Altitude: 637m to 769m. Gain: 73m. Loss: 133m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
From Upper Whirinaki Hut, a signpost stating 'River Track 2.25hrs' points towards Central Whirinaki Hut. Counter-intuitively this track climbs out of the valley, away from the river, rounding a spur and following a small gully north to a low saddle.
From the saddle, another climb, in a gentle grassy valley follows - clearly the track shown on the map, dropping from the saddle down a stream, is inaccurate. The actual track must climb onto one of the spurs to the east or west of the gully shown - I'm guessing east, but I could be wrong. Whichever, a good cut marked track follows the spur north for a kilometer or so. Finally, the good cut, marked track runs out of spur to follow and drops to the main Taumutu Stream at the forks.
Once in the stream, the cut track ends, though frequent markers continue downriver. The route follows the river for 1.5km, crossing frequently, until it reaches the confluence with Kakaiti Stream (from the east). Here, a large signpost on the eastern bank marks the start of the track to Mangamate Hut.