Image from the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, photo Kathrin and Stefan Marks,

Arrowtown’s tree-lined main street provides calendar images of autumn-gold colour that go around the world. In the middle of the 19th century the gold was the real thing, and everyone was rushing to find it. The cottages and buildings in the historic Buckingham Street precinct represent the original core of economic activity within the town. Chinese gold-miners also flocked to this area and in 1874 there were 3,564 Chinese living in Otago. In Arrowtown, the Chinese were forced to live in huts along isolated gullies on the banks of Bush Creek at the edge of town. Many of the huts have been restored, offering visitors the chance to step back into that ‘golden’ era and see up-close the toil and modest living conditions of the ‘other half’ in this prosperous town.

Related links

DOC - Arrowtown Chinese Settlement

Then & now - the history of Arrowtown

Stuff - Living history of Arrowtown and Russell reveals one helluva story (14 April 2018)


Updated on 18th April 2018