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
25 May 2016
Waimate or Timaru area
8.30 am start
Elephant Hill and Mussen
Eight-thirty again at Towey Street
With twenty walkers there this week
To Elephant Hill and Mussen, too
Across the Waitaki you get a good view
Left at Glenavy, then left and right
Till Elephant Hill Road is now in sight
Park the cars up the farm driveway
Begin the walk from there today
Walk up behind the Elephant first
Till climbing’s over – that’s the worst
The saddle beckons all for lunch
Relaxing here for a drink and munch
Then down the valley one group goes
On to Mussen the big group chose
To take the ridge to the Ziz-zag Road
Back to the valley where the creek flowed
A flat walk back to the Station yard
About seventeen kilometres – it wasn’t that hard
The views up high were certainly first rate
And the walk once again was simply great
And the threatening storm – heavy rain on the ground
Began, just as we left to drive back to town
Moeraki Hampden Beach Walk
11 May 2016
On a morning which dawned calm and dry, completely the opposite to the weather forecast, 21 people left Towey street heading south to join another five at Maheno, 26 in total using 7 cars.
We drove to the Hampden beach, but after discussion it was decided the tide was too high so headed to the car park at the end of Lighthouse road and the start of the Millenium walkway.
We all set off with some peeling off at Fleurs for a coffee on the go, most of the rest walked up the hill to the lookout for morning tea with an amazing view.
Heading back down, some chose the road , others the steps where we saw two large seals basking in the warm conditions.
On arrival back at the cars the tide was then suitable for beach walking and the majority opted to go to Hampden for lunch at the carpark.
A few others opted for a leisurely walk to the boulders and back. After lunch at Hampden some more hardy souls continued on for another 35 minutes , with eight reaching the outlet of the Kakaho river.
On the walk back up the beach to the car park a light wind was blowing and the sea which had previously been reasonably calm took on quite a chop.
It was very obvious walking the beach just how much ground landowners are losing with fences hanging in mid-air many metres out from the bank in places.
There may not have been any swimmers today in the group, but there were at least two who enjoyed their paddle in the sea.
3pm, back at the cars, a stop for ice-creams for some in Hampden and home,– approx. 21 kms. Bev.
Ngapara Farms Walk
4 May 2016
It was a great day outdoors for thirty-five enthusiastic people. Here are the important bits to log in for future reference.
Permission from four land owners required – Pete Stackhouse , Neill Sanderson , Ross McCulloch, and Ivan Watt .
This walk has to be classed as easy. Total distance 14km with an option of a shorter route back to the cars. This is a very picturesque walk especially in Autumn, but as well there are great views, especially to the west.
Start/finish – Stackhouse’s yard, Conlan’s Rd. Head east/north/east from their farmyard following well worn vehicle tracks at first and eventually through a gate into Sanderson’s, past the “duck pond” and emerging on Paradise Gully Rd near Sanderson’s house.
500m down Paradise Gully Rd, enter McCulloch’s property through a gate almost opposite the Ngapara Sports ground. Then head straight up the hill to the next gate before angling on up the hill behind the Ngapara township to eventually link up with the farm lane which will take you all the way back to Conlan’s rd just a few hundred metres from the cars. However, that is the “short course”. The more enthusiastic deviate from the farm lane to drop down through the McCulloch farmyard, then 500m up McCulloch’s rd before entering the Watt property to do a 2km anti-clockwise circuit which eventually emerges at the McCulloch rd/Conlan’s rd intersection.
27 April 2016
A fresh morning with clear, blue sky greeted 23 WW’s keen to check out the Autumn colours at Benmore. As we drove up the poplar-lined road from Otematata we were not disappointed.
We dropped Ina off at the gate before heading up to the Walkway, so she could take a shorter walk over the saddle to the lake. The rest of us began our walk from the DoC- signed walkway above the dam. Soon after 10am, with the cool breeze keeping the temperature down ( 8.5° at Kurow) we began walking. There were plenty of photo-shoot opportunities on the way through the forest and, yes, there was Mount Cook visible in the hazy distance from the first promontory. Most ventured on to the Look-out for morning tea where you have the best panoranmic view of the trees, lake and mountains.
We continued along the walkway till we reached the pylon track which begins on Rostriever Station. A steep climb up onto the ridge and an easier walk following the top of the ridge, brings you to the saddle on the road leading to the lake. A few of us took a (not so easy) shortcut down to the road.
We all met at Boundary Gully for lunch around 12.30pm. Again, the intense golden hue of the trees was admired and some enjoyed the sound of deep layers of fallen leaves being scuffed on side of the road. After Lunch 8 walkers, led by John, headed to the Ram Paddock on Bog Roy Station.
The remaining walkers reluctantly moved from this beautiful place, some walking over the saddle to Loch Laird and others returning via the ridge to the cars. This group were keen to be back in town early as many were going to HMS Pinafore in the evening. But not without the customary stop at Kurow for well-earned icecreams. Back to town by 4.45pm. Francis said this group walked 9.34km. Margie
John’s report from Boundary Gully to Ram Paddock
Eight walkers set off at 1pm for the Ram Paddock with an agreed turnaround time of 2 o’clock. It was a short walk up the gully from the lunch spot, through a fence into Bog Roy land, then following the track over a saddle and back down to the lakeside. The track wound around the lake for about 2km, passing the sandy beach where people had swam on some earlier visits, and we turned right to reach the gate on the isthmus half an hour after setting out. The track took us out on to the Ram Paddock peninsula, roughly following the power lines until it petered out at the last pylon before the long span across the entrance strait to the Ahuriri Arm. A ten minute scramble up the rocky ridge took us to a high point where we had splendid views both up the mirror-like Ahuriri Arm and back down the lake towards Boundary Gully and the ridge we had traversed in the morning. While we were admiring the view, we heard on radio from another three who had made it a short distance through the gate before turning round. It was then time for us too to turn around and retrace our steps, reaching Boundary Gully about 2.45 and the saddle on the electricity road, where we caught up with some others, about 3.15. There we split, with most heading down the road to Loch Laird and the remainder climbing up the hill to return via the rocky ridge and the return loop of the Benmore Walkway. The last people reached the cars at around 4.15. (For future reference, it took exactly the same time for the last walkers to reach the cars from the saddle regardless of the route taken.)
20 April 2016
We left Towey street shortly after 8.30am and travelled to Kurow, picking up some people on the way. We had our usual comfort stop in Kurow, then travelled on to Normanvale, via Hayes Road in the Haka Valley. We parked the cars at the end of the road and waited for John Abelen to give us a Health and Safety briefing (normal farming hazards, close the gates the same way as you found them etc.) and explained the boundaries of his property. After which Margie handed him the list of all trampers.
We left at 10.10am and walked quite steeply up to the track after crossing a small creek. We gradually made our way up the track and stopped around 11am for morning tea and give every-one a chance to catch up. It was nice to get out of the wind for a while.
We then continued up the track and finally made our way to the trig station through beautiful snow tussocks and not so beautiful speargrass.
The views from the top were spectacular, looking over Lakes Waitaki and Avimore. After admiring the views we settled down amongst the tussocks to enjoy our lunch, the scenery and the company of our fellow trampers. It was 12.10pm when we reached the top and we had an extended lunch hour with the excuse to give Brian a chance to have a rest. How great to see Brian reach the top!!
After lunch Brian and Margie returned the way they had come, while John led the rest along the ridge and then steeply down to a track, which we followed all the way back to the cars. Arriving there at 2.30pm. Only 15 minutes later Brian and Margie arrived down as well and after the usual cups of tea and chat we set off at 3pm to Kurow for icecreams and then back to town around 4pm. It was a wonderful day enjoyed by all. Thanks to Margie for organizing this walk.
PS There was a request from a Christchurch walking group to come out with us on the 22nd June and all thought it a great idea.
South Temple & Huxley Forks
14 -15 April
Trotters Gorge – Trig L
Wednesday the 6th April
Drivers- Georgie, Ross, Helen, Dave, Judy, John, Ken
Permission/owners- Steve Vickers 03 465 1258 Bottom section
Wendy & Ian Ritchie 03 465 1562 Top part
After meeting as usual in Oamaru, then heading to Maheno to collect the Kakanui folk, we headed south to the Trotters Gorge car park area. We had 30 keen trampers that set out just after 9.30 on a lovely fresh autumn morning, into the Trotters Gorge bush. We had morning tea after a short walk, at the university hut porch overlooking the stream. This walk is so attractive with bush, cliffs, valleys and a few shallow crossings of Trotters creek. We did see fantails flitting through the bush and heard the grey warbler and young bellbirds enjoying their choir practice in the beautiful bush. We walked on through a valley past the turnoff to Dave’s track and past a hunting hut. Climbing 300 meters up a spur on a 4 wheel drive track. It’s a decent climb and then up the long ridge to trig L. Some did a quicker, steeper route up to the trig bypassing the longer ridge track.
Trig L is 401m asl, and offers great 360 views of the district. We had a good clear view of the coast, countryside, and Palmerston and even way across to the rock and pillar range. We did enjoy our well-earned lunch around 12 noon at the top among the tussock and had a good long break. Heading down southward on gentle rolling hills to Horse Range road, was a much easier walk, with only one bit of a hill. Then a 4 km walk along the road. There were a few highlights like faces in the rocks and a cave to explore. We were back at the cars by 3 pm and did feel like we had earned an ice-cream! A very pleasant walk, great company and good exercise. 12.9 kms.
Wednesday the 30th March
Leader : Ken McLeod
Owner/Contact : John McKenzie Phone (03) 431 2555
Drivers : Klaus, Trevor, Ken, Ross, Jane, Judy (alone)
Cars parked inside Pisgah Downs property, through gate from Dome Hills yards. Following 4X4 tracts, we set off in westerly direction, then Nor. West, then Northerly direction following the ridge line, looking down into the South Branch of the Maerewhenua River. Ken pointed out the 150 year old water races, also a dammed area where water was stored up to provide a constant flow when required for sluicing the gold claims.
Descending the ridge to a saddle where a 4X4 track crosses and leads down to a flat river terrace, where we had lunch. Some explored down stream to deep pool suitable for swimming, very inviting, but the water was cold – no takers. Time approx. 12 pm.
After lunch was back up the track, some opting to leave their packs and climb the hill on the left. The majority choosing to climb back up the ridge to the right. Returning to the cars from 3 pm. Total distance covered 11.6 Km. Last group were lucky to see up close, and photograph a native falcon. Bird droppings caused ponderings and speculation as to what they they may be from – Wild Turkeys – confirmation from landowner. Then a hang glider came into view in the direction of Danseys Pass, plenty of entertainment !!
Enjoyable new trip.
Otekaieke Hill/ Bridle Track
The Wednesday Walkers’ March 23rd 2016 Excursion.
With twenty nine on the list
West we drove in the mist
Turning south towards Metherall’s farm.
Oh how we all cheered
When the mist disappeared
And we knew that we’d come to no harm.
Then some had their say
As to going which way
At that stage we split into two.
Eight chose to go
Up stream ‘gainst the flow
On the Bridle Track. Said it would do.
The rest climbed up hill
With no time to kill
Till they reached the saddle for lunch.
Some didn’t stop
They walked to the top
Of high Otekaieke hill in a bunch.
Our arvo began
With Christine’s poem for Stan
Which made us remember and smile.
I also must mention
The beautiful gentian
Raised heads by the track quite. While.
The others did go
Downhill to the flow
Of that stream by 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 we all met
Back at the spot where we’d left the car
We all felt complete
Though some had sore feet
And were glad that we had walked that far.
McLeods, on their own,
Though in reach by phone,
Chose to walk in a clockwise direction.
They managed it well
And all us did tell
Of the views from the last downhill section.
If figures and facts
This report lacks
I’m sure they’ll be added below
I’d just like to say
What a wonderful day
The walk and the talk made it so.
Contributed by Catherine
FACTS AND FIGURES.
Permission: Greg Metherall. Start @ 9.50am.
Three and a half different groups.
Valley walkers back by 3pm. Others from 4.45 till 5.00pm.
Distance travelled variable. Ranged from approximately 15 kms to approximately 22 Kms.
WAIHAO WALKWAY FROM McCULLOCH’S BRIDGE.
16th March, 2016 8.30am start
Permission:(Donald) D J Merhtens Mt Harris Rd (03 689 2706) or (Peter) P L Merhtens, Mt Harris Rd, R D 7, Waimate. (03 689 2860)
Cars: Georgie, David, Catherine, Klaus, Heather, Ken.
Walkers: (26) After leaving Oamaru we travelled North and turned left before the WaihaoTwin Bridges into McCulloch’s Bridge Road, and further along we turned right into Gumtree Flat Road. Just before reaching McCulloch’s Bridge we parked the cars on the grass verge at the corner of Waikakahi Valley Road. When we were ready we walked 50 metres up the road and turned right into Don’s Road. When we came to the junction where the road divided we turned hard right onto a grassy track which lead down to the river walkway.
When we reached the Black hole we had morning tea about 10ish and used the toilets! They were O K. From here we went up onto the Mt Harris road which lead us to the Waihao Forks Hotel. As it was only 11-30 everyone felt it was too early for lunch so they walked up the road. I went into the Pub and asked the Publican if it would be O K for 25 Wednesday Walkers to come in to have lunch and that they would be very thirsty. He said,”That’s fine. I can handle anything.” I then bought a bottle of Lager which I shared with Dave who had returned early as the road walking was a bit boring.
After lunch we returned the same way as we had come with a couple of diversions up on to the hilltop for a better view and hopefully to see the machinery levelling the paddocks in preparation for the Centre Pivot Irrigation. We must have gone up the wrong hills as we didn’t see the machinery.
We were back at the cars before 3pm after a cruisey day and some cars went home the way we had come while some of us went on the Waikakahai Valley Road, Pikes Point Road, Cock & Hen Road and back to meet the highway at Glenavy. We didn’t have any sun all day nor any wind. This was a good walk for everyone after some of us having been up the Grampians the previous week.
9 March 2016
Weather: Fine; cool in exposed areas; light easterly breeze in morning, swinging to a cold south-westerly around lunchtime, and then to a moderate north-west wind in mid-afternoon
Trip: We drove, with a stop at Kurow, across the Hakataramea Pass. Four cars parked on the roadside about 1km below the Pass gate. Their occupants set off, at about 10.15, across tussock and light scrub to join the ridgeline track just as it started to climb. They followed its moderate grade for half an hour before stopping for morning tea. The fifth car parked by the Pass gate and its occupants took a more direct route up a steepish tussock spur to join the track higher up. The two parties met up with the first group catching up with the second at the latter’s tea stop.
As the track wended its way up the ridge, the trampers spread out. At one point the leading group was startled by several wallabies poking their heads up out of the tussock and watching them, apparently unconcerned. After what seemed an interminable climb, the track left the ridge and entered a wide scree gully which it ascended in broad zig-zags. Half an hour up the valley led to a rocky outcrop on the summit ridge which offered a relatively sheltered lunch spot for the leading group, welcome because about then the breeze turned to the south and dropped in temperature. They reached this spot about 12.45 and over the next half hour were joined by others who had lunched further down.
Around 1.15, the front group, now augmented to thirteen, set off again, turning north to follow a fenceline up a steepish scree slope, on to a short stretch of 4wd track, across a couple of fences (one derelict) on to a flattish expanse, and finally up a shallow rocky mound to the 1921metre summit at Black Rocks, reaching this only 20 minutes after leaving the lunch spot. There we were spellbound by what must be one of the best panoramas in the South Island: seven lakes (Tekapo, Alexandrina, Pukaki, Ohau, Middleton, Ruataniwha and Benmore) and Southern Alps from north of the Godley to south of Mt Aspiring, with Aoraki/Cook, Tasman and Sefton most prominent. To the east, The Dalgety range dominated, with the cloud-capped Hunters Hills behind. To the south rose the two peaks of the Kirkliston Range, and- to the west, the Benmore Range behind the eponymous lake.
Twenty minutes or so of gazing and photographing, and it was time to start down. Just as the main group reached the track above the fenceline, three more intrepid trampers appeared and one of the main group peeled off to guide them to the summit.
The journey down took about two hours, with the odd excursion to deal to a wilding pine, and the last trampers reached the cars at around 4.30. Sixteen of the twenty-one had reached the top. Despite the long, unrelenting climb, the weather had been kind and the spectacular view from the top had made it all worthwhile; the ice-creams in Kurow were deemed well-earned. John
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.