From Te Puke, follow the poled route west for 300m to the top of the hill, and turn north on a well travelled trail towards the trig. This ground trail branches at the trig, with one fork heading NE along the tops. Follow this over Te Pukeohikarua and over the next saddle, swinging briefly west to another unnamed peak which is sidled on the western face. The trail becomes less and less clear as you progress, but going is relatively easy through tussock and low scrub.
You are now at the northernmost point of the clear tops, as shown on the map, 500m ENE of pt1429. From here, follow the spur running just west of north down to the river. The first section is scrubby, but can be bypassed by remaining on the western face in clear subalpine vegetation. Once the beech becomes tall enough, cut right onto the spur and follow it down all the way to the river. Careful navigation is required where the spur 'kinks' to avoid dropping to sidestreams.
Once in the valley floor, travel in in the riverbed. This is stoney and clear of vegetation, but the first 2km (to the first major forks) suffers from numerous logjams and a few scrambles are required. Below this the riverbed is clear and going is easy. Travel on the banks becomes increasingly possible. One small gorge can be negotiated in-water in normal flows. Numerous campspots exist below the first confluence, but none above.
The confluence with the Mangatainoka River is marked by two pieces of yellow tape on a tree. From here a marked, occasionally cur track runs downstream to Mangatainoka Hut, 1.5km away. Several crossings are required but are ankle deep in normal flows.