Lakes District Museum

Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum was established in 1948 as a Centennial of Otago project. Appropriately set in the former gold mining town, the museum started life in the billiard rooms of the Ballarat Hotel. It then shifted to the current home, the former Bank of New Zealand building, in 1955.

Over the last 60 years, innovative direction has seen the museum recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading small museums. It has a strong hands-on focus. Working displays cover two floors and incorporate three historic buildings. They offer a window into the past — an authentic picture of early Maori life and the harsh lives of  European settlers and goldminers.

A short distance from Queenstown, the museum also houses an art gallery, bookshop, archives and research facility and a busy education programme.