtown. In winter, it’s the locals’ après-ski joint for 17 New Zealand brews on tap, polenta fries and pot pies and in summer, the beer garden fills quickly for lazy twilight nights. It’s family friendly too, so take the grommets.
51 Buckingham Street, +64 (0)3 442 1860, theforkandtap.co.nz opens in new window