Last Updated: 4th Feb 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Arrowtown, Otago

Submitted by James Harcombe

Last Updated: 4th Feb 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 26 ?

Gnarl Factor: 14 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


Open farmlands

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.3%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







From the toilet at the Chinese settlement, cross the small creek on the bridge, and head right. Follow the 4WD track towards the Arrow River. When you see the river, look left for the path that leads across the large water pipe. This is the start of the Macetown track, and the Sawpit Gully track. The track follows the pipeline for about a km, at which point, you can head left for Sawpit Gully, or continue traversing before dropping down to the river. The Arrow River is crossed here by a large bridge. Once crossed, head left, upstream, along the obvious 4WD track. This track goes all the way to Macetown, and in warm, dry weather is the most direct route (there are several river crossings along the way!) It's possible to keep your feet dry by keeping to the footpath, which is marked with orange standards. If you take this option, you will need to take care at about the 10.5k -here take the right turn, keeping close to the Arrow River as the left turn at this point leads to Big Hill.

Furthest point on the run is the historic gold mining town of Macetown. It's worth allowing an extra hour to explore the restored cottages and gold mining history of the area. The distance quoted is the distance to the first of the restored cottages.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Plenty of car parking near start. Public transport available from Queenstown via the Connectabus.

1 km

3 minutes




At about 10.5k, there is a small creek crossing, and a branch in the track. The more obvious route is to the left (Big Hill). Do not take this! Follow the flagging tape to the right for Macetown. If it's hot, keeping to the 4WD track, and crossing the river is the easiest route to follow, but misses out on some interesting single track.

Very patchy.

Short-sleeved thermal top, 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, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

There are plenty of side streams feeding the Arrow River that are safe for drinking.

A great track for running all year round. The 4WD track is not an option in wet weather, as the Arrow River packs a punch in flood!

Some of the single track is narrow with very steep drop offs.

The Fork And Tap
Great selection of wine and beer and wholesome pub food!

Provisions Cafe
65 Buckingham St., Arrowtown
Great coffee and food in a classic character building.

Trail Legend


Gavin Sinclair

has completed Macetown once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Macetown

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Great late November outing for me. MIx of hike and run. Did the first river crossing on the way up as I missed the single track. One thigh high crossing when on my own was enough for this novice so I found the single tracks for the rest of trail. Bit of a wander around at Macetown. Good trail all the way, though wet feet from and early creek crossing and lots of puddles as it had rained a lot overnight. Single tracks were fun :) Great day out for me.

Helen Brunner

December 20, 2021

Completed this trail in late October 2018. River crossings were a bit strong, so I used the single track which is a wee bit hard to notice as one of the early markers seems to have been worn down and not easily visible. It's rather easy to follow the 4WD track and there is only two small water crossings I found that were non-negotiable, but it was a warm day and felt great on the legs. Use the trail guide PDF and you should have no problems.

Chris Seymour

October 21, 2018

Did this one early in the morning in December when the river levels were reasonably low & the crossings were really pleasant. I didn't see any markings what so ever for Macetown following leaving Arrowtown (well until i arrived at Macetown) but just followed the 4wd track the whole way & just when i was starting to think i had missed the 10.5km marking point mentioned in the note i saw the sign for Big Hill. Mace town is a cool little place, the entire trail is runnable (barring the river crossings - I counted 10 each way) and i never did manage to find the single trail mentioned in the notes to avoid the river crossings...nevermind ... was a good morning out.

Wendy Hawkes

December 23, 2017

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.

Big Hill Circuit

Big Hill Circuit

Length: 20.7km

Level: Intermediate

Motatapu Track - Full Monty

Motatapu Track - Full Monty

Length: 50.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Other trails nearby
Fast and Flat in Arrowtown

Fast and Flat in Arrowtown

Length: 24.0km

Level: Beginner

Sawpit Gully - German Hill

Sawpit Gully - German Hill

Length: 7.6km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Hilly Delight

Hilly Delight

Length: 26.7km

Level: Intermediate

Mt Sale via Crown Peak and Mt Scott

Mt Sale via Crown Peak and Mt Scott

Length: 18.5km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Find more trails and peaks nearby