The historic Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. © Puripati

Arrowtown Chinese Settlement: multi-cultural heritage


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In Arrowtown, you can immerse yourself in goldrush heritage that dates back to the mid-19th century.

Arrowtown is so rich in multi-cultural history, it has been named Tohu Whenua – a site that is of special significance to New Zealand because of its links to the past and the unique stories that can be discovered here. 

Once known by Māori as Kā Muriwai, referring to the three rivers that run through the area, Arrowtown became most famous for the discovery of gold. 

In the1880s, thousands of prospectors flocked to the area to make their fortune, including more than 3,500 Chinese miners. Today, you can visit the historic huts that these miners – who were often victims of discrimination – were forced to live in on the outskirts of town. 

On the banks of Bush Creek is the partially restored Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, you can learn how the immigrants lived during the gold rush; explore the huts and Ah Lum’s store that was a central hub for the Chinese mining community. 

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