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

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

Submitted by Sierra Alef-Defoe

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

9 (Slow)
7 (Moderate)
5 (Fast)



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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.

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Features of interest

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.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each

Big Hill Circuit

Big Hill Circuit

Length: 20.70km



Length: 27.50km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Arrowtown carpark near the historical Chinese settlement

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



  • Staying Safe


    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.

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