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 what to bring.
This Weeks Walk
Altavady Farm Walk
Wednesday the 30th September
Bill Bews asked permission from the manager of Altavady, He also was our leader for the day.
Conditions: glorious spring day, with very little wind .
Distance: 20km one way.
Cars: Heather, Georgie, Francis, Bill, Catherine, Barbara.
Leaving Towey street, we travelled to Altavady, after picking up Ina and Srewart in the North end. We parked the cars in a paddock past the house. And started the walk at 9.20am. We followed a good farm track up the hill and after a short time Bill offered the choice of: an adventure up a gully ( never attempted before) or continue on the track! meeting at the first river crossing. The group roughly split in half, but unfortunately, the gully was too overgrown and the group had to retreat to another option.
From the tops, they could see the other group waiting and asked them to carry on to the next crossing, where we stopped for morning tea. After morning tea we carried on and found the adventurous group having morning tea a little further on the track.We then carried on together again.. We came to a wonderful viewpoint near a couple of lonely trees and after identifying the tops in the distance we did think this was a perfect spot for lunch, even if it was only 11.40am.
After lunch we carried on along the rocky ridge and then gradually made our way down the hill again and we were all surprised to return to the cars by 2pm.
A lovely easy walk on a beautiful day, Thanks so much Bill.
Wednesday the 23rd September
No Permission or Organizer or Leader!
Start: 8-30 am.
Conditions: Slight drizzle and fog. 1.5mls in total.
The original plan was to go to Altavady but Bill didn’t think the weather was suitable so since eleven keen people turned up and didn’t go back to bed when they saw the misty drizzle we decided to walk some of the Oamaru Walkways – no transport, no leader or organiser. In fact a mystery tramp!
Leaving Towey St at 8-45am we walked through the Queens Reserve (no views), down Isis Street and into the Gardens. Walking past the Aviary, Catherine fed Jimmy with some almonds which he enjoyed and then talked a little. The track along to the Croquet Lawn was a picture with a host of Golden Daffodils under the trees and the Camellia hedge was in full bloom. We were impressed with the tidiness of the Community Gardens with spring veges thriving. An inspection of the plantings in Fenwick Park followed before walking past the Dog Pound then climbing up to the Hospital Hill where there was a Leidecker view for Morning Tea. After walking the track to Cam Street we re-entered the Gardens to see the colourful sight in the Glasshouse – Orchids, Impatiens (pink on one side and orange on the other side) Cyclamen, Primulas and Bromeliads.
From the Gardens we made our way down to Friendly Bay and no one wanted coffee at the Galley but preferred to accept Catherine’s invitation to have our lunch at her home on the hill. We walked up past Harbour View then to the end of Test St and into the old pine forest where there have been large areas planted in natives. We climbed up steadily until we reached the top track and a new kind of stile gave us access to the paddock below Catherine’s home. When we reached the top fence the tailenders could not see the house because of the thick fog and we were not sure which way to go to get out of the paddock. We all left a great heap of packs and boots at the front door and went in to eat our lunch around the table without a view while some enjoyed Catherine’s plunger coffee. After a leisurely lunch we had to venture out into the mist and return to our cars in Towey Street arriving there about 2-15pm after a really enjoyable walk and lots of talk.
Wednesday the 16th September
Weather: fine, mild, very strong north-west wind.
Permission: Eric Ross (03 436 0639) [Note: lambing had started but Eric was happy for us to go on the property.]
Trip: Trampers divided into two groups at Towey Street: one group of fourteen would go with John to climb to the summit and return via the kowhai gully; the other group of xx would go with Ken to walk into the kowhais and return, then drive to the Hakataramea Valley and walk up the ridge track towards Station Peak. Both groups travelled via Glenavy and SH82, Ken’s group stopping about 5km past Little Roderick Road and John’s group a little over 6km past that road.
At about 9.45am John’s group went through a gate and started up a grassy 4wd track that wound up a gully. Fifty minutes saw them stop for a breather after climbing almost 300 metres. Another half hour took them up another 150 metres to the junction with the summit track and morning tea. The final 3.5km stretch along that track, with a strong tail wind, took them up the last 230 metres to the summit at around 12.30. Most dropped packs on the track to climb to the trig at 885m, admire the view, and get rid of any remaining cobwebs. Lunch was enjoyed in a sheltered, sunny spot on the track just below the main masts.
Around 1.30pm, they retraced their steps along the summit track, this time into the teeth of the strong northerly. A few hundred metres before the junction with the track they had climbed in the morning, all but three turned left through a Taranaki gate on to a little-used 4wd track that snaked steeply down the hill. (The remaining three carried on to retrace the morning’s route.) At one point the main track appeared to go straight ahead through a gate, but they swung right to follow a track continuing down the gully. After more steep descending, they reached the area with dense coverage of kowhai trees on both sides of the gully. Unfortunately, their flowering had almost finished, but time was taken for a water stop. [Note for future: plan to do this trip in mid-August to get the best of the kowhai flowering.] At the foot of the gully, most continued down to and along the road for the 1.5km back to the cars, arriving there about 3.15. John tried a track which sidled along the hillside above the road and got back 5 minutes sooner.
Parking on roadside (ample room) 5 kms. past Little Roderick Road. No. 2 group of 13 tramped up secluded and delightful gully to find the Kowhai “grove”. Although nearly past flowering, we were intrigued by the sight of so many Kowhais. Also Cabbage Trees, all so healthy. Had our morning tea here, climbed a little further up the rocky gully, before returning to vehicles. Some foragers amongst us collected as many seeds as possible !!
We then drove into the Haka Valley, parking just over the cattle stop at the Ridge road to Station Peak. 11:00am we started up the 4X4 track, gaining height gradually and with increasing vistas. Lunch an hour later in a sheltered area, then onwards and upwards, with six reaching the pine trees and gate, not far from where the first group reached the Ridge road. We were back at the cars by 2:15pm. All agreed a great way to go and we could have made Station Peak, if we had started earlier. Excellent views and wind not a problem. Ice Cream’s at Kurow, returning to Oamaru at 3:45pm
Saltwater Creek upstream
Wednesday the 9th September
No permission required. Organiser/ Leader: Ross M
Starting Time: 8.30am.
Conditions: Overcast till about 11am, then lovely and sunny.
Distance: 85 km one way
Cars:Georgie, Jane N, Francis, Norma, John C, Ross M.
After organizing the cars, we soon left Towey street and picked up Ina in the North End. We then carried on to Salt Water Creek just inside the Timaru boundary and were ready to start walking at 9-55am, taking the track to our left and following the creek inland. The track was in excellent condition and well used. We met a group of cyclists, several walkers and several cyclists on their own, but we all shared the tracks happily. When we got to a road after about 30 minutes, we walked along it for a short distance until we found the entrance to another track and followed that. We stopped at a nice sunny spot for morning tea, then carried on to the top of the track, crossed a bridge and proceeded on the on the other side of the creek. After a while we stopped as we found a few members missing (who had gone in search of a toilet, found it and had to catch up with the group again) But after a while they turned up and there it was nearly noon, we stopped for lunch in a wonderful spot, full sun and no wind. To make this lunchtime even more exciting a couple of Monarch Butterflies were enjoying the lovely day bas well, flying all around us. We had a rather long Lunch break, but it was so good to feel the warm sun and enjoy the good company.
After lunch we made our way down the North side of the creek through Centennial Park and back to the track we had walked in on the morning. Then back along Salt Water Creek to where our cars were parked by 2.45pm. Everyone was fully satisfied with a good days walk without hills to climb. Thanks Ross. Back in town around 4pm.
Tapui Farm Walk
Wednesday the 2nd September
11 set out on a cloudy day that warmed up to pleasant temperatures with the odd glimpse of a watery sun. This walk was slightly different to previous ones on these farms. We again started out from Scott’s yards but headed down to the Tapui Homestead Road junction with Slaty Creek, which had quite a bit of water in it from the 20mm of rain the previous day. After finding a shallow place to cross and meeting Johny, the next farm owner, we headed up the slippery farm track to a high point where we had morning tea with good views towards the coast.
Then it was down to Slaty Creek again but with a culvert crossing before heading west to the farm boundary. Turning north into Neil’s farm we ascended the small hill near the house for good views of most North Otago mountains. A cool south easterly started to blow so we headed down to a sheltered spot for lunch.
We then continued east to Scott’s boundry and over undulating farmland back to the cars by 2pm. A pleasant walk in the North Otago downlands.
Maerewhenua Foothills Walk
Bushey Creek road end, up through Barry Simpson’s run block, around to top end of Basalt Creek Rd and return crossing lower reaches of Sheep-wash Creek.
This was a new trip in a very long list of previous Wednesday Walker’s venues.
No less than twenty-four innocent walkers put their lives in the hands of a member whose reputation of many years was for getting people lost. However, in spite of the offer of a confusing number of optional routes with varying difficulty along the way, some easier, some harder, we somehow finished up with the same number of walkers that we started with!
The near perfect weather forecast was less than perfect as we were greeted with a chilling south west squall just as we were setting out. The participants gradually assembled in the lee of some trees out of the wind. They were looking remarkably interested in heading down wind and down-hill, but on learning that in fact we were going to be heading up the road directly into the squall fazed no one, at least not on the outside.
With the squall abating, morning tea was enjoyed in the upper reaches of Sheepwash creek before the gradual but significant climb through delightful tussock to the ridge over-looking Otekaieke stream.
We had leisurely lunch at the beautiful setting of what was the Hamill home of maybe 100 years or more past. Although the house is now derelict, the kitchen was still remarkably intact.
The afternoon started with a three kilometre walk down Basalt creek road. This tended to draw walkers into a false state of relaxation, but as the traverse of the lower reaches of Sheepwash creek/gorge came into focus, the vibrant chatter dispersed. However, as often happens with Wednesday walks, first impressions are misleading.
Getting through the gorge was barely a challenge for most and in no time we were back at the cars.
This is a circuit that hopefully will be accessible for many years to come.
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.