Altitude: 619m to 1242m. Gain: 43m. Loss: 652m . Gradient: 6 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6)
Cross the rolling countryside south and west of the Acheron Lakes and descend down a steep hill through tussock and light scrub to reach the flat ground at about the 1000m contour. There is good looking camp spots here near the bush. Head southwest to over look the outlet stream of the Acheron Lakes.
The outlet drops down a spectacular gorge, mainly in the bush the whole way. Its white water from top to bottom but fairly narrow and can be jumped across in a few places. Look for an animal trail which zigzags down into the gorge to reach the true right stream bank and follow it down river on deer tails. Cross where require to avoid active slips and steep bush covered slopes. There were deer trails on both sides but I mainly traveled on the true right. The bush opens up lower down and near the main flats of the Upukerora I spotted some orange bait stations.
Once out on the main flats, cross the outlet stream and head south, skirting around patches of bush along the way. There are loads of camp spots down here. The Upukerora enters the forest at about the 700m contour, the flats don't extend down the river like the map indicates. There is no marked route on the true left and in December 2019 the river was too high to cross to see if there were markers on the true right (although I did spot more bait stations on that side of the river at the flats).
Its fairly slow going in the bush, keeping close to the river where possible. Deer trails follow the river bank but do have a habit of veering away up the mountain side. Eventually reach the first of two small river flats where there is decent grassy camping available.