Altitude: 402m to 814m. Gain: 412m. Loss: 392m . Gradient: 19 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/5)
The marked track crosses the Tauranga River above the hut. Crossing was knee-to-thigh deep and easy when I crossed on a drizzly day after low-moderate rain. It could flood and block, but in normal conditions should be ok.
The track to the Tawawharara Stream is marked, but not well cut (2013). Windfall and general undergrowth meant that I lost the track a couple of times, the last just before the ridgeline. Some navigation skills needed to follow the route - it was probably the hardest to find of those I walked on this trip. Navigation, windfall and undergrowth aside, the climb is easy on a low, steady gradient.
After briefly swinging north along the ridgeline, the track drops steeply onto an open, defined spur. Steep, but good and obvious going all the way down to the river - a good change from the undergrowth to the west. The vegetation has changed completely, gravel underfoot rather than the mud further west. Low, dry, brittle scrub.
The track emerges at the river a few meters downriver from the confluence.