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
The Chinese Settlement was established in 1867-8 and was in existence until the mid 1930’s. The site underwent an archaeological excavation in 1984.
Arrowtown Random Fact No.2
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.3
There has been a fire station on the current site since 1890. The hand drawn hose reel was used until the 1940’s.
Arrowtown Random Fact No.4
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.5
The discoverer of gold in the Arrow river was a shepherd named Jack Tewa or Maori Jack. He also won the Royal Humane medal for saving a man from drowning in Lake Wakatipu.
Arrowtown Random Fact No.6
The Maori name for the river is Haihainui which means ‘Big Scratches’.