Altitude: 250m to 1358m. Gain: 2750m. Loss: 4134m . Gradient: 4 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Prolonged rivers (4/5) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
A valley route between the Lewis Pass and Arthur's Pass roads with 3 lowish passes - Devilskin, Lake Mann and Harpers Passes. I walked this route in a mixture of snow and rain - but in reality it is not a recommended bad weather route as the Taramakau and Otehake rivers are large and easily become uncrossable.
The recommended direction is probably the reverse of that described here, as the section from Otira to Kiwi hut is the most likely to become flooded. However, hundreds of Te Araroans walk the Harper Pass each year, so don't be put off by my warnings. Unless the weather is bad.
The entire route is either cut tracks or poled routes, with the exception of the Taramakau river which is easily followed. Basic track-finding skills are required, but this makes a good trip for trampers wanting some good experience on lesser-used tracks.