From the Visitor Centre, set off along Slip Track climbing through bush up a small hill to a clearing at the top. A short detour takes you to a lookout with great panoramic views.
Slip Track descends to and over a historic tramline and then continues downhill to the junction with Pipeline Track. This short track starts with a steep gully and small stream crossing and finishes at the intersection with the graveled Lower Nihotupu Dam Road. Follow the road which climbs sharply to meet Hamilton Track which features waterfalls and spectacular kauri knolls.
Hamilton Track emerges onto the grassy Crusher Pipe Track which you follow briefly before joining the gravelled Smiths Road. Cross over the lake and a short climb takes you to the junction with Huia Dam Road.
From there this section of trail will transition to the second portion of the Hillary Trail, but runners can break up this great longer track in a variety of ways.