Altitude: 0m to 89m. Gain: 179m. Loss: 125m . Gradient: 1 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
From Big Bay Hut you can head north to the Awarua River mouth and ford there if you wish, otherwise head south to reach a track junction where a sign points to the swing bridge over the river. Follow a marked route up the true right of the river to open ground northeast of the river mouth where track markers lead off into the bush. The Pyke/Big Bay route follows an old bulldozed track made by asbestos prospectors in the 1960's (I think) who were going to look for asbestos in the Red Hills. The folk who use the baches/cribs at Big Bay maintain the route as a quad bike track if the wheel marks in the mud are anything to go by. What this all means is this route segment from the Awarua River as far as Paulin Creek is very easy travel (compared to the rest of the Pyke) and it is simple going. Paulin Creek is followed down to reach the vast flood plain of the Pyke at Pyke Crossing. There are excellent campsites here on both sides of the river, and are the last good ones until past the Barrier River some 6 odd hours further on. An old airstrip is on the true left amoungst scrub. The open areas down river from Pyke Crossing are all densely scrubbed.