Altitude: 415m to 446m. Gain: 79m. Loss: 102m . Gradient: 3 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
Between Central Waiau Hut and the swingbridge the former sidle track has returned to bush - it could be followed if the river were up, but it is effectively a 3km bushbash with no real track present.
The normal route is now down the riverbed with 7 crossings being the norm - the last at the hut. The river is knee deep in low-moderate flows, and was waist deep (and marginal for a single person) even 2 dry days after a single day of steady rain.
From the swingbridge, tracks lead down either bank - though for travel to Central Waiau the western bank was more convenient.
I crossed near the southern end of the flats and climbed onto terraces ont he true left (east) which continued with good travel for 800m, ending at the 2nd sidestream. A brief scramble took me past the sidestream and back to the main river 50m downriver. Another crossing to the western bank was soon necessary, and then a return (hard, deep and fast) beside pt474. A track cuts off the southern part of this bend, crossing north of the hut, recrossing to the east, then crossing one final time at the hut itself.