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Millennium Walkway, Arrowtown

An array of colour make Arrowtown - and its Millennium Walkway - a must-visit during autumn. Photo: Kate Pedley
Total Ascent
1hr return
From Ramshaw Lane
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Millenium Walkway (gpx, yo 10 KB)
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The Arrowtown Millennium Walkway was built in 1998 to mark 150 years since Europeans settled in Otago.

The walkway is hugely popular, but don’t let that be a deterrent, as the chuckling waters of the Arrow River, the sublime colours of the foliage and occasional glimpses of the schist landforms create a sense of place, which is uniquely Arrowtown.

From Ramshaw Lane, the track follows the true right of the river to a bridge. Stay on the same side of the river and continue to the next bridge, from where you can cross and head upstream back to the first bridge and the junction with Tobins Track.

The historical note which propelled the Arrow Basin to fame was the discovery of gold in 1862. An ‘X marks the spot’ sign indicates where Jack Tewa (Maori Jack) found the first flecks, shining in the Arrow River. Two mining parties followed, one led by Thomas Low and John MacGregor, the other by William Fox and John O’Callaghan. Both managed to keep the find under wraps. It was not until they had loaded over 54kg between them that the rush was on. A year later, over 1500 miners swarmed the basin, including the upper settlement of Macetown.

By 1874, Cardrona was also in boom times and a track was constructed over the Crown Range to the Cardrona Valley. Tobins Track, named after Thomas Tobin an Irishman who won the roading contract, follows the old road and the hillside is awash with colour.