Gone are the rowdy days of Arrowtown’s mining past. The footsteps of frantic gold hunters have faded into the gentle patter of families with prams; espresso has replaced moonshine as the popular addiction; stuffed souvenir sheep outnumber those lucky, sparkling nuggets.
Yet the buildings remain, weathered stones and short doorways reminding me that the village was built solidly on dreams of wealth.
‘Twee’, they’d call it in Scotland – a mix of small and cute – the sort of place you take Nana for an afternoon tea. Or, in my case, fritters with apple syrup and dusting sugar. A dessert that would shock the stoic pants off of Arrowtown’s original inhabitants.