Last Updated: 13th Nov 2023


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Only One Hill! Karekare Half Marathon

Karekare, Auckland

Submitted by Mark Craig

Last Updated: 13th Nov 2023


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Closed More info

Closed due to cyclone damage.

Please notify us if this has changed.

Grunt Factor: 31 ?

Gnarl Factor: 54 ?







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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Totally/mostly flat

Native bush



Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +4.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -4.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting at the Karekare car park, head straight out to the beach - at the waterline turn left and get ready for 10km of sand all the way to Whatipu. If you start at the right time you will be treated to the most spectacular sunrise.

Once at Whatipu, go left at the camp to the well signposted Gibbons track - this is the one hill! It is about 4km long, at the top you'll be directed onto Muir track which drops into the Pararaha Valley.

The track then takes you out to Karekare beach again - follow the Hillary Trail markers heading right to Tunnel Point, this track will take you back to the car park.

Kauri logging remains at Tunnel point. Whatipu Scientific Reserve.

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0 km

0 minutes





Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Water at Karekare, Whatipu, Pararaha Valley, Tunnel Point. All rain or river water.

It can get very wild on the beach with the wind and it can be extremely hot in summer.

Piha Bowling Club
Piha Domain
Cheap Beer, best chips in Piha - only a 10 minute drive from the finish point.

You and Only One Hill! Karekare Half Marathon

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Trail Reviews

This is a great run, with interesting features all along it. You can detour to the Whatipu caves if you want. The dunes are super remote and deserted feeling! Note that as of early October 2023, Muir and Gibbons tracks are officially closed due to storm damage. (although I ran them and they were completely fine and safe)

David Clark

October 27, 2023

Enjoyed this adventure. But soft sand and a headwind could mean this first flat 10km is not easy! Some interesting sights along the beach. Gorgeous views along the ridge line. Running through the dunes near the end. Calves are feeling the sand running today..

Kerri Dewe

September 26, 2022

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

Karekare 'Little & Large'

Karekare 'Little & Large'

Length: 12.1km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Must Love Sand and Stairs.

Must Love Sand and Stairs.

Length: 29.0km

Level: Intermediate

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