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
26.11.14 8.30am start
THE BANKS PENINSULA
Heather had a brainwave – a bright idea one day,
That Wednesday Walkers could walk the Banks Peninsula walkway.
Names rolled in and were put on a list.
With just two lots of 12, meant that some had to miss.
We drove to Akaroa, that quaint little town,
And were taken to Onuru as the sun went down.
As you looked up the harbour, it was plain to see
The remains of volcanic activity.
There was a honky tonk piano in this hostel on the hill,
On which Jane played many tunes at will,
While the rest of us sang in lusty fashion
From a book of words taken for the occasion.
Accomodation included some ‘star gazer’ units,
And a couple chose one and took themselves to it.
They crawled in to look through the clear Perspex sheet,
And to study the stars before going to sleep.
Next day there was a long steep hill to climb,
But worth the effort, as views were sublime.
To the head of the harbour, and to the open sea,
And a salmon farm to boost the economy.
At the trig on the summit we searched for Mt. Cook,
As an arrow pointed to the way we should look.
Some thought they saw it, but it was pretty hazy,
So we just sat in the sun and enjoyed being lazy.
Not a breath of wind stirred as we sat in the sun
Among those dark grey rocks all covered with lichen.
The descent down the far side was through lush bush and ferns,
And waterfalls just begging to be captured on film!
And so to Flea Bay down on the coast,
Where we met Francis Helps – our passionate host.
He had established the penguin colony there,
With hard work, determination, commitment and flare.
We donned camouflage shirts to be given a tour
Of the many nesting boxes, and he’s still making more.
With binoculars we looked for birds in the water,
And saw chicks in a box along with their mother.
As they come ashore they make straight for their nests.
Directly uphill, perhaps 200 metres at least.
Not a problem at all for these plucky Little Blues,
Which, in the past have been exploited and sadly abused.
Another conservation effort near Stony Bay
Is a predator proof fence to keep predators away
From a colony of mutton birds – their future looked dark,
But now thriving and happy thanks to Sonia and Mark.
The camp at Stony Bay was so quirky and quaint.
There was absolutely no cause for any sort of complaint.
The shower room was built into the trunk of a tree,
And the open air bath heated by a fire underneath.
The young seals in the stream provided joy and delight,
As they performed their manoeuvres – their future looks bright.
The dawn chorus was spectacular, and woke some from their sleep.
What a wonderful experience, and what a memory to keep.
The track follows high cliffs where care must be taken,
Although well protected with barriers and railings.
Dense Kanuka forest was quietly passed through,
Before arriving at the sandy beach of Otanerito.
Mussels were gathered by keen folk, from the sea,
And prepared and cooked up that night for tea.
Along with sea lettuce – fried nice and crisp.
Enough for everyone, for a taste, if they wished.
Pictionary sorted out the artists from others,
While someone cavorted in bright red pyjamas!
There was time to relax with magazines and books,
Or simply enjoy the bird life and bush.
The huts were so cosy, so clean and so comfortable,
And a welcoming touch – flowers on the table.
There were pots and pans, plates and cutlery,
And shops to purchase those extra groceries.
Hinewai Reserve is a national treasure,
Managed for the protection of flora and fauna.
After climbing high through the bush, there was a wonderful sight,
A tall Red Beech forest – for me, a highlight.
Over Purple Peak Saddle, and then the descent
Back down to Akaroa, satisfied and content.
The town was busy doing a good brisk trade
With tourists from the cruise ship anchored in the bay.
Thanks to the farmers for creating this track,
With the well maintained pathways, bridges and steps.
For the reassuring marker posts with white painted tops,
And allowing trampers to visit this idyllic spot.
Black Cap Scout Hill Round Trip
Start: 8.30am. Distance travelled one way: about 36km.
Conditions: In the morning, overcast with no wind. After lunch a wetting drizzle with a very cold breeze
After organising cars, we left and travelled to Five Forks, turned into Dunrobin Road, then Turnbulls Road. At the end of the proper road we parked the cars and were ready to start walking at 9.40 am.
We followed a 4wd track to Black Cap, stopping along the road at 10.30am for morning tea and carried on to Black Cap. Some of the group had been there before and decided just to carry on along the track. That decision really broke up the group into several smaller groups, each making their own way. Our group followed the track up to the time the track went down hill. We decided it was better to stay higher up and passed just underneath Scout Hill. From there we made our way down the hill towards the track again and once we arrived back at the track, we followed the track to the Scout Hill Hut.
The weather had started to close in with a fine very cold drizzle. The first ones arrived at the hut at 12.15pm, the last at 1pm. (That’s how scattered we had become). We all had lunch in the hut and at 12.20pm we left the hut for our return journey, but were told to stay closer together. One of the groups reported seeing a group of deer some distance away at Black Cap.
On the way back we followed Mole Hill road for quite a distance until we came to a gate across the track. We waited there for the group to reunite and Ross led us up a hill to a beautiful area with snow tussocks, a fantastic sight. After crossing this area we reached a grassy track that led us down the hill a very long way to a creek and from there up the other side and back to the track where we had walked in the morning.
It was still quite a way back to the cars, where we arrived around 3.40pm. We were too cold and wet to hang around for long and by 4pm we were all on our way home again. We were all very glad to see the cars, the walk was not really very difficult, but it was quite a distance.
So satisfied we all returned home.
Mount Cargill from Leith Saddle
Today twenty-one trampers decided to climb Mt Cargill from Leith saddle. All 5 cars parked in the designated area on Leith Saddle and at 10.10am they crossed to the Leith Valley Rd to the start of the track leading up to the Lookout. This rocky out-crop was the perfect place for morning tea at 10.45am. The track to there does not have a used look, it being narrow and a little overgrown. However, more was to come as they set off down the way leading to the junction joining the Sullivan’s Dam and Cloud Forest tracks – muddy, slippery and steep until the board walk steps started. But the sound of a lone Saddleback was heard and made up for the track condition.
From the junction it was just a continual upward climb till they arrived at the Transmission Lines at the forest edge. Here 4 people decided that was far enough and opted to lunch while the remaining 17 ventured across the recently logged area to the next forest track. This involved clambering over a lot of old fallen tree trunks and scaling another rocky (volcanic) outcrop higher up, where most of the group had their lunch. Another 3 climbed still higher to the next level for lunch; by then nearly 1pm. The larger group rejoined them a short time later.
Nobody seemed keen to return the way they had come. So John led them through the logging debris following red tape-markers and they finally came out on Cowans Rd (leading to Mt Cargill). By now it looked as if the WW’s were not going to ‘summit’ Mt Cargill today! About a kilometre down the road a decision was made to cut across the logging tracks and wind-rows leading to the Transmission Lines; these proved to be a good landmark today. This led to the track entering the forest the group had exited from earlier in the day. The native forest was looking fresh and healthy today, only occasionally permeated by the not so pleasant smell of Stinkwood (Coprosma Foetidissima?) Steps were retraced down through the Cloud Forest to Sullivan’s Dam.
All were back at the cars by 3.30pm. The group returning early had moved the cars down to the car-park at the northern end of the dam. Everyone seemed pleased with the walk that provided variety for all levels of fitness. Margie S.
Livingstone Mystery Walk
Today Mary Anderson, from Livingstone, invited everyone – 38 trampers today – to take a walk around the 1860-70’s gold claims on her farm. By 9.45am we were on the move; around the pond and along the sheep tracks to the high sluiced cliffs surrounding the gully. Mary was able to tell stories of gone-by days in this old gold-mining area. Part of an old fire-place can still be seen. Morning tea was at a well-furnished hunter’s modern hut, with a welcome mat outside the door and an old push lawn mower! Joan thought she would assist with the lawn mowing! From there we followed the 4WD track out of the gully to the cemetery on Stock Road.
Most people were able to find a local name on a headstone of someone they knew. There are old gold-mining families buried here,too – though many are in unmarked graves. Then back down Stock Road to a gate on the right that leads into a neighbour’s forested area. The track wound deep into the forest where there are still signs of gold-mining with several cave-like shafts remaining. Even higher cliffs and interesting ‘rock’ formations down here in the forest. On reaching a T-junction we turned left and another 100m on we came to a clearing where we had lunch.
Following lunch we continued up through the forest till reaching Mckenzie Road. To get better views of the mountains another kilometre along the road was added to the walk. Unfortunately cloud shrouding the Kakanui Mountains reduced visibility so the views were somewhat limited. We did recognise ‘Douglas Rock’ on Dome Hills in one direction and Dansey Pass Road the other. The way ‘home’ was to walk along Mckenzie Road to Mary’s farm at Livingstone. A really enjoyable, almost 13km, walk with a difference. With thanks to Mary for a great day. No ice-creams today! Back in town soon after 4pm. Margie S.
Anderson Lagoon-Shag Colony
THE SEAL OF DISAPPROVAL
At Anderson’s Lagoon there’s a beach – down Palmerston way,
Where Wednesday walkers went for a walk one day.
They headed north to view the shags nesting on the cliffs,
On nests made from twigs and uncomfortable spiky sticks.
They were perched on narrow ledges jutting out from the face,
With each pair of birds protecting their own home base.
They seemed dedicated parents with Mum and Dad each taking a turn.
Perhaps there’s a lesson here that we humans could maybe learn.
Further up this lovely beach, more wildlife was to be found –
Seals basking in the sun and rolling all around.
Two huge creatures ignored us, except for a casual glance,
But further on there was a development, and we had to change our stance.
Two more seals sensed trouble as we approached along the sand,
And became quite agitated, and made an aggressive sort of stand.
It’s amazing how fast they can travel with those little flippers and tail,
So we retreated pretty rapidly, and the cliff face we had to scale.
Would it have been possible to stand and look them in the eye?
It would have been a gallant person to pluck up the courage to try.
Even with the walking poles, armed and at the ready,
To keep your nerve would be admirable, if somewhat unsteady.
As we made our way along the top, they eyeballed us from below,
And three brave guys, still on the beach, decided then to go.
They outran those pesky seals – got past safe and sound,
While the rest of us descended and finally got back down.
The lunch break at the river mouth was tempered by the thought
Of returning back and past that hazard, which was rather fraught.
But they didn’t bother us at all – they had had their fun,
So to the seals and their principles, I will say well done!
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
Starting place is the Towey St Tennis Courts (see the map at the top of this page) usually at 8-30am every Wednesday.