Length: from 3.0 up to 4.0 days
Distance: 44.2 km (23.2 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 333m to 1796m. Gain: 3288m. Loss: 3348m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)


Distance: 1.2 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 396m to 457m. Gain: 61m. Loss: 0m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

The Big Hill Track follows the true left of Bush Creek upstream from the Arrowtown Carpark and bridge. After just over 1km the creek forks and a signposted marks the junction of Big Hill Track and Bush Creek track.

This is an easy local walking track.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2021-03-03 23:47:32. Experienced: 2015-01-01

Distance: 1.1 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 457m to 644m. Gain: 200m. Loss: 13m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

The Big Hill pack-track climbs on a moderate-steep gradient to Eichardts Flat from Bush Creek. A signpost at Eichardts marks the turnoff to Sawpit Gully.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2021-03-03 23:47:32. Experienced: 2015-01-01

Distance: 4.4 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 644m to 1046m. Gain: 453m. Loss: 51m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From Eichardts Flat, the old pack track is benched as it sidles gently up towards Big Hill Saddle.
0.5-1 hr

Last updated by: Madpom at 2021-03-03 23:47:32. Experienced: 2020-07-29

From Big Hill Saddle to Eight Mile Creek via Big Hill Track
View
Distance: 2.6 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 629m to 1046m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 417m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

From the signposted turnoff at Eight Mile Creek, follow the old farm track up 8 mile creek, crossing after 150m and climbing to terrace where a private hut sits. Beyond the hut the route drops to a scrubby creek. From here, intermittent poles lead you through scrub up the true left of the sidecreek entering from the south. The old pack-track becomes more obvious as you climb onto the spur. The route is poled to Big Hill Saddle on a steady gradient.

1-2 hrs

Last updated by: Madpom at 2021-03-03 23:47:32. Experienced: 2020-07-29

From Eight Mile Creek to Macetown via Track
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Distance: 3.1 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 629m to 676m. Gain: 96m. Loss: 62m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the forks and signposted track junction at Eight Mile Creek, two options exist for travel upriver to Macetown. Either follow the 4WD track upriver, making multiple crossings, or follow the benched, poled pack-track sidling the southern valleyside and avoiding the river.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2021-03-03 23:47:32. Experienced: 2020-07-29

From Macetown to Roses Hut via Motutapu Track
View
Distance: 9.0 km (6.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 658m to 1257m. Gain: 734m. Loss: 678m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

A historic pack-track runs from Roses Hut to Macetown via (near) Roses Saddle.

Follow the marked track briefly east from the hut, circling then climbing the spur east of the hut. This is followed to ~1200m on an increasing gradient and deteriorating track. At ~1250m the track sidles west of pt1358 for 500m to reach the next spur dropping west from the peak. This section may be tricky in poor visibility if there is snow on the ground. Once on the spur travel is obvious down an increasingly formed pack-track to reach the Arrow River at the forks with the Glade Burn.

From the forks, travel is possible down-river, but the banks are scrubby and so you need a good low flow with exposed riverbed to walk on for this option to be advatageous. With track improvements now that this forms part of Ta Araroa, the sidle track is certainly easier and probably faster.

The poled track sidles low on the eastern valleyside for 500m to Rankleburn before starting a climb to ~80m above the river where it picks up an old water race. The water race is followed in-and0out of sidecreeks until just prior to Macetown, where the poled route leaves it and descend to the Arrow river just upstream of the forks.

Both branches of the Arrow must be forded. The north branch being the larger is typically shin-to-knee deep but would be expected to present difficulties after moderate-heavy rain.

After crossing the two branches of the river at the forks, follow the 4WD track 50m up the west branch to a track junction from where you can cut back east onto the terrace above (south of the river) where the historic township and campground can be found.

3-6 hrs

Last updated by: Madpom at 2021-03-03 23:47:31. Experienced: 2020-07-29


NZTM2000: 1272805, 5030437

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-07-17 20:31:07

NZTM2000: 1278892, 5034121

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-07-17 20:31:07

From Roses Hut to Highland Creek Hut via Knuckle Peak
View
Distance: 10.8 km (5.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 680m to 1796m. Gain: 1167m. Loss: 1039m . Gradient: 12 deg
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Follow Motutapu Track to the fenceline then follow ridge to summit. Descend north ridge past pt 1540 to rejoin the track.

Last updated by: Megturnbull at 2021-03-03 23:47:35. Experienced: 2016-11-18

From Highland Creek Hut to Fern Burn Hut via Motutapu Track
View
Distance: 5.8 km (6.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 735m to 1271m. Gain: 527m. Loss: 636m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/6) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

From Fern Burn Hut the Motutapu Track is rougher but remains a well marked tramping track. The track makes a steady ascent from the hut, sidling the SE valleyside on a steady gradient to reach basins at the head of Fern Burn. A couple of steep, brief ascents climb to a shoulder just west of the saddle at the valley head.

SW of the saddle the track becomes steeper and rougher as it makes a steep descent into Highland Creek. This section is icy in winter and has exposed sections. At least an ice-axe is recommended in winter months.

After dropping to the the NE branch of Highland Creek (small and not an issue to cross except in extreme conditions) the track (now just a poled route) makes a steep ascent 100m up the eastern valleyside to sidle above bluffs and over a series of 3 shoulders & intervening gullies before dropping to the south fork at Highland Creek Hut.

3-6 hrs

Last updated by: Madpom at 2021-03-03 23:47:31. Experienced: 2020-07-28


NZTM2000: 1282279, 5043700 (alt: 333m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-02-25. Experienced: 2016-11-19

From Fern Burn Hut to Fern Burn Roadend via Motutapu Track
View
Distance: 6.2 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 333m to 763m. Gain: 50m. Loss: 452m . Gradient: 5 deg
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Follow Motutapu Track

Last updated by: Megturnbull at 2021-03-03 23:47:35. Experienced: 2016-11-19

NZTM2000: 1282099, 5038111

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-07-17 20:31:07


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