Sunday 3 July 2022
A perfect day for a walk by the seaside: fine, sunny, blue skies, cool with a light north-westerly breeze.
Nine trampers drove the 65 kms from Oamaru to the end of Anderson Road, off the Goodwood Road
east of Palmerston. Shortly after 9 o’clock we set off walking along the track through a replanted area
beside Andersons Lagoon. The lagoon itself was fairly high but the track remained dry.
After about half a km the track reached Stony Creek beach and we turned north, past the closed mouth
of the lagoon to the steel ladder which climbed up the cliff. It was about half tide, which meant that the
beach route would be impassable, so we climbed the ladder and the following zig-zag steps up to reach the
esplanade walking track which undulated along the clifftops for some two kms, crossing several small
streams on the way. In several places, patches of New Zealand spinach appeared and were sampled.
Eventually the track turned down an awkward bank where a fixed rope provided some support as we
dropped down to the beach. It was now 10.20 so we settled down for a leisurely morning tea in the
bright sunshine under the cliff. After half an hour or so, we packed up again and headed up the sandy
beach which would take us to our end point at the mouth of the Waihemo-Shag River. On the way we
were entertained by wildlife. There were rows of spotted shags nesting on rocky ledges like tenements
in an old European city. Some nests had two occupants but most had one; all were resplendent in their
breeding plumage with double crests and blue eye patches.
Further along, we came across half a dozen basking sea lions but none seemed energetic enough to
threaten our progress. A myriad of tracks across the sand suggested that many more were either secluded
in the sand dunes or had gone out to sea.
At a quarter to twelve, we reached the end of the beach and settled down on the Shag Estuary side of
the sand dunes for lunch in the sunshine and to take in the full view up the river with the snowy Rock
and Pillar Range just poking above the intervening hills. Half an hour later we packed up and wandered
over to the river mouth.
The river had a steady flow, which would have made crossing tricky. Then we saw a large bull sea lion
emerge from the surf and heave his way up on to the beach on the other side.
At the same time, another, smaller, sea lion could be seen splashing its way down the river from the
estuary. It, too, clambered out of the water and up on to the north-side beach. There the two sea lions
got together and demonstrated why the river and headland may not have been named after birds.
Not to seem too voyeuristic, we turned around and started the homeward leg back down the beach.
We got to the cove where we had come down from the high track. The intention had been to go back
along at beach level as far as possible but it soon became clear that, although it was only one hour after
low tide, the combination of a relatively high low tide and strong waves from the south-east made the
headlands impassable. So we all clambered up the awkward bank and walked back along the ups and
downs of the clifftop track until the steel ladder took us down again to the beach at Stony Creek. A short
walk along the beach and up the side of the lagoon took us back to the cars at 2.15. The combination of
sunshine, seascape, cliffs, beach and wildlife had made for an interesting day which was enjoyed by
Phyllis, Maurice, Lynette, Julian, Jenny, Emily, Robbie, Uwe and John.
MEETING OF THE NOTMC, 13 JUNE, 2022.
The meeting was attended by16 people.
There was no inward correspondence to be noted.
TRIP REPORTS: Trips were made to Studholmes Bush and the White Horse
near Waimate, and Mt. Dryburgh.
Wednesday Walkers went to a variety of
places- Kauru Hill, Waihao Forks,Tapui, Durden Hill and Mt. Baldie near
Waikouaiti, and Enfield Escarpment.
Jonathan gave a presentation of items from the
Club’s archives including programmes, gear lists, trip accounts
accompanied by wonderful line drawings and odd snatches of poetry
(doggerel?)from the Club publication “Footprints” in 1987 when Dave
Mellish was President and Jenny Kitchin (Gray) was Secretary, and going
on until 1991.Accounts included a 9day trip on the Dusky Track , trips
to Fox’s Peak, thr Greenstone /Caples and many other 3-5 day trips.
There was a wonderful account of Ian Roger’s opinion of the newly
introduced GPS system- cost $6671.00 then- and a great caricature of him
done up in a metal suit and wheeling the whole contraption in a
wheelbarrow. There were some really entertaining trip reports and we
recognised a number of familiar names – many still going strong- all of
this made for a very entertaining evening.
REPORT OF 46th AGM of NOTMC, 9 May , 2022.
Fourteen members were present. There were 4 apologies.
Minutes of the 45th AGM were read.
President’s Report: This noted that member ship numbers were steady,
standing currently at 86.
Thirtytwo trips were listed and 21 went with a total of 40 people.
Covid concerns affected a number of trips.
Treasurer’s Report: this showed a healthy year with total income of
$2221.38 and a cash surplus of $255.38
$45 family; $30 single; $15 social: $10 students.
Election of Officers: President; Julian Hardy
Committee: Karyl Robertson, Julia Christie, Bess Allan, John Chetwin,
There was no general business and the meeting closed at 7.50 p.m.
The normal meeting which followed noted there had been no Club
nights since February due to Covid.
Expeditions had been to the the Cameron Valley, the Otago
Harbour Bike Track after crossing from Port Chalmers to Portobello, up
Ben Ohau, Mt. Miserable- biking from the Reid Road carpark to Kahikatea
Hut, Lake Clearwater, Arthurs Pass which included Otehake Hot Pools and
going through Cave Stream, and Carey’s Creek starting near the bottom of
A Trip Planning session for the next Programme was
held at the conclusion of the Trip Reports.
Sunday 26 June 2022
19 assembled at the Port Chalmers Beach Street boat harbour at 11am to catch the prebooked boat ride to Quarantine Island.
It was about a 10 minute cruise over dead still water to the wharf, where we disembarked. After being welcomed by the resident Island Keeper, we climbed the steep steps to the main island buildings. After wandering around the St Martin Lodge we inspected the large building which used to be the Married Quarters and is now the main historic display area of photos and past stories of island life, especially its use as a quarantine place for ships passengers arriving with an infectious disease.
It was then an easy walk over the 17ha island and climbing to the 58m high summit of the hill at the far end. Views were taken in , both up and down the harbour, before returning by a circular route to the wharf at 12-30pm for our trip back to Port Chalmers.
After lunch some opted to travel down to Aramoana, where we did a short wetlands walk and a walk along the 1200m long mole which protects the entrance to the Otago Harbour.
A relaxing day out on a sunny winters day in an area we do not often go.
Thanks to Chris for organising the day and the boat trip. Ross M
Three of us left Oamaru at 8am and the day was looking good. We duly arrived in waimate and met up with our fourth tramper, and it was decided to leave a car at each end of the track. We started walking along the railway track at the Studholme Bush end near the gorge at about 9.30am, and soon the climb up the Bellbird track began. It takes you up through the bush to the tops. There we took a little detour to a waterfall, which wasn’t showing much signs of life, but there are also large totara in the area. We heard lots of bellbirds, tui and fantails on the route. As you get higher there are lovely views over Waimate out towards the coast, and in the other direction towards the Kakanui and St. Mary ranges.
We reached the newly revamped White Horse at about 11:45am. The new look outs are solidly built providing great a great viewing platform, with a colourful Maori carving and poles painted by local schools. The horse itself has been painted, and everywherethere are new plantings and pathways. Lunch was eatne i the sun then we made our way down the track ending at Point Bush Eco-sanctuary. Just before the end of the track we came across a wallaby with it’s foot trapped in the fence. It took a lot of emails and phone calls to find someone to put it out of it’s misery, and only back at the car that we found a phone number of the pest control operation.
After a brief stop at the Maori cemetary we made our way back to the car and then through the gorge down to Glenavy, where we were rewarded with icecreams and then on home at about 3pm from a very pleasant day out.