Altitude: 418m to 1086m. Gain: 64m. Loss: 668m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7)
From the pass between Tauraki and Freeman Burn, access west to Tuarkaki Stream past the lake is blocked by a 20m long bluff. Unless you feel like a swim the following is required to pass the bluff:
Cross the pass to the western side below Mt Fowler
and cut left below the line of bluffs (towards the Freeman Burn) until the bluffs peter out. Then cut back right climbing onto the face above the bluffs. Continue west and upwards on this spur/terrace until you reach the base of the base of the main bluffs forming the peak above. By this point you should be directly above the lake outlet and maybe 60m up. A steep, narrow chute descends to the lake outlet from the _rear_ of the shelf you have been climbing. It is very steep at first an has some interesting down-climbs - improving as it descends onto open faces below.
From the tarn outlet, head briefly down Tuaraki Stream until you enter the head of the Tuaraki valley. The creek drops steeply away, but a scrubby face lies to the south, immediately below the bluffed face of Mt Fowler. Sidle this face just below bluffs until you are directly above the corner of beach forest below and then descend directly to the forest. Reasonable ground trails exist if you get it right. An easy descent through bush leads to the swampy clearing in the valley below.
Keeping to the true left, descend the clearing and pick up deer trails (the old track?) sidling SSW at about 820m through bush. Continue to sidle at this height (do not descend with the main creek) until you reach a steep, open rock/scree gut draining Ardneil Peak about half-way between the two streams shown on the map. Descend this steep gut initially on scree and later in bush on its true left once it becomes steep. The southern fork of Tuaraki Str is gorged near the forks and it is necessary to sidle about 50m south of the gut you have been descending to find access down to the southern branch of the creek. From here a straight forward but scrubby walk down deer trails on the true left leads 1km downstream to the forks with Torre Stream.