Altitude: 0m to 19m. Gain: 51m. Loss: 59m . Gradient: 0 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
Note: I walked this in 2008. The route along the coast between Long Reef and Penguin Rock went through dense scrub and was fairly overgrown, but was followable. DOC now says on their website that this is completely overgrown and you have to follow the rocky foreshore the whole way along, either side of high tide.
From Martins Bay hut a good track goes as far as Long Reef where there is a seal colony, and chances to see Fiordland Crested Penguins. Beyond Long Reef a muddy and overgrown track used to go through the scrub to past Penguin Rock (see note above). The route drops to the rocky foreshore past Penguin Rock point and the waters edge past a couple of baches/cribs to the start of Three Mile Beach. Ford Mackenzie Creek at the beach (impassible after rain) and continue up Three Mile Beach. Big Bay Hut is located in scrub between the north end of the beach and the Awarua River. What confused matters is there is also a large number of private baches/cribs located here and a confusing network of tracks connecting them with the beach and the river. At the beach edge look for a pole which in 2008 had a large fishing buoy attached to it and a deer stag skull on the top, and take the track beside it inland. A windsock also flutters from a high pole above the beach: if you reach parallel to this windsock then you have gone too far north up the beach. The track winds past a bach/crib and reaches a track junction where a sign post points southeast to the swing bridge over the Awarua River and northwards to the DOC hut. Head north and Big Bay Hut is a few dozen metres further on.