Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,125.00 ft (647.70 m)
Trail type
2.60 mi (4.18 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Sawyer Burn Track is a short but steep track located near Wanaka, Otago. This trail travels uphill through a forest to a viewpoint on an unnamed ridge. The trail is dirt the whole way. This out and back hike is 2.6 miles long and gains 2,125 feet of elevation. 

This hike starts from Kidd Bush Reserve Campsite. There are bathrooms available here. Begin hiking northeast on Kidds Bush Forest Walk. 0.1 miles later, you will come to a junction and go left onto Sawyer Burn Track. You will be hiking very steeply uphill. Some sections of the trail may be muddy and have fallen trees. Along the way, you will have periodic views of Lake Hawea. Continue up switchbacks for 0.9 miles before breaking out of the trees. You will have gained over 1,600 feet of elevation at this point, but you will be rewarded with a great view of the lake below. 

Continue uphill on the rocky trail. After another 0.2 miles, you will see an orange pole. Here, you will veer off the official trail and head left onto a well worn social trail. Continue hiking uphill on this steep trail. This is the steepest portion of the trail. 0.1 miles of arduous effort will bring you to a rocky point on a ridge. This signifies the end of the trail. From here you will have wonderful views of Lake Hawea, Isthmus Peak, and various other mountains in the area. After you have taken ample time to rest and enjoy the sights, turn around and retrace your steps to return to the start of the hike. 

The Sawyer Burn Track is open for hiking year round. There are no associated fees to hike here.  Dogs are not allowed on this hike. The Sawyer Burn Track is a difficult but worthwhile hike for determined adventurers. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Panoramic Views.



Trailhead Elevation

1,182.00 ft (360.27 m)

Highest point

3,362.00 ft (1,024.74 m)


Near lake or river

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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