Last Updated: 22nd Apr 2024


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Breast Hill Blast

Lake Hawea, Otago

Submitted by Andre Chalmers

Last Updated: 22nd Apr 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 43 ?

Gnarl Factor: 91 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Native bush


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +18.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -18.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







This track is easy to start with as it follows a narrow path, you have to look for the orange poles the higher up you get. Sometimes the track is clear and other times find your own route but generally it is clear where you are heading, use a mobile device if not sure as you don't want to go too far off track, there are some seriously steep sections in the middle section. It is a very steep climb initially with lots of rock and sheep trails.

Once you get to the saddle it flattens off and you can go and chill out at the spectacular Pakituhi Hut at around the 4km mark. You then continue up towards the summit, the trail here can be tricky in cold, wet or muddy conditions and is not recommended in winter. The path offers massive panoramas over Lake Hāwea and is usually pretty safe as long as you stay away from the steep edge. The summit is wonderful but exposed, on a good day hang out for a while, if bad head back to the hut. The trail length is based on going to the hut which adds slightly more distance than if you simply go to the summit and back. Head back the way you came. Some sections are runnable but slow down and walk if you're uncomfortable as it can be easy to slip.

This trail includes the peak Breast Hill.

I describe this as one of the best ways to enjoy New Zealand sheep country, you should see them at some point way more interesting then on the flat!

You will have to self drive, note that there is no parking at the trailhead you will have to find the nearby park as mentioned above.

7 km

10 minutes




Navigation is easy if you are used to this terrain but a bit more difficult for a newbie. There are a few points where the track leads off the spur and around a knob or two. When you get to the ridgeline make sure you turn left to go up the hill or head straight to the hut.


Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions)

Main water sources are at the start and at the hut, really not much else to be fair.

Winter is said to be bad, snow makes this very hard especially near the top, mud can make it hard on the main trail too even in warmer conditions meaning you have to go slightly off the main trail.

There are many seriously steep sections in this route, usually safe if you take it slow, I don't recommend running most of it unless you are like a goat, when uncomfortable simply slow down. Snow and ice and rain can make this route treacherous so be careful ideally go in spring/summer good weather conditions.

Lake Hawea Hotel
1 Capell Ave, Lake Hawea, 9382 Wanaka, New Zealand
Head to the Stags Head for a well earned pint after this shindig

Sailz Lake Hawea Restaurant
33 Capell Avenue, Lake Hawea
Usually the main place anyone from out of town will go to there is a general store here too, great for stocking up on supplies.

Trail Legend

Tanya Bottomley

Tanya Bottomley

has completed Breast Hill Blast once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Awesome. Tough climb up but beautiful views. I managed to run almost 3/4 off the return trip.

Ben Walker

January 2, 2023

Beautiful views on every step of this trail. Steep switchback section to start, followed by some pretty technical and overgrown parts to the hut. From the hut it’s plain sailing to the trig, the track gets easier and less steep. I definitely took a different trail at parts on the way down! The track isn’t always the easiest to follow exactly, so keep your eyes peeled for the markers and you should be alright. Agree with the description to take your time, especially on the descent as there’s some hairy bits and some scree to navigate. Worth every second of work for the stunning views over Lake Hawea and over to Mt Aspiring.

Lauren Mai Anderson

December 26, 2021

Awesome and challenging track...I got to the hut just in time for the sunrise, pretty amazing way to start the day!!!

Adam Clifford

May 11, 2021

Did this in January and really enjoyed it. For me it was more of a hike and scramble than a run, got a bit of a trot on for parts of the downhill so I'm claiming it as a trail run.
Epic views from the top and some impressive rock formations make the peak well worth it, and the hut just over the ridge makes for a great pitstop.
I did Isthumus Peak a couple of days before which I'd say is way more runnable, but I enjoyed Breast Hill more.

Tim Morton

January 14, 2021

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