Altitude: 780m to 1182m. Gain: 672m. Loss: 544m . Gradient: 5 deg (Moderate)
Leaving the 6' track junction, the road sidles for a few kilometers then crosses a creek, swings sharply west, and begins a long, steady climb to the 1200m Huiarau Range. There is no water at dry times from the creek before the climb, all the way to SH38 – be warned. There’s not much to say about the walk, other than that it offers glimpses back into the private Maungapohatu valley, and seems to take forever! There are several good cleared camping spots along the access road, but none have obvious water supplies, and as such are probably used more by people in vehicles.
The old shelter at the SH38 junction is long gone, but if you do need to camp, there is a clearing where it used to sit, 50m before you reach the highway, and there is a small, but reliable creek for water on the other side of the highway, just west of the Whakataka Hut track sign.