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
10 Feb 2016
3 February 2016
The weather-man promised 29deg – and he was right. So Herbert Forest was a good choice for 23 walkers today. The forest was still looking refreshed from the previous week’s rain.
We decided to start at Hoods Creek, continue on to Podocarp/Glenburnie Loops and finish on the Swallows Track. But you tend to forget the hills get steeper and the tracks get longer when you are of mature years!
Morning tea was in the shade part way up Hood Creek.
By mid-day the last of the group arrived for lunch at the junction of Breakneck and Diamond Hill Roads – the top of the Hood Creek track. After lunch a group of 4, who were finding the heat and forest walking too much , accepted Trevor’s offer to walk down Breakneck Rd to the gate ( 3 ½ km away) where Trevor had left his vehicle earlier in the day. The rest of the group, numbering 19, headed along Diamond Hill Road to the start of the Podocarp Track and finished at Queens Road. Here, most people took a welcome rest and Jane , carrying a surplus of water today, checked that everyone had sufficient water to see them to the end of the walk.
The final leg was a half hour walk down the Swallows Track. Here the birdsong was noticeable after scarcely hearing any birds on the previous tracks. The tuis and bellbirds were at their best and you could hear the familiar swishing sound of the wood pigeons wings as they swooped through the trees. All were back at the cars by 2.45pm and Francis clocked the ‘mileage’ at 12km . This was supposed to be a shorter walk as tonight was our Christmas BBQ (last year’s!) at Ross and Judith’s place.
However, three water-lovers headed back to Cosy Dell for a swim, where there is a fabulous water-hole in the Waianakarua River (North Branch). They were later home than they intended but were in plenty of time for the BBQ which was attended by about 50 people. And many thanks to Judith and Ross for making this a wonderful evening. Margie
Kurow Hill-Awakino Gorge
A2O Kurow-Winery Cycle Track
As indicated above, Kurow Hill-Awakino Gorge walk was ‘struck out’ due to Kurow Hill being shrouded in fog.
Another S.E. drizzle in Oamaru and still 21 walkers appeared at Towey Street at 8.30am. A short ‘committee’ meeting was held at Kurow. The outcome was that we walk the A2O newly formed cycle track from Kurow, but probably not as far as Duntroon (28km away!!) Leaving the cars at the toilets parking area we started walking around 9.30am. Bill led us around the back streets of Kurow, past a plaque commemorating important people of the village, till we reached the beginning of the gravelled track. It heads towards the river then onto a well-formed tracked following near the Waitaki R. This is probably the road that Meridian formed when Project Aqua was being planned. After walking a few kilometres, a dry gorsey area under some willows beckoned us for smoko. Then the track follows SH83 for some distance before entering the Kurow Winery vineyard. Once we were out by the highway, the volume of traffic was audibly noticible after the quietness back by the river.
By midday all were at the winery where we were greeted by the lady from the restaurant. We declined the offer to go inside then, but said we would on our way back. The track winds through the vineyard where a few workers were working on maintenance jobs. By 12.15 a turn-around was called as we were never going to get to Duntroon anyway !! And the drizzle wasn’t getting any more pleasant. Back at the winery 15 of us opted to have lunch at the restaurant. The hostess very kindly allowed us to eat our lunch inside, where the order of the day was coffees, hot chocolates and cakes. Such a warm welcome on such a sulky day.
Six others carried on further for lunch and continued on the track right up to the new Hakataramea Bridge before circling back to Kurow. The larger group retraced steps back to Kurow. Three of us were interested in visiting the old railway station that was in use over a 100 years ago. It is now a wool buyers business and has been modified to suit the business. The owner invited us in to show us that quite a number of the original features were still there. Listening to all the chatter as we walked the track today it was obvious everyone was happy with our alternative walk.
Francis says we walked 16.1km. Margie
20 Jan 2016
Today’s walk to Devils Elbow brought 19 walkers to Towey St and 1 to Maheno – (she caught up with us at Herbert). There was fog and drizzle on the way but my ever optimistic passengers insisted that ‘it will burn off up high’ or ‘we will be above it at Devils Elbow’. And so we were! At the car-park, (after following Hamish moving cattle), the sky was a clear blue, with occasional drifts of fog from the east threatening.
By 9.45 we started walking up the 4WD track and by 10.30 there was a call for smoko on a rocky knoll with views to the Maniototo. A text from Jane (1) to Jane( 2) confirmed there was still drizzle in Oamaru, for those on the alternative walk at Weston. Turning right just before Trig F we made a detour out to Devil’s Elbow, where some of us reminisced about tramps in the Waianakarua North Branch area – Conical peak, Mount Obi, Cayenne Spur, Gentle Annie and Mt Stalker. In fact on a clear day,I believe Mount Aspiring is visible – but not today with cloud in the west. Then back on track for Round Knob our lunch destination. This takes you through the delightful alpine rock gardens with an abundance of dracophyllums, celmisias, tiny whipcord hebes, gentians, gaultheria and even aciphylla – common speargrass. At lunch-time the wet moss, probably a raoulia, even saturated our closed-cell cushions! Unfortunately, the hieracium is trying to fill the spare spaces between the native plants.
We lunched on the sunny side of the knob as if sitting in a theatre with the circle, balcony and gallery. Again fascinating views to the west. All too soon people started to make tracks back to the cars. Some of us took a very leisurely walk back, making the most of the sun we hadn’t seen since the previous week.
The last of the walkers arrived back close to 2.45pm where others were enjoying a cup of tea before heading homeward. The drive back was slowed down by meeting, probably, over a thousand sheep being shifted by the Mt Stalker workers. Wednesday Walkers never cease to enjoy this favourite walk to Devil’s Elbow. Margie
13 Jan 2016
Government Hill, Herbert Forest via Mt Misery Rd.
6 Jan 2016
Trip: The first Wednesday of 2016 promised to be fine and sunny. A healthy muster of 32 walkers were keen to start their first walk, organised by Jane (1), to Government Hill via Mount Misery Road. The cars were parked near the gate to Breakneck Road , close to Glencoe Run woolshed.
After sidling around a huge rock at the two securely locked gates we all made our way down Breakneck Rd, past the beehives and the forest pond to a spot, either in sun or shade, for smoko. Foxgloves were at their best and a native pigeon was spotted on the way.
Like school children on the first day back at school, there was a constant chatter as everyone caught up on the holiday news. Reaching Pa Road we turned left, not forgetting to keep a watchful eye out for little native orchids. The Orchid Reserve sign appeared as we reached Government Hill Road. A few of us looked for orchids in the forested area but not a sign there until someome spied a lonely white one on the road shoulder. And then two or three little green-hooded orchids. These ones had miraculously survived the weed-kill from the past. A disappointment, as this reserve used to harbour up to 20 different native orchids. Perhaps a detailed search could be made in the remnants of native forest here sometime.
Onwards and up Government Hill Road, which led us to a confusing junction with signposts Bell Rd/View Rd (fallen on the ground) and Muldoon Rd/Govenment Hill Rd. Govenment Hill is now pretty well covered with Douglas Fir and any views from there are limited. So a continuation on Govt. Hill Rd led us to the edge of the Herbert Forest where we chose to have our lunch. The neighbours gorse is over-grown and views north obscured. From there it was a matter of continuing on to Breakneck Rd and retracing our steps back to the cars. Only 8.5 km walked some one said. 25 degrees back at cars! – Dave said. And only 2pm.
“But wait, that’s not all”……next stop was a few kilometres back along the road to the DoC carpark that takes you to the Waianakarua R. and the tracks leading to Table Top and Staircase Ridge. But today this is only a short walk of 15 minutes to find more native orchids that Jane(1) knows are growing near the track. Here the track is bordered by Kanuka, Manuka and large numbers of Lancewood. And finally – a garden of native orchids – again white.
But for some the day wasn’t over. At least 8 headed to Cosy Dell to check out the swimming holes and one walker found a lovely pool to splash in – sounded good Ivan! A great ending to an easy first walk of the year. Margie
Government Hill was the destination – the first walk of the year,
To look for the orchids that should be flowering there.
And, indeed, by the track, some were found –
Rather short plants growing close to the ground.
It was concerning to note what bulldozing had done
To create a pond for fire fighting.
Has the forest of orchids been destroyed forever?
Or will nature allow them, in time, to recover.
There’s a Muldoon Road – was Rob ever aware
Of a track named after him way back there?
On View Road we couldn’t see the view for the trees,
But young Lancewoods were flourishing among the fallen leaves.
At the morning tea break we were brought to attention
By Jane 2, recommending the shingles injection,
After her son developed the illness and suffered great pain,
And no one wants a revisit of the chicken pox strain.
At lunch time our Jane again made a stir
When she produced her knitting – it couldn’t be deferred.
It was a race against time to get it complete
Before posting it off early next5 week.
Could it now be that she’s started a trend?
We could all make more use of the time that God sends,
And bring along our hobbies, or a book to read,
As we rest in the tussocks –‘twould be relaxing indeed.
Some days we think we’re too busy, but jobs at home will wait.
So we set off on a Wednesday to walk and contemplate
The value of this group in getting rid of stress and strife,
And to appreciate the benefits of this tramping way of life.
Island Stream Waterfall
Wednesday the 23rd December 2015
Organiser: Jane N
Permission: Robin Nichols, Kurihika 4395425
Weather: Bright sunny day with cold S W wind in exposed places.
After leaving Towey St at 8-30 we met John & Willy at Maheno before travelling up Tulliemet Rd to the open gate on this road, and the gate on the right which is the entrance to Island Stream Waterfall. Starting to walk at 9-10, we followed the 4WD track, crossed the south branch of Island Stream and walked up the hill to the fork in the track. We referred to the Google map which didn’t clearly help us to decide which fork to take. We succeeded in making a short walk longer by taking the left fork which took us out to the southern boundary of Kurihika next to a long line of pine trees where we had a leisurely morning tea in the sun.
From here we were able to see the approximate area of the waterfall so we had to do a bit of exploring to find the best way to get there. The men led us steeply down through the kanuka & manuka where there were plenty of tracks made by the stock. We emerged onto a clearing near the stream where we were able follow the 4WD track we usually follow to the start of the scramble down to the base of the waterfall. After dropping their packs nine people bush-bashed their way down where they spotted some tiny fish. They were ready for their lunch and a doze in the sun after a steep climb up the gorge to their packs.
We were really glad to find where the Herpolirion (the smallest lily in the world) were in flower next to the fence at the top of the waterfall – an area of about a square metre. At 1pm we started making tracks back to the cars by the route we usually take. Shortly after crossing Island Stream south branch we left the track to avoid disturbing the cattle, and walked across the paddock. Suddenly I became aware that we walking through thousands of Herpolirions in shades of cream, blue and pink. They seem to thrive where the grass is short and they are surrounded by Hyracium, so we took more photos as this one of the highlights of the day. We returned to the cars by 2-30 and got back to town by three after a most enjoyable and leisurely walk in the hills.
Anderson Lagoon – Shag River
15 walkers – Bev, Margie, Barbara, Georgie, Noel, Christine, Helen, Chris, Gail, Ivan, Val, John, Heather, Lyn, Margaret.
Cars taken by Margie, Georgie, Gail and Heather.
We left Towey Street at 8.30 am and met the Kakanui people at Maheno before travelling to Palmerston, then following Goodwood Road to Anderson’s Lagoon, where we parked. We climbed over a stile and walked through very attractive native plantings and admired the large number of black swans swimming in the lagoon. The tide was quite high, but it was an easy walk to the ladder and steps up to the cliff top track, which took us up and down the headlands. We had morning tea at 10.30 in the shelter of pine trees and sat on nice cushions of pine needles, before arriving at the beach access. A bit of rock hopping was required, and also some wet feet for those too slow to avoid the incoming waves. We admired the shags perched on the cliff faces, and saw some young ones ready to fledge. A yellow-eyed penguin was seen looking at us and also a few seals. In spite of a passing shower, lunch was enjoyed at 12.30 at the Shag river mouth. Low tide was meant to be 2 pm, but when we began the return journey at 1.30, the tide was still too high, so it was back to the cliff top track, and then down to the beach for the final leg. A lovely walk in spite of the keen wind – and of course the ice creams treats at Hampden.
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.