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.

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This Weeks Walk

Recent walks

Island Cliff farm walk

8.30am start


Mount Parker

13.8. 2014

Weather: Overcast and cold am. (S.W. change forecast but did not happen). Fine and sunny pm. No wind.
Depart: 8.30 Towey St
Distance: 61km.
Route: Hi-way 1 to Glenavy, left to Ikawai, then continue on to Mount Parker (sign “Mount Parker” on gateway on right.)
Trampers: (19) Margie Smith, John & Margaret Chetwin, Gail Papps, Noel & Georgie Williamson, Heather Kirk, Mary Anderson, Louise & Les McNeill, Christine Rolton, Bill Bews, Frances Thompson, Bart Gilmore, Jean Paterson, Bev & Dave Inkersell, Jo McLachlan, Rosalie Thorn.

By 9.30am we arrived at Mt Parker yards (2 ½ degrees) and by 9.45am we started walking, following the 4WD track from the yards and heading right, up towards the hills. For a future trip we should follow the track as far as the creek instead of taking a short cut up over a hill, as we did. On crossing the creek, head uphill to the first gate and there the easily located 4WD track continues up to the trig (660metres). By the time we arrived at this gate it was obvious a few of the group were happy to opt for a slower pace. Dave I. volunteered to lead this group of 5 to the trig and return by the same route.
The larger group of 14 had morning tea (10.45) on the way up the road and by about 11.40am reached the trig where a lost-looking wallaby ‘joey’ was unsure where he should be. From the trig we went through the fence (north) and then turned left on the 4WD track before following it north again down to the hut on Penticotico Stream. Here the temperature dropped even lower but fortunately no wind. So with all our warm clothes on we ate our lunch outside the hut.
Meanwhile part of this group had taken a different ridge down to Penticotico Stream and took a little longer to reach the hut, so some time was lost before we regrouped further on down the stream where the Mt Orr stream joins Penticotico. By then as we neared the gorge, the sun came out and we shed layers of clothing as we warmed up. Even warmer as we climbed the steep track from Penticotico Stream that leads back to the Mt Parker yards.
Our good Samaritan, Dave, brought his 4WD vehicle up the track to meet a small group, one of whom was having knee problems going downhill. This saved us 40-50mins on the return journey. On the way back we met Andy Scotland, (son-in-law of Peter McIlwraith) who manages the Penticotico part of Mt Parker. All back at the yards just on 5pm and in Oamaru by 6pm. Another great Wednesday in the hills!
Later in the year a summer trip could be arranged beginning at the road-end of Penticotico Stream.
This trip was done by the Tramping Club many years ago. Margie S.




Ngapara Farm

6th August

Twenty-five walkers joined Bill B. on the Ngapara farmwalk. The walk began in Leigh Hamilton’s yard and then along Conlan’s Rd south to Ivan Watt’s farm lane. Following down the lane to the yards, Bill told a few stories from ‘yesterday’ when he had farmed this property.  We then travelled along the escarpment (east) above the Ngapara/Tokarahi Rd till reaching the 80metre fault-line that a number of people followed before emerging near a water course. Here we crossed over and found a sheltered spot for  morning tea. From there we passed the pond that someone thought he could skate on last year!!  But no, the ice was too thin – and no ice today either! Then out the nearby gate and across McCulloch’s Rd before following the driveway with several International trucks, belonging to Taylors Transport, from by-gone days.  At the end of the drive, above the cliff, the keen photographers of the group spent time taking ‘family photos’. Then it was a brisk walk along to Conlan’s Rd for lunch, before entering Conlan’s property where cliff-walking was the way to go. Next, a look where the new house was being built last year, before following the picturesque cliff-walk leading to the lane back to the milking sheds.   The day was cool but not without sun. This was an ideal  winter’s walk with great North Otago views, especially with the mountains wearing their white winter coats!          Margie Smith

Hampden to Moeraki Beach Walk

Wednesday the 30th August

_*LOW  TIDE*_ 11-40am for Moeraki.  High Cloud and some sunshine.

Predicted strong Northerly and N W winds did not eventuate.  Pleasant

_*CARS:*_ Bart, Georgie, Jane N., Trevor, Ross B., Dave, John C.


After leaving Oamaru at 8-30 and meeting up with the Kakanui contingent

at Maheno, we were ready to walk from the Hampden Beach carpark at

9-20am. Klaus led off with the fast walkers followed by the rest of us

in dribs and drabs.  We briefly caught up with them for morning tea on

the beach below the Saxton homestead.  In the meantime the slower

walkers had time to study three frostfish and the condition of the

Moeraki Boulders.  One frostfish was stowed behind a bush below the

Boulders Restaurant to be retrieved on the return walk along the beach

in the afternoon.

Morning tea over and Klaus led his tribe of at least 15, at speed

over to the 2nd Kaik via Coronation Street and Lighthouse Rd.  We didn’t

see them until we arrived back at the cars 2-30ish.  A more sedate group

(8) walked along the Millenium Walkway to Moeraki Lookout and back the

same way to the cars while talking and observing lots of interesting

Following this were the Barracuda observers of about 8. This fish

was barely alive (fresh) so Trevor expertly filleted it and carried it

in his pack.  When they reached the end of the beach they decided to

walk along the rocks to Moeraki.  From there they continued along the

beach and rocks to the first Kaik. Took quite a while as the rocks were

slippery in places. From there they walked back to the cars by road.

Now there were two tailenders!  We could not keep up with the

Barracuda group on the rocks so got left behind.  We visited the

toilets after getting off the rocks, walked on to Moeraki and up to the

Lookout, made radio contact with the ones on the beach but never saw

another soul. We had our lunch in the sun and finally caught up with

five coming away from having coffee at the Boulders.  We were all back

at the cars by 3pm after a good walk in the sea air.   J.N.


The walk from Hampden along the beach to Moeraki, heading south,
Can be an interesting exercise, when the tide is out.
There’s many shells, mostly broken, but some are still intact,
And colourful stones of gold and orange, brown and nearly black.

The world renowned boulders are on this stretch of sand,
And tourists come from far and wide to admire and wonder and stand
Upon these unique concretions, scattered all around,
Which emerge gradually from the cliffs, then plummet to the ground.

They started life beneath the sea 5 million years ago,
And are made of silt, calcite, clay and Paleocene mudstone.
But Maori legend has it they are gourds which washed ashore
From the wreck of a canoe bound for Aotearoa.

There’s also lots of driftwood, smoothed and sculpted by the sea.
Washed down in floods from some far away inland trees.
With a little imagination, you can make out various shapes,
And picture them in your garden to enhance the general landscape.

On a recent Wednesday walk there was reason to stop and study.
Frost fish had been washed up and bird pecks had made them bloody.
Well named they were, being so long, so glistening and so white,
Just like a frost on the lawn after a sub-zero night.

Then there was something, so different and definitely quite unique.
A barracuda lying, flapping, and gasping at our feet.
Obviously just washed up by the big waves from the ocean,
Too good an opportunity to miss;  our Trevor had a notion.

In true Boy Scout style, he was well prepared,
And had a knife in his pack, and a sturdy plastic bag.
Being a keen fisherman, he knew just what to do,
So dispatched that lovely fish and extracted a fillet or two.

Should he go to the Boulders Restaurant and ask to put it in their fridge?
Or carry it with him in his pack and trust there would be no damage.
His wife would have been delighted with the fish meal that night,
And appreciate Trevor’s human instinct of fight instead of flight.

Christine Schaffer, August, 2014

 Big Ben  23 July 2014

20 walkers headed West up the Waitaki Valley, turning left up Otiake Road and then right up Domett Road to the end.

We started walking at 9-45am into a cold SW wind. After morning tea at the trees those heading for the top of Big Ben took off, while those just heading up the valley were more leisurely in their departure.

Quite a few took the shortcut up the ridge from the saddle to the rocky outcrop, and soon ran into smatterings of snow. Once through the gate the snow was about 100mm deep with some knee deep drifts towards the top. Mostly good walking, with the odd soft patch. Five made it to the summit about 12-30pm. It was a hurried lunch even with extra layers on, as the wind was determined to go right through us and with some snow showers still on Mt. Domett and surrounding mountains. But the views  were worth it up and down the valley, plus the odd glimpse of Mts. Cook, Tasman and Sefton on the skyline.

Coming back down just through the top gate the front runners spotted a faclon sitting on a  rock which soon became the most photographed bird in North Otago that day. It eventually tired of its cellebrity status and flew off for a bit of peace and possibly a mouse or two for lunch.

Shortly afterwards we met 6 more walkers heading for the top,  who had lunch in a warmer sheltered spot.

No one bothered with any alternative routes down because of the snow and it was good to descend to a warmer climate. The weather improved in the afternoon as forecasted and we were all back at the cars by about 3pm, after a good workout to get rid of the cabin fever.

Ross M.



Mount Dryburgh


Permission: Andrew & Liz Hayes Normanvale John & Sue Abelen
Organiser: Margie Smith
Leader: Ross Milmine
Distance: 80km
Weather : Sunny. No wind. Temp. 8 degrees
Trampers: Margie & Brian Smith, Catherine Harvey, Noel & Georgie Williamson, Christine Schaffer, Mary Anderson, Ross Milmine, Trevor Reynolds, John Edwards, George Spearing, Klaus Steiner, Tricia Pope, Dave Mellish, Heather Kirk, Jane Green, Ross Babington, Jane Naish
Cars: Brian 5, Catherine 5, Trevor 4, Dave 4.
Route: Hi-way 83 to Kurow, drive over new Haka Twin Bridges and turn left onto Cattle Creek Rd. At 4km turn left onto Hayes Rd. Drive 1km past Normanvale homestead to park cars.

With a weather forecast partly sunny and a high of 7 degrees it looked like a good day for Mt Dryburgh. The carpark (400m) was reached by about 9.45 and we started walking by 10am. After crossing the creek, the first 20 minutes walking on the shaded, frozen track were pretty darn cold with the temp at about 6 degrees. Then reaching the sunny face around the corner we thawed out and by 11ish a warm spot beckoned us for morning tea. Then onward and upward, still in sun with fog threatening from further up the Haka valley, but never reaching us, we reached the snow. This was the result of last night’s snowfall – still frozen but would soon melt from the warmth of the sun.
Reaching a junction there’s some hesitation from the advanced group waiting for the stragglers who know the way, to point them in the right direction. With most of the height gained by now we take a left turn and from there it’s only about another kilometre along the 4WD track to the high point (942m). Here, with a grand view of Lakes Aviemore and Waitaki, the Waitaki River and across the valley to the Hunters Hills, everyone managed to find a dry tussock in the snow at lunchtime.
The homeward track led down to a steepish ridge (SW) with a great view of the Waitaki Power Station. Then a left turn (SE) through a boundary gate back into Normanvale property, we followed a 4WD snowy track on a dark face, to the next gate. The group split at the last gate – one taking the gully straight to the cars and the rest following Ross exploring another route over a small saddle and joining on to the airstrip track leading to the carpark. All back by about 3.15pm and then on to Kurow – for icecreams!
Another great day in Paradise!    M.S.

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Boundary Creek Farm Circuit 2.7.14

Zero degrees at half-past eight               Further up the gully
Nine starters in tramping mode             With pine trees now in sight
We picked up our leader Keith                There’s a sunny lunch spot sheltered
On the corner of Fernbrook Road.          From the south wind’s icy bite.
The cars were parked up Murray Rd     Then up again atop the ridge
Off Highway number one                        We take the homeward tracks
Straight away we climbed a hill              Following old paper roads
To warm up in the sun.                            The cold wind at our backs.
Across the sunny ridge                             Today the weather forecast was for
Down a shaded, muddy hill                     Snow, hail, rain and sleet
‘levenses’ in a sunny barn                        But our day was really fine
With lots of time to kill.                            For the walk at Boundary Creek.
Across the stream and up the gorge
Check drawings in the rocks                        Margie S
Walk the old race aquaduct
With steel and limestone blocks.

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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.