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The Sawpit Gully Track, Arrowtown

The 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 awesome views above Arrowtown, Lake Hayes and the Remarkables. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Sawpit Gully Track!

The 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!

After 20-30 minutes you’ll come to the Sawpit Gully Track turnoff. That track heads up quite a steep hill and then descends into the gully. You’ll get nice views over the gully back towards Arrowtown. This area is lush and is a great place to see autumn leaves. You’ll soon walk above the bushline though, which heralds a stark change in scenery.

The Hills Above Arrowtown

You’ll soon trade the forest for the barren hills above Arrowtown, and the beautiful views that accompany them. There are a few other tracks on these hills – we’ll be back to explore in the future!

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 definitely won’t get bored walking this track!

Back to Arrowtown

There were some beautiful 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!


  • 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 Sawpit Gully Track back to Arrowtown.


  • 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 list of the best walks in Queenstown!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.

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