A walking group go on day walks within two hours driving from Oamaru each Wednesday.
You are welcome to join us for the day and no membership is required.
Trip information can be sent to your email address by Tuesday, the day before the trip. If you wish to go on this email list please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your wish to be included in the mail out.
Unless otherwise notified trips will leave at 8-30 am each Wednesday from outside the Towey St. tennis courts, Oamaru . You are welcome to just turn up to be included in that days trip, though be aware that there is the very odd cancellation or time alteration.
See down further under Group Skills and Day Gear Checklist for some things to be aware of on the walk and a recommendation of what to bring.
This Weeks Walk
Earthquakes and Farmwalk Duntroon
26 July 2017
19 July 2017
Trip: A cool frosty morning, (1.5 degrees) greeted 13 trampers at Towey Street. Three more were met at Maheno and yet another lone tramper at Kuriheka, taking the number to 17. The walk began at the Kuriheka farm yards, then heading along the road to join the Ram Hill Road. First stop up the hill was the old kiln-shaped charcoal burner used during the war years.
Next stop was the hay-barn where we had smoko and it was here the sun’s rays made their first appearance. Then onward and upward to the next hay- barn. But it being only 11.40am by then we decided to push on for another 25 minutes to the Dog’s Den (historic musterers’/rabbiters’ hut) for lunch in the sun. A child’s plastic trike and the old bath provided some entertainment. From here we viewed Siberia with a smattering of snow and the Dometts in the far distance, totally white. On the return trip at least one person checked on the relics of an old forge while passing the barn.
Jane and Barbara had taken a slower approach to the walk and it wasn’t until we had returned to the smoko barn that they joined the main group again. From there it was all downhill but not without a visit to the stone memorial of our old friend Bowler, an old Clydesdale who died in 1894. All were back at the cars by 3pm after walking almost 19km. Margie
A2O from Kurow to Winery
28 June 2017
Trip: We set off at 9.40am having parked at the Kurow toilets, and walked down through the town to a sign-post on the left pointing to the A2O track. We proceeded in an orderly fashion, stopping for morning tea about 10.30 am, to Pasquale’s Winery where we turned left on the track, to the river. Where the A2O turned right, we turned left on to a rather muddy vehicle track and past an area of low cliffs, to a rather drier area for a 12 noon lunch. We had to skirt around rather large expanses of water on parts or the track and passed some watery inlets from the river presumably for boat access. The river was in full flow. There were good views upriver and of the surrounding hills in the winter sunlight.
At one point the track forked and some took the left fork inland as being less likely to give them a dose of wet feet. Before both groups joined up again we climbed over a fence next to a gate and then into a paddock. Both groups then went back on the A2O to cross a creek. Shortly after, we left the bike trail again and headed off right, through a grassy reserve land to walk alongside the river to the new bridges. We stopped to look at the bridges, the section of the old one which had been preserved and the information boards.
We returned to the town about 2.30pm and sat in the sun eating ice-creams. Gold stars for all today after an orderly walk!! A good winter expedition.
Trig L from Chalmers Rd
Route: Drive south to Palmerston, turn right onto Dunback Rd. About 2km from Palmerston turn right onto Switchback RD then right onto Chalmers Rd. Drive ½ km past Vickers new house and turn into first gate on left. Follow easement and at second gate turn right and take the higher track, on true left of stream, to park at Begley’s cattle yards.
Trip: A total of 24 trampers participated today. We followed the route description to Begley’s yards, and turned right to follow the tributary for about 1km. After numerous stream crossings we walked another ½ km till we came to the first turn left. Here we had our morning tea. After smoko we walked a further 500m looking for a way up the next gully but there seemed to be too much bush at the entrance, so abandoned the idea. We retraced our steps to the morning tea stop and followed the 4WD road for a short distance before climbing the ridge on the right. We continued up the steep ridge on reasonably good cattle tracks. There was one ‘Hillary step’ to negotiate well up the ridge – but some people took a track around the outcrop lower down. The ridge took us straight to Trig L, arriving there for lunch at 12.10pm. From here there are good views across to the Rock and Pillar( still with some snow), Razorback, North and South Peaks and Trotters Gorge
On our return trip we followed the track going west from the trig and continued around to the next ridge before taking a south turn back to the yards (by 2.45pm} where the cars were parked.
Jane’s sub- group
Jane took a lower route continuing up the 4WD road from the morning tea spot. She and Barbara S. continued on this road and finally reached a high point for lunch. There, they were able to look across to the Rock and Pillar Range to the south-west one way and locate us having lunch at Trig L in the opposite direction. Margie
14 June 2017
A select group of 7 turned up on the tail of a cold sou’-wester and all were a bit unsure where they should walk today. A meeting at Vanessa’s in Hampden resulted in abandoning the Trig L trip and so the Hampden Hotspots was voted the best idea. At 10 minutes to 10, and armed with a brochure and map of the Heritage Trail of Hampden, Margaret guided the group around the interesting areas of Hampden. These included the church which originally was on common land, the school and other areas of interest.
Later in the day 3 of the group visited the Herbert cemetery where they learned Herbert was the depot for John Turnbull Thomson’s (Mr Surveyor Thomson) observations. He surveyed from Mt Charles (Herbert) in 1857.
Just over 7 km was the total for today’s walks.
Island Cliff farm walk
7 May 2017
Wednesday 3 May
The Trip: We parked in the usual place, under the trees on the far side of the Elephant Hill Farm yard, set off about 9.30 through the lane to the right of the cars and headed in a westerly direction across two flat paddocks. We then came to two gates; taking the left-hand one led us along a 4wd track through the Elephant Stream Gorge with its rapids and deep pools and with Elephant Hill itself looming on our right. Exiting the top end of the gorge found us on another wide flat and a gate on the right took us to a stream crossing. The stream bank was chosen as the morning tea spot and we settled down.
Smoko over, we crossed the stream and climbed up towards a gully at the west (rump) end of Elephant Hill. Decision time: five chose a direct attack on the elephant’s rump while the remaining 18 headed up the steep, narrow ridge past the knob of Mussen and on to the plateau below Zig-Zag Road. After a short spell to regroup, we turned right to walk more or less parallel to the road, skirting the heads of gullies, until we reached a water tank on a stand, which is the marker for the top of the ridge which leads to a saddle across to Elephant Hill. A tussocky knob offered a comfortable lunch site, so we settled down. It was now about 12.30 and low clouds could be seen sweeping in from the south to envelop the Elephant Hill tops. After lunch, we headed down the ridge to pause on the saddle for another decision time. Fourteen chose to backtrack a little to find a track which led steeply down to the gully we had left after morning tea, and thence directly back down the Elephant Hill Stream valley to the cars.
The remaining four intrepid trampers headed up the track on Elephant Hill into the mist. This track quickly gains height and they were soon looking down to the saddle and, further afield to the north, at the Waihao Valley and Pentland Hills. They skirted the still shrouded rump peak, carrying on along the now relatively flat track until it came to two gates. Forswearing the obvious track leading away from the second gate, they turned left downhill beside a fence. A right turn down a steepish gully led to an obvious track up the other side. This then sidled around the next ridge to cut back through some dense matagouri which seriously disadvantaged the taller members of the group. Finally, the track joined up with one coming down from the more conventional route higher up the elephant and the four proceeded down to cross Elephant Hill stream and back across the flats to the cars, reaching them around 3.30, about half an hour after the main group. Elephant saddles and howdahs were not required. John
Livingstone Farm Walk
17 May 2017
The early morning rain may have put off a few regulars but it had disappeared by the time we left Towey St for Livingstone, where we met Mary Anderson who was to be our guide for the day. The walk took us via the cemetery and around the plantation tracks where Mary told us a bit about the gold diggings. She showed us holes in the rocks, in some places as big as caves, that are the result of the force of water – this being the method used by miners in their search for gold.
After lunch in the sunshine, we drove to the Tokarahi Golf Course and spent a leisurely hour walking its length and breadth, admiring the beautiful selection of trees and the well-cared for greens.
Many thanks to Mary for her excellent guidance and information about the district and its history. We hope to see her walking with us again soon.
Mary also informed us that it’s our last chance to walk in the plantation because she has learned the owners are going to be felling the trees from the 1st June.
Dome Hills Big Rock
Wednesday 10 May 2017
Weather: Fine, warm, clear sky, calm
Trip: We drove up McKenzie Road via Livingstone and parked opposite the Dome Hills sheep yards. Booted up, 22 trampers set off at about 9.45 through the gate on the eastern side of the farmyard and along a muddy 4wd track before turning south-east up a slope to a gate by some trees, making a cursory search for Ina’s long-lost glasses on the way. The gate opened on to a stock lane which continued south. At the end we turned left and carried on parallel to, but well above, the Awamoko Stream. At one point we came upon a mob of lambs which seemed determined to run ahead of us, so we stopped for morning tea and to let the lambs find their way down in their own time. There followed the quasi-annual debate on where best to turn down to cross said Awamoko and join a track we could see in the distance ascending a spur on the other side. Consistent with tradition, we got it wrong and had to cross a steepish side gully to get up on to the shallowish spur which did offer a convenient descent and crossing of the shallow Awamoko.
Across the stream, we climbed up a 4wd track following a gully, taking it slowly to avoid pushing another mob of sheep into a corner. After they scarpered downhill, we were able to carry on over a shallow rise to turn eastward to the now-visible Big Rock, which we reached about 11.30. The rock climbed, 360o views admired, and photos taken, we carried on in a generally southward direction, across grassland and then an impressive fodder beet crop to reach a lane beside a mature pine plantation. Good views, both of the impressive farm development on Dome Hills and of the mountains beyond, sunshine, and soft grass made this the perfect place to lunch and doze.
Fed, refreshed and chatted out, we re-shouldered packs and headed along the lane beside the trees to turn on to Balmoral Road, reaching the Balmoral Hut about ½ an hour later. Some admired the hut, others took a loo stop, then all carried on along the 4wd track which could be seen stretching out across the slopes below another plantation, heading north-west back to McKenzie Road. Most kept on this track to the north of the tree block, but three went around the south side of the plantation to get a better view of Hector’s Plateau, with its peaks of Mt Dasher, Kattothyrst and Siberia Hill, and of the Kakanui Spur leading to Mt Evelyn and Kakanui Peak. Both routes led to McKenzie Road and its curving path back to the Dome hill yards and the cars. On the way down, some paid a visit to Molly’s Tree. All were back by 3 o’clock having walked 14 km and climbed almost 600 metres in perfect conditions. John
Dome Hills 10.5.2017
Four trampers: Jane N, Barbara S, Allen T and Ina K favoured an easier walk on that glorious morning, and when the main group left turning left, we went round the sheepyards and followed the track leading gradually uphill. We passed Molly’s tree and had a look at he placque, then some more uphill, till we came to the trees. We had just settled down for morning tea at the junction of the track, when Jane noticed a large mob of sheep coming our way, so we actually went over to the trees and sat down there.
From there we walked to a large plantation and walked on the south side of it and then up to a vantage point, where Jane pointed out the tops of the mountain range we could see. Glorious views!!
We then carried on that track to view a couple of rusty railway carriages, which were supposed to have been used for a bridge over the river, but alas, the track was too steep to the river and there they remained.
We then made our way to the Balmoral hut, where we stopped for a leisurely lunch in the sun. The seats were provided. After we left 1 hour later we followed the track back to the cars. All the way Allen kept us informed with the local history and lots of funny incidents he had experienced in his life mustering and shearing. Back at the cars at 2.45, just as the main group was arriving. We were reluctant to go home, as we had seen the fogbank along the coast.
A wonderful day !! Ina Koevoet
NGAPARA FARMS WALK 3/5/17
The morning paper suggested rain by mid-morning, then clearing mid-afternoon so it was surprising to have twenty-four keen WW’s turn up for the walk.
Plans were put in place to leave a vehicle at the Ngapara Sports Ground in case we decided to abandon there, at the half-way mark. This option is not usually available on most walks.
Starting at the Stackhouse’s farm yard, we headed east, down into picturesque limestone gullies. Peter Stackhouse kindly went out of his way to draw our attention to the historic and notable rock drawings in the area. A mental note has been taken of their position.
The next excitement of the morning was arriving at the Sanderson’s cattle yards at the same time as about a dozen stud bulls that were about to be individually assessed for the up-coming bull sale. After an informative conversation with the Sanderson’s and their manager, about the method of assessment, we continued on the road around to the Ngapara village. Instead of wandering through the village on the ‘main drag’, we opted for ‘Backroad’, a street not normally seen by the travelling public. As the leader had been a third generation farmer in the district, there were a few stories to be told, but a lot more that weren’t, about the happenings of many years before.
After lunch in and around the McCulloch’s Ngapara sheds, it was up and up to the flat tops of the farm and views of the Kakanuis under stormy skies. Then it was down through the farmyard to McCulloch’s road. At this point, a few took the shorter option of returning by the road to the cars, while the majority opted for a little more adventure by taking the loop through the Watt’s farm (once was the writer’s farm) and more limestone cliffs and arable tops.
On this occasion the weather-man treated us kindly with not a drop of rain on us. Not so nearer the coast.
Another great day enjoyed by all. Bill.
A group of 23 set off from Oamaru on a beautiful autumnal morning. We looked up at perfect blue skies over the Kurow Hill at our first stop of the morning. Driving on past the Egyptian toilets on the edge of Lake Benmore, we arrived at the large parking lot above the dam.
We entered the forest walk marked by the Benmore Peninsula Track DoC sign. By the time we reached the look-out spot for morning tea, the view beyond to Mount Cook was shrouded in mist. Refreshed we continued along the walkway until we reached the pylon track which begins on Rostriever Station. As we climbed onto the ridge, the skies cleared and gave way to breath taking views of the lake and hills.
We met at Boundary Gully for lunch around 12.30 pm. The poplars were ablaze in their saffron coloured autumn splendour. The presence of a group of campers who had taken residence in caravans complete with their own portaloo, discouraged us from setting up a lunch eating spot at the lake’s edge.
After lunch, most of the walkers felt sufficiently re-energised to set off along the rosehip lined track to the Ram Paddock on Bog Roy Station. A few enjoyed the additional challenge of climbing to the top of a craggy knoll overlooking the lake.
The walkers were welcomed back to the lunch spot by the few who had remained behind. There was time to have a further refreshment stop before returning back over the ridge or walking over the saddle to Loch Laird.
Kiddy cones for a few at Kurow ensured the ice cream tradition of Wednesday Walkers lives on and we arrived back at Towey Street at 5.30 pm. A distance of 15.6 km was covered by those who completed the track to the craggy knoll on Bog Roy Station on this magnificent day in autumn. Lyn
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.