Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Karetai Soldier

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 12 ?

Gnarl Factor: 14 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


Open farmlands


Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +7.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -7.8%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







From the old gun bunkers head up the road and veer right towards Smails Beach. Veer right again at the Fishing Club sign and follow the road to the end where Karetai Track starts. Follow the track up with good views back down the coast. This track then joins Karetai Rd (gravel). 500m or so up you have the option of turning right and following the road to Highcliff Track to form a larger loop. Otherwise follow the gravel road to the end (it will become sealed), then turn left onto Highcliff Rd.

Now here's where you have to be careful. Not much space to run either side of the road so be careful and change carefully to whichever side has the most room. Follow the sealed road down past Centre Rd on your left and you will see the Soldiers Monument up on the left. Take the Soldiers Monument Track up and you will reach a track intersection. Straight is the trail to Tomahawk Lagoon Track/Peg 41 Track which is the way you will go. Left is access to the Monument and is worth a look for sure. After the Monument head down the correct route over the stile and follow the fun downhill single track. Be careful not to get some extra zap in your downhill zip from the electric fence. This track has some great coastal native bush sections down near the end and then again along side Tomahawk Lagoon (lots of birdlife here). At the end of the lagoon entrance veer right and turn left again on Tomahawk Rd back up to the start again.

This trail includes the peak Soldiers Monument.

Gorgeous views up Karetai Track and Karetai Rd. Historic stop at Soldiers Monument and more views down the harbour.

Public bus to Tomahawk is available. Otherwise close to town so you can run to the start.

7 km

10 minutes




Just follow the signs and instructions and you will be fine!

Generally good.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Short run so not really needed (none anyway).

Very exposed around Karetai Track so if windy wrap up warm.

The cars on Highcliff Rd, give them space and be careful!

Tuppence Cafe
Cheese rolls!!! Best in town.

Trail Legend


Adam Clarke

has completed Karetai Soldier once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Karetai Soldier

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Some awesome views along the coast and the Harbour but that road section is not the go.

Brad Geen

December 31

Amazing views, but not a fan of all the road running on narrow, high speed roads

Natalie Atkin

January 18, 2023

Walk-Ran the loop from the Soldiers Monument end anti-clockwise with my 10 yr old son. Was a bit on the longer side for him but he managed admirably. Good views down the coast. Easily extendible over the Highcliff track to Buskin or Paradise tracks for a longer run. Also can connect with the District track easily to take you back down to the Otago Harbour side of the peninsula, though this track would be quite the slog on top of this loop.

Daniel Pettigrew

September 13, 2020

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

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.

Karetai, Highcliff, Paradise and Greenacres

Karetai, Highcliff, Paradise and Greenacres

Length: 13.7km

Level: Intermediate



Length: 22.0km

Level: Beginner

Other trails nearby
Racing to Rain Gauge

Racing to Rain Gauge

Length: 16.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

The 3 Peaks

The 3 Peaks

Length: 26.4km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Silverpeaks Pure

Silverpeaks Pure

Length: 24.6km

Level: Intermediate

Seal Point Rd to Sandymount

Seal Point Rd to Sandymount

Length: 7.4km

Level: Beginner

Find more trails and peaks nearby