The other day we took the short scenic drive from Queenstown to Arrowtown. The town flourished during the gold mining period in the mid-19th century which attracted European and Chinese immigrants. The Chinese settlement along the banks of the Arrow River has been partially restored and is quite impressive.
After a visit to the settlement we meandered along a shady path which wound uphill on the east side of the river and eventually down to an old suspension bridge. The walk map suggested we return by the same path but I noticed that there was a 4WD track on the other side of the suspension bridge so suggested we come back that way. There might be a couple of fords to negotiate but it would be more interesting than retracing our steps…
We passed a number of 4WDs parked up, their occupants all with large white buckets and other gold panning equipment. You can still find gold in the river…. but not a lot.
And fords? After the fifth or sixth and with fast flowing water nearly up to the top of our legs Paul was constantly reminding me this was my idea….
We made it back to Arrowtown eventually and saw the sign ‘Beware Deep Fords’ to which someone had added a suitable adjective…!