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Big Hill Loop. My First Day Hike

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

My first full day hike. 20km Big Hill Trail + 6km Macetown return.

With an alpine adventure rained off I was up at 6:15am for no reason. Not wanting to waste it, it was time to crack "Big Hill".

It was such a special time to go for a hike as a combination of recent lockdown, bad weather and the length of the trail meant there was NOBODY out there but me. I met one guy on a mountain bike and seven panicked goats.

The snow melt and heavy rain meant all the water crossings were a bit on the exciting side. I had to get pretty inventive with some of them, climbing over boulders and trees to find alternative routes.

Having such a good time I got a little cocky and pushed out to Macetown for an extra hour. This very almost bit me in the backside when the Big Hill Trail completely vanished. The lack of foot traffic and swollen river meant for a brief moment I had no idea where to go. I got pretty scared as I was in the depths of the hills and my housemates were expecting a safety check in. One wrong turn and I'd be marching in to deepest darkest Otago.

Luckily past me took a photo of the trail map which guided me to a decidedly creepy looking abandoned hut and I used contour lines to trace the ridge up Big Hill. It was a combination of fun and nerve-wracking relying on spotting little rusty poles to mark the correct route!

After discovering Big Hill was indeed a big hill, I celebrated with a sketch and the trail guided me back to Arrowtown through beautiful native woodland.

What a ruddy spectacular day. A heap of natural beauty. A small helping of fear and oodles of adventure. I could do a lot more of this.


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