Altitude: 712m to 759m. Gain: 82m. Loss: 36m . Gradient: 2 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
The Ngaruroa River is large and travel in the riverbed is likely to be realistic only in low flows. A route leads upriver to Omarukokere Biv, and can be traveled almost entirely on the valleysides - but at least 1 crossing will be required, and 5 crossings are preferred. If the river is not crossable at Rocks Ahead, it will probably be impassible at Omarukokere too.
From Rocks Ahead Hut, head up the track towards Venison Tops on the eastern (true right) valleyside. About 50m above the river the steepness of the slope lessens and good deer trails (2014) lead along the valleyside upriver. These can be followed 1.5km to the first major bend where it is necessary to drop to the valley floor to cross the sidestream. It is possible to remain on the eastern bank round this bend, but a slip means that a a climb/scramble is required. If the river is low, 2 crossings avoid this.
The riverbed becomes broad shingle, and travel on the valleyfloor is possible for much of the remainder of the trip, with bush-bashing on banks required in places. Good crossings to the western bank exist at the biv, or 300m downriver at the downriver side of the 1st major bend. If on the western bank, a tape-marked side is necessary to avoid bluffs and marsh just below the hut.