Classic Trotters Gorge

Sunday 26 March 2023

It had been a number of years since the Club had done this classic trip, so with six of us leaving Oamaru and meeting another three from Dunedin at Trotter’s Gorge, our party of 9 was looking forward to a good day out. It was going to be an interesting day out seeing what the tracks were like, if they were overgrown and with the rain we had over Saturday night if it was going to be a bit wet and muddy.

The 1st part of the track is a good track up past the Otago University hut, but about 500m past the hut the main track ends. At this point we crossed Trotter’s creek and followed a not bad track up to the start of a track that the club has maintain over the years called Dave’s Track, named in memory of a past member of the club.

 The 1st part of this track climbs up through some bush and then drops down into a wee valley full of scrub and bush. It soon came apparent that we need to go back at some time and do some clearing, but we were still able to follow a faint track up to where it goes under a cliff face. After that all hell broke out with a big mess of the track with pig rooting’s, so it took us a bit of time to find our way up out of the valley.

 Morning tea was taken at this point so we could dry out a bit after getting wet pushing through wet bush. After morning tea, we headed out on to the forestry road and up to South Peak 405m, finding a not bad route to the top. We spent about 10 min on top taking in the views of the Otago Coast line and the inland hills, but with a cool breeze and a bit of light drizzle, we headed back down to find the track down to Pigeon bush.

Back down on the road we found a good cut track through the gorse which headed down the ridge to Pigeon Bush. The 1st half of the track had been well cut and the 2nd part was not as well maintained, but was still a good track. We arrived in to Pigeon bush about 1pm and found a sunny spot for lunch.

 After lunch we crossed over into private land and followed Pigeon Creek back down the valley and through the gorge part, the track as I remember was a bit scarce, so where we lost the track, we had to take to the creek, bugger wet feet. After about an hour we met up with Trotter’s Creek which we followed on a good track thanks to some Wednesday Walker members cutting it back a few months ago. From here it was only a couple of km back past the University hut to the vehicle, after 7hrs and 14.5 k. I think we all had a satisfying day out. All in all, the tracks, apart from Dave’s track, were not bad to follow, which was good because it would a shame to lose them.

I would like to thank the property owners for letting as cross their land and also I would like to thank the members that came along and making it a very enjoyable day.

Thanks to, Colin, Mike, Julie, Roz, Bess, Clare, Rodney and Helen.