Monday, August 30th, 2021
This was a wonderfully snowy, wintery trip, even returning on the Sunday afternoon over the Lindis
Pass in a blizzard! But Neville drove the van steadily onward, undaunted by horizontal falling snow.
The nine of us had left early Saturday at 6.30am and reached the Snow Farm carpark by 10.15am,
giving the four cross-country skiers just enough time to hire skis and join their lesson by 10.30.
The remaining five strapped on snowshoes over our tramping boots and headed off along the trail to
Meadow Hut for lunch. Snowshoeing is easy: there is no technique involved and it is light and easy
on your feet. Just watch out for snow drifts! We cross-crossed the hills on the return to base,
marvelling at the wide sparkling snowy landscape.
The team stayed the night at Zula Lodge – a comfortable backpackers with a roomy kitchen and
living area at Albert town, after dining out in style at Relishes in Wanaka.
Next morning we headed around Lake Wanaka to Diamond Lake and a 3 hour return trip up to the
Wanaka lookout, then climbing Rocky Mountain where we got impressive vistas up Lake Wanaka
and into the Matukituki Valley.
With an eye on the snow clouds rolling in, there was no stopping for lunch in Wanaka where snow
was flurrying past, and we made straight for Lindis Pass.
A great trip, and now we are keen to book a Snow Farm hut for an overnight stay next Winter!
Wednesday, August 11th, 2021
Queenstown – June 31st/Aug 1st. Combined trip with the Hokonui Tramping Club.
Eight of us, including one of our newest, and the youngest club member, (13) left Oamaru early Saturday morning to be in Queenstown by 11.30. There we were joined by two other NOTMC people already in Queenstown and five Hokonui members — including one who now lives in Napier! Shane from Hokonui had planned a walk round the Mt Crichton Loop track, taking in the Lake Dispute track and we set out from Twelve Mile Delta about 1.00pm. We walked a well formed track, gently uphill through beech forest till we stopped for lunch at a restored historic gold miners hut, once lived in by Sam Summers and his family. Nearby there are other interesting remnants of gold mining times including a rock tunnel which was an old tail race. From there we climbed a bit higher to come out into open tussocky land, enjoyed great views and then dropped back down the Glenorchy Rd via the Lake Dispute walkway.
Depending on interests and levels of energy, people did a variety of things on Saturday night including night skiing, attending a free concert on the slopes, a fire works display, riding the luge and enjoying a good pub meal in town topped off by watching the NZ Womens’ Sevens team win gold at the Olympics.
Sunday, the two extra NOTMC did their own thing and two others decided to do a different short walk than the main group, so the group was a little smaller, but we were also joined by another Hokonui member there for just the day. We did a shorter walk departing from Arrowtown, walking along the Arrow Gorge Track to join the Saw Pit Gully track. A good climb through beech forest again to a saddle with views over the lakes then back down to Bush Creek to the cars parked near the old Chinese settlement. Lunch in Arrowtown and home, having been exceptionally lucky with the weather, no rain at all despite a very wet weather forecast.
Many thanks to Shane from Hokonui who planned the walks, organised the accommodation and generally kept everyone in order. It was a very enjoyable trip, and a good opportunity to meet new people to swap stories and ideas with. People enjoyed the chance to choose different walks and activities and both clubs agreed we’d like to get together for a joint trip again some time in the not too distant future.
Friday, July 16th, 2021
23 May 2021
Seven keen trampers, armed with loppers and clippers, set off from the Trotters Gorge car park and up the track past the Otago University hut to the junction where the tracks diverge, with one branch heading west up Trotters Creek and the other going north up an unnamed creek to Dave’s Track. There the party split, with four going west and three north; it was agreed to regather at the junction at 2 o’clock.
The Trotters Creek team succeeded in clearing the track right through to the boundary of the Reserve, providing good access for anyone heading in that direction. The Dave’s Track crew found the track to be much more overgrown than expected and progress accordingly much slower, getting around half-way along the track.
Thanks to Phyllis, Maurice, Ross, Julian, Neville and Robbie for a good day’s work. John.
Friday, July 16th, 2021
Sunday 4 July 2021
Five trampers set off at 9.45 am from the Bethunes Gully car park in north Dunedin, having driven the 114 kms from Oamaru. The day was fine – not a cloud in the sky – and brisk, with a heavy frost in the secluded valley. The track is dual purpose in its lower reaches, although no mountain bikes were seen, and it winds steadily at a reasonable gradient up from Lindsay Creek. It initially passes through stands of towering conifers with native undergrowth, but this soon changes to lowland native forest, becoming more stunted as it climbs and transiting to subalpine associations dominated by Dracophylla near the top. At about the half-way point, a short loop track goes off to the east, where we stopped for smoko. We then re-joined the main track via the apparently unused return leg of the loop and carried on to reach the top ridge shortly before midday. There we turned left for the final 20 minutes up to the summit, dominated by the 105 metre television mast.
We loitered on the summit to take in the 360o panorama, from the snow-clad Lammerlaws and Rock and Pillars in the west, past the Silverpeaks and Horse Range to the deeply sculpted coastline to the north, the spectacular Otago Harbour in the east and Dunedin City to the south. We then returned down the track to settle in a sunny, sheltered nook overlooking Blueskin Bay for lunch.
Lunch over, we set off at 1 o’clock back down to the track junction where we took the east branch. This headed gently down into a saddle, past Buttars Peak and reaching the famous Organ Pipes after about half an hour’s walking. As we sat admiring the standing basalt columns of the ‘pipes’ high above us, we speculated about what had brought down the many pipes in the jumble where we sat and the chances of more falling on us.
The return journey, retracing our steps, took 1 ½ hours to reach the carpark at 3.15. All agreed it had been a great day with interesting bush, spectacular views and perfect tramping weather. The numerous walkers of all ages, many with dogs, and runners we had met seemed to share that view. Those enjoying it were Sylvia, Uwe, Bev, Margaret and John.
Monday, May 17th, 2021
Sunday 16 May 2021
Dunedin Cycling day around Otago harbour 16th May
After an anxious week watching the weather, it turned on a good day for us for our cycle trip.
We met at Port Chalmers to group up and enjoy a coffee etc before heading around to Back Beach. The ‘Port to Port’ ferry was booked for us to sail at 11.00. Rachel was amazing at loading the 10 ebikes and 5 real bikes into what appeared an impossible space. It all went like clockwork, and we enjoyed a thorough commentary as we crossed the water.
As we landed at Broad Bay, we had a warm up peddle of 3.5km back to Portobello. This involved a small section that is the final part of the cycle-way construction. Meeting Marion there, we had our total of 16, to head into a bit of a wind as we wandered along the almost flat trail to a Macendrew Bay Cafe for lunch.
Once well nourished, it was totally flat but interesting riding on the water’s edge to head into Dunedin for another meet up at the ‘Teeth’. The next section through the industrial and port areas has a specific bike track, a little harder to follow, but I knew all the turns to get us onto the W Harbour Trail out to it’s finish at St Leonards.
From there we headed onto conveniently placed back-roads, that would eventually lead us back into Port Chalmers. There were a few hilly parts on this section, but we all eventually made it back to the vehicles, without loosing anyone or any accidents or brake-downs.
Thanks to Lyn, Barbara, John, John, Graham, Chris, Les, Ross, Judith, Karyl, Georgie, Noel, Linley, Kim and Marion for a good day! Jane