Retail Therapy in Historic Arrowtown, New Zealand 

Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town that has been delightfully invaded by fashion stores, artsy boutiques, great restaurants, candy stores, and ice cream shops. 

Historic Arrowtown; photo by Kathy Leonardo

Arrowtown Gold Mining Town

As you walk through the shops on main street, you immediately notice that many are located in the same structures built during the days of gold mining. The beautiful stone walls add so much character to the various businesses. 

The township has created a proactive building policy to protect the sanctity of these historic structures. I discovered Arrowtown during the Hop On Hop Off Wine Tour which departed Queenstown central at 10:30 am. I was on a full day tour and was just not ready to start drinking yet. Our driver Pete suggested that I hop off at Arrowtown, where I could do a bit of shopping. But this little town turned out to be so much more than just a great place to shop. It was so special, that I ended up writing two more articles about it. See links to those articles below.

Inside the Seletti Concept Store – see the original structure from the gold mining days; photo by Kathy Leonardo

Soon after I hopped off the bus, I stumbled upon a museum. Then I found a gallery owned by a local artist and then an open art studio. This was indeed a great place for me to start my day. I wrote about these in one of the additional articles – see below for link.

History of Arrowtown

You can learn about the history of Arrowtown by visiting the Chinese settlement just outside the town center. It was founded in 1862 and remained an active community for the next twenty-five years or so. You can actually walk through the original homes. They are tiny with very low ceilings, perfect for me, since I am under 5 feet tall.

Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, 1886

At the edge of town, close to the Chinese settlement, I came upon a lovely shop called Curios. I found the most amazing items here. Home decor, models, toys and jewelry were just some of the interesting merchandise included in the mix. Arrowtown Curios, 4 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown;

Shopping in Arrowtown

Just above Curios you’ll find artist Jenny Mehrtens’ studio on level two. During my visit to Arrowtown, there was an Open Art Studio sign…so I popped in. Be sure to keep an eye out for the sign and head on in. These artists generally love inviting guests into their creative spaces. See below for the link to my article The Art of Arrowtown.

Curios on bottom level; the studio of artist Jenny Mehrtens on top level; photo by Kathy Leonardo

Another store filled with wonderful goods is Francis Patterson. Here you can purchase housewares and specialty merchandise such as picnic baskets and flatware. The boutique also sells ladies fashion and children’s clothing. Francis Patterson, 41 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown 9302. See the Arrowtown website for more info on this shop.

Seletti Concept Store features women’s and men’s fashion. Founded by Sarah Richards and Anna Cooney in 2009, it offers high-end luxury fashions by renowned designers (see image above). Find out more on the website –

My favorite discovery was the Remarkable Sweet Shop a darling old fashioned candy shop with all kinds of specialty candy, as well as delicious homemade fudge. Mama loves pairing chocolate with her red wine, and I was getting ready to hop off at my first wine tasting soon.

Remarkable Sweet Shop; photo courtesy of Sweet Shop;

Coachman’s Hall housed a selection of small stores such as Rainbow Doorways and RAW, and also Night and Day…a small grocer. Before leaving Arrowtown, I found one more enticing store called Te Huia, I bought a lovely sweater here. See Arrowtown website for additional info on these shops

Arrowtown takes you back to a simpler time where history meets nature. It is also a great place to enjoy a day of retail therapy. Find out more about this endearing town on their website –

CLICK HERE to read my Hop On Hop Off Wine Tour review; CLICK HERE to read another article about the art of Arrowtown; CLICK HERE for additional articles about New Zealand; ETG also encourages you to visit New Zealand’s official tourism website –

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