Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Advance Peak (via Big Hill inbound and Macetown Road outbound)

Arrowtown, Otago

Submitted by Sierra Alef-Defoe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 58

Gnarl Factor: 31








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills


Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.4%


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Estimated Times to Run







Start by following the well-marked track over Big Hill to Macetown (also a segment of the TA).

Cross the Arrow River after Macetown and use a topo/GPS to help you find the correct ridgeline goat rail up to Advance Peak. The summit's panoramic views of the region are stunning, including Tititea-Mt Aspiring.

Descend Advance Peak to Macetown the same way, but there is also an alternate route back down to Macetown via the Gold Burn/Rich Burn. Take the 4wd track from Macetown back to Arrowtown. Here you have the choice to follow the 4wd road and criss-cross the river, or follow the trail above the river and avoid getting wet.

During normal conditions, this route does not have any sketchy river crossings, but you probably have to get your feet wet.

The panoramic views from the top of Advance Peak are the highlight. Trail also passes through historical Macetown and starts at the historical Chinese Settelement at Arrowtown.

Not far from the bus stop of the #2 bus from Queenstown/Arthur's Point




Very patchy.

Windproof jacket, Gloves, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters.

The trail crosses the Arrow River and various tributary creeks a few times. However between Macetown and Advance Peak, there are no water sources, so make sure you fill up in the Arrow River before going up. It's advisable to purify this water.

Advance Peak will be snowy in the winter months. The route is mostly quite exposed, vulnerable to rainy/windy conditions. The Arrow River may also rise during/following a big rain. Go when it's a bluebird day so you can appreciate the panoramic views.

You and Advance Peak (via Big Hill inbound and Macetown Road outbound)

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Trail Reviews

Did this run with friends, as suggested we went over Big Hill. Had the gpx file bit even still was a bit of navigating to get on the right line on the ascent up Advance.
Little sketchy, scrambly in places and we elected to go back down the alternate route which was perfect as we all needed water and found some nice water access after approx 3 to 4 km on the way down.
No defined/poled route on way up as mentioned but in places a pretty well worn path.
Fun & challenging mission with some amazing views !

Wendy Hawkes

January 30, 2022

Epic views indeed, sweat to earn it, we’ll worth it. Side trip to see the derelict batteries is an interesting trip back in time. River was thigh high in some places the day I did this, most were calf high, so be careful after rain. Macetown road on way out goes on seemingly forever but offers good views to river valley on the way out. Lastly, I like opening this jaunt on sawpit gully CCW, a bit more interesting than other side up to big hill.

Jon Erickson

December 11, 2021

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