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Isolation Hut, Isolated Hill Scenic Reserve

Sawcut Gorge. Photo: Pat Barrett
Area
Isolated Hill Scenic Reserve
Distance
4.8km one way
Total Ascent
463m
Time
Road end to Sawcut Gorge, 2hr; Gorge to Isolation Hut, 90min
Grade
Easy
Accom.
Isolation Hut, 6 bunks
Access
Take Ure Road at Waima River to Blue Mountain Farm where you leave your car and sign the visitor book
Map
BS28, BS29
GPX File
Isolation Hut (gpx, yo 48 KB)
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Sawcut Gorge is an area of spectacular gorges and dense forested terrain which has become an increasingly popular destination in recent years. Fine, warm weather is a prerequisite for visiting here as much of the tramp entails river bed travel with multiple crossings. Head upstream, passing numerous swimming holes and river eels, before reaching the spectacle of the Sawcut. At around 100m high, and barely 2m wide, the slot through the face of the mountain has been aptly named. Approaching it from downstream is like walking into a box-canyon where there is, seemingly, no exit. However, on rounding the last bend in the river, the slot opens the face, granting access to a twilight world of river pools, gravels, and soaring walls. The Sawcut can be readily traversed, its precipitous nature softening a little, yet still remaining fearsome, as you follow the sinuous canyon back to the Isolation Creek Basin and hut.It's great to reach the hut by mid-evening, as the sun's rays leave the basin and a cool wind fills the void. The basin in which the hut is located is remarkably beautiful and surrounded by high bare summits.