Lakes District Museum and Info Centre
Bringing to life the colourful stories of love, betrayal, murder, gold fever, disasters and discoveries. Plus travel even further back and see moa bones with your own eyes! Learn about the hunt for pounamu (greenstone) long before the goldrush, and the Māori tribes that settled here way before the farmers and goldseekers from overseas.
A lively museum, filled with hands-on displays and plenty to entertain the kids! The museum has a number of FREE treasure hunts to entertain you as you explore the stories behind the gold rush that turned Queenstown and Arrowtown into a frenzy!
Meet colourful characters from the past and discover how you and the kids would have lived through a gold rush. You can even hire a pan, and try your luck in the Arrow River just like the early miners (seriously – gold is still discovered there!)
See exhibits from the lives of the early Māori and even artefacts from the extinct bird the Moa! The museum contains a fabulous bookshop and exhibition gallery that changes regularly. There are local walking and biking maps and an activity booking desk, all making the Lakes District Museum a must-visit!
Museum Treasure Hunts FREE (Available from the front desk).
A fun interactive way for the children to explore the museum - they stay entertained with one of our fun treasure hunts as you explore together the stories behind the gold rush that turned Queenstown and Arrowtown into a frenzy!
Entry: Adult $12, Seniors $8, Child $5 (child is 17 and under), Family - Kids go FREE (2 x adults + 2 x children) $20, group discounts available.
Goldpan Hire : Gold pan hire $5 (plus a $10 refundable deposit)
Gold Pan Hire from Lakes District Museum
Try your luck down at the Arrow River, where many miners before you have worked, patiently hoping to find their fortune. It's only 2 minutes walk from the museum – where you can hire your gold pans – to the river bank. Grab the family and a picnic and get into gold fever!
The river is a beautiful summer spot, well-loved by locals for cooling off on a hot day!
For $5 (plus a $10 cash deposit) you can hire a pan for as long as you want, and spend an hour – or a day – panning the Arrow River.
A fun, affordable and authentic mining experience.
Lakes District Museum Education Programme
We offer a variety of programmes tailored to school visits and suitable for all ages.
- Museum visit, with discussion, exploration and hands-on activities with a free costume option.
- Legend of Lake Whakatipu and other local stories. Relevant artefacts and discussion.
- Historic walk: themes include immigration and culture (miners' cottages), law and order (gaol), early schooling (Mary McKillop's cottage), and the role of the church (Catholic church, visits to historic Anglican and Presbyterian churches also available on request), the role of Freemasons (for senior students) developing inquiry skills.