There are two options available when walking the first section of track from Tawhana. Either follow the same route to Te Panaa Hut and up onto the Six Foot Track, or in high river flow you can cross the swing bridge at Tawhana and walk a section of grass to pick up the track heading south on the true right of the Tawhana Stream. From here it is a 7km easy grade walk to reach Te Motiwha Saddle on the Waikare/Waimana divide. Continue for 5km to reach the Paetawa Track turnoff and from here it is another 3km to Makomako Hut (8 bunks). There are no strenuous climbs on this trip.
Time: 7-10 hrs.
Most of the land below the Mangaone Stream and in the Otapukawa Stream is private and users are asked to respect this.