Altitude: 557m to 744m. Gain: 282m. Loss: 102m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
A tough route runs upriver from Barlow to Upper Makaroro Hut. Though good shingle has at times made this easy travel with a few deep pools, it is currently (2015) deeply scoured out and requires much scrambling and crossing of deep pools.
The first 1km are good on shingle flats to the start of the first gorge. A narrow slot with deep pool follows - belly-deep in normal flows on my last visit. From here the shingle bed gives out to river rocks of varying sizes and progress slows. Frequent crossings are required, and several more gorged sections follow. 3 more deep pools must be passed - all either requiring a swim or a rock-hugging traverse of the cliff-face at river height. Things improve slightly for the last 1km to Upper Makaroro hut, but ypu'll probably be too cold and tired to notice by this point!
Upper Makaroro hut is visible from the river. A triangle on the bank 20m downriver (opposite the base of the track descending from the east) marks the start of the track to the hut.