Life could be a dream, sweetheart. I keep hearing those lyrics run through my mind while walking in Arrowtown, New Zealand. It’s a charming place nestled in the mountains that’s been kept historically intact from its gold mining days. White picket fences and an old time flair line the streets. Wandering down its sidewalks I’m reminded of home, and after several months in southeast Asia, it’s a welcome feeling. I feel a bit giddy being here, hence the song lyrics that make up today’s soundtrack. I’m only booked for one night and instantly wish it were more. There’s a slowness here I want to enjoy and savor. The home I’m staying in has a weathered, wooden back deck with over-sized comfy floral chairs and a sofa that I could sink into for hours with a book and a bowl of fresh cherries. Bright white sheets drift in the breeze from a clothesline and lavender blooms behind them. The rustling of leaves in the trees and birds singing are the only sounds in the neighborhood this afternoon.
I spent the early part of the day wandering down main street and having lunch in a garden outside under blues skies and sunshine. The town has everything you’d want a main street to have with art galleries, shops, cafes and a cinema. Yet there’s one thing it has that home for me does not, the mountains. They are in your backyard here and rise up above the tree line in the distance. Just past the center of town, lies a shady path with a trail head sign posting seven hikes, some leading up into the hills and others down along the river. Yes, I could definitely spend some time here. Soon my shoes are crunching on the dirt as I make my way down a shady trail with the river running next to me.
Some might miss the hustle and bustle of a bigger city at the thought of staying here for an extended period of time, but I long for it. I imagine myself typing away, writing all my travel stories on this back porch. A bird flutters in a bath next to me and Tibetan prayer flags wave from the roof in a rainbow of colors. No, I wouldn’t mind it one bit. A fantasy runs through my head of returning after my two months of touring around New Zealand and writing until my hearts content here for my final month in this country. Then I think, but what if there are other more beautiful places yet to discover? I have just arrived on the south island and have so much to see here still. There will be more mountains, fjords, beaches, boat trips, horseback riding, kayaking, giant Kauri trees and more. For now I will enjoy this sweet day spent here, in a home away from home filled with books and cozy corners. I have a real bed with fluffy pillows and soft bedding I can swim in as I dream the night away.
Where I stayed – I rented a room in a historic home in town listed on Airbnb. I was hosted by a lovely woman named Annie who made my stay special with her warm hospitality. I can’t recommend her place enough.
Getting there – You can reach Arrowtown by car or bus. Connectabus has stops from both Wanaka and Queenstown.
Taste – I had the best avocado toast of my life at Provisions just past the shops in town. There is a peaceful garden in back to enjoy a nice breakfast or lunch.