Big Breast LoopBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Isaac Walker
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Front country - easily accessible
LakesideOpen farmlandsOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
The Grandview Track is closed for lambing from the 26th September to 7 November annually.
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!
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Features of interest
Amazing views throughout! Really interesting rock formations along the top of Grandview Ridge Track and also coming down Breast Hill.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 15%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 55%
Gravel Road: 10%
Johns Creek Carpark. Head out to Hawea Township. Follow Cemetery Road along the back of the town, veer left onto Gladstone Road at the 90 degree right turn, follow Gladstone Road/Timaru Creek Road until you hit the carpark by the lake. There is a ford to cross which after heavy rain can be substantial - if so there is a small bridge you can cross instead (well signposted).
You could ride/run from Hawea along the lake-front track. Plenty of parking and shade under the big tree.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
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.
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.
Post run indulgence
Great coffee and home cooked food.
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