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 a recommendation of what to bring.
This Week’s Walk
Wednesday 13 June 2018
There was a surprising turnout of 24 walkers in spite of a doubtful weather forecast which was describing more of the same dismal weather that’s been prevalent for more than a week. Last week’s walk saw only seven people turn out because of the weather so one can presume there may have been a degree of “cabin fever” prevailing.
As it turned out, apart from a few spots of rain mid-morning, the weather was kind for the rest of the day, allowing us to see what this walk is noted for, the special views to the “Kakanuis”. But as well, the rock formations around the escarpment over-looking Enfield really do stretch the imagination.
Then there is the bonus of suddenly looking down (without warning) into the limestone quarry some 80m (estimate) below, known in the past as “Taylors Lime Works”. Soon after, on the other side of the hill, we had similar views looking down into the Oamaru Stone quarry where we ‘saw the saw’ actually cutting through the stone with ease. Next time we look at an Oamaru stone building, these scenes will be remembered.
Wednesday 6 June
A very cold SW blast caused the exposed Weston escarpment walk to be postponed, but 7 walkers turned up. It was decided to head over to Cape Wanbrow to do some exploring. First up was a gentle climb to the trig station with views in most directions. It was then down to Bushy Beach for morning tea out of the worst of the wind. After a quick visit to the penguin viewing shelter we retraced our steps before taking a shortcut to the new native plantings on the north side which are growing well. We dropped down to the beach and negotiated our way round to the Friendly Bay playground for lunch. It was then up through King George park to Avon St. and a zig zag route back to Towey St. by 1-30pm, giving us an enjoyable 8k walk in some places we hadn’t been before.
Mts. Mckenzie and Trotter
Wednesday 30 May
Trip: The drive down SH1 to Waikouaiti followed by 14 km of winding, gravel Mount Watkin Road took us to the starting point where a clear grassy track led in a north-easterly direction across paddocks toward Mount Mackenzie. Walking started at about 9.45. An admonition to stick together resulted in a fast pack which took off towards and up Mount Mackenzie, bypassing the organ pipes basalt formation on the lower slopes, which others, later, opined were possibly more impressive than those on Mt Cargill.
By 11 o’clock, most trampers had reached the summit of Mount Mackenzie and settled down for morning tea. At this point, three decided that they would continue only a short way down the northern slopes and would then turn back towards the cars. The rest continued on down, across a saddle, and then upwards towards the base of Mt Trotter.
At the boundary fence, three more decided to turn back while the main party crossed the fence and started the climb. The first part of the climb was relatively gentle, but then it steepened and became more difficult as the grass got longer and the tussocks taller, so all were happy to see the top. It was now 1 o’clock and the nineteen huddled down in the tussocks, sheltering from the cold westerly and eating lunch. The 360 degree view was stunning, from the Dunedin hills, past the Rock and Pillars, Taieri Ridge, the Kakanuis and the Horse Range to Waikouaiti and Karitane. More immediately below to the west could be seen Eldorado and the deep valley of the Waikouaiti River North Branch.
A half hour spell enabled the latercomers to lunch and rest, then all set off back down the mountain. (Note for future – the going is easier to the west than straight up or down.) The return journey was easier, following a 4wd farm track which skirted Mt Mackenzie to the east and then across gently undulating grassland, reaching the cars at around 3.15. The trip was just under 10kms, but the two climbs of 300 and 400 metres had made it tiring but satisfying.
Postscript: On the way home, some diverted along Kerr Road to the access to the Mt Watkin Scenic Reserve. It is protected by a deer fence and a gate locked with two chains and padlocks, the key for which can only be obtained from the Dunedin City Council offices – they must be expecting an invasion. The access is on the west side, which requires negotiating a rocky gorge before climbing Mt Watkin itself. John
30th Anniversary Dinner
23 May 2018
Trip Report 1: We drove to the Kurow toilets carpark and left the cars there. We then walked to the bike trail which wound round the base of the hill, thus avoiding main road traffic . Sixteen then turned left uphill near where then Awakino stream met the road . Three of the group took a shorter route which turning uphill just before the cemetery and went on to a group of uptstanding jagged rocks where they had lunch before making their way across country to where the track down Kurow Hill began, and from there back to their car. The remainder of the group continued upwards and onwards, stopping for lunch at 1.15 p.m. They went on to the trig, past the big rocks, and from there took a couple of different ways to the descent. To the right the way wound round in a loop partly on a grassy 4WD track. Others went left from the trig and eventually, by a more direct route, down a wide gully and up again to reach the beginning of the descent to Kurow. (For future reference the trick is to keep right.) From this point, the views down the Waitaki and its surrounding country, and of Kurow itself and over the Hakataramea village were splendid. Then, halfway down the track, what a surprise! Armchairs of varying types and a sofa were found on a number of the hairpin bends of the zig zags, strategically placed for maximum comfort and views. The icecream shop in view also, the carpark was reached at 2.45 p.m.
Meanwhile the short walkers who arrived back at Kurow at 2pm had returned to Oamaru to attend to final arrangements for the Wednesday Walkers’ evening function. This was our 30th Birthday celebration dinner attended by over 50 past and present members. The splendid birthday cake was cut by 5 founding members – Jane Naish, Barbara Simpson, Stewart and Betty Jenkins, and Wendy McLeod – and an excellent meal was enjoyed by all who attended with much reminiscing. This was aided by the well arranged photo boards showing trips and members from the beginning, and the superbly kept illustrated trip books recording past tramps and expeditions. A fitting celebration of 30 years’ achievements, much enjoyed by all who attended. Margaret C.
Trip Report 2.
Another cold day with a dusting of snow on the mountain tops. 18 headed up the Waitaki Valley to Kurow. Leaving the cars at the public toilets we walked up the new section of bike track, stopping for morning tea above the cemetery. 3 walkers wanting an early return to Oamaru headed to the top of Kurow hill at this point while the rest continued on to the Awakino Gorge. We then climbed up the ridge to the NE of the Gorge with both the day and the views improving the higher we climbed.
We tried to find a lunch spot out of the biting SW wind with limited success, before climbing the last bit to the trig and then down along ridges to the top of the zig zag track above Kurow. As most of us hadn’t done this trip anticlockwise, there was a bit of “exploring” done before we opted for the correct ridge. The zig zag track was well appointed with a couch and several lounge chairs at various corners. Some felt it necessary to try them out even though it wasn’t really needed for the down hill part, but the day was warming up out of the wind and the views were superb.
We were all back home in time to get ready for our 30th Aniversary celebrations in the evening at the Brydon where there was a great gathering of past and present Wednesday Walkers. Ross M.
Tapui 3 Peaks and 2 Tunnels
Wednesday 16 May
It was a cold cloudy day with the prospect of some showers later, but 18 were keen to do the walk. Arriving at the top of Victoria Hill Road through Windsor we headed up Rakis Table and into the fog. As there was no view it was down the North face, dodging a herd of cattle, to the East end of Rakis Tunnel. Torches out we soon arrived at the picnic area at the other end for morning tea. Then it was up the old railway embankment to the Tapui Tunnel.
Turning South we crossed green pastures, gradually ascending to the top of Belmont Hill with clear 360 deg. views where we stopped for lunch. We then headed down to Victoria Hill Road and across farmland to Victoria Hill where we sought shelter from the cold South Easterly wind that was promising rain. It was just a short walk from there back to the cars giving us an enjoyable 13k walk. We appreciated lots of gates where we needed them, many open. North Otago is looking a picture with ample grass going into the winter.
Wednesday 9 May
A Visit to the “Earthquakes”
Having heard a good deal of talk regarding this wonderful spot and being delayed for goods, I thought a day at the so called “Earthquakes” would be well spent. So after receiving a kit of provisions from our hostess, Mrs Walsh, of the Duntroon Hotel, we started on our exploring expedition. My companion, being a visitor to the district and a geologist, I thought my opportunity a good one for learning something about nature.
We wound our way up the ridge over the paddock until we reached a sugar-loaf mountain. The curious shape attracted our attention and being of a naturally inquisitive turn of mind, we of course must see the top of it. We were rewarded for our ascent, for we found several fossils of grass and wood, the botanical names of which I know not, and although my companion had some crack-jaw names for these bits of rubbish, I thought little of them.
We had good sport with the rabbits in the locality, for they were skipping about as merry as playful kittens. In vein did we try to capture some, although during the day they would rise from the tussocks under our feet, so we left them to their own devices and proceeded to the so called “Earthquakes”.
Winding our way down the side of the ridge we came upon a string of beautiful lakes, deep and abounding with eels. The water seemed very refreshing after the drag up and down the ridges and being of the opinion that these lakes were very deep, we sounded various parts and found the deepest soundings to be about 60 feet. This we did by tying a large stone to a ball of string and paying it out as the stone sank to the bottom. These lagoons or lakes are on average from 40 to 60 feet deep in the centre, gradually getting shallower near the edge. On the banks grew long grass and rushes, giving the whole a very picturesque appearance.
Having thoroughly surveyed this part, we had lunch and then ascended the hill to the east of the lakes. But before we travelled far we found it was very needful to be cautious as to where we put our feet, as some of the rents in the ground seemed bottomless. But this was nothing to what we had yet to behold.
Higher and higher we climbed until we saw an immense face of freestone some 100 or more feet in height and as we got nearer we knew by the rents in the ground that we must be close to the so called “earthquakes”. Here and there by means of two large balls of string we sounded various holes and rents, some of which we found to be 20, 30, 70, and one even 120 feet deep.
In some of these rents or crevices grew small ferns, maidenhair and many other species. Here the whole spectacle so charmed my companion that I sat down upon a rock and took a sketch , which he afterwards carried with him to Dunedin. I also took a sketch of the lakes and the grand old mountains in the background; Mount Domett with its snowy tips and blue line of haze, below which the glow of the evening sun shone on the hills, giving them that remarkable tint peculiar only to the grand old mountain scenery of New Zealand. Shrubs grow in some of the crevices of this extraordinary landslip and pigeons abound in large numbers.
It is a long time since I spent so enjoyable a day among the hills and my companion, I am sure was well rewarded for his visit to the “earthquakes” of Duntroon.
Strangers wishing to pay them a visit could not do better than hire a horse at Duntroon and ride to the lakes. In this way an enjoyable day could be spent by the tourists (both ladies and gentlemen), who would be charmed with the scenery.
On return after many attempts to secure a rabbit, I managed to maim one with my companion’s walking stick, so finally, with the assistance of my dog, we scored a win after innumerable tries.
I have written this for the benefits of the Oamaru citizens, who thinking they are often at a loss to know where to go for an outing, a description might be of service to some of them and they would never regret the time spent at the Duntroon “earthquakes” or immense landslip.
Comment: This report is 129 years and one day old. Not much has changed!
Kinbyran – Overland Stations
Wednesday 2 May
With the promise of another beautiful autumn day and new territory to be explored, a group of 30 walkers left from Towey Street joined by 2 more, including Ian our leader, north of the Waitaki. We drove along SH82, with a clear vista of the Kirkliston Range with snow covered peaks glistening in the distance, through a fast flowing ford to Clarkesfield Rd, Elephant Hill.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the owner Simon McRae – a member of the 4th generation to farm the Kinbyran property. Ian led us back along the road until we entered through a gate onto the property and followed the farm boundary route. The rolling farmlands gave us the variety of uphill and down dale walking which included a pathway through waist high kale on the neighbouring farm. We took a brief refreshment rest without the usual smoko stop. Our lunch stop at 12.30 pm afforded us a magnificent 180 degree view over the great braided Waitaki which threaded its way with multiple strands down to the haze of the coastline in the distance. The white stone cliffs of Coal Pit Hill hid the Oamaru townscape. We enjoyed our lunch perched on stacks of timber which were alongside the musterers’/deerstalkers’ hut with the panoramic view. We can but dream of the architectural masterpiece that might rise in its place and be waiting for us the next time we visit.
As Ian used to own the farm we had lunch on, he took the opportunity to provide us with a great historical overview of the allocation of the land to returned soldiers, water and power schemes and also the geography of the Waitaki and Waimate fault lines.
On our route west and then back to the homestead and our cars, we enjoyed views looking over Duntroon on the south side of the Waitaki. As Simon bade farewell to us and welcomed us to visit again in the future, we joined together to express our appreciation for a thoroughly enjoyable day exploring new territory in South Canterbury.
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.