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It's New Zealand, not the mother lode.

The 19th-century gold-mining town of Arrowtown on Zew Zealand's South Island looks surprisingly similar to its Western American counterparts. Picturesquely situated beneath the imposing Crown Range, Arrowtown is a 13-mile drive by car or tour bus northeast of Queenstown; on a half-day visit, you can enjoy its leisurely atmosphere and gold rush ambience.

A short detour on the way can take you to Coronet Peak ski area, where a chair lift carries you to fine views of the Southern Alps. Or ride a high-speed jet boat on the Shotover River.

In 1862, gold was discovered on the Arrow River, setting off a rush. Jumped claims, outlaws, Chinese miners are all elements in the town's history.

The fascinating Lakes District Centennial Museum in the 1875 bank contains artifacts of town life: prospectors' shovels and gold pans, doctors' tools, household utensils, and 11 commadments from husband to wife, ending "Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed." The museum is open 9 to 5 daily (10 to 4 June and July).

Gold is still found around here. If you want to try your hand in the river, you can rent pans and get tips from the Gold Nugget.

For more information on the area, write to the New Zealand Government Tourist Office, 1 Maritime Plaza, Suite 970, San Francisco 94111.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1984
Words:222
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