IntroductionThis tramping track, taking 2-3 days to complete, forms part of the Te Araroa - The Long Pathway and connects to the Timaru River Track.
Times and distances:
- Dingle Burn Rd entrance to Pakituhi Hut: 3-4 hr (4 km)
- Pakituhi Hut to Stodys Hut via Breast Hill: 4-5 hr(12.5 km)
- Pakituhi Hut to Stodys Hut via 4WD track: 3-4 hr (13 km)
- Stodys Hut to Tīmaru River junction: 1 -1.5 hr (1.5 km)
- Stodys Hut to Top Timaru Hut: 6-7.5 hr (13.5 km)
- Stodys Hut to Tīmaru River carpark: 5-6.5 hr(12.5 km)
Note: Times indicated are in the direction of track from Dingle Burn Road to Tīmaru River Junction. Time allowances may need to be adjusted for those going in the opposite direction and those not confident in this type of terrain.
From the Dingle Burn Road to Pakituhi Hut the track is a steady climb rising 400 m on a formed zig-zag track to a small saddle. The next section of track follows a prominent ridge to the highest point (1300 m) before a short descent to the hut. On clear days, trampers will be rewarded with stunning views over Lake Hāwea and the surrounding landscape including Mt Aspiring/Tititea.
From Pakituhi Hut an alternate route, bypassing Breast Hill, is available following a 4WD track to Stodys Hut. This undulating track affords spectacular mountainous views including Corner Peak and the St Bathans range.
From Stodys Hut the track descends steeply to the Tīmaru River via a marked tree-lined ridge. Trampers at this point have the option to proceed towards Top Timaru Hut and the Ahuriri Valley or back towards the Tīmaru River carpark making it into a loop track. A slip on a section of the track 50m down stream from the Timaru River/Breast Hill track junction requires care to cross.
Dingle Burn Road entrance is signposted 1 km from Johns Creek township or approximately 6 km from Lake Hāwea township.
Breast Hill Track is particularly demanding due to its exposed nature and physically demanding terrain.
- It is only suitable for experienced trampers.
- Sections of the track have limited marking and in low cloud trampers will need navigational skills.
- The climate is typically Central Otago, and very hot, dry conditions are common in summer.
- Carry plenty of water, as water sources are limited.
- Wintry conditions can occur at any time of the year, with the higher country subject to snow, especially during winter.
- Be prepared by having warm, windproof clothing and the appropriate footwear.
This track goes through a working farm. Lambs may be present late September – mid November. Please move quietly and give ewes and lambs space, go around them if necessary. Never pick up lambs. Consider using alternative access from the Lower Timaru River Track during lambing season.
Be avalanche alert: This area has terrain that can produce avalanches that cross the track, usually from May into November. View avalanche information.
Crossing rivers: If you plan to cross an unbridged river, you must know how to identify an unsafe river, and where and how to cross safely. You should also be prepared for being unable to cross.
If the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe, do not try to cross. Turn back or wait for the river to drop - this often takes a few hours after rain, so be ready and pack emergency shelter and extra food.
A river is unsafe if there is:
- discoloured water
- debris in the water (such as branches)
- water flowing faster than walking pace
- movement of rocks in the water you can hear
Learn more about river safety on the NZ Mountain Safety Council website.
Private property: This track crosses private land. Respect the landowner's livestock and property: stay on the marked track until you reach the conservation land, leave gates as you find them and use stiles where provided. Livestock can be unpredictable – keep your distance at all times/go around if necessary.
No camping until the conservation area boundary.