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 a recommendation of what to bring.
This Week’s Walk
Kurow Hill and Awakino Gorge
Wednesday 23 January
Wednesday 16 January
8-30am start at Towey St.
A bright sunny day greeted 24 walkers at Towey St. for a walk we had been trying to do since the beginning of December, but had been thwarted by wet Wednesdays. The climb up to Turnbull’s Road took us back into cloud and a cool SW wind for a bit, but it soon warmed up. We did this walk clockwise this time with a new bit added on at the start. The grass growth was unbelievable and the stock were obviously appreciating the abundance with shiny coats and well grown offspring. The creeks we crossed were all flowing after all the rain, as we followed the bottom boundry next to the forestry block next door. We had steep descents and climbs out of 3 or 4, getting half way up the last hill in time for lunch. The uphill climb after lunch took a bit of determination, but we were rewarded by panoramic views of North Otago from the mountains to the sea. A track then took us through high snow tussock as we circled round to Turnbulls Road and back to the cars shortly before 3pm, a good 15km workout.
Island Stream Waterfall
Wednesday 9 January
Island Stream Waterfall, Wednesday 9 January 2019
Weather: Fine, mild, light easterly breeze.
Trip: The shortish walk and latish start were designed to provide a gentle start to the year, and facilitate a joint Wednesday Walkers/Wanderers trip.
Cars left Towey Street at 9.30, met up with the southern contingent at Maheno, and proceeded through Herbert up Tulliemet Road to a gate on the right about 1 1/2km past the Kuriheka hayshed. We parked, booted up and set off through the gate at about 10.15. We followed the clear 4wd track as it wound across country, heading vaguely north, and then dropped down across the Island Stream South Branch. Before crossing, we stopped on the sheltered east side of the gully for smoko.
After a leisurely break, we set off again, crossed the ankle-deep stream, and climbed the gentle slope to the flat top where we took the left branch at a fork in the track (the other branch crossed the stream again as it headed north-east). We were now walking in a roughly north-westerly direction. The clear 4wd track had petered out and we were left wondering which set of faint tyre marks would take us to our destination. This resulted in several changes in direction as we searched for clearways through the matagouri and manuka. We eventually worked our way down a boggy slope to a gate leading into a grassy paddock and then across another stream and up a short slope, through another gate, to a clear area overlooking the Island Stream North Branch gorge. Most settled down here for lunch while a few, more botanically minded, searched unsuccessfully for some examples of the tiny grass lily Herpolirion novae-zelandiae.
As we munched, admiring the sheer wall of the gorge below us, we spied a family of black goats apparently defying gravity as they worked their way up the cliff. After lunch, a group of four headed down the side of the gully, looking for a route down to the base of the waterfall. Foiled by a barrier of rampant onga-onga, the returned to the top and then joined another group who had crossed the side gully and climbed the hillside opposite the lunch site. A short sidle across a tussocky face, through manuka and around some spiky spaniards took them out on a spur with a clear view of the whole waterfall. Meanwhile, the remaining group at the lunch site were entertained by the antics of some more cliff-climbing goats.
The return trip was slightly more direct than the outward walk, and was uneventful apart from coming across some unusual Olearia bullata shrubs and one tramper suffering severe cramp and being picked up by Dave. Cars were reached at about 2pm and a number of the party adjourned to Purtons Café on the way home for coffee, tea or slightly stronger libations.
Wednesday 2 January 2019
Surprisingly, in spite of the 29 degree temperature forecast for Waimate, twenty-one WW’s showed up at Towey St for the first walk of the year. After a half hour drive to Waimate the five cars were then parked at the Studholme Bush car-park where we began the walk on the relentingly uphill Ngaio Track to a height of 330m.
Everybody gathered at the top of the Ngaio Track zig-zag to decide which way(s) to go. The main group of twelve headed up the White Horse Link Track across the undulating, grassy top to the eponymous steed. The trip took about 20 minutes. The horse having been admired, and sightseeing locals entertained, we headed back about 12 noon. About half way back across the top, we veered right on to an unnamed track with the odd marker post which promised a short cut across country to the Bellbird Track, where we assumed the others were heading. The promise was realized and we soon found ourselves on the Bellbird Track not long before before the junction with the Quail Track. It was now one o’clock-ish so we sat down for lunch at the first relatively shady place we came across.
Lunch over, we kept on the Bellbird Track and soon came to the junction with the Waterfall Track, which we headed down. A fairly well graded track led down into the gully to some steps which bottomed out in the creek bed between the waterfall, which was just flowing, and some largish totaras.
At this point the group split again: four decided to climb back up the track to descend by the main track to the old railway line, while the remaining eight accepted the challenge of descending by the creek bed. While this group did escape from the steep climb out in blazing sunshine, they had to cope with some slippery rocks, tangled tree branches and supplejack. This was achieved without injury but with the enjoyment of shade, native bush and bird song. They finally emerged from the gully just before 4pm and walked for some 2km along the line of the old Waihao railway track to get back to the cars at about 4.30pm. John
Meanwhile……as the Waterfallers were bush-bashing their way down the creek, supposedly a short-cut, the remaining four wandered along the Bellbird track, escaping the hot sun at every shady spot available. Suddenly we came upon a track veering off to the left, unsure whether this was the Quail Track, only to discover the signed Quail Track was another 200 metres further on. This was where two returning members of the main group, deciding not to venture to the waterfall, were waiting for us. Now, a group of six, we headed off down the Quail Track, discovering the previous track, in fact, did join about 100 metres down. It was a relief to meet the Railway Embankment Track and feel the cool breeze as we walked down the gorge. We arrived back at the cars soon after 3.30pm, while members from the main group checked in about 4pm. Realising the final eight walkers still had a little over 2km to walk, two carloads of walkers drove into Waimate and returned with thirst-quenching drinks, ice-blocks and ice-creams. And on our way home the Rainbow milk-bar in Waimate again beckoned those still requiring hydrating drinks. Margie
A2O Duntroon to the Maori Rock Drawings
Wednesday 12 December 2018
14 walkers keen to get a walk in, no matter what the weather was like, turned up at Towey St. at 8-30am.
Light drizzle was falling but when we neared Duntroon there was a lift in the clouds a bit, so we walked in overcast conditions but with little moisture and also some “filtered” sunshine.
We headed out through the wetlands and over to the Waitaki River, before heading upstream to the irrigation intake where we paused for morning tea. It was then on up the bike track, arriving at the Maori Rock Drawings about 11-30am. A welcome sight for some was a mobile coffee dispenser. The chosen drinks were duly dispatched before placing the throwaway cups in the overfull waste baskets.
After viewing the well protected drawings we made use of the picnic table and mown grass for lunch. It was then back down the track to Duntroon with a short diversion further down the riverside track to its end. A visit to some of the Duntroon tourist spots ended an enjoyable outing before we returned to the coastal drizzle. Ross.
Mount Watkin/Hikararoa Scenic Reserve
28 November 2018
Trip: Access to the Mt Watkin/Hikararoa Scenic Reserve is controlled by DCC bureaucracy. Jane had managed to get a key and to book access this Wednesday and the following one for the Wednesday Walkers. The weather today was not that promising – low cloud shrouded the hilltops and occasional drizzle was promised. However, the forecast for the following Wednesday was even worse, with the prospect of serious rain. So, after the obligatory stop in Palmerston, the four cars drove south through Waikouaiti, turned right on to Ramrock Road, then right again on to Mount Watkin Road which wound its way inland. At (S)Kerr Road, we turned left across the north face of Mt Watkin and parked near the locked gate into the reserve just after 10 o’clock.
Having negotiated the gate, we turned left and followed the fence eastward down through wet grass, gorse and broom, and sometimes mud, across a gully and part way up the other side, where we came across a grassy 4wd track which sidled in a southerly direction up the lower slopes of Mt Watkin. About 10.45 we stopped for morning tea at a spot which would have enjoyed sunshine and a view – on a fine day. Shortly after tea, we turned uphill at a spur which seemed to offer a reasonable route to the invisible top. We first climbed steeply through tussock punctuated with spaniard then, after a short stretch of tussocky terrace, turned uphill to clamber over slippery rocks –some columnar “organ pipes”- interspersed with flax, spaniard and shrubs. This was the trickiest part of the tramp and it took the best part of 1 ½ hours to climb the 200 metres from the morning tea stop. The summit, marked by a trig and a carved pou, was reached just before 12.30 and we settled down for a relaxed lunch among the rocks and vegetation.
Time was taken to consult maps, compasses and memories before deciding to head down the north side of the hill shortly after 1pm. This took us over less rocky terrain than the ascent, though still requiring care. At one point we struck a barren rock field, which some navigated through and others skirted above. This was followed by a pleasant stroll through tall tussocks. By now the weather was clearing and we could see where we were heading! We then reached a fence with two electric wires which seemed pointless (it seemed to have only one end), but had to be crossed before we could head down the boundary fenceline and across the gully we had traversed in the morning. On the other side, rather than continue up the fence, we headed left on a grassy track which sidled up with fewer obstacles. Shortly we were on a well-formed track which took us back at the gate at around 2.30pm.
It had been an interesting day – pity about the weather – which whetted our appetites for a longer exploration of the reserve in better conditions. 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. (Note that we carry several 2 way radios and also a Personal Locator Beacon for emergencies.)
* 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.