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Sawpit Gully Track, Arrowtown

Sawpit Gully Track, Arrowtown

If you’re looking for a walk in Arrowtown with a good variety of views, look no further than the Sawpit Gully Track. This hike takes you along the Arrow River and then down into Sawpit Gully, eventually winding up the hill for beautiful views above Arrowtown, Lake Hayes and the Remarkables. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Sawpit Gully Track.

Sawpit Gully Track

The Sawpit Gully Track is a loop track, meaning you can start at either side. The best option seems to be doing it anticlockwise, starting on the Arrow River Trail. If you do it that way (which we did) then the first section will be a relaxing amble by the Arrow River. Extra points if you do it in autumn – stunning colours!

Arrow River Trail, Arrowtown, New Zealand

After 20-30 minutes you’ll come to the Sawpit Gully Track turnoff. The track heads up quite a steep hill and then descends into the gully, with views back towards Arrowtown. From there you’ll head through the gully and above the bush line, which heralds a stark change in scenery.

Sawpit Gully Track, Arrowtown, New ZealandView from the Sawpit Gully Track, Arrowtown, New Zealand

The Hills Above Arrowtown

You’ll soon trade the forest for the barren hills above Arrowtown. There are a few other tracks on these hills, but the main one leads up the hill towards the final viewpoint.

READ MORE: 10 of the Best Things to Do in Arrowtown

Walking the Sawpit Gully Track, Arrowtown, New ZealandSawpit Gully Track, Queenstown Lakes District, New Zealand

The final climb leads you to a viewpoint overlooking Lake Hayes and the Remarkables. Such a large variety of views on a relatively short walk – you won’t get bored on this track.

Lake Hayes and the Remarkables from the Sawpit Gully Track, New Zealand

Back to Arrowtown

There were some more areas of autumn leaves on the way down the hill. The views eventually dry up but it’s a pleasant forest to walk through, and soon you’ll be back in Arrowtown. Loop tracks are good like that – no backtracking!

Autumn leaves in Arrowtown, New Zealand

Sawpit Gully Track FAQS

  • How long does it take (and is it hard)? It should take two-three hours to walk the Sawpit Gully Track. There are some steep uphill sections but they never last too long – definitely not a hard track.
  • Aren’t the Walks in Arrowtown a Bit Confusing? Yes! There are lots of different trails around Arrowtown. For example, the walk I’ve explained to you today requires you to set foot on few different tracks (Arrow River Trail, Sawpit Gully Track + another couple). In reality though, it’s straight forward, with the last two tracks just taking you from the top of the hill back to Arrowtown.

Autumn hiking in Arrowtown, New Zealand

  • Where to Park? There’s a big parking lot near the river in Arrowtown – you’ll be parking there if exploring the town or doing one of the nearby walks. Parking can get competitive on busy weekends, but there’s heaps of room.

Are you planning a trip to Queenstown? Check out our three – seven day Queenstown itinerary!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.