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Sentinel Peak, Otago

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Sentinel PeakIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Isaac Walker

Info Info
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Trail Information






Lake Hawea

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

8:00 (Slow)
6:00 (Moderate)
4:00 (Fast)



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Start at the Sawyer Burn Track sign just after the gated entrance to Kidds Bush Campsite. You start up immediately and zig-zag your way up to above the bush line. Once above the bushline you will come to a track intersection - where you either follow the ridge straight up or turn right towards Sawyer Burn Hut. While you can access Sentinel Peak either way the ridgeline straight ahead provides a more scenic and spectacular route - not to mention quicker.

Head straight up that ridge and follow it all the way on the pretty well worn track. Follow the ridge as far as you can, when you come to ridge that seems impassable in front of you sidle around to the right. The track is still pretty clear here. Don't turn left and head up the hill until you have gone around a couple of blind corners. If the trail starts to disappear then you have gone too far. Follow a steep scrambly track straight up the hill up a small gully to the left, once at the top follow the ridge again and you will see a clear track.

Stick to this ridgeline now the entire way to Sentinel Peak which you should get a glimpse of before long. Some sections are a little sketchy to go straight over so sidle around to the sides where necessary. As you approach Sentinel Peak it may seem like you could never get up there - however trust your gut and head up the 2nd 'chute' along from the right hand side of the final ridge. This scree/rocky chute looks a lot more scary than it is and is heaps of fun coming down. Once at the top of the chute turn left, follow the ridge and you will see the summit in front of you!

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Features of interest

Amazing views as soon as you come out of the bushline. Open ridgelines offer gorgeous running. The 'chute' just below the summit is very gnarly!

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 40%

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Kidds Bush Campsite. Take Meads Road (gravel) near 'The Neck' which is the narrow strip of land between Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka.

    Parking at Kidds Bush Campsite, usually right beside start of trail.

    30 km

    30 minutes


    Name: DOC & Hunter Valley Station
    Telephone: Please call Hunter Valley Station (Digby or Hannah) on 03 443 1242 to ask for permission.

  • Staying Safe


    Trust your gut. If it gets too gnarly or sketchy then it's probably the wrong way. Follow the existing trails and you will be fine. No need to take any unecessary risks!


    Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece 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, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters.

    None unless snow melt has pooled in small tarns.

    Definitely not in winter or when there is snow on the ground. Summer route only!

    Navigation. Steep slopes. Loose rocks. Slippery tussock and grass.

  • Post run indulgence

    Sailz Cafe
    Good local wholesome food with great coffee.

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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