Warning: this route segment has not been experienced by the author
Altitude: 475m to 634m. Gain: 326m. Loss: 335m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
The east bank of the Waiau is scrubby and slow travel. This route has been spied-out from the west but not travelled by the author.
The crossing of Boko Stream is tight but looks ok in beech forest up from the forks. Descend to Waiau flats as soon as possible after crossing. Travel from Boko to Castle is scrubby but reasonable on flats, keeping either to the open river bank or open escarpments and avoiding thick broom flats.
The castle can be crossed at the forks. Once over it is necessary to climb to the large flat manuka terrace 100m above the river (the lower terrace is tempting but bluffs out upriver). An old track runs along the back of the terrace, cutting 100-200m up Freds Stream to cross before returning to follow the read of terraces north from Freds - still 100m above the Waiau. Once the terrace ends, the old 4wd track makes a series of sidling climbs and descents of the face passing the narrows 100m above the river before descending slowly to the flats upstream.
The flats, marked pt568 on maps, provide the first realistic crossing point of the Waiau unless flows are very low in which case it may be possible to cross at the Steyning forks. The swingbridge shown on old maps just upstream of Steyning no longer exists.
Expect 4.5-6 hours if familiar with scrubby bush travel