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
Tabletop from One Tree Ridge Road
Pigeon Bush – South Peak
Pigeon Bush from Baghdad Road 17-9 2014
After leaving Towey street shortly after 8.30 am and picking up the Kakanui crowd in Maheno, we travelled to Hampden and turned right at the bottom store. Then onto the Baghdad road, until we reached the parking place just below South Peak. The surface was a little greasy in shaded places but all cars, mostly 4WD’s, had little trouble negotiating these areas.
At 9.45am we were ready to start. The largest group with John as leader, decided to go up to South Peak first, a short grunt of 20 minutes up, then back to the cars where they had morning-tea below the access road before the descent to Pigeon Bush Meanwhile a small group of 8 went with Jane down to Pigeon Bush and had their morning tea there. Soon the other group caught up with them at the old sawmill site.
Stewart then took a group to view the large Totara tree. Quite a few had never been there. The others started to go up the hill to the Kowhai trees. The Kowhai trees were in full bloom and there were heaps of bell-birds and a few Pigeons. We enjoyed their song and seeing them feast on the nectar. Most of the group caught up with this group, who walked as far as the gate. Jane G. and Joy decided to go the ridge, while most settled down to have lunch. But as soon as we were settled the rain came down, so we moved under a tree. Ken and Wendy were very keen to do the round trip, but the condition of the tracks was unknown and eventually the rain decided for them, and they remained with the group.
So after lunch we all decided to walk back. As we had several showers of light rain, the track got rather slippery , so care was needed.
Arriving back at Pigeon Bush Conservation Reserve, we headed back up to the cars. But we all made it back safely, all rather wet, but happy with a lovely day’s walk
Report: Twenty-one trampers in five cars left Towey Street at 8.30am for Waitati, with a stop in Maheno to pick up eight more. The 30th member joined at Waitati. The road to Doctors Point is the first left in Waitati and follows the south coast of Blueskin Bay. They parked in a grassy area a couple of hundred metres before the beach and ran one vehicle up to the top of White Road (which turns off about 1km back towards Waitati) to assist the return journey. Having booked low tide for 9.52 am, they set off across the broad white sands, populated by assorted local dogs and their owners. After admiring trees clinging to the cliffs, and the construction of the railway track high above, they headed through the caves, which had partially sanded up, and up to the pa site on Mapoutahi. This offered fine views, partially obscured by fog, from Cornish Head in the north, past Seacliff and Warrington, across Blueskin Bay and up Purakaunui Inlet.
The next stage took the group along a track, then road up the west side of Purakaunui Inlet for almost 3km with Osborne high on our right. They left the inlet at Station Road which leads up to the old Purakaunui railway station site, where they crossed the railway line. Then they proceeded through a gate and up a grassy track (originally a benched road which provided the main access to Purakaunui). At the first “Private Property” sign they took the right hand fork and continued up the track until they came to some huge macrocarpa trees shortly before the lunch stop by the ruins of the stone house, backed by more gigantic macrocarpas (planted by the McKessars – see below).
[This house was built by George McKessar, a stonemason from Scotland. He took up the grant of land in 1861 and built the house in 1865. He and his wife brought up five children there, and for a time his wife’s sister and her children also lived there while her husband was working on building the railway. They ran some cattle and Mrs McKessar made butter and cheese which she sold in Waitati. It is believed that the house has been unoccupied since the McKessars died before WW1.]
After lunch the trampers split into two groups, which separately headed on up the track to Mopanui Road to admire the drystone wall which runs alongside it for a km or so and which is being restored by a local group. The first group of ten turned left up the road to Mopanui. The larger group of twenty climbed over the fence at the end of the road to follow a track which runs downhill between a deer fence (on the left) and gorse. (This track continues the line of Mopanui Road and should not be confused with a track following another fence down the side of the Orokonui Sanctuary.) A fair way down this track, they crossed another fence and swung left by a big pine tree to follow a clearly marked (yellow ribbons) track which winds through regenerating bush. This comes out on to the direct track just before the latter meets a 4wd track. They turned right (this is counterintuitive, but do not be tempted to turn left) and followed the 4wd track down to the top of White Road, arriving there about 3.15 pm. Drivers departed in the car left there to pick up the other vehicles.
Meanwhile, the smaller group had continued along Mopanui Road for about 11/2 km to the entrance to the track up to Mopanui which approaches it from the south. A ten minute climb on a steep, muddy track took them to the top (468m) to enjoy a 360o view taking in Blueskin Bay, Purakaunui Inlet, Otago Harbour and the surrounding hills just before the fog rolled in again.
They then retraced their steps down the track, and back along to the northern end of Mopanui Road to follow the route taken earlier by the majority, reaching the top of White Road about 4 pm. And so home.
Special celebration -Barbara Simpson’s 90th Birthday
‘The Hays’ Hakataramea Valley
Route: Highway 1 to Kurow, across Twin Bridges and left up Hakataramea Valley to Cattle Creek, then straight on to The Hays (another 12km).
With the promise of another stunning Wednesday, 23 walkers left The Hays yards by 10am and headed up to the airstrip. This 25 minute walk brought us close to the airstrip for morning tea at about 10.30am. We were met by Brian and 3 members of the group who had driven up, and were only going to do an abbreviated walk along the top of the ridge. We also met two pest control workers who said they had only found 3 possums on the property (of 5000 acres.) From here we followed the 4WD track (N.W.) further along the ridge, all the time admiring the views of the Kirliston Range, the Grampians, Mount Dalgety, Mt Nessing, and Te Huruhuru, keeping these in mind for future trips. Lunch-time was about 12.20. Someone was heard to remark that ‘it doesn’t get any better than this!’
Following lunch John led 16 further on to the far boundary fence that heads north-east to meet the Dunstan Stream. The Dunstan Stream (flowing S.E.) is the boundary of the Hays property and eventually takes you to the Hakataramea Pass Road. (The Grampian Stream bounds the property on the S.W. side.) After a back-and-forth walk over the Dunstan Stream boundary fence, all were back to the cars by 3.45pm.
6 others who had returned via the airstrip were at the cars soon after 3pm. And the weather was as fore-cast – not a cloud in the sky all day and a very slight breeze. Frances said we had clocked 16.2km so everyone definitely deserved the generous servings of ice-creams we bought at Kurow. Back in town by 6pm – a bit tired but very happy with the walk. Margie S.
Special Report From UK
The Milmines have just spent two days with previous Wednesday Walkers Ann and Steve who live in Purley South of London. A steady stream of Wednesday Walkers have recently been hosted by Ann and Steve, namely Jean and Ken and Wendy.
Steve helps look after Riddlestown Common, just up the road from their house. His work has included repairing bench seats and training briar fences so the gaps are filled in. He regards the common as his own, and look out anyone who spoils it or upsets the animals.
They took us (Ross and Judith) for a walk on the North Downs, about half an hours drive from their home.
First we walked up Box Hill, quite a climb for SE England, a mainly woodland area with lots of families and fitness people enjoying the outdoors. There were some great views looking out over the Surrey Plain, with towns, farms and vineyards spread out below. This was about a 3 mile walk up one ridge and down another.
After lunch we transfered a few miles further to Polesden Lacy, an ex manor estate, now managed by a DOC like trust. After coffee and cake at the cafe (jane!) we set off on another delightful 3 mile walk around the hedgerow lined farm lanes of the estate, with views of sheep grazing the fields and of the manor in the distance.
Thanks Ann and Steve for a great time, and an introduction to the English countryside. We hope to again have the pleasure of their company on Wednesday walks at the end of this year.
Route: Hi-way one south to Mt Misery Road, then to Glencoe Run – follow 4WD track to tanks.
With 17 trampers at Towey Street, we drove south to meet 5 more at Maheno at about 8.45am. The turn-off to Mt Misery road is just past the Mill House. This leads up behind the Herbert Forest to Glencoe Run. The farm 4WD track was dry so no 4WD vehicles were required. Soon after 9.30 we started walking from the tanks (car-park), by-passed the Red Hut and straight away moved up-hill to meet the track heading to Mount Miserable. Having gained some height we opted for a morning tea stop by 10.30. We congratulated ourselves again on ordering a brilliant winter’s day for our Wednesday Walk! As we followed the track to the Trig (884m) the snowy mountain views unfolded – only marred by the haze in the Waitaki Valley. The Remarkables, the Pisa Range and possibly that block-like one in the distance was Mount Earnslaw. (Bill was not there to confirm this!)
After lunch a group of 5 took a loop across country to meet the homeward road, while the rest returned by the same route but took a detour to Bells Saddle. This gave us great views of the route to Conical Peak and to the south-east to Mt Fortune, Staircase Ridge and Razorback to name a few. On the return walk we met the others, making sure we didn’t herd the cattle too far along the road to the boundary gate. We called in to the Red Hut for after-noon tea – a very well maintained musterer/hunter’s hut. It was hard to stir ourselves from the sunny shelter of the hut to walk the last 15 minutes to the cars. All back by 3.30pm. Margie Smith
Island Cliff farm walk
Weather: Fine and sunny and no wind.
Trampers: Margie & Brian Smith, Louise McNeill, Mary Anderson, Noel & Georgie Williamson, Christine Rolton, Trevor Reynolds, John Edwards, Anthea Brown, John Chetwin, Joy Leek, Heather Kirk , Jane Green, Jean Paterson, Dave & Bev Inkersell, Bart Gilmore, Ross & Judith Milmine, Gail Papps, Klaus Steiner, Ina Koevoet, Jo McLachlan, Mary Anderson (Livingstone),Frances Thomson.
Route: Ngapara-Tokarahi Hi-way to Island Cliff Farm – about a kilometre before Tokarahi. (‘Island Cliff’ on gateway)
An 8.30 start with 25 trampers, and a half hour journey to Island Cliff, gave us a 9.15am walking start. Island Cliff farm is basically 2 ‘islands’ mostly surrounded by lime stone cliffs. From the yards where we parked we romped up the hill to the nearest island and proceeded in an anti-clockwise direction. It wasn’t long before we found a way up onto the plateau so that we could admire the panoramic mountain views on this clear sunny day. We headed out as far as the trig (385m) and spent sometime having morning tea before walking again.
Next we made a U-turn and walked back to the saddle to the next island that overlooks the ox-bowed Karara Creek and Pukekarara (Karara Hill). A herd of deer were putting themselves through their paces along the far fence-line. Just as we were coming to the end of the plateau Jane G. was suddenly aware of the bleating of a lamb – but in fact it was a Boer goat following us – aptly named Bismarck!! by John C. Nearing the end of the plateau, Bismarck showed is how to take a short cut over the rocky slope. We rounded the end of the plateau with Bismarck all the time wanting to play games! We headed south-west under the cliffs keeping an eye out for fossils, till we came to a perfect lunch-spot, even though it was only 11.45. Two more Boer goats joined us – all very friendly and nosing about, checking on what we were having for lunch. Turns out they were former pets of the owners. After a mostly leisurely and entertaining lunch-break we continued back to the saddle and checked out the ostrich eggs that have been lying around for a few years. No Ostriches visible today though. This took us back to the plateau we had started on in the morning. On nearing the end we again headed SW back under the cliffs and then down the hill to the yards. All back by 1.45pm with everyone enjoying a much easier walk than Mt Parker last week!
Below are the stats that Frances collected on the way – a fairly leisurely walk indeed. Thanks Frances.
Tot time 4h 12m Distance 7.5km Max Speed 6.77km/h Moving speed 3.75km/h Moving time 2h 00m Stopped time 2h 11m Ascent +446m Descent -367m
Weather: Overcast and cold am. (S.W. change forecast but did not happen). Fine and sunny pm. No wind.
Depart: 8.30 Towey St
Route: Hi-way 1 to Glenavy, left to Ikawai, then continue on to Mount Parker (sign “Mount Parker” on gateway on right.)
Trampers: (19) Margie Smith, John & Margaret Chetwin, Gail Papps, Noel & Georgie Williamson, Heather Kirk, Mary Anderson, Louise & Les McNeill, Christine Rolton, Bill Bews, Frances Thompson, Bart Gilmore, Jean Paterson, Bev & Dave Inkersell, Jo McLachlan, Rosalie Thorn.
By 9.30am we arrived at Mt Parker yards (2 ½ degrees) and by 9.45am we started walking, following the 4WD track from the yards and heading right, up towards the hills. For a future trip we should follow the track as far as the creek instead of taking a short cut up over a hill, as we did. On crossing the creek, head uphill to the first gate and there the easily located 4WD track continues up to the trig (660metres). By the time we arrived at this gate it was obvious a few of the group were happy to opt for a slower pace. Dave I. volunteered to lead this group of 5 to the trig and return by the same route.
The larger group of 14 had morning tea (10.45) on the way up the road and by about 11.40am reached the trig where a lost-looking wallaby ‘joey’ was unsure where he should be. From the trig we went through the fence (north) and then turned left on the 4WD track before following it north again down to the hut on Penticotico Stream. Here the temperature dropped even lower but fortunately no wind. So with all our warm clothes on we ate our lunch outside the hut.
Meanwhile part of this group had taken a different ridge down to Penticotico Stream and took a little longer to reach the hut, so some time was lost before we regrouped further on down the stream where the Mt Orr stream joins Penticotico. By then as we neared the gorge, the sun came out and we shed layers of clothing as we warmed up. Even warmer as we climbed the steep track from Penticotico Stream that leads back to the Mt Parker yards.
Our good Samaritan, Dave, brought his 4WD vehicle up the track to meet a small group, one of whom was having knee problems going downhill. This saved us 40-50mins on the return journey. On the way back we met Andy Scotland, (son-in-law of Peter McIlwraith) who manages the Penticotico part of Mt Parker. All back at the yards just on 5pm and in Oamaru by 6pm. Another great Wednesday in the hills!
Later in the year a summer trip could be arranged beginning at the road-end of Penticotico Stream.
This trip was done by the Tramping Club many years ago. Margie S.
Twenty-five walkers joined Bill B. on the Ngapara farmwalk. The walk began in Leigh Hamilton’s yard and then along Conlan’s Rd south to Ivan Watt’s farm lane. Following down the lane to the yards, Bill told a few stories from ‘yesterday’ when he had farmed this property. We then travelled along the escarpment (east) above the Ngapara/Tokarahi Rd till reaching the 80metre fault-line that a number of people followed before emerging near a water course. Here we crossed over and found a sheltered spot for morning tea. From there we passed the pond that someone thought he could skate on last year!! But no, the ice was too thin – and no ice today either! Then out the nearby gate and across McCulloch’s Rd before following the driveway with several International trucks, belonging to Taylors Transport, from by-gone days. At the end of the drive, above the cliff, the keen photographers of the group spent time taking ‘family photos’. Then it was a brisk walk along to Conlan’s Rd for lunch, before entering Conlan’s property where cliff-walking was the way to go. Next, a look where the new house was being built last year, before following the picturesque cliff-walk leading to the lane back to the milking sheds. The day was cool but not without sun. This was an ideal winter’s walk with great North Otago views, especially with the mountains wearing their white winter coats! Margie Smith
Hampden to Moeraki Beach Walk
Wednesday the 30th August
_*LOW TIDE*_ 11-40am for Moeraki. High Cloud and some sunshine.
Predicted strong Northerly and N W winds did not eventuate. Pleasant
_*CARS:*_ Bart, Georgie, Jane N., Trevor, Ross B., Dave, John C.
After leaving Oamaru at 8-30 and meeting up with the Kakanui contingent
at Maheno, we were ready to walk from the Hampden Beach carpark at
9-20am. Klaus led off with the fast walkers followed by the rest of us
in dribs and drabs. We briefly caught up with them for morning tea on
the beach below the Saxton homestead. In the meantime the slower
walkers had time to study three frostfish and the condition of the
Moeraki Boulders. One frostfish was stowed behind a bush below the
Boulders Restaurant to be retrieved on the return walk along the beach
in the afternoon.
Morning tea over and Klaus led his tribe of at least 15, at speed
over to the 2nd Kaik via Coronation Street and Lighthouse Rd. We didn’t
see them until we arrived back at the cars 2-30ish. A more sedate group
(8) walked along the Millenium Walkway to Moeraki Lookout and back the
same way to the cars while talking and observing lots of interesting
Following this were the Barracuda observers of about 8. This fish
was barely alive (fresh) so Trevor expertly filleted it and carried it
in his pack. When they reached the end of the beach they decided to
walk along the rocks to Moeraki. From there they continued along the
beach and rocks to the first Kaik. Took quite a while as the rocks were
slippery in places. From there they walked back to the cars by road.
Now there were two tailenders! We could not keep up with the
Barracuda group on the rocks so got left behind. We visited the
toilets after getting off the rocks, walked on to Moeraki and up to the
Lookout, made radio contact with the ones on the beach but never saw
another soul. We had our lunch in the sun and finally caught up with
five coming away from having coffee at the Boulders. We were all back
at the cars by 3pm after a good walk in the sea air. J.N.
THE BEACH WALK
The walk from Hampden along the beach to Moeraki, heading south,
Can be an interesting exercise, when the tide is out.
There’s many shells, mostly broken, but some are still intact,
And colourful stones of gold and orange, brown and nearly black.
The world renowned boulders are on this stretch of sand,
And tourists come from far and wide to admire and wonder and stand
Upon these unique concretions, scattered all around,
Which emerge gradually from the cliffs, then plummet to the ground.
They started life beneath the sea 5 million years ago,
And are made of silt, calcite, clay and Paleocene mudstone.
But Maori legend has it they are gourds which washed ashore
From the wreck of a canoe bound for Aotearoa.
There’s also lots of driftwood, smoothed and sculpted by the sea.
Washed down in floods from some far away inland trees.
With a little imagination, you can make out various shapes,
And picture them in your garden to enhance the general landscape.
On a recent Wednesday walk there was reason to stop and study.
Frost fish had been washed up and bird pecks had made them bloody.
Well named they were, being so long, so glistening and so white,
Just like a frost on the lawn after a sub-zero night.
Then there was something, so different and definitely quite unique.
A barracuda lying, flapping, and gasping at our feet.
Obviously just washed up by the big waves from the ocean,
Too good an opportunity to miss; our Trevor had a notion.
In true Boy Scout style, he was well prepared,
And had a knife in his pack, and a sturdy plastic bag.
Being a keen fisherman, he knew just what to do,
So dispatched that lovely fish and extracted a fillet or two.
Should he go to the Boulders Restaurant and ask to put it in their fridge?
Or carry it with him in his pack and trust there would be no damage.
His wife would have been delighted with the fish meal that night,
And appreciate Trevor’s human instinct of fight instead of flight.
Christine Schaffer, August, 2014
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.