Wednesday Walkers

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 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.

JView Larger Map



This Weeks Walk

5 November

Recent walks

Mount Cargill from Leith Saddle

Today twenty-one trampers decided to climb Mt Cargill from Leith saddle. All 5 cars parked in the designated area on Leith Saddle and at 10.10am they crossed to the Leith Valley Rd to the start of the track leading up to the Lookout. This rocky out-crop was the perfect place for morning tea at 10.45am. The track to there does not have a used look, it being narrow and a little overgrown. However, more was to come as they set off down the way leading to the junction joining the Sullivan’s Dam and Cloud Forest tracks – muddy, slippery and steep until the board walk steps started. But the sound of a lone Saddleback was heard and made up for the track condition.
From the junction it was just a continual upward climb till they arrived at the Transmission Lines at the forest edge. Here 4 people decided that was far enough and opted to lunch while the remaining 17 ventured across the recently logged area to the next forest track. This involved clambering over a lot of old fallen tree trunks and scaling another rocky (volcanic) outcrop higher up, where most of the group had their lunch. Another 3 climbed still higher to the next level for lunch; by then nearly 1pm. The larger group rejoined them a short time later.
Nobody seemed keen to return the way they had come. So John led them through the logging debris following red tape-markers and they finally came out on Cowans Rd (leading to Mt Cargill). By now it looked as if the WW’s were not going to ‘summit’ Mt Cargill today! About a kilometre down the road a decision was made to cut across the logging tracks and wind-rows leading to the Transmission Lines; these proved to be a good landmark today. This led to the track entering the forest the group had exited from earlier in the day. The native forest was looking fresh and healthy today, only occasionally permeated by the not so pleasant smell of Stinkwood (Coprosma Foetidissima?) Steps were retraced down through the Cloud Forest to Sullivan’s Dam.
All were back at the cars by 3.30pm. The group returning early had moved the cars down to the car-park at the northern end of the dam. Everyone seemed pleased with the walk that provided variety for all levels of fitness.    Margie S.

Livingstone Mystery Walk

Today Mary Anderson, from Livingstone, invited everyone – 38 trampers today – to take a walk around the 1860-70’s gold claims on her farm. By 9.45am we were on the move; around the pond and along the sheep tracks to the high sluiced cliffs surrounding the gully. Mary was able to tell stories of gone-by days in this old gold-mining area. Part of an old fire-place can still be seen. Morning tea was at a well-furnished hunter’s modern hut, with a welcome mat outside the door and an old push lawn mower! Joan thought she would assist with the lawn mowing! From there we followed the 4WD track out of the gully to the cemetery on Stock Road.
Most people were able to find a local name on a headstone of someone they knew. There are old gold-mining families buried here,too – though many are in unmarked graves. Then back down Stock Road to a gate on the right that leads into a neighbour’s forested area. The track wound deep into the forest where there are still signs of gold-mining with several cave-like shafts remaining. Even higher cliffs and interesting ‘rock’ formations down here in the forest. On reaching a T-junction we turned left and another 100m on we came to a clearing where we had lunch.
Following lunch we continued up through the forest till reaching Mckenzie Road. To get better views of the mountains another kilometre along the road was added to the walk. Unfortunately cloud shrouding the Kakanui Mountains reduced visibility so the views were somewhat limited. We did recognise ‘Douglas Rock’ on Dome Hills in one direction and Dansey Pass Road the other. The way ‘home’ was to walk along Mckenzie Road to Mary’s farm at Livingstone. A really enjoyable, almost 13km, walk with a difference. With thanks to Mary for a great day. No ice-creams today! Back in town soon after 4pm. Margie S.

Anderson Lagoon-Shag Colony



At Anderson’s Lagoon there’s a beach – down Palmerston way,

Where Wednesday walkers went for a walk one day.

They headed north to view the shags nesting on the cliffs,

On nests made from twigs and uncomfortable spiky sticks.


They were perched on narrow ledges jutting out from the face,

With each pair of birds protecting their own home base.

They seemed dedicated parents with Mum and Dad each taking a turn.

Perhaps there’s a lesson here that we humans could maybe learn.


Further up this lovely beach, more wildlife was to be found –

Seals basking in the sun and rolling all around.

Two huge creatures ignored us, except for a casual glance,

But further on there was a development, and we had to change our stance.


Two more seals sensed trouble as we approached along the sand,

And became quite agitated, and made an aggressive sort of stand.

It’s amazing how fast they can travel with those little flippers and tail,

So we retreated pretty rapidly, and the cliff face we had to scale.


Would it have been possible to stand and look them in the eye?

It would have been a gallant person to pluck up the courage to try.

Even with the walking poles, armed and at the ready,

To keep your nerve would be admirable, if somewhat unsteady.


As we made our way along the top, they eyeballed us from below,

And three brave guys, still on the beach, decided then to go.

They outran those pesky seals – got past safe and sound,

While the rest of us descended and finally got back down.


The lunch break at the river mouth was tempered by the thought

Of returning back and past that hazard, which was rather fraught.

But they didn’t bother us at all – they had had their fun,

So to the seals and their principles, I will say well done!

Christine Schaffer

October, 2014



Anderson Lagoon-Shag Colony

22 Oct 2014

‘We counted them all out …..and counted them all back…..’ all 42 trampers!
So at 10.00am we left the carpark and climbed over the stile onto the track leading to the beach and Anderson Lagoon. From the lagoon we climbed the very sturdy ladder and wooden steps up to the cliff top. Then over another stile, up and down through the trees and down to the beach for morning tea about 10.45am. The track is bordered on one side by a boundary fence and a deer fence on the other.
Back on the track we walked over two more bluffs before descending to the beach. Here a rope is provided for extra safety if you wished to use it. From here was the long walk along the beach to the Shag River estuary. Everyone looked in awe at the cliffs above, at the nesting shags on their high-rise balconies over-looking the beach. Unfortunately there were no youngsters today – perhaps in a week or two. Both parents jealously guarded their nests warding off any pirates.
Never a dull moment on this walk. A detour up into the sandhills was made next. Two ‘performing seals’ barred our way along the sand – lots of barking meaning ‘get out of my territory!’. A couple of lazy sea-lions further along continued flipping sand as we walked on by. Finally at the river estuary everyone found their own little cosy nook for lunch at 12.15pm. A very relaxed lunch, too. There was no rush to get back to the other end of the beach as the low tide was not till after 3pm. But even around 2.45pm the tide was not quite low enough to walk all the way on the beach and not use the cliff track, back to the lagoon. We were able to beach-walk and rock-hop all but one point, and there we were forced to take the cliff track before heading back to the beach. Most people were back at the carpark soon after 3.10pm. And after trying to make a decision on next week’s walk the ‘jolly ice-cream club’ headed off to Hampden for the biggest ice-creams in the world. Back in town by 5pm. Margie S.

Hakataramea ‘Hill’-Old Slip Road


With a muster of 34 trampers and one more at Duntroon, 8 cars left Towey street shortly after 8.30am. This walk is rated easy – and so it was. Cars were parked at the junction of Hakataramea Valley Rd and Old Slip Rd.
By 9.45am all were ready to start walking up the hill on Haka Valley Rd. First over the brow of the hill and down the other side where a sheltered site was found for morning tea at 10.30am.
Then walking for another 20 minutes the walkers turned sharply right at the Hatcheries Road – now a fishermen’s road leading to the Hakataramea River and a few fishing huts. The site of the old hatcheries was not found today but a fallen willow tree over a wrecked camper bus was! Due to past floods a huge amount of willow debris has piled up on the banks of the river. The river track was followed till reaching the bridge on the Waimate-Kurow Road. It was only just 12 o’clock, midday, but it was decided to have lunch at this sheltered spot. Here there was a good view of Mt Milne and plume of fog looking for all the world like a volcanic eruption was observed!
Following lunch there was almost a kilometre walk back to the cars and then a walk up the Old Slip Road to the slip. Well, maybe half a dozen people walked while the others took the easy way by driving to the first gate – about 2 ½ kms. From here it was about a 2km walk to the slip. This road was previously used in the early days as access to the stations near Aviemore. About a kilometre up the road a large pump installation is being built to pipe water from the Waitaki River for irrigation in the Hakataramea valley. Further on at the old slip, it looks fairly stable, in that sheep regularly walk across it on very narrow sheep tracks.
All were back at the cars by soon after 2pm and then there was the usual stop in Kurow for ice-creams before returning to Oamaru after another enjoyable day .

Studholme Bush-White Horse


Reserve to White Horse back via Waterfall to Waimate Gorge.
After we finally all arrived at the WDC toilets we turned onto the Waimate gorge road and parked the cars in the carpark of the reserve. Thanks to Jane Naish, who realized nobody was assigned to pick up Jo at Waitaki Bridge, so she took a U-turn to investigate, and so Jo joined us for the tramp.
It was 9.50 am when we left the cars and started on the rather steep track to the top of the ridge, where we stopped for morning tea and waited for a small group of slower walkers. At the entrance of the track was a notice, advising us the side-trip to the White Horse was out because of logging. But the waiting took too long for some and John and Klaus decided to go for a reckie, just to see how far they could go. Very soon more and more went that way until, there was just a small group waiting for the slower ones. As it turned out most of us arrived at the White Horse and after enjoying the great views returned to the rest of the party. At 11.30am it was too early to have lunch, so we all set off along the Bellbird Track. Bellbirds and Tui were busy in the Fucshia bushes enjoying the nectar. There was only a little native bush by the track, but lots of gorse and broom, all in full bloom. If they were not such weeds, it looked rather pretty.
We stopped for lunch in a nice sunny spot at about 12.30pm enjoying each others company and were soon on our feet again, We all kept together till we came to the turn-off to the waterfall, where half the group went with John to the waterfall, where only a trickle of water was flowing. The rest took the track going down to the gorge. When we were down we followed a track beside a creek in the gorge for a good while, till we arrived back at the cars at 2pm. We sat in the sun and enjoyed the warmth of sun and company, till the second group arrived back, about half an hour later.
Then off to Waimate for huge ice-creams and eventually back to Oamaru,
We all thoroughly enjoyed our day out. Ina K.

Tabletop from One Tree Ridge Road


The seven vehicles carrying thirty trampers from Oamaru and Maheno turned off SH1 on to Mile Flat Road, which became Razorback Road and wound up the hill through the Herbert Forest. At the top they turned right on to One Tree Ridge Road and travelled north for 1 ½ km to park at the junction with Hunters’ Access #3.
Just before 10am they set off down the track, initially through cutover forest, then into pine plantation, and, as the track got steeper, through native bush. At the bottom of the 280 metre descent, they stopped for morning tea on the banks of the Waianakarua South Branch, which was scarcely ankle deep. This prepared the trampers for the steady 420 metre climb up a spur through regenerating native bush to the top ridge, where a left turn led shortly to the summit of Tabletop between 1 ¾ and 2 ¼ hours after leaving the cars. The fine day facilitated enjoyment of the 360 degree panorama and a relaxed lunch, although the arrival of a cool nor-westerly breeze encouraged the trampers to take full advantage of tussock and manuka shelter. A more energetic couple explored an old 4wd track which dropped off eastern side of the top ridge to lead to a saddle and a boundary fence. It appeared that this saddle could provide access to a spur which headed north east down to the river which might well offer an alternative return route for later exploration.
After lunch, the team headed back down the route which had taken them up, reaching the cars at around 3pm. On the way, one member ventured up the stream to confirm that it seemed to provide a viable route, at least when the river was low. The homeward journey included a compulsory diversion to Hampden to partake of the customary giant icecreams.

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

Doctor’s Point

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


Group  Skills

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
White Horse
Starting place is the Towey St Tennis Courts (see the  map at the top of this page) usually at 8-30am  every Wednesday.