Home Adventure Arrowtown in autumn has earned its reputation

Arrowtown in autumn has earned its reputation

by Suchanaadainik
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You can take the basic bitch out of the East Coast, but she’ll still love everything pumpkin spice. It’s starting to feel like my favorite season here in New Zealand. The nights are crisp, and the days are shorter. Leaves are just starting to change colors, heralding the arrival of autumn.

I know, I know. I’m going rogue here and saying “autumn” instead of “fall.” I’ve been in New Zealand for so long now that I’ve slipped into local Kiwi terminology without even realizing it. Bins. Rubbish. Capsicum. Coriander. Smoko. Togs. Wop wops. I can go on forever. I even pronounce words that are the same with a Kiwi accent, like garage (gare-edge) or Nikon (nick-on). Oh well. 

Well, I might be mostly Kiwi-fied by now, including calling fall autumn, but I haven’t lost my eternal love for my favorite season. Even though it’s in April here. Except this year, autumn is a bit early, with the leaves starting to change at the end of March. And while I’m sad that summer is ending, bring on all the autumn colors. 

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

Normally, the best time to leaf-peep around the South Island in New Zealand is mid-April. After a decade of living down here, they usually hit their peak colors. Colors—no “u.” Still American.

Arrowtown tops the list when it comes to towns that get the most attention for their autumn foliage. Any time of the year, Arrowtown is pretty spectacular. Twenty minutes out of Queenstown on the way to Wānaka, it’s an easy-to-access spot for those hitting the highlights on a New Zealand vacation.

Nestled against a steep hillside up into the mountains, Arrowtown is beautiful. Though I wouldn’t want to live here. In wintertime, the surrounding mountains keep the town in the shade almost all day long. Shivers. New Zealand is only just learning how to build warm houses. And after living in the mountains this long, I learned pretty quickly that having sunlight directly hit a house in winter can make all the difference. 

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

Tangent aside, that sun-blocking hill happens to be covered in deciduous trees that change color in the autumn, turning the mountain into a literal wall of golds and reds. It’s gorgeous.

Considering New Zealand doesn’t have really any native trees that drop their leaves in the autumn, it’s pretty beautiful. Long story short, Central Otago was known for its gold mining and farming. After burning down most of the native forest to graze livestock, farmers planted trees from back home in Europe for shade, etc. These are the trees we see today. Along with others that are really problematic and spreading like crazy, like wilding pines – the archenemy of conservationists. 

While imported plants in our fragile environment generally make me see red, I forget all my morals for a month of the year. Show me all the pretty leaves!

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown is so well-known for its autumn colors that it hosts an autumn festival every April. 

Every year, on a perfect autumn day, I head over the hill to Arrowtown. I hike in the mountains behind the town and sit outside one of my favorite cafes, usually with a book. I stroll along the crystal blue river that winds its way alongside the town and peep into the local shops. Arrowtown in autumn is ridiculously picturesque.

Without fail, I always go alone. It is very much a self-care day in one of my favorite landscapes; I like being anonymous in a sea of tourists. It gives me a chance to people-watch, slow down, and revel in others’ enjoyment of the beautiful colors too. It’s not just me. 

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

As the leaves on the small trees on my street begin to turn red, as I dig out my warmer clothes from storage, I can’t help but reflect on the changing seasons. For me, autumn was always about new beginnings, the start of a new school year. It’s a chance for us to shrug off the past and to jump into something new. 

Autumn, for me, means I can fully embrace my introverted side, snuggle up at home, and be cozy while daydreaming about the future. I think about when I’ll again head over to experience Arrowtown in autumn. What’s next? 

“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn

Arrowtown in autumn


#Arrowtown #autumn #earned #reputation

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iraazkhanal

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