A walking group go on day walks within two hours driving from Oamaru each Wednesday.
You are welcome to join us for the day and no membership is required.
Trip information can be sent to your email address by Tuesday, the day before the trip. If you wish to go on this email list please send your email address to email@example.com stating your wish to be included in the mail out.
Unless otherwise notified trips will leave at 8-30 am each Wednesday from outside the Towey St. tennis courts, Oamaru . You are welcome to just turn up to be included in that days trip, though be aware that there is the very odd cancellation or time alteration.
See down further under Group Skills and Day Gear Checklist for some things to be aware of on the walk and what to bring.
This Weeks Walk
Wednesday the 18th November
Although 5 car loads arrived at Bethunes Gully car park, only 2 stayed,while the rest opted to go to the Orakanui Sanctuary, possibly because of the sleet shower that arrived at the same time as us.
Anyway 8 set off up the Mt Cargill track for half an hour before stopping for morning tea. There Ivan discovered he had left his lunch in the car which entailed a quick trip back to get it. The rest of us waited and enjoyed the bird song in the lush bush.
We made it to the summit under the TV tower, retreating back down the north face for lunch in a sheltered spot.
We then opted for a side trip to the organ pipes, a volcanic lava formation that looks like pipe organ pipes. The columns have either 4 or 5 unequal sides. After a return to the main track, it was an easy hours downhill walk to the car park.
The most difficult part of the day was trying to turn right on to the motorway near the gardens corner while thousands of Fleetwood Mac fans entered the city down the Northern Motorway.
Wednesday the 18th November
(The Pipeline track, Rustlers track, Swampy Ridge Track, Leith Saddle Track.)
Fighting the wind for access to my bag I exchanged gym shoes for tramping boots. A few icy rain drops stung my face. Wendy assured us, “It will be sheltered in the bush and the wind might drop off by lunch time.”
I relaxed as we follow the Pipeline Track in the shelter of the bush with the wind whistling high above in the tree tops. Ferns and bog plants graced the near hillside while below us the trees interspersed with low dracophylum allowing a views and occasional splashes of sunshine.
Above us a cumulonimbus moved in to drop a light shower. Jackets were put on, but this wasn’t going to stop this intrepid trio that I’d joined. I had already managed several photo’s along the broken pipeline by the time we stopped in a sheltered spot for Morning tea.
Again we set off along the muddy path until we came to the junction with the Rustlers track. Wendy commented that the track was drier here. Deviously a passing by Cumulonimbus cloud, overhearing this decided to change things. As we set off up hill tiny hail stones started to fall. As our shoulders gathered more white flecks, Ken suggested, “ Let’s move under the trees and put on jackets. ”
We carried on upward and the cloud passed over and the weather cleared. Wendy, Cheerful as ever said, “It could be worse.”
We had a view of Mt Cargill and wondered how the other group were getting on. The tower on top was shrouded in yet another cumulonimbus. We were warming up as we climbed, zips opened and hats came off.
Bush transitioned into Dracophyllum and Manuka. Among the sub alpine shrubs and flaxes we found a sheltered lunch spot before setting off across the exposed ridge. Icy wind bit into faces. “I’m sure it’s not as strong now,” Tricia said as blue sky appeared. “It could be much worse.” responded Wendy. We trekked along the ridge road past the buildings and radar apparatus and turned down the Leith Saddle Track, now enjoyably warm with the wind behind us. Conversation was punctuated with, “There goes another Aeroplane. How many is that?” The last stretch down through the bush completed another enjoyable tramp, if at times challenged by the weather.
At the car Wendy summarised, “I’m really fizzing that we did that, it could have been much worse.”
Studholme Bush – White Horse
Trip: We drove to Waimate via the Waihao Back Road, turned left on to SH82, and proceeded 2.5km or so to the Studholme Bush car park at the entrance to the Waimate Gorge. An executive decision was taken to tackle the walk clockwise, so at 9.30 we set off west along the Railway Track and climbed up the Bellbird Track (the farthest west route up) to the junction with the Waterfall Track. After a pause to gather up and scope out the ongoing route, we headed up to a high point for smoko and to admire the view.
After smoko we set off down the Waterfall Track with a scramble over a rocky section to the dry stream bed where we admired a grove of large Totaras. A climb up some steps which challenged shorter legs took us to the dry waterfall – though one tramper observed “There is some water and it is falling; therefore it is a waterfall.” A further climb led to open space and the grassy track which took us to a T-junction. A right turn would have taken us back to the Bellbird Track. We turned left up the valley on a grassy track which led to a number of tracks bulldozed up the hill through cutover forest. We selected the one that our earlier survey suggested was most likely to lead to the White Horse. At one stage, we found ourselves in two groups, but we eventually reunited on the ridge to White Horse after some gorse bashing and scrambling across gullies. The final stage along the top, over ground now completely cleared of windfalls and trees, took us to the White Horse and lunch.
After lunch we returned along the ridge track, then veered left through a gate to the top of the Ngaio Track which leads back to the car park down a steep descent. However, with time not pressing, we decided to turn right along the Bellbird Track and down the Quaill Track, which offered a less steep way down. This took us back to the Railway Track and along it to the cars, which we reached at 2.30. All agreed that it had been a good day, with no rain and enough up and down and variations to make the walk interesting. John.
Sailors Cutting- Otamatapaio
Wednesday the 4th November
Trip: We drove up the Waitaki Valley and saw snow on the hills and mountains down to a much lower level than is usually seen, even in winter. We turned left off the road just past the shed which is the Bog Roy Electrode Station, and opposite the entrance to Bog Roy. We drove 2.2Km towards the signpost which shows a carpark at 5km. and a hut at 15km.The temperature was 6 degrees when we parked and emerged from the cars. We walked 2.4 km. up the Otamapaio River with flat going and good views ahead , had morning tea and returned the way we came, to the cars Total time for this section was 1 ½ hours.
We drove to Sailors’ Cutting which we reached at 11.45 a.m. and then walked along A 2 0 Bike Trail , stopping for lunch by the lake in fine and increasingly warm weather. We returned the same way with some taking a short detour out on to a hilly little peninsula, which gave a great view up the Ahuriri Arm towards the Ohau Range in the distance and back down the water and past the gorge leading to the main lake with some stories of hairy boat trips through that passage at night or in windy conditions. Total time for this section was 2 ¾ hours over a distance of 9.3 km making distance for the whole trip 14.1km.
We returned to Kurow for icecreams, and on the way admired the pinks which were coming into flower in the cuttings. We were back at Towey Street at about 4.45p.m.after a very pleasant and not too strenuous day out – fresh air, sunshine , snowy vistas, water views, good walking and good company. What more could you ask for? Margaret C
Wainono Lagoon & Gunns Bush
Wednesday the 28th October
Weather: cloudy start then warming up in the afternoon
Permission: not required
Drivers: Dave 4, Helen 4, Barbara 4, Bill 4, Ross 3, John 4
Trip: Vehicles left Towey St. at 8.50 a.m. heading north towards Hook. We turned right off the main highway into Hook swamp road driving towards the Wainono lagoon. There is a good parking area there. We began walking at 9.45 am along the very stony track beside the lagoon. It was so lovely to see along with the usual black swans, the very uncommon white heron, pied stilts, spoonbills, and white geese on the lagoon. Some fishermen were making the most of the calmer conditions to surf cast off the beach. Morning tea was on a stony spot with a view to the ocean or lagoon. We then continued walking until 11 am, when we turned to head back to the cars. To allow enough time to also walk the Gunns bush track.
We drove up Lower Hook road, Hook school road then Hunter-Waimate road to Gunns bush. Lunch was eaten on the grass at noon beside the bush. It was very relaxing chatting and also enjoying the bird song from there. This piece of bush is a very special piece of native paradise hidden in Waimate with a very well kept track.
As you enter there is a beautiful carpet of deep green moss that sparkles when damp in the sunlight. Many gorgeous native trees and ferns, large native fuchsia trees, and dainty umbrella moss in patches. We stopped at several majestic Matai trees that are many years old and stand tall watching over the rest of the forest. Tom tits, bell birds and even a shining cuckoo were sighted. We walked the loop track and arrived back at the cars about 2.45 pm .Travelling back to Oamaru with of course a compulsory stop first in Waimate for ice cream J
Total time -3hr 45 min and distance walked 12.6km
Special Report from the U K
Coast to Coast
Dear Friends ,
I thought you might like to hear of our latest tramping expedition which we did in late September with a couple of friends. The C2C is route from the St Bees head on the Irish sea in Cumbria to Robin Hoods bay in North Yorkshire on the North sea coast. The total distance is about 200 miles (321 kms) right across Northern England. It passes through the Lake district , the Yorkshire dales and the North York moors.
We did the western half in a weeks walking from St Bees to the half way point, the small village of Keld in the Yorkshire Dales . Mr Garmin reckoned that was 97 miles (156 kms) but I am calling it over a hundred miles to take account of the walks to the pub and back at nights. We stayed in a mixture of B&Bs, pubs and activity centres. Day 2 was spectacular and attached is a description of that day together with some photos below. Hope they come out ok with captions.
We went through a superb mixture of landscape, geology and communities although much of it remote and uninhabited (apart from sheep) in a way that you tend to forget living in the overcrowded South East. The deep red sandstone of St Bees head gave way to undulating plains of the lake district foothills and then the volcanic rocks of Borrowdale and finally the limestone and millstone grit of the Yorkshire dales.
We met some great people along the way and sometimes saw them in the pubs in the evening . We will do the Eastern half next Spring so if anybody fancies joining us, let us know!
Regards to you all ,
Steve and Ann
Coast to Coast
Day 2 Ennerdale Bridge to Seatoller – 14 miles (22.4 kms)
We began on a good track through woodland toward Ennerdale water. Some resemblance to a Fiordland track on the lower levels with moss and lichen everywhere and gushing streams called becks in this part of the world. There had been heavy rain over the previous few days and on advice of a local we took the northern shore of the lake – fewer becks to cross and better track. The weather was mild with mist down to about 1500ft but a breeze likely to clear it off the tops and good weather forecast for the rest of the day.
After about 5 miles we turned up through a gap in the forest to the top of Red Pike. This is a steep ascent of about 800 mtrs through heather (alas not flowering by this time) grass and scree. We were treated to a grandstand view of 3 shepherds and numerous dogs mustering about 200 sheep down off the tops. They were a mixture of Herdwicks and Swaledales I think and it was splendid to take a breather from the steep climb and watch the action going on all around us.
At the top of Red Pike we found ourselves in a classic Leidecker view but slowly glimpses of the marvellous Lakeland scenery presented themselves on a 360 degree panorama. We had lunch and then moved on following old rusty boundary posts south east to the highest point on the ridge, High Stile at just over 2600ft. From there we were up and down fairly gently over Coomb Crags to High crag just a little lower than Red Pike at 2400ft.We had stunning views the whole way down to the lovely valley of Buttermere, the lake, strips of pine forest and picture postcard whitewashed farm houses and then further north to the Cumbrian mountains and a jigsaw of glaciated valleys. Looking behind us we could see the outline of the coast and further north the Solway Firth and Scotland. Picking out roughly our starting point at St Bees head on the Irish Sea some 25 miles west was very satisfying.
From High Crag it was a steep descent of 200 metres or so to Scarth Gap and then a climb back up to Haystacks with a rock scramble at the top. From there we were broadly on a final descent past the grandly named Innominate tarn, with views across to Great Gable and finally turning east across keeping high above boggy country toward Honister on the pass between Buttermere and Borrowdale. It was here that slate was mined and we passed a disused quarry and the drum house which contained the mechanism for the slate tramway. We took this now all grassed over straight down to Honister, a working slate mine with the much prized greenish Westmoreland slate.
From there with time getting on we walked the last couple of miles downhill across fields and woodland on an easy track to the tiny village of Seatoller and bed, board and a pint at the local activity centre. About nine hours in total and Mr Garmin said we had done over 14 miles(22.5 kms) and 3606 ft of ascent(with a lot of descent as well between High Stile and the other side of Haystacks). A pretty big day coming after 24.5 kms on our first and through the spectacular heart of the Lake District.
21st OCTOBER, 2015
Permission: Steve Vickers 03 465 1258
Cars: Tricia 2 – Georgie 5 – Jane Thompson 4 – Norma 4 – Ross B. 5
Left Oamaru at 8-30, stopped at Maheno to meet up with Lyn, Tricia & Robyn before continuing down to Trotter’s Gorge where about 6 Camper Vans had spent the night there. We were walking by 9-30 and had an early morning tea at the University Hut at 10am after six river? Crossings, so most of us had reasonably wet feet. From here we continued up Trotter’s Creek, into Vicker’s property where we walked as far as the “Hunting Lodge”. We walked up the gorge past here for 10minutes and enjoyed seeing such lovely bush. Jean broke into song with “On a wonderful Day like today.”
It was too early for lunch here so we found a pleasant spot at the junction of Trotter’s and Pigeon Creeks where we had a long lunch stop. More stream crossings as we headed downstream until 13 decided to tackle Ahn’s Peak while 7 of us waited. Not all of them reached the top because of the strong N W wind.
We didn’t see or hear as many birds as usual. No Falcons, Pigeons, or Tuis. A few Bellbirds, Brown Creepers, Grey Warbler, and 1 fantail. Many of today’s walkers had not been to Trotter’s before so they were quite impressed with this beautiful place. Altogether we had a very happy day which we rounded off with ice creams at Hampden before driving into Cosy Dell to admire the beautiful Rhododendrons, Azaleas and flowering Cherries. Back in Oamaru 4ish.
Working Bee at Scott Dunuvan’s at Kurinui
Ashlands Road – South Peak
14 October 2015
Trip: Vehicles left Towey St. at 8.35 a.m. heading south to meet up with more trampers at Maheno Pub car park .We then continued driving south, just past Hampden to Ashlands road on the right. We turned right into Ashlands road continued onto the metal, to Nicholson’s Farm near the end of the road. We parked in a nice grassy spot by the willow trees. Setting off about 9.15 am we followed the 4WD track on the true right of the Ngutukaka Stream. It was still nice and cool and we enjoyed watching the ewes and lambs grazing in the grassy & tussock surroundings as we headed slowly uphill above the rifle range. We stopped for morning tea around 10 am. There were lovely views back down the hills towards the coastline of Moeraki and across the wonderful green paddocks. Later we split up into two groups, with a smaller group walking along the river/gorge enjoying a lovely sight of native clematis in flower, lacebark, lancewoods, pungas and even some Moeraki type boulders.
The larger group continued up hill to South Peak and enjoyed a good work out and even more great views across the hills and the pine forest which has been extensively harvested. We enjoyed lunch at the top of South Peak at noon and relaxed in the warm sunshine. Heading back down at a reasonable pace, John took a right turn on to a steep track through bush, (lots of native clematis) which eventually ended up close to the ridge we had come up in the morning. Down through the gorge through the seagull colony, we passed some streams, lovely rock formations, and holes in the rocks worth photographing. The main group arrived back at the cars at 2.45 pm with the smaller group around an hour earlier. It was an excellent walk, finished off nicely with a stop for an ice cream at the famous Hampden Store.
Total time 5hr 30 mins, distance 11.4km.
Kurinui (Big Kuri)
7 October 2015
Trip: The drive up Duncans and Easons Roads was a pleasant surprise: the surface was quite smooth (although lacking gravel in places) and the roadway wide with the gorse having been pushed well back on both sides. 2wd vehicles managed it easily. We met Scott Dunavan at the road gate just by the first entrance to the Reserve Track. At his suggestion we drove along to and parked by the next gate and a stile which led to the second entrance to the Reserve Track.
Shortly after 9.30 we set off over the stile and along the track. For the first kilometre or so it remained fairly level, with gentle ups and downs, through regenerating manuka. After about an hour we stopped on a knob (point 405 on the map) for smoko with a view. The track then started descending more steeply and degenerated into an unmarked route through the easily penetrated bush. A few distinctly steepish descents eventually led us into a valley which we followed down, sometimes on the valley bottom but mostly sidling a few metres above it. At about 12.30 we reached the junction with the main Kurinui Creek and shortly after found a sunny, sheltered spot for lunch on the true right.
After lunch, a short climb led to an open area, badly pig-rooted, which took us further up the main creek, across another tributary and over a fence. We kept on up the valley for some ten minutes to get a quick view of the upper valley, then headed back to the bottom of the Top Track for the final ascent. This track was in good shape, well benched and relatively clear of gorse. The climb was demanding, taking about two hours and ascending 240 metres with wind buffeting on exposed slopes adding to fatigue. The road was reached about 3.30, where we were greeted by Scott, and the walk along the road back to the cars took another 30 minutes. All in all a hard but satisfying day with, as one veteran put it, some “real tramping”.
We sometimes walk in places where it is easy to get lost, or fog comes in unexpectedly.
* Always follow the leaders instructions. STAY WITH YOUR GROUP.
* Keep in view of someone with a two way radio.
* If you think you are lost or unsure where to go, eg. A fork in the track or reduced visibility such as fog, STAY PUT. Make yourself visible with a bright article. Call out or blow your whistle. Someone will look for you.
* Always let someone know if you are going off the track eg. Toilet stop or photo shoot.
* Look behind frequently to keep the person behind you in view, and also to know where you have walked in case you need to go back.
* The person who opens a gate should close it, or designate someone else who knows how, to do so. Leave all gates as you find them.
Day Gear Check List
The following should be carried with you, no matter how nice the weather is when you leave. Day pack, boots, socks plus a dry pair in the vehicle, water/wind-proof coat with hood, over-trousers, shorts and long johns or long trousers, thermal singlet, shirt, warm jersey/jacket, gloves/mitts, warm hat, sun hat. NO COTTON OUTER GARMENTS PLEASE. This includes jeans as they contribute to hypothermia when wet. Sunglasses, lunch, snacks/emergency rations, full water bottle, sun block, first aid kit, toilet paper, torch, map, compass, whistle, survival sheet/bag, a bright piece of equipment or clothing. Optional Gaiters, camera, walking sticks, spare clothes in the vehicle.
160 Wednesday Walkers Walks
If you have a walk you would like to do, please suggest it at next weeks walk.
Anderson Lagoon – Shag River
Ashlands Rd. – Kemp Rd. Katiki
Aviemore – Mt. Dryburgh
Awakino Ski Field
Big Kuri Creek
Black Cap – Scout Hill
Bobbys Head – Pleasant River
Central Otago Rail Trail
Devils Bridge Cave
Douglas (Rob & Sue)
Gentle Annie Hut
Gibson Farm Walk
Golf Course, Waianakarua
Hampden / Moeraki
Hillgrove Farm Walk
Island Stream Waterfall
Kakanui – All Day Bay
Kauru Hill – Fuchsia Creek
Kurow Hill, Awakino Gorge
Lindis Pass / Dalrachney
Livingstone, Beaties Hill
Maerewhenua Gold Diggings
Mt. Alexander Loop
Mt Cook (Not the Summit)
Mt. Difficulty – Allan Rd
Mt Difficulty – Dasher
Mt. Difficulty – Hectors
Mt. Mary, Trig J
Mt. Nimrod (Haka)
Mt Nimrod (East)
Mt. Peel (Little)
Mt. Sutton, Ohau
Mt Sutton, Waitangi
Mts. Trotter & McKenzie
Ngapara Farms Walk
Obi, Mitchells Hut
Obi, Mt. Stalker
Obi, Shingle Creek
Otekaike Bridal Track
Pigeon Bush – Duncan Road
Pigeon Bush – South Peak
Pleasant River, Bobbys Head
Raki’s Table / Tunnel
Raki’s, Belmont, Victoria Hills
Rock & Pillars
Rosella Ridge, Silver Peaks
Round Yards circuit / gorge
Swampy, Leith saddle
Table Top via Wainak Reserve
Table Top via Herbert Forest
Tapui Farm Walk
Temple – North
Temple – South
Trotters Gorge Reserve
Trotters Gorge Trig L
Waihao Walkway, Hotel circuit
Starting place is the Towey St Tennis Courts (see the map at the top of this page) usually at 8-30 am every Wednesday.