Macetown and the Arrow Gorge

3.00 out of 5
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4x4 Trail
↑ 2,000 m
↓ 1,900 m

Out & Back
avg time
Trail Description
About this trail
The ride to the gold mining ghost town of Macetown is a ride into history along a four wheel drive road. It follows the Arrow River upstream from Arrowtown through a gorge. By the time you get back you will have crossed the river 44 times. The best time to go is when the river is at its lowest in summer after the snows melt, February to April, when the fords are typically about 30cm (a foot) deep.

There are no cafes or amenities in this back-country ride! It's a rough, undulating road and the fords are stony but a committed intermediate rider will be able to enjoy it. There is plenty to see along the way - stark rugged hills, the deep gorge cut by the gold-bearing Arrow River, and the relics of the intrepid gold miners of the 1860's. You'll probably see real gold prospectors like the one in my photos, as well as tourists panning for gold near Arrowtown.

All that remains of the once-thriving Macetown community is two restored cottages, some crumbling stone walls and exotic trees. A little past the town site there is an old stamper battery in reasonable condition. At all points of interest you'll see panels describing the life of the miners, the landscape and the historical context. The scenery is awesome. The place has a certain magic.

It's a great day out with its mix of adventure, history, scenery and nice riding.

A couple of things to bear in mind:
1. You'll stir up silt and sand crossing the rivers so this ride is hard on your bike's drive gear even if you take extra oil.
2. Best to go on a nice warm day and wear woollen socks since your feet will be wet all day.
3. Whenever you stop, especially near the river, you'll be dive bombed by squadrons of nipping sandflies.
4. It's worth calling on the Arrowtown information centre before you go to pick up the $4 guide booklet, "Macetown and Arrow Gorge".
5. There is only one place where you are likely to take a wrong turn. Take a look at my photo of it and you won't go wrong.
added by Jim CummingsWorld Champ
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
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Local Info & Nearby Trails
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (14 total check-ins)
  mhq26   on Mar 29, 2019
  nzmtbmike   on Mar 8, 2019
  Steve Haythorne   on Mar 8, 2019
  jcmarshall   on Mar 8, 2019
  mhq26   on Feb 10, 2019
Photo & Video Gallery (12)
Trail Photos & Videos (12)
Reviews (1)

World Champ

April 8, 2015
Review: An awesome back-county adventure ride with lots of historical interest and stunning scenery. I broke my derailler on the way back and had to walk half the way, hence the slow speed shown in the trail summary.

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Macetown and the Arrow Gorge MTB Trail 3.00 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 1 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
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