Altitude: 14m to 98m. Gain: 111m. Loss: 28m . Gradient: 2 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/5)
The walk starts at the carpark on the south side of Mangatoetoe bridge, 2km west of Cape Palliser. From the carpark, a gate leads onto the southern bank of the river. The track drops to the creek after a few meters, and crosses the creek, picking up a 4WD track on the far northern side of the valley. A good track leads about 2km upriver, eventually dropping to the riverbed. Multiple river crossings are needed: the river was low when I visited – rarely over knee deep. However, debris across the entire valley floor shows how much water it can carry after a storm.
The valley slowly tightens and becomes scrubbier. By the time you reach the hut you are in tall manuka scrub / bush. The hut itself is in a small clearing 30m from the river on the east side, reached by an unmarked track. The hut is not visible from the river and easy to miss – check the map as you go to see where to start looking out for the track. A small cairn mark the point, but it is not obvious.