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 email@example.com 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
20 May 2015
Evansdale Glen Widdershins
13 May 2015
Trip: All vehicles left Towey Street at 8.30am and proceeded south, with a traditional loo stop in Palmerston, to turn off right at the southern end of the Kilmog down the gravel track to the Evansdale Glen picnic area.
We set off just before 10am and, after a false start looking for a way of avoiding the first stream crossing, took the plunge. The track up the valley was muddy in places but easy walking. We stopped for smoko on a stretch where the plantation trees bordered the track, affording relatively dry seating in the needles. When we reached the fork, we decided to go up on the Rongomai Track and come down the Honeycomb, a choice informed by recollections of some people having found the Rongomai descent difficult on a previous occasion: mistake, but that only became apparent later. The climb was straightforward as the track was fairly dry and the bush enjoyable. A passing hunter said the only game he had seen were two trampers ahead of our main party, but they had been too skinny!
Before long the track levelled out and, as we passed the track leading across to the Honeycomb Track, we paused to admire the view to the north and east. We carried on to Mountain Track, turned left (south) and then into the old gravel pit, past the remains of a Ford Laser which had done only 500 000kms more than Ann and Steve’s. At around 12.30pm we found a sunny, sheltered spot for lunch, looking out towards Mt Cargill and Mopanui.
Around 1 o’clock we started on the return leg, entering the Honeycomb Track just opposite the gravel pit. The first part of the descent was straightforward, the surface being good and steps on the steeper parts aiding progress. Soon, however, the going became harder, a combination of steep rock and mud proving a trial for some, with much resort to tree handholds and bad language. However, time was plentiful and progress steady, and all made the beautiful valley floor after 1 ½ hours with no damage apart from muddy shorts. Another 1 ½ hours following the stream saw us back at the cars at 4pm, looking forward to ice creams. The tramp had taken 6 hours and had not been easy, but all agreed that the quality of the bush and scenery had made it worthwhile.
[Memo for future: always go clockwise.] John
Mt Difficulty from the Hectors
6 May 2015
Trip: Oamaru-based trampers left Towey Street at 8.30am, meeting the Kakanui contingent at the Kakanui River Road-Fuchsia Creek Road junction. All proceeded up Fuchsia Creek Road and turned left on to The Hectors Road, which we followed to its end at The Hectors farmhouse where we were greeted and briefed by the Parsons. We then continued driving through a gate on the left and followed wheel tracks across a number of immaculate paddocks to park by some trees just before the tracks went through a gate and became a 4wd track.
We set off on foot around 9.30. It was fine and warm but with a strong NW wind and threatening clouds to the north, supporting the Norwegians’ forecast of showers from around mid-day. The track quickly started its steep descent into Hectors Creek which it crossed 2 or 3 times before starting to climb. People remarked on the beauty of the deep valley, with its forest remnants, steep, rocky slopes and sharp ridges. From the creek, we climbed steadily up the track which followed a steep bush-clad gully until it came out on to an open plateau. A sheltered slope near the top provided an excellent smoko venue. At this point the party split, with Jane N and Bill (who had water problems) heading back to the cars and the rest continuing south-west across the broad plateau towards Mt Difficulty, enjoying the view across Hectors Plateau towards Mt Dasher, Siberia Hill and the Kakanuis as we walked. As the track swung west we veered off to follow a fenceline up towards the clearly visible peak. As we got closer to the peak, the slope steepened and the ground got rockier, although the going never became difficult.
About mid-day we reached the summit, admired the 360 degree view, and settled down on the lee side to enjoy lunch. By this time the northern sky was even more threatening and Mt Domett was obscured by a rain squall. Some 10 minutes later, the squall struck, bringing a fierce wind and rain. Raingear was hastily donned and around 12.30 shelter was forsaken as the homeward trek began. The descent was not helped by having to tack into a wind which made the raindrops feel like needles. However, as we approached the beginning of the descent to Hectors Creek, the rain eased and, in the shelter of the gully, we soon got warm enough to start shedding layers. The rest of the descent and the climb back to the vehicles were conducted in quite pleasant conditions under an increasingly blue sky. The cars were reached around 2.30.
For most on the trip, this was the first time we had approached Mt Difficulty from The Hectors. All agreed that it had been an interesting trip through great countryside with a considerable variety of vegetation, including native broom and many kowhai. John
29 April 2015
We travelled in windy conditions up the Waitaki Valley and over the new bridges at Kurow to the Hayes Property at Mt Dryburgh. We started walking at 10.15 in a clockwise direction, due to the weather forecast for later in the day, which was for strong sou-westers. This would give us more shelter on the homeward stretch. Morning tea was in a sheltered spot at 11.00. Very strong Nor-westers buffeted us especially on the saddles where the lighter ones were in danger of being blown away. There were also patches of calm which were most enjoyable and appreciated. Wonderful views were to be had of the braided Waitaki River, Waitaki and Aviemore Dams and the lofty hills around us.
Lunch was at 12.15 among the shelter of the tussocks with care taken to avoid the Spaniards. We were back at the cars by 2.15 and the obligatory icecream stop was welcomed at Kurow where it was calm and sunny.
Elephant Hill and Mussen
We parked in the usual place under the trees on the west side of the farmyard and set off about 9.30 across the flats in brilliant sunshine under a blue sky. Having decided to do the trip clockwise, with short and long options, we followed the extremely low Elephant Hill Stream up through the gorge and, after smoko, crossed (with dry feet) opposite the gully between Elephant Hill and Mussen. At this point the party split, 7 trampers heading up the gully to tackle Elephant Hill from the west and the remaining 19 climbing the ridge to Mussen.
As the main party approached the Mussen knob, a curious happening occurred. A young Angus-cross steer, obviously separated from the main herd, bizarrely charged up the hill out of the gully, through the group of trampers, over the fence, and slid down the steep slope to the river flat. After regaining our composure, we continued up the now gentle slope and turned off to the north shortly before reaching the trees by Zig Zag Road. As we walked across the top, the sun disappeared and cloud descended, ending the promise of uninterrupted views. A sheltered slope was chosen for lunch, and the Elephant Hill mob reported by radio that they were lunching on the summit but were about to leave because they, too, were now in low cloud. We continued across the top, getting tantalising glimpses of Serpentine Valley to the north and the Waitaki Valley and Oamaru to the south, until we reached the water tank marking the point to turn back down towards the saddle leading to the elephant. At the saddle, 3 walkers chose to head directly down the gully back to the stream while the remaining 16 tackled Elephant Hill. Of those, 12 of us made it to the rump but poor visibility, by now a Leidecker , discouraged us from proceeding to the head. Instead we stuck to the 4wd track and slipped and slid down the gully at the east end of the beast back to the flats, reaching the cars at around 3pm with some muddy backsides.
Before heading home, we called on Mrs Cameron to thank her and tell her about the strange steer.
Wednesday the 15th April
Twenty-five early risers left Towey St at 8am, bound for Benmore Walkway. The weather looked promising as we headed inland on the tail-end of a southerly. As we drove along Loch Laird road four walkers opted to be dropped off (9.30am) at the gate below the dam. This shorter and easier grade 4WD road leads up to the saddle on Rostriever Station, then carries on to the peninsula on Bog Roy Station.
The rest of the group parked above the dam by the walkway signs, and at 9.45am they were on their way to the Lookout half an hour up the track. However, the first promontory beckoned for a morning tea stop (10.30.) Following that most of the group made a quick trip to the official Lookout. And, although rather hazy, the view to the alps with Mount Cook dominating, was rewarding. This was supposed to be our ‘Fall’ walk – we should have been kicking the golden, crunchy leaves along the track. But it was probably a week too soon. Never-the-less, the greeny-golden look of the poplars was worth seeing.
The walkway track was followed to the Rostriever Run boundary gate, from where we scaled the rocky ridge leading to the saddle pointing the way to the usual lunch-spot at the Poplars – a very pleasant, summer camping site in a sheltered bay. (We were surprised to receive a call from Ina saying that she and Jane N, Christine R and Heather were already having lunch at the end of the peninsular -12 noon.) We left 5 people to have lunch at the Poplars and the remaining 14 walked on to the peninsula, arriving about 12.50pm for lunch below a rocky outcrop near a pylon. Two people climbed the rocky ridge above to get a better view of Lake Benmore and Totara Peak.
On the way back to the saddle, Ken suggested that the pylon road, halfway up, may continue on to the pylon bordering the Walkway and Rostriever Run. So 6 of the more adventurous did a ‘reccy’ only to find that not even a track continued to the last pylons. (The main group had opted to go via the saddle and straight down to Loch Laird Road). So the shortest way back was straight up the hill above, returning to the ridge heading to the walkway. At least one person struggled to stay upright with the gusting, almost gale-force wind whipping the ridge. Tussocks become good hand-holds. The forest walk back to the cars was calm and pleasant.
All were back at the cars by between 3.45 and 4pm. The road walkers met us halfway up road, just below the dam. An ice-cream or chips was a well-deserved reward for an almost 16 km walk. Back to town by 5.45pm. Margie
Domett Loop Otekaike
Wednesday the 8th April
We parked in the usual place at the end of Domett Road, just before the cattle yards. We started walking about 9.10am and headed up the track over the saddle and down to a dry Lone Creek. The majority chose to do the circuit widdershins while Ken and Wendy opted for the clockwise route. The peleton headed the short distance up the true right of the creek to Domett Lodge where morning tea was taken on the verandah and “lawn”, with officers seated at the top table. After tea they set off up the track, which climbed steadily alongside the creek then turned steeply to the south. At a fork, they took the left track which climbed steadily up, with the view over the Waitaki Valley opening up. At around 12noon, they reached the highest point and met up with Ken and Wendy. Most dropped their packs by the track and climbed the tussocky ridge to the north east, which led to the 1158m knob with stunning 360 degree views.
After lunching by the side of the track, all but Ken and Wendy headed down the zigzag to the broad valley with the unusual characteristic of two streams – one down each side. They gathered by the gate leading to conservation land to admire the back-to-front DoC sign, then walked down the valley, back across Lone Creek, and over the saddle to reach the cars by around 2.30pm. All agreed a very pleasant day and one of the group’s favourite walks.
Campbells Bay beach walk
Less Arduous Group Walk
On a very pleasant morning 11 walkers (Christine S, Mary A (Oamaru), Christine R, Norma D, Ina K, Ross B, Severin K, Jane N, Rae D, Sheldon McE, and Barbara S.) began our walk at the Kakanui Bridge, following the river track to River Road, along Waianakarua road and taking the walking track to Magdala Street. At Campbell’s Bay 2 more walkers ( Jim C. and Winsome W.) joined us for the walk along the beach to All Day Bay where we had morning tea and said goodbye to Jane. Our ‘Loop Walk’ began in McKenzies Road (where Jim and Winsome left us), along Falconer’s Road and then back to All Day Bay via MacLean’s Road – a much longer loop than had been remembered! After having lunch at All Day Bay we returned along the beach, then it was back to the cars and ice creams at the Kakanui Store.
No permission required
Distance: 110km one way.
Conditions : brilliant autumn day after clearing of high clouds.
Cars: Georgie, Dave, Ross B, Ken.
After deciding where to go and sorting out the cars, we finally left Towey Street and travelled to the Cave turn-off on Hyw 1, where we waited for all cars to arrive. We then travelled on the Pareora river road past Southburn till we reached the Motukaika road ( a left turn) then continued on that road until a sign indicated Mt Nimrod Reserve,where we parked our cars in the lovely picnic area. We left the cars in 2 groups at 10.30am. One group (Ken, Wendy, Jenny, Louise, Ross, Georgie and Ina, who was reluctant to do the whole circuit) They went clockwise, while the rest went anti-clockwise to do the whole loop. The first group had to get up steeply to the top and as the track which was very slippery you had to watch your step. But we got on the top shortly before noon, where we enjoyed the glorious views and the sun and while we had lunch we could see the other group making their way up. We reluctantly left the top and started our down hill stretch back to the cars.
The sun had dried out the track considerably which though still slippery, we were able to make good time. Not without a few falls though, especially Louise had a nasty tumble, Head first. Luckily she was not hurt too much. We arrived back at the cars at 1.30pm.
The other group had their share of slippery tracks and rocks, their way was more up and down, with a very steep descent to the river and the waterfall, which was spectacular. Ann slipped on a rock and had an unexpected bath. But she was OK and dried up before we set of for home. This group arrived back at the cars around 2.30pm. Nobody was keen to leave as the place was so beautiful, with lots of birdsong and good company.
We left about 3.15pm and were in town at 4.30pm. Our car load did not go to Waimate for ice-creams. A great day was had by all.
18 March 2015
The first stage of our walk was a variation of Mary’s farm/forest walk in October 2014; so the story begins at McKenzie Road today. At this point we turned right and walked up the road and entered the gate signed ‘NO ENTRY’. The road dropped steadily through the old gold diggings. An interesting ‘tip’ stopped the tail-enders for a second look! Then with a deviation from the diggings road we took a right turn onto a rather over-grown, narrow track (probably a moto x track). This led us to a swampy area. Decision time – follow Trevor through a forested area or cross the swamp and follow one of three other route-finders searching for a way up through the gorse, thistles & broom. We decided to follow John (up through the gorse, thistles and broom) as he was the first to reach the open ground at the top of the ridge. Though it was vertical and at times we were crawling under low ‘old man gorse’, all managed to regroup and continue down to the south branch of the Maerewhenua River. This we followed, criss-crossing a few times until a rather steep section split the group. One group followed on down to the Access track (Trevor & Bill’s efforts last year) to the Bridle track. The other group continued up the ridge to meet Beatties Hill and walk down the road to the Access track.
It was at least a half hour climb up the Bridle track taking us out on Cemetery Road and on to Mary’s yards where the cars were parked. By now it was just past 5pm. Francis stats. indicated we walked close to 16 km.
A most enjoyable ‘mystery’ walk – with thanks to Mary making it possible.
Roxburgh- Gorge and Clutha Gold Bike Ride 10-13 March 2015
Day 1 – Roxburgh Gorge (upper) Alex to Drs Point
A sunny start at Alexandra the trail is at its best
A 10 km ride to Drs Point for a quick snack and a rest.
A return ride back to Alex then up the trail to Clyde
Then Alex by the Rail Trail – another 8 km ride
Day 2 – Rox. Gorge (lower) and Clutha Gold Trail
Down the road to Roxburgh Dam the lower Gorge beckoned
A few hairpins and hills – not a problem we reckoned.
At Shingle Creek the halfway point ($95 was the quote)
Back to the dam by trail we bike – who needs a ride in a boat?
An easy ride from the dam down to Roxburgh East
The holiday accommodation was great to say the least.
Day 3 Clutha Gold Trail – Roxburgh to Beaumont
Cruising down to Millers Flat, ‘cross the bridge to the pub
For teas and scones and coffee – ‘tis the village hub.
There’re orchards and farms – and dividing this country
The mighty Clutha Mata-au flowing boldly to the sea.
All downhill to Beaumont, history plaques galore
Great food at this pub, the hosts couldn’t do more.
Day 4 – Beaumont to Lawrence
Up early, there’s a hill climb to Big Tunnel at the top
Bike through with headlamps on – at the end we have a stop.
A photo shoot then on our way, the down-hill ride is fun
The sun is with us all the way on the final easy run.
At Lawrence we celebrate our 152km ride
Then Ross says ‘Who is walking?” – up Gabriel’s Gully we stride
As the southerly weather threatens by now we’re on the run
Just in time we beat the rain ——
We had the greatest fun!
Going for Gold
Sixteen cyclists and two drivers bold,
( all over 60 I’ve been told !),
Set off for Alexandra, a place of great renown,
For thyme (!) rivers, and now a cycle town.
Beds sorted, lunch was downed,
No one dared to mess around,
Away to explore the Roxburgh gorge,
Alongside the mighty Molyneux,
Where, blue green waters surge.
The track went down and up around,
Steep bends and rocky faces abound,
Signs where Chinese miners huts had been,
Remains of previous endeavours seen,
All this added to a wonderful scene,
Greatly enjoyed by our cycling team.
Day two saw us in the saddle again,
At times we thought we were insane,
As up the lakeside the track twisted,
U-bends a plenty, concentration insisted
Care to be taken, or we’d be bruised an’ blistered
Amongst the rocks and matagouri that existed !
Meanwhile the deep blue-green Lake lay,
Moody and magnificent cradled by hills of sombre gray,
Back to the Roxburgh Dam and across to the east,
(by now we were used to our sturdy beasts)
Day three we awoke to a misty morn,
Some of us dismissed this with scorn,
‘ A sunny day will surely follow forth,
And we will ride the trail for all its worth !’
Winding our way alongside the writhing river,
Thru willows and Kanuka stands forever,
Wendy came to a squishy stop,
As her back tyre tube a hole did pop,
Her gallant knight on his ancient steed,
Was by her side at this time of need,
While others their thirst would quench,
Or devour delicious ice-creams on a handy bench,
On to Beaumont hotel for a well earned rest,
the staff there really did their best,
Fine food and fare was just so neat,
T’would be hard to find,
A better place to eat.
Day four, fog heralded the dawn,
But lifted soon in the early morn,
Fine breakfast food some enjoyed,
For others strategic plans were employed,
The track to Lawrence an old rail trail,
Plaques tell a tale of hardships and travail,
A long tunnel to venture through, a sight to behold,
Shovel and pick wielded by men of old,
A downhill ride to Lawrence Town,
The vans awaiting to take us down
To Gabriels Gully for a look around,
The historic site where gold was first found.
Golden memories we have made ourselves,
Now in historic memories we may delve,
Relate, in some small way,
To those pioneers their bones now lie in clay,
Goldminers, farmers, engineers and the likes,
We have seen their bridges, huts, farms, and sites,
And all of this ON OUR BIKES !.
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.