Altitude: 496m to 601m. Gain: 122m. Loss: 226m . Gradient: 4 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/5)
From the track junction (a DOC sign indicating 2-3 hrs to Te Puia Hut), an obvious and well marked track heads down the true right of the river - travel is quick for the first few km. It doesn't last!
Much of the travel is in the river and much slower. Track markers (triangles) are inconsistent (don't confuse with tape marking traps) sometimes marking footpads on either bank, sometimes not.
After 4km, the river enters a gorge and so does the tramper - just walk straight through! Shortly after emerging, look for a triangle on the TL and pick up a track that follows the river for a short distance then turns away and climbs steeply to a narrow saddle then descends to the track to Mangatainoka hot springs. Turn right and walk the remaining 600m to Te Puia Lodge.