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 a recommendation of what to bring.
This Weeks Walk
Twenty-four out today
Up Waitaki Valley way
Turn south towards Metheralls farm
As the car-park neared
It was as we feared
Only 9 degrees Celsius! But calm
Then some had their say
As to going which way
At that stage we split in two
Twenty chose to go
Up-hill in a row
The Leisure group of 4 followed too.
We climbed up the hill
With no time to kill
Till we reached the saddle for lunch
With a very short stop
Four walked to the top
Of Otekaieke Hill in a bunch
Some had had enough
They thought it too tough
To battle a southerly front
So twelve walkers went back
By the downhill track
Pleased there was no up-hill grunt
Four more chose to go
Downhill to the flow
Of the stream of the Bridle walkway
They crossed over water
And decided they ought-a
Walk back on the track – no delay
Seven times feet got wet
Until they all met
Back where they’d left their car
We all felt complete
Though some had sore feet
But pleased that we’d walked that far
If figures and facts
This report lacks
They will surely be added below
I’d just like to say
What a wonderful day
The walk and the talk made it so.
Facts and Figures: Departed car-park about 9.45am. All back various times between 3pm and 4pm. Distances walked varied – approx. 9km, 12km, 16.5, and 18km.
With apologies to Catherine H. I have adapted her poem of Otekaieke Hill, (written by Catherine a year ago), to suit today’s walk. Margie S.
Millennium Walkway Moeraki
5 April 2017
Seventeen walkers turned up at Towey Street, heading for a walk ‘they knew not where’. With the edge of Cyclone Debbie on our doorstep we made a sensible decision to head south. Today, after driving through heavy rain at Herbert, we stopped at the start of the Millennium Track on the way into Moeraki. Not a drop of rain here, but a North Easterly keeping the rain at bay on South Peak and whipping frothy waves onto the beach.
We walked at a steady pace along the track, by-passing Fleur’s and climbing up to the Lookout which provided shelter for morning tea. Then down the hill to the Marae where we turned left to walk to the first Kaik. Some interesting real estate here with a few doer-uppers if you felt so-inclined. King tides would be quite a worry with your front door opening onto the beach! There was no chance of walking along the beach today to the second Kaik with high tide being about 11am. So back through Moeraki, through the playground (fun for some) and along the track to the cars by twelve noon, which signalled lunch-time. After a very relaxing lunch in the shelter of a group of trees, we opted for a beach walk to the Boulders and back. You need plenty of imagination to find the Chinese junk /canoe that was supposed to be wedged in the cliffs 600 years! All were back at the cars by 2pm.
Back at Hampden some caféd out at Vanessa’s while the others couldn’t resist the XL ice-creams at the shop. Still no rain driving back to Oamaru, all arriving at Awamoa by 3pm. This 12 km walk certainly averted any chance of cabin fever for 17 Wed Walkers. Margie
Trip: As the nineteen trampers from Oamaru and one from Dunedin met in the car park at the end of Doctors Point Road, the hills were wreathed in cloud and Warrington was invisible across the bay. However, the tide was out, the beach wide and empty and we felt confident that the mist would burn off as the day progressed. So, after ferrying one car to the top of White Road, we set off, admiring the vertical basalt cliffs and marvelling at the trees clinging to them with apparently no soil to feed their roots. We negotiated the cave, constructed by giants from enormous basalt blocks, and, after passing a secluded but occupied tent, climbed up on to Mapoutahi, an ancient pa site. There, before morning tea, we heard the tale of warring families and the occupants of the pa casting women and children off the cliff to avoid capture by the attackers.
After smoko, it was back down to the beach on the south side of the neck, across the sand, up a track through the lupins and scrub, leavened by a few ripe blackberries, and coming out on to Osborne Road which wound up the side of the Purakaunui Inlet. The settlement of Purakaunui, with its odd collection of variously shaped buildings, was clearly visible across the mud flats but the hills remained depressingly shrouded in mist. Finally, we reached Purakaunui Station Road and commenced the steepest climb of the day, past a well-kept Victorian villa to the main trunk railway. Across the line lay the entrance to the now-signposted McKessar Track which would take us higher to our lunch destination.
As we climbed the track, with dripping bush occupied by loudly singing birds on both sides, the mist got thicker. By the time we passed the first of the giant macrocarpas and reached the old McKessar house, it had become drizzle, so we sought the shelter of the ancient trees, the secondary rain dripping off them being deemed preferable to its primary source. Lunch was accompanied by a recitation of the history of the house and its occupants, ending in its destruction by fire in 1914. Lunch over, some members of the group inspected the standing walls of the house, relating features of its remains to the history; others explored the surrounding gorse and uncovered an extinct, but virtually complete Bamford hay mower.
After the leisurely lunch break, we carried on up the remaining section of the track to come out on Mopanui Road with its splendid restored drystone wall. A brief discussion resulted in unanimous agreement that climbing Mopanui to experience a classic Leidecker view would not be all that satisfying – as it was we could barely see the Orokonui Sanctuary predator fence 50 metres away. So it was right turn, through a fence, and down the old paper road beside a deer fence, continuing the line of Mopanui Road. To our pleasant surprise, a strip 10 to 15 metres wide had been cleared since our previous visit, and some native seedlings had been planted, so the going was straightforward. About a kilometre down, we crossed another fence and turned left by a large pine tree, to enter the Sumpter bush walk. The track wound its way through the bush, but the blue or yellow string markers generally made the way clear. We eventually emerged from the bush, over a stone wall, on to a forestry track. Turning right, the forestry track led us down to the top end of White Road. The car left there took the other drivers down to the carpark to bring their vehicles back and pick up their passengers at the bottom of White Road for the journey home.
Weather and lack of visibility notwithstanding, it had been an informative and enjoyable day. John
Gunn’s Bush and White Horse
A late decision was made on Tuesday to pull the pin on Tabletop and head to Gunn’s Bush and White Horse near Waimate. A steep, muddy Table Top track was never going to attract a muster of Wed walkers.
By 9.45am 14 trampers were welcomed to Gunns Bush by the mossy green carpet at the bush entrance. After the previous day’s rain the forest was fresh and damp. The bird-song accompanied us most of the way – bellbirds, tui, fantails and maybe some little brown creepers. At the loop track we chose the high one. A narrow up-hill track well along the loop led to a clearing, making this an ideal place for 5 of us to have smoko. Here, with a view across the gully, we speculated about the best way we could access Mt Studholme Road from Gunn’s Bush – that’s a ‘recce’ for another day though. Nine other walkers remained on the bush track for their elevenses. After debating whether the big trees were Miro or Matai, we admired the giant native Fuchsias on the way back to the carpark.
From here we drove around to the end of Point Bush Road where two picnic tables were ideally placed for lunch outside Te Kiteroa. At 1pm all were ready to start the walk up to the White Horse. But not before we had a chat with the owners who indicated they had planted the native bush 35 years ago. The large number of Totaras by the track are maturing and looking healthy. The higher we ventured beyond the bush-line the heavier the drizzle became. Still no trees higher up after the big gale of some years ago .So with a quick romp around the horse and a photo-shoot, we retraced our route back to the cars. An alternative return route is the 6km Big Easy MTB track back to the carpark.
The obligatory icecream, and coffee for one group, was enjoyed at the Queen Street cafe(s) in Waimate. Back to Oamaru just after 4pm. Margie
15 March 2017
Trip: We drove up Little Roderick Road off SH 82 and parked beside the old homestead. Booted up, we set off at about 9.45 up the steep 4wd track. Around 40 minutes later we reached the big gate on the right of the track leading to the new track which contours around to the top saddle. The first big climb over, smoko was called. The next stretch, to the saddle, was almost flat. The saddle was reached in short order, we passed through the two gates, and headed south-east on the top ridge track. This wound around with both ups and downs, but eventually a track branching to the right zig-zagged to the Mt Meyer summit ridge. Some took a short-cut straight up the hill; others followed the track; everybody arrived at the top at around the same time. It was now almost noon and, despite only 4.9km having been travelled, it was decided to take lunch and enjoy the full splendour of the uninterrupted 360O view.
Lunch over, we (all except Stewart, who returned by the same route) scrambled down to the 4wd track and followed it in an easterly direction across a saddle and up around a knob. We then left the track and headed north down a tussocky ridge which eventually bottomed out at the Mt Orr stream. A short spell here, and we set off up the stream, criss-crossing it until we reached an open flat with a grassy track heading up a gully to the left. This was the last climb, so it was heads down and other parts up until we passed some old sheepyards and reached the saddle we had crossed in the morning. This seemed like a good spot for a lengthier spell, it still being early and to bask in the climbs successfully completed. The last stretch, around the contour track then down the steep ridge, was soon over and Little Roderick welcomed us back at around 3.30.
The total trip was 12.3km but, perhaps more relevant, involved a total ascent of 1117m. Perfect walking conditions and clear skies helped make the day. John
A2O Elephant Rocks to Prydes Gully 15-3-17
While the main group of Wednesday walkers struggled up Meyer seven of us
took the easy option. Starting at 9am five of us travelled out to
Elephant rocks after picking up Judith at Weston, while Barbara &
Christine did a town walk as they had a meeting after lunch. With such
a lovely fine day the views to the Kakanui Mountains (and Meyer across
the river) were really worth while before we started walking. 20
minutes after starting we stopped for morning tea near where the Lion
the Witch and the Wardrobe were filmed. While sitting on the side of
the track 10 cyclists from Orange in NSW (the Tuesday Tredlers) spoke
to us. Coincidentally my grandson is going to Orange in the third term
as an exchange student to Kinross Highschool. We continued our walk out
to Grant Road where Trevor and Georgie turned back to bring the car
around to Pryde’s Gully Road. From here our walk was mainly downhill
(easy grade), and after stopping to talk to Yvonne & Robert we continued
out to the road. We picked a few apples (very sour) on our way out to
meet Trevor with the car. Our lunch in the sun was most enjoyable
before returning to Oamaru. Jane
Wednesday 8 March 2017
Weather: Fine, mild. Light northerly breeze turning to easterly in afternoon.
Trip: We parked in the grassy lay-by between the Te Akatarawa Road and the Deep Stream lagoon on the east side of Lake Aviemore and, at about 10 o’clock, set off up the road and across the bridge before turning sharply right on to the Deep Stream Walkway track. This track sidles up the true right high above the flooded canyon which Deep Stream comprises in its lower reaches. After about half an hour walking, the track dropped down to river level and the opportunity was taken for smoko in a sunny spot. After the break, we set off up the stream, crossing and recrossing its braids as it meandered among willows down the wide, flat valley. Emerging from the trees into the open on the true left, we climbed up on to a terrace. There we found an old vehicle track which took us along the terrace, through a Taranaki gate and down to the riverbank. As it was now almost midday, lunch time was declared.
Lunch over, options for the return journey were canvassed. Five chose to return via the true right, involving a steep 150 metre climb and a flattish walk along the top before descending steeply to the road at the walkway entrance. The other fourteen opted for the true left. Twelve of these headed 1½ km east on to a fenced ridge which they followed to the south, reaching a shallow saddle which the remaining two had walked directly to. (While up on the ridge, a helicopter flew by, the pilot waving as he passed. It turned out this was David Sutton, the landowner.) The reassembled fourteen then continued south, through a gate, down a shallow descent and over a fence to the Fisherman’s Bend camping area. A 2km walk along the road took them past the Aviemore Dam back to the cars.
Back at Deep Stream, two females took the plunge for a swim while the sole male to enter the water merely paddled – a sign of the times? Compulsory ice creams at Kurow followed. John
Queenstown Bike Trails
1-4 March 2017
24 keen bikers loaded up 2 vans and trailers with bikes, gear and bodies and headed over the Lindis Pass to Queenstown.
With parking for large vans and trailers near impossible to find, we quickly unloaded in a lakefront carpark, ate our lunch and it was on our bikes on the lakefront trail round the Frankton Arm to Kelvin Heights and our accommodation at Lakeland Park. The views from here were spectacular over the Frankton Arm. Some then opted for a ride round the trail to Jacks Point, with spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu and seeing some of the Godzone kayakers wearily paddling their way to the finish at Frankton beach. Dave picked us up at Jacks Point and after a quick stop at the café there, it was back to Lakeland Park, though with the inevitable Queenstown traffic jam on the way! There was a quick dip in the lake for some followed by a scrumptious shared dinner.
Day 2 was a round trip to Arrowtown. The fast pack left from Lakeland Park and biked round the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers to the historic Lower Shotover Bridge, while the rest opted for a ride in the van. From the bridge most then biked up Speargrass Flat and through Millbrook to Arrowtown where we had lunch on the grass below the shopping centre.
Then it was straight down the road to Lake Hayes, which with the calm day, reflected the surrounding hills to near perfection. There was the choice of going clockwise or anticlockwise round the lake with all meeting at the south end before biking down to Lake Hayes Estate township. Some opted for a stop at the café there while the rest biked back along the trail to the van before returning to the café, just as the first group were leaving. Those who biked back to Kelvin Heights mainly went via the industrial area and the airport.
Day 3 started at Arrowtown with a ride beside the Arrow river down to the Bungy Jump at the historic Kawarau Bridge, where we had morning tea or lunch. The suspension bridges over the Arrow River were high above the river and we saw another party come to grief because of getting too much of a sway on while crossing, though the safety fence prevented anything serious happening. Then it was a quick downhill ride nearly to the Nevis Bluff, with a detour for some to a winery on the way. Our overnight accommodation was in the Cromwell Highland Park complex at the Falcons Rest and we dined out at the Bannockburn Hotel.
Day 4. As the bikes were on the trailers we parked at the Lake Dunstan Boat Harbour. Bill’s son Jeff lead a group on the trail to Bannockburn and up behind it to the Stewart Town gold diggings for a look around and a downhill mountain bike experience. The rest biked up the lakeside trail to Pisa Moorings with a ride around the delightful bays there. Ross was invited to try out an e-bike there, which could be an option for some in the (distant?) future! Then it was back to Cromwell, a load up of the bikes for the last time and back over the Lindis to Omarama. There Graham and Jane bailed out, having decided some time ago to ride home, a three day ride. The rest of us arrived home about 4pm after a great look around the trails of Queenstown and Cromwell in perfect autumn weather.
Wednesday 22 February2017
Moderate westerly winds, turning southerly. Mild temperatures, high humidity. Occasional drizzle, but not enough to get wet.
172km from Towey Street to Temple road end.
We set off from Sandfly Central (aka Temple Shelter) at 10.15. The river crossing was straightforward as was progress along the track. After about half an hour, we stopped for morning smoko on a spot on the riverbed carefully selected to coincide with a highly concentrated sandfly population. This minimised stoppage time and we were quickly on our way again. The river had eaten into the bank in places, and amputated shingle fan toes, which necessitated more travel in the riverbed than used to be the case. However, the big dipper (side stream washout) proved rather easier to negotiate than in some recent years.
Just after noon, we caught our first glimpse of the cirque – rocky tops above faces running with water and topped by wispy clouds. By 12.15 we had reached the Luncheon Rock and settled into our repasts. Lunch devoured, we set off to explore the upper valley: the gunbarrel-like gut of Gunsight Pass, the ramp down which the Backwards-round-the-Temple team had scrambled on their epic trip, the now apparently overgrown route up to Rabbiters Peak, the crystal streams of water pouring down the rocky face like threads of silver, and waterfalls zig-zagging drunkenly into the valley. The only feature missing was the little glacier at the junction between the face and the stream – perhaps the snowfall had been insufficient to feed it, or it had melted.
Two o’clock and we were back at Luncheon Rock ready for the return journey. This took ten minutes under two hours – perhaps because we chose an early river crossing and travelled further than usual on the true left. Sandfly City discouraged lingering and we set forth ice cream bound at 4 15. John
A2O – (Island Cliff-Cant’s Rd)
22 February 2017
After a short discussion about where to go, Ross suggested the bike trail and we all agreed to go there. So we got into 2 cars and travelled to the start of the trail at Island Cliff to Tokarahi. We parked the cars there and started to walk at 9.15am, just as a group of 15 bikers entered the trail.
The drizzle never let off but it was quite warm.
We walked into a pretty valley, (Karara Creek) beautiful and green and stopped after an hour’s walk for morning tea. There were still a few bikers catching up on us. It would be a good idea if they had a bell, so you would be able to hear them approaching.
We then continued , hoping to get a bit of a view once on the Cant road, but the drizzle persisted. We waited there for the tail-enders to catch up and after a while decided to turn back. At noon we arrived at an elevated spot under some trees, where we stopped for lunch. We heard frogs and Ross spotted one on the ground and photographed it.
After that we returned to the cars, at 1.15pm. Even though it never stopped drizzling, we were all happy with our days walk. Thanks to Jane and Ross.
Day at McLeods
15 February 2017
Today the Wednesday Walkers took a day off walking in the hills. Instead, Jane G. had organised a visit to Wendy and Ken’s new property near Kakanui.
To help Wendy and Ken settle into their beautiful property, 26 WW’ers volunteered for a working bee in the large garden which required a certain amount of TLC after they had moved in 3 weeks ago.
What a wonderful sight greeted us – ample sheds for Ken, a beautiful house for Wendy and the best view in North Otago for them both! A panoramic view of the Kakanui Mountains from South Peak to Te Kohurau, following on to the St Mary Range and Kirklistons. Far away to the west you could see Totara Peak.
Today was a perfect summer day. After an 8.50am start in the gardens, work stopped at 10am for a delicious morning tea supplied by three WW members. Then more garden activity till lunchtime. By all reports everyone thoroughly enjoyed their day in McLeod’s garden. We now look forward to seeing them out in the hills again. Thanks Wendy and Ken for your hospitality.
Thanks to Jane G. for her good idea – it was a great success.
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.