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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Contact Jane G for possible walks before and after Christmas.
Puketapu and Trotters Gorge
17 Dec 2014
Twenty five, including Steve and Ann back from England, headed south to Palmerston for what was described as an easy day. The weather was fine and warmish with a stiff NE wind. After the mandatory rest room stop we headed up Puketapu Hill.
No one wanted to make a race out of it, but some opted to go straight up the steep way while others circled round the back for a slightly easier climb.
Morning tea was had on the sheltered SW side of the summit and after a lengthy admiring of the views, which included some of our coastal walks, we descended via the bulldozed track on the south side back to the cars by 11-30 am.
A quarter hour drive saw us at the Trotters Gorge picnic area for lunch. Trotters Gorge looked like an oasis with clear-fell logging having taken place on the north and south sides. Bird life was scarce apart from a large black rooster looking for some of our lunch.
Our second walk took us up the gorge to the west of the picnic area with a loop up a creek, over a rocky view point, and back down another creek. We were back at the cars just after 2 pm.
The huge ice-creams at Hampden took a bit of handling as they were half melted before we got them, but were enjoyed by the participants, and we were back in Oamaru by 3-30 pm after another enjoyable Wednesday walk.
Millennium walkway – Moeraki
Puketapu and Trotters Gorge (or not)
Wednesday 10 December 2014
Seven Oamaruvians met up with five Kakanuiites at Maheno on a grey drizzly southerly day which promised little, despite a weather forecast of showers clearing in the afternoon. The outlook was not improved by a text from Head Girl reporting heavy rain in Palmerston. A committee meeting produced a tactical decision to do the Trotters Gorge walk in the morning, leaving Puketapu in the afternoon when it should have cleared. The three cars duly headed south but failed to get through Hampden due to the irresistible pull of Vanessa’s coffee and date scones. From the warmth of the café, the group watched the sky partially clear, and then darken as another shower arrived. Further deliberations resulted in a complete change in strategy: Plan B would be the Millennium Track to Moeraki.
After the short drive to the road into Moeraki, we set off along the track to the village and up the steps to the lookout. The return trip took us around the back streets of Moeraki and then down along the beach to the old saltwater baths site. After admiring some remaining brickwork, we settled down to lunch on the rocks. As it was now low tide, most walked along the rocks and beach and all turned north to continue along the beach to the Moeraki boulders. We returned to cars after an easy but pleasant walk, and without getting wet.
North Temple – Lake Ohau
3 December 2014
It may have been the early 7.30am start that brought just 17 trampers to Towey Syreet. Leaving almost on the dot it took 2 hours to reach Ohau Station where Dave and Bev were waiting to join the group. By the time the picnic area was reached it was 9.45am and all were ready to start walking at 10am. This meant that all 19 walkers would be able to reach the head of the North Temple by lunchtime.
Some people were keen to find mistletoe but it was either high up in the beech trees or only a few tell-tale petals on the ground. Not the brilliant blaze of colour seen in other years. The forest track is in quite good condition – mostly dry and with the usual detours up the riverbed. Not a lot of birdsong in this forest – one long-tailed cuckoo with its shrill Sh…… call, a native falcon call and one or two bellbirds. Morning tea was en route with only a short break as most of the group were anxious to view the spectacular views at the head of the valley. By 12.30pm everyone had reached the lunch-rock.
Following lunch a large group headed off up the valley to explore this wonderful amphi-theatre of peaks and passes of snow, rocks, mountain streams and black beech forest. Looking over to the Gun Barrel Pass (now the Gunsight Pass) you could see the progress of two climbers like specks moving their way up the gut. Not the best day for going over to the South Temple as light rain had set in and the temperature was dropping. This did not prevent a small group hunt for an elusive little ranunculas (hybrid) first found here in 2005. But not a sign to be seen today even with the GPS reading indicating the right spot! However, this was just the right time for the Ranunculas lyallii, (Mount Cook Lily) or giant buttercup, to be in flower further up the slope. The Celmisias needed another couple of weeks before they would be out. With the cooler, moist air most walkers decided this was the time to head back down the forest track.
It was almost 3.30pm by the time the last of the walkers were back at the picnic area where the sandflies were making themselves a nuisance. Everyone agreed the walk was a great introduction to an alpine area – especially those on their first visit.
At least two cars stopped at Omarama to check out their ice-creams. Back in town by 7pm.
A healthy muster of 29 people turned up for the Herbert Forest walk – 21 at Towey St, 7 at Maheno and 1 at the Swallow Track carpark. The intention was to walk all the forest tracks starting at the Swallow track, continuing on to the Podocarp and finally to the Hood Creek.
All tracks were in great order as with the creeks running low the tracks were mainly dry. A number of bellbird and tui were heard at times. The big group split while heading up through the Swallow track climb but regrouped, (after some were a little uncertain of the direction to take), at the entrance to the Podocarp Track where there was a morning tea break.. The signage, however, is excellent, as are the colourful ‘You are here’ maps. The public should have no trouble following directions.
Before entering the Podocarp Track a decision was made for John to lead a faster group while Jane (1) would lead a group wishing to walk at a slower pace. John’s sub-group took the Glenbirnie option while David led a smaller group through the Podocarp. The Big Trees in this part of the forest were duly admired – Rimu, Totara, Kahikitia, Matai, Miro and at least two Pokaka.
At the top of the Podocarp Loop everyone regrouped again and a long, relaxing lunch was eaten in the sunny but rather over-grown ‘turn-around’ area.
From there a short walk along the road – following Hood Creek signs – lead to the entrance of the Hood creek. A little maintenance here (grass is getting long) would make the entrance more visible. This track was also dry and was a pleasure to walk on. Everyone coped with the ladder near the road. Once out on the road it was a matter of a 45minute walk back to the cars arriving about 2.30pm.
For some a bonus trip was made to Hampden for ice-creams
Mount Pisgah (from Kyeburn)
Nine insomniacs (Dave, Bev, Jane 1, Margie, Jean, Stewart, Linda, Gail, Francis) set off from Oamaru at 7.30am and met up with five more (Dave, Jane 2, Joy, John and Mary)at Maheno. With one more (Wendy B) to be picked up in Palmerston, all consolidated into three five-seater vehicles. Weather forecast was for moderate westerly winds and occasional showers with single-figure temperatures , clearing in the afternoon. After the customary stop in Palmerston, the convoy turned off up the Pigroot. They motored over the hills, and, shortly after reaching the Maniototo Plain, they crossed the Swinburn and turned right into Hore Road. This led after about 3 km into Swinburn Back Road and, another 3km later, to a right turn into Mt Pisgah Road. This started off as a gravel road but, after about 1 ½ km, became a grassy farm track across flat paddocks. They kept a fence on their left, until double cyclone gates led into a lane and then double wooden gates opened into a grassy/tussocky paddock and an old airstrip (the original home of gliding activity in North Otago). They parked at the top end of the airstrip, about 6 km from the turnoff and 130 km from Oamaru, at an altitude of 750m. (The route is easy for 4wd vehicles and SUVs can handle it. Ground clearance could be an issue for cars on the last part.)
At 10 o’clock the fifteen set off across the last 200m of flat, through a gate in a fence which ran along the base of the hills, and struck out straight up the tussock ridge which got progressively steeper with an underlay of slippery dry tussock. After about ¾ hour, a morning tea halt was called in a shallow hollow which provided some shelter from the cold westerly wind. The broad expanse of the Maniototo Plain spread out below and clearly visible were a series of rain squalls heading across the plain towards the Kakanuis. At the tea break, the party split into two: six trampers (Jane 2, Linda, Dave, Wendy, Francis and John) headed for the summit while the remainder decided to go part way.
The next stretch turned out to be the steepest with least stable footing of the whole climb. Part way up the only squall to hit the party struck, with light hail lasting for only a few minutes. The summit party made steady progress up thorough thinning tussock and then sub-alpine scrub and scree. In a surprisingly short time (2 ½ hours from the start) they reached a peak where the Pisgah Spur met the main Kakanui ridge. As another peak ½ hour to the east appeared to be higher, they descended to the 4wd track which runs along the range and branches to the Pisgah Spur, following it for ½ hour through a snow-covered saddle and up to the next peak. This peak offered 3600 views, including both the Maniototo Plain and the Waitaki Valley and the full extent of the Kakanui Range. Even the elusive Kattothyrst was visible between Mt Dasher and Siberia. The eastern side also provided a sheltered lunch spot. (It was later established that the first peak, at 1643m, was the true summit, the second peak being 25m lower.)
Meanwhile, after a steep climb following morning tea and a couple of short icy showers, the group of nine retreated to the Pisgah ‘airport’ (airstrip). After exploring the area they huddled in the cars to keep warm and from there observed the progress of the descending ‘summit’ group. By 3.30pm the last of the summit group were back, some looking a little cold but very pleased with day’s climb. So it was back down the 4WD track and back to Palmerston where pies and hot chocolate were the order of the day.
The relatively straightforward return journey took only 2 hours.
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. 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.
Wednesday Walkers Walks
If you have a walk you would like to do, please suggest it at next weeks walk.
ABC Caves Gentle Annie Hut Altavady Gibson Farm Walk Anderson Lagoon – Shag River Golf Course Wainak Ashlands Rd – Kemp Rd – Katiki Government Hill Aviemore – Mt. Dryburgh Grampians Awamoko Stream Gunns Bush Balmoral Huts Hamilton Hut Ben Ledi Hampden Round trip
Ben Lomond Herbert Forest Ben Ohau Island Cliff Benmore Walkway Island Stream Waterfall Benmore Peak Kakanui Peak Big Ben Kakanui – Hampden Big Kuri Creek Karitane Walkway Black Cap Kauru Hill – Fuchsia Creek Bobbys Head Kaiwarua Station
Borland Lodge Kettleholes, Omarama Boundry Creek Kurow Hill Canyon Creek Little Domett Central Otago Rail Trail Livingston – Beaties Hill Chinamans Hut Loman Run Chinamans Cave Moana Station Clear Stream Moeraki Lighthouse Cone Moeraki Walkway
Conical Peak Mopanui Deep Stream Mt. Alexander
Devils Bridge Cave Mt. Alexander Loop Devils Elbow Mt.Cargill Doctors Point
Mt. Cook Dome Hills Mt. Dalgety
Domett Loop Mt. Dasher Douglas (Rob & Sue) Mt. David
Elephant Hill Mt.Difficulty via Allan Rd. Evansdale Glen
Mt. Difficulty via Dasher Flannagans Pass Mt. Difficulty, Hectors
Fox Peak Freehold Creek Mt Domett
Pigeon Bush Mt. Dryburgh Pigeon Bush – South Peak Mt. Evelyn
Puketapu Mt. Fortune Quailburn
Mt. Grayson Rakis Table & Tunnel Mt. Kirkliston
Razorback Mt. Kohurau Rock & Pillars
Mt. Kyeburn Rosella Ridge Mt. Milne
Round Sheepyards Mt. Miserable Mt. Nessing
Scout Hill Mt. Nimrod via Haka Seacliff Reserve
Mt. Nimrod Reserve Shag Point Mt. Obi
Silverpeaks Round Trip Mt. Parker Staircase Ridge
Mt. Peel Station Peak Mt. Pisgah
Stony Ridge Mt. Misery – Conical Peak Swampy – Leith Saddle
Meyer Tabletop Mt. Stalker
Tapui Farm Walk Mt. Studholme Te Huruhuru
Mt. Sutton – Ohau Temple – North Mt. Sutton – Waitangi
Temple – South Mts. Trotter & McKenzie The Hayes
Mt. Watkin Timaru Walkways Noondale Reserve
Trig J Oamaru Walkways Trotters Gorge
Obi, Mitchells Hut Tokarahi Farm Walk Obi, Mt. Stalker
Te Anau Trip Obi, Shingle Creek Orbells Cave
Waihao Walkway Otekaike Bridle Track Waipiata Otekaike Hill
Starting place is the Towey St Tennis Courts (see the map at the top of this page) usually at 8-30am every Wednesday.