Warning: this route segment has not been experienced by the author
Altitude: 796m to 1363m. Gain: 589m. Loss: 35m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
The route towards Otutu/Manson from Ngaawapurua Hut crosses private land and as such DOC no longer maintain it. To hammer the point home they have removed the swingbridge over the Ngaruroro too,.
From Ngaawpurua hut, head downriver either on terraces or in the Harkness riverbed to the forks. There is a good pool with the options to either ford at the outflow, or swim in the deep slow section at the forks. The river was waist deep when I visited in normal flows, could eisily become impassible, and even at in normal condiitions would not be recommended for those uncomfortable/unfamiliar with river crossings.
Once across, head up onto the terrace just downstream/opposite the forks - there remains of the track climb there, or just make your own way. A clearing exists on the terrace with potential for camping if the river were up, heading north. From the clearing the old track heads up the spur to the SW. The track is still marked with intermittent permolat / tape, but it not maintained. However, the ground-trial is fairly obvious - the track is moderately well used - and the spur itself is obvious. The route should not pose trouble to people used to following routes/badly maintained tracks.
Climbing through beech and later scrubby manuka you emerge onto a sharp rocky ridgeline, and 800m later reach the signposted track junction at pt1373. 1hr15-2hr30 hut to juncton