Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Big Breast Loop

Lake Hawea, Otago

Submitted by Isaac Walker

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 52 ?

Gnarl Factor: 24 ?








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

Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.2%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







You could start this run in a number of spots and run it in either direction. I picked the start/finish so I could have a swim in the lake at the end and also the direction so I had a more gradual ascent and steeper descent.

From Johns Creek carpark follow the road back up through the ford and turn left at Hawea Back Road. Follow this straight piece of gravel road for around 2.5km through another ford until you reach Nook Road. Turn left up Nook Road and this will take you to the start of Grandview Track. From here it is a simple DOC marked trail. There are 6 creek crossings (with some luck you will keep your feet dry) before you start the Grandview ascent.

Head up and up until you reach the Grandview Summit sign - turn right and follow the trail for around 500m so you can claim the summit. Head back down to this same intersection and turn right - follow the signs to Grandview Ridge Track around to the left. Follow the 4wd track all the way around the tops, passing trig point 1453, staying on the farm road and not taking any turns. You will pass the signs to Pakituhi Hut on the left, stay straight right through to around the 29km point. Turn left towards the Breast Hill Summit.

This is the final grunt to finish off your already tired legs. Once you hit the summit of Breast Hill - take a break! Magical spot up there. Then simple follow the DOC poles back down the ridge to your right overlooking the lake the entire way. Feel free to pop down to Pakituki Hut at the saddle, or make the right turn and head around the sidle and down the nice steep descent. Quite technical in parts and tough on tired legs so keep your wits about you. Once you hit the gravel road at the bottom of Breast Hill Track turn right and follow it for around 1km back to the carpark and finish. Time for a swim!

This trail includes the peaks Grandview Mountain and Breast Hill.

Amazing views throughout! Really interesting rock formations along the top of Grandview Ridge Track and also coming down Breast Hill.

You could ride/run from Hawea along the lake-front track. Plenty of parking and shade under the big tree.

15 km

39 minutes




If you follow the directions provided and keep an eye on all signs you will be fine - this one is well signposted and reasonably easy to follow.

Generally good.

Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions)

There are occasionally a couple of small streams running over the back of Breast Hill but to be sure - take all your water with you.

Very very tough with snow - as I found out and as you can see from the photos. Snow can be chest deep (and deeper) in wind blown spots even late in the season. I would only recommend doing this route in decent weather and minimal snow. Rain can also make the track very boggy in spots.

Creek crossings - take care. Spiney Spaniards - take care. The technical descent coming down Breast Hill on tired legs - take care.

Sailz Cafe
Great coffee and home cooked food.

Trail Legend

Tanya Bottomley

Tanya Bottomley

has completed Big Breast Loop once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Big Breast Loop

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

Real varied route with plenty of runnable sections to split up the climbs/descents. Take care heading down from Breast Hill as its pretty technical and the track is very narrow in parts. Incredible views all around!

Regan Parker

February 12

Brilliant loop, also started with the Breast Hill Track because the climb is great fun.

Natalia Watkins

May 12, 2022

Great day out - easy 4wd track most of the way means lots of runnable terrain.
Was happy to have done it starting from Breast Hill side, as it made for easier running down Grandview on the way back and cooling my feet down in the streams :)

Rimma Kade

December 6, 2021

Awesome run. Bit of flat/runnable, plenty of climb, amazing views. Choose your direction. We went flat run from johns creek to grandview and up. Meant a tough techy dhill down breast (which i like but each to their own). Or go breast first which is steep tough climb but makes dhill down grandview fast. Either way epic loop. Cheers Isaac the starfish Walker. Easier in summer vs waist deep snow Isaac?

James Brewer

December 12, 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.

Grandview Mountain

Grandview Mountain

Length: 18.0km

Level: Intermediate

Breast Hill Blast

Breast Hill Blast

Length: 15.5km

Level: Intermediate

Grandview Ridge Track

Grandview Ridge Track

Length: 38.0km

Level: Intermediate

Other trails nearby
Timaru Creek Loop

Timaru Creek Loop

Length: 12.5km

Level: Intermediate

Classic Corner Peak

Classic Corner Peak

Length: 17.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Timaru High River Track

Timaru High River Track

Length: 13.6km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Isthmus Peak and Glen Dene Ridge

Isthmus Peak and Glen Dene Ridge

Length: 36.7km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Find more trails and peaks nearby