As the hostel was full for tonight we decided to move on. It will be very hard to leave as it is a fantastic hostel and the staff are very friendly and helpful in making your stay memorable.
After breakfast Ruth, Sangeet and I decided to walk up the gondola track….there are two ways to the top, take the gondola which means departing with money or walk which is free, of course we decided on the free route. We said our byes to the hostel staff who now seemed part of our ever growing family and walked towards the hike starting point. Unfortunately the hike route we wanted to do was closed and the other routes would have taken longer, so instead we decided to walk into town and around Queenstown Park. Ruth headed back to the hostel after we’d said our goodbyes and agreed to arrange a reunion in Europe! Then we walked towards the park.
Queenstown park is very nice and calm, you have people playing disc golf, (golf but with a frisbee), lots of amazing trees, beautiful tennis courts and bowling greens (though not real grass!) and a great rose garden.
Afterwards we walked into town and headed for a veg juice from:
15 Church Street,
+64 3 409 0169
For lunch we headed over to:
Bombay Palace Indian Restaurant & Takeaways
66 Shotover Street,
+64 3 441 2886
The waiting staff here are very knowledgable about the way the food is cooked. We asked about the frier and whether there is a separate one for meat and vegetarian items. Straight away he said it was the same frier. He also knew exactly which breads had egg in them.
After walking back to the car which was parked near the hostel we drove to Arrowtown. Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is located on the banks of the Arrow River approximately 5 km from State Highway 6. There is also road access directly to Queenstown via the Shotover Gorge and a third route via the picturesque Lake Hayes.
During the high point of the gold rush the population of Arrowtown rose to over 7,000 and became the center of a larger municipality, which covered the new settlements of Macetown, Skippers and Bullendale (today only ghost towns). Arrowtown was constituted as a borough in 1867 and became part of the Queenstown-Lakes District in the local government reorganisation of 1989.
The town reached a population low of fewer than 200 people in the 1960s before gaining popularity again. According to the 2006 New Zealand census, the usually-resident population of Arrowtown was 2,151, a 27.1% increase since 2001. The town has seen considerable growth and construction, but it falls under strict appearance covenants applied by the local authority that aim to preserve the appearance of the town. There are many well preserved buildings used by European and Chinese immigrants dating from the gold mining days of the town. Arrowtown is the home of the Lakes District Museum and Ah Lum’s store.
Bordering the town is Sir Michael Hill’s Championship Golf Course which is home to the New Zealand Golf Open. This championship golf course is a private membership club, but does allow green fee players by appointment only. The Club also provides a Day Spa that is available to the public.
On arrival to Arrowtown we checked into the
4 Merioneth Street
T: +64 3 442 1466
F: +64 3 442 1459
A BBH hostel, in any other circumstance this would be a fantastic hostel but because we left Butterfli lodge which has just been superior, this lodge feels a little mediocre!
Afterwards we walked by the shops, cafes, restaurants and cinema of Buckingham Street, the Main Street of Arrowtown. We popped into the cinema and saw a listing for the movie called ‘The Intouchables’. So amazing that only yesterday Ruth was telling us about this movie, as it sounded good we bought tickets to it, the showing was at 6:15 so as we had a couple of hours, after chatting to the lady Sam (from Derbyshire, England!) running the cute little cInema, we had a wander to the Chinese settlement. The settlement was very interesting, we saw how the Chinese suffered real hardship during the mining of gold in this area in the late 1800s.
Whilst in town we saw an Indian restaurant called Mantra, Sangeet noticed an elderly long bearded Sikh by the window above the restaurant and became very happy, we had not seen a Gursikh in the South Island. Sangeet said he looked like an angel. I was confused and just laughed.
Afterwards we went to watch the movie, The Intouchables, this is a fantastic movie and definitely worth watching. Based on a true story.
Dorothy Browns Cinema
T: +64 3 442 1964
F: +64 3 442 1953
Dorothy Browns is a luxurious boutique Cinema and Bar in picturesque, historic Arrowtown.
The main cinema is beautifully designed with Chinese silk ceilings, chandeliers and seriously spacious seats. The Den is smaller, comfortable and relaxed. It screens mostly arthouse movies.
We then went to eat at Mantra, it is run by a Sikh lady called Shammi, I would like to say the food was amazing to help support a Sikh business but I can not, the food was made for a western tastebud. Personally I do not think people from India can cook, only Indians from East Africa can cook!
12 The Royal Oak,
+64 3 442 0880
We returned to the hostel and sat with fellow backpackers in the lounge to watch another movie, Happy Gilmore.