Sawpit Gully Trail Time: 2-3 hour loop Grade: Medium - High Fitness Gear: Good hiking shoes recommended
This walk crosses private land. Landowner's property is to be respected at all times. Please remain on the trail. Strictly no dogs or mountain bikes or trail bikes. This is a great loop with a variety of scenery. The easier way to walk is to follow the Arrow River Trail first ie: approach it from an anticlockwise direction. The Arrow River trail sidles high above the river before you reach the turn off to Sawpit Gully. Once in Sawpit Gully itself parts of a water race are followed and piles of stone gold mining tailings are evident once down near the creek. The vegetation changes from beech forest pockets to tussock covered slopes interspersed with prickly matagouri, and the sharp pointed speargrass, common in the Central Otago landscape. Look out for the remains of an old stone hut on your right on a grassy terrace just before you begin to climb out of Sawpit Gully. The cottage was home to a succession of miners and serves as a good resting place. Up the hill you meet the Big Hill trail at Eichardt's Flat and walk down towards Arrowtown with Lake Hayes in full view.
Arrowtown Random Fact No.1
Arrowtown had four churches representing the early immigrant populations. Catholic, Presbyterian, Anglican and Methodist. All still operate today except for the Methodist Church.
Arrowtown Random Fact No.2
There are two theories as to why the town is named Arrowtown. One is that the river behind the town flows swiftly like an arrow.
Arrowtown Random Fact No.3
Arrowtown is one of the fastest growing towns in New Zealand:
Arrowtown Random Fact No.4
The Maori name for the river is Haihainui which means ‘Big Scratches’.
Arrowtown Random Fact No.5
The first jail in Arrowtown was simply a log. You were chained up to it. The later stone jail still exists and is in Cardigan Street. It is New Zealand’s 4th oldest jail.
Arrowtown Random Fact No.6
Australia’s first saint, Sister Mary MacKillop visited Arrowtown in 1897 and set up a Catholic School. Part of this school can still be visited today.