Ron LaughlinThe Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide
Just 19 km from Queenstown it is a very pleasant drive surrounded by mountain peaks. Arrowtown is a historic village that was the heart of the 18th century gold rush in the area. The famous gold mining rivers, such as the Shotover River, are along this drive. Really enjoy Arrowtown to visit. Great parking right in town by the Arrow River. Plenty of room and right next to the historic Chinese Mining Village. New Zealand's only living historic gold mining town. A stroll along Buckingham Street is a step back in time. Great shops, cafes and restaurants. You have to go up a side street and an unmarked stairs to the best coffee shop (Joe's Garage). I'll let you hunt for that one! Be sure to see Dorothy Browns Cinema.
A very good Holiday Park in the town within walking distance of the main centre.
I have found, due to the crowded parking conditions in Queenstown, we prefer to go to Arrowtown and park and catch the "Arrowtown Bus Tours" bus to Queenstown ($18 return per). Sure worth it for the hassle. You walk around Queenstown anyway. Arrowtown Bus Schedule

Just outside of Arrowtown is the Gibbston Valley and the Kawerau Gorge. This is one of the most spectacular drives in New Zealand. At the Kawerau Bridge is located the original AJ Hackett bungy jump. All through this immediate vicinity are the major wineries of the region such as the Gibbston Winery.
 Award winning wines are being produced aong this stretch of highway so be sure to give them a try.

Arrow River
gold panning
historic Chinese Village
Win a free night's stay