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 lave 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
Wednesday 21 February 2018
Wednesday 14 February 2018
Nineteen walkers took the opportunity of revisiting Chinaman’s hut on Otekaieke Station in Dansey Pass. We started walking from the locked gate at about 10am. The river was relatively easy to navigate as heavy rain last year had deposited a lot of gravel into the river. Apart from a few rocky scrambles navigation was easy and much of the time we were able to walk ankle-deep in the stream. Those who had not been here before were impressed with the stone hut and stone wall. Lunch here at 12noon. Families who had visited here over Christmas and New Year had left positive reports of their stay, particularly from the younger family members.
After lunch most of the group wandered further upstream towards the waterfall at the base of Mt Domett. Only six reached the waterfall and this was mainly to check on the safety-wire Bill had anchored around a tricky ramp (some years ago) for easy access to climb Mt Domett. The wire was still intact. However, because the pool at the base of the waterfall had been filled with gravel it was possible to scale it if you wished to go up Mt Domett. But – not today! The walk back seemed to be shorter – easy downstream walking. By the time we arrived at the cars about 4pm, drizzle was settling in. But it was a thoroughly enjoyable walk. Francis’ stats: 14.9 kms.
Deep Stream, Lake Aviemore
Wednesday 7 February 2018
22 set out at 8-30am for another river with possible swims. The weather was brilliantly fine but a cool sou-westerly was still blowing after the rain. After a quick stop at Kurow we assembled at the Deep Stream car park.
The walk down the road towards the Aviemore dam was still in the shade, before we turned up a gut and followed the fence line to a saddle, turning left to the top with great views down the Waitaki Valley and Lake Waitaki. After a morning tea break we strolled across the plateau before descending steeply to Deep Stream where 2 of our party returned to their car via the stream track. It was then an easy walk up the valley to a shady willow tree for lunch.
The return trip was via the river bed with a couple of stops for swims in the decidedly cool pools. An opportunity was taken at one point for some river crossing training. No one felt heated enough for another swim back at the cars, though it was felt necessary to stop in Kurow for an icecream! It turned out to be a longer day than anticipated, arriving back in Oamaru well after 5pm.
31 January 2018
When the 35deg temperature for Deep Stream was forecast I pulled the pin on this planned trip and opted for the Wainakarua R. where the bush-lined river offered shelter from the searing sun.
Arriving at the Glencoe Domain the 22 walkers divided into 3 groups. Upstream Walkers: John & Bill (8) Across the River Bush Walk. Ross (4) Downstream Walkers: Jane N (10)
The Upstream walkers only managed a rocky scramble of 600m before 4 had had enough – 2 had slipped on the sharp rocky terrain, but with only minor injuries. (We should have followed the bush track, about 300m from the domain, for easier access). The other 4, with Bill leading, persevered and managed to push a further 700m up the gorge. This involved carrying packs over their heads to wade through the pools. The 4 at the 600m point waited for the advanced group to return. This was a good opportunity for John’s sub-group to have smoko and then indulge in a long swim in the nearby pool, where the water temp was around 24 deg. On their return Bill’s group said the upper gorge was the most attractive part of the river valley.
From there we headed back downstream hoping to meet Jane N’s group. On the way we met a couple of guys and a dog enjoying a dip in a water hole. He said the water had been this warm for weeks – no cold nights meant the rocks had stayed very warm, thus keeping the water at a very comfortable temp. A little further down he showed us where he had been feeding his eels (4-5) with ‘paua guts’. They, the eels, took no notice as we strolled through the ‘eel’ pool. Further on, about 200m above the ford we decided to have lunch in the shade, right beside another beautiful pool. And, of course, another swim was inevitable. We didn’t manage to join with Jane’s group at this stage.
Meanwhile, Ross’s group had exited the forest not too far above the ford and had joined the Downstream group for lunch a short distance from Grave’s Dam. Again, there were beautiful swimming pools, with most group members taking the opportunity to spend time in the warm water.
Following lunch everyone met near the ford. On the way we met a few families enjoying a day out picnicking and swimming. Soon after 1.30 all 22 walkers began the return walk to the Glencoe Domain, with the heat reflecting from the river stones having a burning effect on the skin. We again had one last swim before returning to the cars.
24 January 2018
Following last weeks river/swim theme, this Wednesday’s plan was to head to Clear Stream (North Maerewhenua R.). With 20 walker/swimmers on board we headed straight to the Maerewhenua Bridge (near Lavender farm) to park. Dave said he would walk to the beginning of the gorge and then return to drive his vehicle back to the Beatties Hill bridge where the walk would finish, then transport the drivers back to their cars later. This solved the problem of shuttling cars. The plan worked well.
So soon after 9.30am we were heading downstream on the 4WD track, first noticing the old bridge that had been washed down the flooded river some years ago, and then fording the river to our morning tea site – two logs that seats nearly everyone.
From there the walk continued towards the gorge, where 2 groups of 10 formed. One to tackle the rocky gorge and the other to climb up to the saddle overlooking the river towards the end of the gorge. Fog could be seen rolling over the hills behind us but never really threatened the lower hills. By midday the ‘saddle’ group arrived at the ‘lunch pool’ where 5 sampled the water and decided this was a most agreeable temperature for a lengthy pre-lunch swim. The ‘gorge group’ arrived on the scene just as the first shift of swimmers were vacating the pool. Then it was their turn. The sun almost shone as the cloud started to disperse.
Following lunch the entire group strolled downstream, criss-crossing the river when necessary. We met Dave and Heather on the way and they joined us for the walk back to the bridge. As we crossed a ‘flat’ we hunted for the old gold-miner’s (Jo Jones died July 19__) grave stone, but we couldn’t find it, as it was like looking for a needle in a haystack in the long grass. We arrived at the end of our walk about 2.30pm and Dave ferried the other 4 drivers back to retrieve their vehicles while the rest of the gang had their second swim. AND then, the last swim of the day for the returned drivers was the BEST.
Later, while chatting to one of the landowners I learned the Dansey Pass Road is to be sealed sometime, as the maintenance costs of the gravel road are very high. Good news as the road is very corrugated and traffic numbers have increased. Margie
Kaiwarua River walk
17 January 2018
The Trip: Having bailed out the previous week, we decided to press on with the Kaiwarua trip this week despite a mildly iffy weather forecast – 1-2 mm rain after noon. Five cars set off from Towey Street, picking up Stewart at the Galleon where another car with two people joined the entourage. After a short delay at Glenavy, where an international member in a newly purchased and obviously thirsty Go-Anywhere Honda Civic fuelled up, we carried on to Waihao Downs, where Ian was collected, and proceeded through Waihaorunga and the Pentland Hills to Kaiwarua Station. We parked opposite the woolshed and said hullo to Mark Westgarth who was readying his Ute for some spraying.
About 10.20 we set off from the yards, turned right on to the main farm track, also the Old Kaiwarua Road, and followed it for just under a kilometre before turning left on to a track which led up over a hill and down a gully to a bridge across the north branch of the Waihao River. Having crossed the bridge, pangs of hunger proved too much for some and a morning tea stop was called after only 25 minutes walking. Smoko over, we carried on along the true left side of the river, sometimes on flat pasture and other times scrambling over rocky points. Potential swimming pools started appearing around bends. After some time, the bank on the true left turned into a bluff, forcing the first river crossing of the day. It was at this point two members of the party decided to turn back and they were taken up to the 4wd track for an easier route back to their car.
The rest continued above the true right bank. At one point the party divided, with a smaller group, including the leader, following the river while the larger group favoured a supposed short-cut across country. Both groups reached swimming holes at about the same time and, as it was now after 12 o’clock, settled down to lunch after a swim. The odd spot of rain had been felt earlier and the luncheon stop was accompanied by a light shower.
In the afternoon the valley closed in somewhat, necessitating more crossings, the last one leading to a saddle which took us over to where the Old Kaiwarua Road crossed the river. It was now 3 o’clock and some settled down for a spell while others walked a few metres downstream to a pool which provided the last opportunity for a swim before tackling the road home. The sun was now shining and it was decidedly warm walking the final 4km up the sheltered valley back to the yards and cars. Mark Westgarth was thanked for the hospitality and the vehicles set off on the homeward journey, uneventful except for the Go-Anywhere Honda Civic, which lived up to its name. A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining day.
(PS For future reference, the suggestion was made that we do the trip anticlockwise next time.) John
10 January 2018
The scheduled destination was Kaiwarua Station, but the weather there was forecast to be wet and the south appeared to offer a better prospect for a dry tramp. So we headed for the Evansdale Glen.
After negotiating the tricky turn-off from SH1 at the bottom end of the Kilmog (most carried on to Evansdale, did a U-turn and drove the short distance back up the hill), we drove down the short gravel road to the car park just before the Careys Creek ford. Kitted up, we set off shortly after 10 o’clock across the grassy picnic area, over the shallow creek and along a track which followed the creek into a bushy gorge. Around 11am we found a fairly open stretch by the creek for smoko. The track then continue to follow the creek. About 2.5km in, a fork crossed the creek to the right and headed up the Rongomai Ridge – this would be our return route. We continued up the true right of Careys Creek on the track signposted to Double Hill for a further 1.5km to another fork with the right-hand branch going up the Honeycomb Ridge. Along the way, we had seen some old water pipes lying in and alongside the creek – these are remains of the Seacliff Mental Asylum water supply. There was also some crossing and recrossing of the creek required and at one of these a tramper slipped on a rock and injured her hand.
The climb up the Honeycomb Ridge is steep and in place demanding, gaining 300m altitude in little over 1km. It then descends frustratingly to a saddle, only to rise again towards the top at Mountain Track. There is a clearing in the saddle at the junction with a short-cut to the Rongomai Track and the leaders waited there for the group to reassemble before the final 15 minute climb to the road and lunch. The last leg bordered a cutover area which offered fine views to the east and south. On the way up, vegetation changed from rather nice regrowth lowland forest to almost subalpine associations with dracophyllum and low shrubs at the highest point and plantation forest by the road.
After a leisurely lunch, we set off northwards along Mountain Track in search of the entrance to the Rongomai Track. We completely missed the turn and pressed on for a km or so up Mountain Track before we realised our mistake and turned back to find the elusive track only 100 metres from our lunch spot with a sign almost completely overgrown by a pine tree. The descent down the Rongomai Ridge through kanuka was slightly less steep than the way up, although still tricky in places and would have been much more so if had been wet. Once track met the creek again, we retraced our steps back to the cars, reaching them some 6 ¼ hours after leaving them. Huge ice-creams in Palmerston provided a just reward for a strenuous but enjoyable day. John
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.