MUST EXPLORE | BIG HILLhttps://theflyer.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Big-Hill.jpg800807The Flyer MagazineThe Flyer Magazinehttps://theflyer.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Big-Hill.jpg
Right now is the best time of year for this hike. The arid first section of the track contrasts sharply with the lush and colourful Macetown end which makes for a great day out.
Starting off on Sawpit Gully in Arrowtown, make sure you follow the trail clockwise along the stream and all the way up to the sign at the top of the hill. This section of the walk is flat at first but is then followed by about 20 minutes of short, steep and uneven trail. At the sign, rather than turning right to follow Sawpit Gully, continue straight and join the track that traverses across the hills. This section of the walk offers incredible open views of the valley as well as pleasant shade in a beech forest. After about 1.5 hours of steady gentle climbing you’ll get to a crossroads: left for Brow Peak, straight for Macetown and right for Big Hill. We had a break and a snack here to get ready for the final uphill push, but feel free to carry on, it’s only about another 20 minutes to the top. Enjoy the view, take some snaps of Arrowtown and start descending into the valley past old gold mining relics and huts.
The scenery changes quickly and turns into an experience for all senses. You’ll find yourself surrounded by bush and lupins with a stream gurgling next to you. There are birds chirping in the trees and the smell of wild mint and flowers is in the air. For the weekend warriors amongst us it gets even better – time to take the shoes off and wade through a few streams. Cold but not icy, they were a welcome refreshment after being exposed to the sun on the way up. None were deeper than just below the knee when we went, but for safety reasons, keep an eye on the weather before you go. You’ll soon find yourself on the Macetown Road. Follow this to the right until you see a red bridge. Use this to cross the Arrow River and follow Sawpit Gully back to Arrowtown.