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
Black Cap – Scout Hill
22 June 2016
With warm temperatures promised 28 walkers headed out through Five Forks to the end of Turnbulls Road. After signing the obligatory Health and Safety form we headed south from Smiths cattle yards along a well formed track with 360 degree views. Turning left through some gates we walked along a fence line towards Black Cap, sighting 3 small deer not too far away.
Morning tea was taken where we hit Fuchsia Creek Road with panoramic views over North Otago, then we headed up the road to Black Cap summit. A bit further along a few headed back the way we had come, having lunch on the way and arriving back at the cars about 2-30pm.
The rest continued to the end of the road past the airstrip. About half skirted round the north face of Scout Hill, while the rest gained the summit shortly after 12 noon. We met up again for lunch at Scout Hut. A brisk walk down Mole Hill Road to a gate saw us turning east and a gradual decent to Mole Hill Creek. The sun emerged so we sweated our way back up to the cars in a gentle Norwester feeling much better for our 18k, 5-6 hour mid winter walk.
Thanks to the Smith’s, Kingan’s, Sim’s and Ruddenklau’s for allowing us on their properties for what is always considered to be a top North Otago walk.
‘Douglas Rock’ – Dome Hills
After a cold front swept through early in the morning, it was gratifying to see 21 walkers at Towey at 8.30. As we drove up Livingstone Pinch we wondered if we would get up above the fog. The destination today was Dome Hills, situated past Livingstone on McKenzie Rd. Arriving at the yards at 9.30am, the fog now cleared, we were ready to walk at 9.45am. Gail’s satellite map had the route marked on it and as long as we started left before the woolshed, through the horse paddock and followed the double barbed-wire fence along the lane, the big rock would soon be visible across Awamoko Stream on our right. And so it was. At 10.30am we had smoko, just before descending to the stream and following a 4WD track and old water races up to the rock.
Since it was only 11.30am we decided to push on across the paddocks for lunch at 12.20pm, at the forest on Balmoral Rd. No wind here, and great view of little Domett (a bit of cloud on Big Domett), Grayson and Cone. Also Ben Lomond and Maerewhenua Spur ( Ben Ledi). The rain threatened, but circled around the hills leaving us dry all day.
Lunch over, we followed Balmoral Rd – passing the forest on our right, checking out the now very presentable Balmoral Hut and following the track taking us out onto McKenzie Rd. But not before we looked for Kattothyrst from a view-point at the end of the next forest. Just visible! Then it was just a 20 minute walk down the road to the yards, with a quick look at ‘Molly’s’ plaque on a broadleaf tree commemorating Barbara S’s. parents who used to live at Dome Hills
We enjoyed a chat with Ben, the run-holder’s son, who is now managing Dome Hills Station.
All back to the cars by 2.40pm after another enjoyable walk in our beautiful hills.
Farm Walk from Murray Road
On Wednesday 8 June on a beautiful Winter’s day 28 Wednesday Walkers gathered at Murray Road where our leader Keith outlined our tramp up the Boundary Creek area.
Keith having been brought up in the area and then farmed there was able to give us most interesting details about the historic features and the farming operations. Two of the highlights being the viaducts which supplied water to early Oamaru and the Maori Rock drawings.
Morning tea was at a farming area which had vintage farm machinery to the delight of our male WWs and lunch was at a hilltop with 360 degrees views of the lovely rolling countryside.
It was a day of contrasts; in the sun and in the shade where the frost looked like snow, down in gullies and up on hilltops, through fences and over fences, through forest and through paddocks, and we are grateful to Keith for arranging this great 14.7 km tramp.
1 June 2016
A cool, frosty morning greeted 24 walkers at Towey St and 9 more at Maheno. From there we drove in land, via Island Stream Rd, to Kuriheka. The walk began in the Kuriheka yards, first heading along the road to join Ram Hill Road. A short distance up John C. explained how the kiln-shaped charcoal maker had worked during the war years.
On arriving at the first hay-barn everyone settled down for smoko either amongst the hay-bales or in the sun against a corrugated wall. Then onward and upward to the next hay-barn. But it was too early for lunch at 11.45am – though three people did lunch here. We pushed on for another half hour till we had stunning views to the east and west. There, sheltered behind rocks or the fertilizer bin, we had lunch. Snow covered Mt Stalker – there was even a sprinkling on Devils Elbow. A hut in the near distance beckoned us for a visit. Only a 25 minute walk away. So several members ventured on while the others decided to return by the homeward track. After a pleasant stroll round the hill, passing the 4WD track leading to Island Stream waterfall, we explored the hut inside (mostly under lock and key) and out. The old bath outside attracted the most attention.
From here it was back to the lunch spot to pick up packs and take the downward track back to the hay-barn. The area round here always entices a few to explore the surrounds. Be it the ‘clapped out’ Vanguard car, the old buildings or even the picket-style garden gate still in good order.
Then downhill to the next hay-barn where we veered left to follow the ridge back to the yards. But not to forget Bowler the faithful horse though – his stone memorial still stands proudly near an old gum tree. As you descend the ridge, the deep Island Stream gorge is visible on your left. An added bonus is the very old apple tree with the smallest, sweetest crisp red apples you have tasted! All back to the cars between 2.30 and 3pm after walking 19 kilometres of some of the finest farmland in North Otago.
Timaru Coastal Walkway
25 May 2016
Finding an enjoyable walk after a rare spell of wet weather in Oamaru can be tricky, but this week’s walk to the Timaru walkway was a good choice. It was a cool frosty start but the sun soon pushed its way out of a grey blanket of clouds to warm us up.
We met as usual and 31 keen trampers soon filled up the cars and we headed to Timaru. One vehicle for transport was left near Salt Water Creek and we continued on to the Loop road near Caroline Bay for parking. The day was really warming up nicely and we headed off about 10 am along -Hectors coastal track.
Gosh! The sea was wild after all the rough weather and it was great to watch the waves crashing on the rocks along the walkway. We enjoyed morning tea, then continued along the track towards Smithfield. The views out to sea and of the wharf are an interesting change for us, and then walking back again offered views from the opposite direction. Some of us walked back via the rose gardens and others back on the strikingly designed wooden walkway by the ocean. We had a nice leisurely lunch on the grass nearby. Jane and Dave were lucky enough stop off and see a lovely sight of about 20 monarch butterflies on a Chamaecyparis tree in the memorial park.
The afternoon walk was along the Saltwater Creek walkway, from Stuart Street on the wharf and walking south along the ocean track towards the main road. The rough seas have started to erode some of the track but it was still an easy going walk. We really enjoyed seeing the great bird population that now resides on these wetlands. Thanks to so many folk that planted this area some years ago, it’s a real credit to them. We spotted many ducks of course, black swans, shags, and pukeko. It would have been over 15 kms walked, easy and lots of views to stop and enjoy along the way.
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.