Altitude: 713m to 1020m. Gain: 32m. Loss: 335m . Gradient: 16 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
From the summit of the up-and-over track, the marked, cut track swings briefly down the main spur before dropping the western face to pick up a side-spur below. The descent is steep, but well marked and cut - crossing the next sidestream west, and following it to the main river. After cutting 100m further downriver on the northern bank, the track ends above a rapid. The main Oroua River must be crossed here above the rapids - if you can't cross above the rapid then you won't be able to cross it further downstream and your only option is to head back up and out via Mangahuia or wait out lower flows (good campspots are available).
This crossing is normally thigh to waist deep just above the rapids, though sometimes swimming the pool 50m further upstream (at the lower end of bluffs on the southern bank) is safer.
Once across, head down the southern bank for 100m. The normal route crosses half of the flow again to a long thin island, which is followed downriver before recrossing to the southern bank. After a section of windfall, good bush opens up on the southern bank with unmarked tracks heading downriver. A large triangle on the river bank marks the start of the track to Iron Gates Hut, 20m beyond.