Monthly Report

Club Night February 2018

Monday, February 12th, 2018

There had been a lot of tramping trips since our last meeting in November, but members enjoyed hearing about or reliving them during the reports.

Hidden Lake in a high basin on the Wether Range was a hidden gem, which was worth the slog up to.

A mountain bike ride near Macraes which included the Redback Enclosure, led to a proposed shortcut which ended up being the long way home.

Chinamans Cave was approached from Trotters Gorge on a hot day.

January saw trips to Potts Hut in the Hakkatere Conservation Park, a long day climbing Mts. Alexander  and Nobbler from Dansey Pass summit, while in February so far there have been two wet trips. The first to Hinewai Reserve on Banks Peninsula where there is some impressive regrowth bush and recently a rebaiting job in the Herbert Forest tracks which netted several dead hedgehogs, rats and a weasel.

Wednesday walkers have continued their wide range of different walks from Evensdale Glen in the south to Freehold Creek in the West. The hot summer has led to the last few weeks walks being along rivers with many swimming opportunities.

Guest speaker was Lewis Hore who showed a video of one of his 5 trips to Sutherland Sound in Fiordland. This involved scenic flight in by helicopter with his kayak to look for the South Island Kokako, which has not been seen for many years although its distinctive song has been heard. We were treated to a glimpse of an isolated fiord with a very narrow and shallow entrance where it rains nonstop for days, where bird life thrives and bush covers everything.

Clubnight November 2017

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

13th November 2017
The recent 40th Anniversary of the North Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club was held at Purton’s Café, Maheno. It was enjoyed by 61 people, with half of them being past members. A great meal followed by cutting of the cake by founding members and many stories told resulted in a successful function.
Past weekend trips include a tramp into the Youngman Stream Hut via Tarn Hut in the Puketeraki Range, and a trip to Huxley Forks Hut and South Huxley stream. A Working Bee in the Herbert Forest cleared tracks and windfall plus step maintenance. Wednesday Walkers have been to Saltwater Creek, Trotters Gorge, Anderson’s Lagoon and also had a Herbert Forest Working Bee.
Our Speaker for the evening was Past President, Jane Green who, with husband, Graeme, recently enjoyed a cycling trip in Cuba. Starting from Havana, the Exodus company provided local Tour Guides and a support bus for those who wanted a break from cycling. Being a communist and egalitarian society, Cuba has an excellent Health and Education system. The people seem contented and quite social. Everyone has a job, however it may only be for a few hours per week. Of every dollar earned, 68% goes to paying back Government debt.

Club Night September 2017

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

The September Club night meeting was attended by 26 members including 1 new member.

Mention was made of several members who have lost family members or who have health issues.

There was a reminder to enroll for the Clubs 40th Anniversary celebrations on the 28-29 October by emailing;, or phoning Jane at 03 4346363.


The Wednesday Walkers had 3 new walks on North Otago farms and runs.

 Roseneath Run near Waitaki Dam with its spectacular limestone tors and great views of the Waitaki Valley and St. Marys Range.

A farm walk at Katiki with views from Moeraki lighthouse to Shag Point guided by Anita, the farm owner.

Blairgowrie Run on Turnbulls Road with fantastic views over the North Otago downlands and Kakanui mountains.

The Club had 2 trips go, with one being cancelled.

Wet weather limited the Mount Studholme trip to a walk in Gunns Bush and Kelceys Bush, with exploration further up above the waterfall.

Last Sunday was an A2O bike ride to Rakis Tunnel and home via Victoria Hill. There were some incidents along the way including a broken chain, 2 groups going different ways on emerging from the tunnel, and having to endure a short sharp hailstorm on the way home.


Coming trips are Lindis Peak, Hinewai Reserve, East Otago Forests mountain bike ride and 1000 acre Plateau for Labour weekend. This NOTMC website has more details.


Our guest speaker was club member Maurice Gray who showed us how to maintain and ride our bikes.

Things like seat height, seat angle, handle bar height and distance from the seat all need to be set up for the individual rider.

Regular maintenance needs to include tyre pressures, brake pads, smooth wheel and pedal rotation, chain wearing, cleaning and lubrication and the packing of a spare tube and fixing tools.

We also learnt some riding tips such as having your foot right down on the outside when negotiating a corner and sliding your backside over the back of the seat when going down a steep hill!

Maurice finished by showing us photos of their hut and track caretaking of the Old Ghost Road, a new spectacular mountain biking and walking track on the West Coast.


Club Night August 2017

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Two New members were welcomed to the monthly Club Night.


Trip reports:

The Herbert Forest tracks were too wet to do maintenance on but the traps needed to be rebaited.

This resulted in a good catch of a large variety of pests.

5 members travelled to Alexandra and biked the Mellinium and Upper Clutha trails and 8 didn’t go to the South Temple because of heavy rain causing flooded rivers.


Wednesday Walkers:

There was a round trip to Cape Wanbrow in the rain, a cold walk on Kuriheka, a round trip across farmland in the Earthquakes area on a nice fine day and a circuit from Tapui Homestead to Davidson Road and back on an “almost Spring” day.


Coming Trips:

A new circuit in the Mt. Studholm area, a walk in to Liverpool Hut and a bike ride along the A2O to Rakis Tunnel and back via Victoria Hill.


The rest of the evening was an information sharing time.

John Chetwin led a discussion on risk management. He pointed out that risk equals likelihood multiplied by consequences. This was followed by a discussion on the risks of losing trampers, injury, and the weather.

Bess Allan showed us how to read a map and use a compass.

Neville Cory talked about crossing rivers. Always put safety first and don’t cross if it looks too dangerous. Study the river looking for the best place to cross, eddies, boulders and where to exit. This was followed by a demonstration on how to cross with others. Pointers emphasised were to have a strong tall person on the upstream side, take small steps and be prepared to turn around if the river looks like becoming impassable.

Members appreciated brushing up on these survival skills.


Club Night July 2017

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Two new members were welcomed.

The Club will celebrate its 40th anniversary on the 28-29 October 2017. All members and ex members are invited to register.

1080 has been laid in the Herbert Forest so dog owners were advised to keep them on a lead.

The pest traps the club looks after are to be rebaited shortly.

Trip Reports:

7 trampers headed up the North Temple for a cold but fine day, stayed at Twizel for the night and attempted going up the Pyramids in the fog the next day with limited success.

A round trip from Bethune’s Gully up Mt. Cargill returning via the organ pipes and Sawyers Bay was enjoyed by 9 members.

Wednesday Walkers:

A walk around the historic sites of Hampden and Herbert covered 13k on a very windy day.

Trig L was climbed via a steep ridge from the south, returning down a 4wd track.

Next week, as the weather looked dicey, it was decided to walk the Kurow A2O Track down to the winery, returning up beside the Waitaki River to the new bridges.

The 5 July was the mid-winter dinner at the Star and Garter but a 7k Papakaio farm walk was enjoyed in the morning.

Our Club Night Guest speaker was Arun Gunn from Port Blakely, the forest owners of the Herbert Forest, other New Zealand and also overseas forests.

He told us about the Forest Stewardship Council, an international gold standard certification for responsible forest management. Port Blakely NZ have been certified since 2003. One of the aims is to maintain or enhance the long term economic, social and environmental benefits from the forest.

It involves forest monitoring for things like forest health, nutrients needed, planting, tree management and harvesting, and a tree can be tracked right through to the finished product.

Wilding pine spread is anticipated with help for control given where appropriate. Significant natural areas such as podocarp remnants are identified and their social use is encouraged, as happens in the Herbert Forest. Pests are being controlled.

 Arun thoughtfully answered many questions from the meeting.

Coming Trips:

16 July there will be a working bee in the Herbert Forest. Because it is so wet it will mainly involve baiting traps and bait stations.

29-30 July is a “relaxed” biking trip in the Alexandra area.

The “whats on” page has more details.