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
North Temple Alpine Basin
7-30 am start
Moeraki Lighthouse and Katiki Beach
Wednesday 30th November
It was a sunny but chilly day when 20 trampers left Towey St., to gather another 4 at Maheno and number 25 Bill S at Hillgrove. Arriving at the Moeraki lighthouse carpark everyone put their warm weather gear on as a very strong southeasterly wind was blowing.
Setting off at 9.30am ,we walked back along the road to a gate near the lighthouse Hills drive. Down the hill then up,up,up the next hill to have a 360 degree view. From there down and thru the fence onto Katiki beach where we sheltered in the sand hills for morning tea.
After this it was head down with the wind blowing in our face, down the beach to the car park at the Katiki overbridge. The fences were so well strained up that we returned along the beach, walking up Trotters creek to the railway line, then followed the railway to the lagoon where lunch was consumed in a good sheltered spot.
From there we followed up to the end of the Lagoon, across Nimmo’s paddock and into Lighthouse Hills ground ending up at the Woolshed. From there it was back up the road to the Lighthouse and the cars. On the way an oyster catchers nest with eggs in it was found in the paddock. We then walked back along the road to the cars at the Lighthouse carpark.
Most then opted to walk out as far as the island where the ground is just tunnelled with rabbit holes. Numerous very large seals and sea lions were seen basking on the beach and rocks , also a yellow eyed penguin in an enclosure close to the track.
Leaving Moeraki , the obligatory ice-cream was enjoyed at Hampden, returning to Oamaru approx. 3.30pm.
Earthquakes area – Duntroon
Wednesday walk 23/11/16
Given the recent earthquakes centred around Kaikoura, there was a humorous comment made that maybe this was not the most appropriate place to be walking. However, given that this particular geographical feature was formed several million years ago, the decision was made to take the risk!
No less than thirty one walkers took the risk and all survived.
As always, the views looking up the Waitaki Valley from the top of the escarpment in perfect weather, had the group in raptures.
But with obvious signs of an impending weather change, a slight change in the route had us entering the DOC conservation Earthquakes area directly from Earthquakes rd, about 1km from the car park.
After a visit to the “post office”, a place deep in one of the fissures where people have scratched their names in the soft rock for maybe the last hundred years, there was a leisurely lie down in the long grass before proceeding the last few hundred metres to the cars.
Enjoyed by all.
9 Nov 2016
Weather: Fine and sunny am. Fog developing by mid-day.
Depart Oamaru: 8.30am
Start walking: 9.40am
Route: Hi-way 83. Turn left Otiake Rd and continue on Domett Rd to park at yards.
Thirty walkers met at Towey street, most keen to walk the Domett Loop. By 9.45 all started off up the saddle that leads to Lone Creek. Two members decided at this stage they would take a leisurely walk as far as the creek. The rest of the group moved on over the saddle and up to Domett Lodge (used by hunters and other recreational folk) for morning tea (10.50am) on the verandah. From here two walkers decided to back-track and head east towards the long flat valley for an easier walk. They were later joined by two others.
Following smoko, the main group, now numbering 24, moved on up the track behind the hut. It was a relentless but reasonably easy climb to the saddle, with intermittent but clear views of Little Domett occasionally peering over the horizon. By the time we were close to the saddle, the fog had rolled up the valley to our lunch spot, obliterating Little Domett. (In fact Leidecker views all around!! John’s photos says it all.) All were at the saddle by 12.35pm, and pleased to have a lunch-break in spite of being shrouded in cloud. Even the high point close by at 1158m was not visible. Some of us reminisced about a previous climb up the Dometts in fog, and wondered how we had negotiated our way down through the steep terrain amongst tussocks and aciphylla (spear grass).
Just as we were about to start down the zig-zag track, (after a briefing about staying together), suddenly there were clear views of the long flat valley below. On the way down, little gardens of creeping ourisia, reoulia and other little alpine cushion plants lined the track. The return down-hill track to the long flat was easy, and after crossing Lone Creek there was only one last up-hill over the saddle to the yards.
All met back at the cars by 3.05pm, with everyone pleased with their day out in the hills. And also that the rain held off. This is one of our favourite walks and already there are thoughts of climbing Little Domett in the new year. Margie S.
2 November 2016
Sixteen trampers in three 4wd vehicles travelled up Duncans Road from Hampden, then on to Easons Road, through the gate marking the entrance to Kurinui, and past the gate on the RHS of the road leading to the top entrance to the Reserve Track, to park by the stile at the second Reserve Track entrance. (The road was in quite good condition, not too rough and gorse cut well back. Recent rain had made the surface muddy in places, so 4wds were desirable rather than essential.)
We crossed the fence on to the track at around 9.45 and walked in a northerly direction along a clear track, mostly through regrowth kanuka, until we reached a grassy knob with a good view of the Kurinui valley, which seemed like a good spot for smoko (point 405 on the topo map). This gave us a good look at the country ahead and we plotted what seemed to be the most likely route along the ridge over two knobs, the second of which stood at the head of a spur branching off west down into the valley. The track also appeared to ascend a third knob which the map suggested led to a dead end.
Setting off after morning tea, the track soon lost its clarity, complicated by recent pig activity and many animal tracks, and progress was punctuated by periodic excursions through the bush to refind it. Finally, it appeared to run out, so we turned back to the previous knob which seemed most likely to lead to the desired spur. This also seemed a suitable spot for lunch – it was by now 12.45 – as there was a grassy clearing, albeit with no view. A recce found what looked to be a feasible route, down a broad gully through reasonably open bush to a visible tributary of the Kurinui (Big Kuri). It was decided otherwise, so after lunch we headed around the top of the broad gully to the next spur and westwards along its top to look for an early route down. The one found offered a steep scramble down into the main Kurinui stream. However, rapids and deep holes made progress up the stream difficult, leading to a decision to sidle along the spur above the stream, a route which eventually took us almost back to the top ridge of the spur and a search for another route down.
Having finally got back to the main stream, we found it no easier to traverse and we ended up crossing and re-crossing, hoping that around the next corner would be the familiar clearing indicating that we could now look for the return route up the Top Track. One group, having stuck mainly to the true right, eventually found the mapped track paralleling the stream and the sought-for clearing across which ran a fence with the foot of the Top Track visible on the upstream side. By now it was after 3pm. After a short break for a snack and to gather strength, we started on the unrelenting slog back up to the road, taking between 1 ¼ and 1 3/4 hours. (Because it was getting late, we did not take up Scott’s suggestion of a detour around to a knob marked 450 on the map and then on a higher route where we would see some unusual plants, including orchids.) The final leg was an up-and-down 2km walk along the road back to the cars, the stragglers reaching them about 5.30 aided by Chris who had driven back to pick them up. All felt a little weary after an adventurous day and looked forward to the world-famous Hampden ice-creams.
[Note for future trip organisers: in several trips in the Kurinui, I don’t think we have ever managed to follow the mapped Reserve Track all the way down. Francis’s Google Earth tracks should help. From my reading, the mapped track runs along the spur between the red and green routes, then turns down off the spur to cross the tributary that the green route followed, then over the toe of the next spur south to arrive at the valley floor at the junction between the main creek and the tributary immediately above the jpg reference number. It certainly does not reach the main creek as far down as we went yesterday. The 2015 (green) route actually went down a gully rather than a spur. So, two mistakes yesterday: we went a spur too far north; and we dropped down into the main creek rather than a tributary.]
A2O Walk through Anatini
26 Oct 2016
Wet weather meant that the planned trips to Kurinui and Trotter’s Gorge were put off and the group of 18 hardy souls who met at Maheno all went up the Kakanui Valley Road to Grant’s Road where we parked near access to the A2O Bike Trail . We walked north-east through John Hore’s property (Anatini) and on to Elephant Rocks where much speculation took place as to which rocks resembled which parts of a number of animals (and some humans). It was good to see the Rocks in a wonderful setting of lush green spring grass. On the way back to Grants’ Road for lunch a number of us waded through long wet grass to see the remains of the fossilised whale skeleton preserved under perspex, on John Hore’s land.
After lunch (the fastest Walkers got the picnic table and seats!) the group walked south as far as the Prydes Gully turn-off where Dave came from the lunch place to take drivers back to collect their cars for homeward transport of the Walkers. We finished at about 2.30p.m. after a pleasant, if damp, 11 1/2 km walk. Some sloshy parts of the trail had been experienced where motor vehicles appeared to have been using it.
Anderson Lagoon-Shag Colony
19 October 2016
The promise of a warm sunny spring day with a lovely coastal walk, brought out an increased number of Wednesday Walkers leaving Towey Street to join the Maheno contingent. We travelled onto Palmerston and then followed the Goodwood Road to Anderson’s Lagoon. We walked in single file along the edge of the lagoon until we reached the beach. With the low spring tide (1pm), we were able to enjoy a beach stroll around the first headland without needing to climb the ladder and steps. A conveniently placed log on the beach was the perfect place to stop for smoko to enjoy good company under blue skies and sunshine with waves lapping against the shore.
We then left the beach to walk along the cliff top track which took us up and down the headlands before reaching the beach access again. The shag colony was in residence nestled on their precarious balconies. We enjoyed watching the young chicks of various ages, sitting up in their messy nests made from twigs and grasses cemented together by guano. The shags were largely undisturbed by our presence. On the other hand we were cautious not to disturb the fur seals relaxing on the beach. They were effectively a sign post for us to leave the beach and walk onto our leisurely lunch stop at the mouth of the Shag River.
On our return journey, most of us were careful to avoid walking in the path between the fur seal sun bathing spots and the sea. Although two seals were compressed against one another in a languorous pile another one was a little less happy to share the same space with us. The day’s adrenalin rush was triggered when a younger seal with bared teeth and up on all fours, made a rush towards some of the walkers. We journeyed on!
A small group circumnavigated the first headland before scrambling up and under the fence to the cliff edge walk. Most of us returned the way we had come with the help of Dave’s trusty stick to give us leverage off the beach and onto the walkway. The pine needle carpet made for a slippery slope on the downhill sections.
We made our way back onto the beach and were able to rest on a grassy bank overlooking the sea before our return walk along Anderson’s Lagoon. On the return drive, a number of the group stopped at the Palmerston Asparagus farm to purchase pre-ordered first of the season bunches of asparagus. Once again our final stop at the Hampden Hilltop Store saw many of us indulge in a generous ‘single’ scoop ice cream while some chose perhaps a healthier alternative – the seafood pie created by Sandy Ratahi – one of the top 10 in their category of the New Zealand pie awards recently. Lyn
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.