Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown NZ

Brow Peak (1456m) near Arrowtown is an accessible mountain with fabulous views north over wrinkly golden brown mountains, and south over the Wakatipu Basin.

Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown

Brow Peak (1456m) is an accessible mountain near Arrowtown, and climbing it provides excellent views of golden brown mountains to the north, and of the Wakatipu Basin to the south. It starts on the fairly well trodden Sawpit Gully Circuit, but once off this you might not meet another person. And the approach to the summit along a  sometimes narrow ridge feels just a little adventurous, adding to the appeal of this walk. There’s also a very pleasant stand of beech forest on the way to Big Hill Saddle.

I started the walk mid afternoon in high summer, and the return leg in fading light enhanced the excellent views even further, as the already interesting contours of the land to the north were accentuated by shadows and warm golden hues.  I had to hurry to get down before dark mind you, but that was partially because I took too many photos. Highly recommended, especially in good weather. The ridge to the summit might be unsafe in bad weather, as there are a few exposed spots. Track notes at the end. And to see the scenery in winter, click here.

Brow Peak via Bill Hill Saddle: The Scenery

Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Near the start of the walk.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
My target for the day, Brow Peak (1456m). The route comes from the right along the ridge.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
The view north from Big Hill Saddle.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
The view south from Big Hill Saddle.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Looking along the ridge towards the summit of Brow Peak.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Loved the wrinkly hills.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Brow Peak summit (1456m).
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Wakatipu Basin
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
A peak prior to the summit. The track passes to the right / north.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
The track to the summit generally kept to the right (north) but there were a few spots with exposure to the sheer south side. Nothing too hair raising.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
A panorama of the northern vista.

Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown

Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
The Wakatipu Basin
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Looking back along the ridge from the summit.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Deep Creek: I just loved the shapes in the valley.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Deep Creek Valley
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Distant mountains taken with my telephoto lens.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
I take a lot of shots with speargrass/Spaniards in them.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
The tussocks were particularly golden at this late hour.

Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown

Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Deep Creek Valley again, taken from further back along the ridge.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Lots of wrinkly hills, accentuated by the fading light.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
More wrinkly hills.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Taken at Big Hill Saddle, when the light was fading to a warm glow.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
The section of beech forest between the Sawpit Gully Circuit and Big Hill Saddle was very pleasant.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Sun going down on the Remarkables.
Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
Brow Peak in the evening as I neared the end of the walk.

Track Notes

The track is pretty obvious until Big Hill Saddle, where it is lost amongst the tussock, but becomes more obvious again as the ridge narrows. The whole walk is at the moderate end of hard.

Brow Peak via Big Hill Saddle, Arrowtown
To climb Brow Peak, take 3a from the Chinese Miners Settlement car park, then 3b, 3c and 1b along the ridge (sometimes indistinct). Return the same way.

Arrowtown Walks List

The start of the walk…

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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