Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Crown Peak Traverse

Arrowtown, Otago

Submitted by Malcolm Law

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 35

Gnarl Factor: 53








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -14.4%


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Estimated Times to Run







While this could be run in either direction I'd definitely recommend starting at the Crwon Saddle and finishing in Arrowtown as a) there's a big nett descent in this direction and b) you finish right outside the pub! The exception would be for anyone training for the Northburn 100!

From the Crown Saddle car park, cross the road and start heading uphill aiming for Mt. Scott - there is no trail, so just pick your own lines up this steep, tussocky grunt.

Once on top you'll get great views down into the Queenstown basin and the ridge that you need to follow to Crown Peak is clearly visible. There is still no real trail other than sheep tracks, but stick as close as you can to the ridgeline. After a couple of kms the route becomes poled and this should help you get to the trig point. However this is not the true summit of Crown Peak - that is just a couple of minutes away to the north and is a nice little scramble rewarded with great views.

Having bagged the peak pick up the obvious farm track that descends towards Arrowtown - this is a quad-trashing descent over some 6 or 7 kms, eventually linking up with the Miners Trail. At the bottom of the hill, where there is a large sign showing trails in the Mahu Whenua Covenant area, turn left and follow the poled trail.

You get a couple of kms of beautiful single track before being spat out on to a water race. Follow this for a couple of hundred metres, keeping a look out for a poled stile over the fence to your right. Cross this and run downhill along a fence line to join the gravel road at the bottom. Turn right, follow this uphill for several hundred metres and then branch left on to the broad trail/4WD track that is Tobins Track.

This takes you downhill to the Arrow River - cross this on the footbridge, hand a right and in a few hundred metres branch off left across the reserve and out the other side to reach Centennial Ave, where hopefully you have a pickup or a car parked.

Stunning views from the top of the Crown Range. Remains of mining cottages and workings lower down.

There is a large, safe car park on the Crown Saddle.
This is a point to point run with few options for getting back to the start other than private car - so arrange a pick up or do some shuttling before you start. If shuttling, park on Centennial Ave in centre of Arrowtown, as close as you can to the Fork & Tap!

16 km

19 minutes




Generally good.

Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).

No drinkable water on the route - take your own.

The Crown Range is very exposed and can be bitterly cold at any time of the year. In winter expect ice and take microspikes or crampons. In summer it can get very hot, especially at lower levels.

Watch out for mountain bikers when you hit the Miners Trail. Also be aware of fast changing weather on the top and go prepared!

Fork & Tap
Great range of craft beers, good food and convivial atmosphere. Nice out door area for summer.

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Trail Reviews

I did this in combination with the rock peak trail to make a42km combo, it was foggy and rainy climbing up from crown range but so much fun, running along the narrow ridge line and up up up onto crown peak!!coming into Arrowtown in beautiful hot sun, and then heavy summer shower with a forest of green was so uplifting!! Will do this again for sure!!

Lynette ELFICK

December 8, 2021

Fantastic views and even fun in wi ter time, just make sure you are prepared for the conditions. We went in June and at times had snow up to our knees. Take care also as can get quite icy.

Rachel Bridgewater

June 13, 2020

Awesome track. Good steady climb to the top. Then awesome downhill. Did it through snow and a bit of ice. Little climb at the end up Scott Peak/mtn. Recommend it. Cool views of both the valley to wanaka and QT.

James Brewer

June 13, 2020

Awesome run/hike, steep to start, great views! Attempted in winter but snow thigh high at summit. Finally knocked this one off. An epic must do. Thanks Mal for great guide.

Rebecca Andrew

November 6, 2017

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