Neighborhood Travels

New Zealand Part 14: Arrowtown

My daughter Halley and I ended out New Zealand trip with a visit to Queenstown.  This is my favorite place in New Zealand and I will always spend a few days here.  During the previous couple weeks, we had experienced some rain but also some balmy days, so you can imagine our surprise when we awoke on that first morning to snow.

Early morning and snow over Queenstown
Queenstown awakes to snow!

I couldn’t wait to get outside.  We had planned to drive to Arrowtown but now had some doubts.  Our host said the storm had knocked down power lines and Arrowtown had been hit hard.  Still, I was itching to be off.  I hadn’t seen this much snow in years.  I wasn’t going to sit indoors and let it melt.

Arrowtown, just a few miles from Queenstown, is a former gold mining site.  The nearby Arrow River still may have some gold in it, but I wasn’t successful when I tried to pan it.  These days the gold is in the form of tourism and I was happy to contribute my share.  First, I had to get there.   My daughter is a California girl, so I drove.  The snow had melted on the highway, but we did see some trees down.  The heavy snow was too much for all the spring foliage.  Heavy snow or not, it looked great to me.

Arrowtown after the snowstorm
Arrowtown after the snowstorm

I shot the above image about 10:00 in the morning.  The world was awake and folks were starting to get out and about.  Tourists hadn’t yet arrived and it was nice to have the place to ourselves. We shopped and looked around and chatted with people about the storm.  While in one store we were startled when the lights went out.  After a few minutes the power was restored and business went on as usual.

Arrowtown is such a quaint little spot.  There are lots of places to shop for gold, jewelry, and of course woolen goods.  One can always find something made of merino in New Zealand.  We had a chance to pick up some bargains too. I love the irony of this sign.

Spring sales in Arrowtown
Spring sales in Arrowtown

Many stores had container gardens filled with tulips and other flowers.  The Spring Flower festival was only a couple of days away!  Now the flowers had been buried by snow.

Tulips dip under the weight of the snow in Arrowtown
Tulips dip under the weight of the snow in Arrowtown

I couldn’t resist all these forlorn posies nor the outdoor seating for cafes.  A surprisingly dense snow covered tables, bicycles and fences.  In the following shot, snow filled the awning and sunny days seemed far away.

Heavy snow in Arrowtown
Heavy snow in Arrowtown

I suppose most people come to photograph the restored cottages but I will save the buildings for another day.  For me the delight of Arrowtown on this particular morning wasn’t the historic past, but the wonderland present. It was a delightful and slushy morning.


Elizabeth Boatman

Traveler, explorer, memory maker and someone who's just downright curious about stuff. It's all about finding joy.

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