Trip Reports

Anderson’s Lagoon-Shag River

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Sunday, 3rd November

A perfect day for a walk by the seaside: fine, sunny, blue skies, warm with a light north-easterly breeze. Six trampers drove to the end of Anderson Road, off the Goodwood Road east of Palmerston. At about 9.15 we set off walking along the track through a replanted area beside Andersons Lagoon. The lagoon itself was unusually high so the main track was in places under water requiring detours. After about half a km the track reached Stony Creek beach and we turned north, past the closed mouth of the lagoon to the steel ladder which climbed up the cliff. It was not long after high tide, which meant that the beach route would be impassable, so we climbed the ladder and the following zig-zag steps to reach the esplanade walking track which undulated along the clifftops for some two kms, crossing several small streams on the way.

Eventually the track turned down a bank on to the beach. However, waves were still reaching the rocky cliff bottom which marked the entry to the next stretch of beach, so we settled down for a leisurely morning tea while the tide continued to go out. After half an hour or so, we packed up again and clambered over the rocks to reach the sandy beach which would take us to our end point at the mouth of the Shag River. On the way we were entertained by wildlife: rows of shags nesting on rocky ledges like tenements in an old European city. Most nests occupied by one or two adults and a chick – some almost fully fledged and ready to leave home, others still covered in down. Further along, a couple of basking sea lions threatened to bar progress, rearing up and forcing us to walk higher up the beach to get by. A third sea lion was enjoying the surf. A number of tracks across the sand suggested that several more had been in occupation earlier.

A bit after noon, we reached the end of the beach and settled down on the Shag Estuary side of the sand dunes for lunch in the sunshine and sheltered from the light easterly. Just on one o’clock we started heading back south along the now much wider beach, the damp sand providing firm footing. We passed a sea lion heading seawards and then the two we had avoided in the morning, now much more relaxed. When we reached the cove where we had come down from the esplanade track in the morning, we decided to take advantage of the lower tide and tackle the next headland. We managed with a scramble over rocks, made more difficult than expected by a fairly fresh slip which had deposited some room-sized boulders in the way. This brought us out on to the next sandy beach which terminated in a headland which dropped directly into the sea with no rock pile to offer a way round. So it was a climb back up to the track, over the hill, and down to the next beach to the south. This provided good going and the now almost low tide meant that we could negotiate the last headland with relative ease, back to the Stony Creek beach, through the sand hills and along the lagoon-side track to reach the cars just on 3pm. The combination of seascape, cliffs, beach and wildlife had made for an interesting day which was enjoyed by Phyllis, Maurice, Bronwyn, Jane, Bill and John.

Herbert Forest Working Bee

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

A small group of 6 gathered at Goblin Woods and after sorting the jobs to be done the group split into 3 lots of 2. Each if these set off to work in Hoods, Podocarp and Swallows. A variety of jobs were done mostly in returning signage to original order and track maintenance. Two seats were installed in the Hoods. Rebating of DoC 200 was done a few days earlier and traps are now fitted with mousetraps. 
Thanks to the team!



Friday, October 4th, 2019

Sunday 29 September 2019

A good crew of 9 of us met on the Sunday morning all looking for a good day out in the Silver Peaks. We all piled into two vehicles and headed south to the Silver Peaks tracks car park, inland from Waitati.

 It was about 9.30am when we started up the Green Ridge track, weather was cool and foggy about the tops, but we were hoping it would clear so we could get some views, yeh right. It took us about an hour on a well maintained track to get to the old green hut site where we took a break before tackling the uphill bit of the track.

 After the green hut site the track climbs up out of the bush and on to a exposed ridge that leads up to Pulpit Rock, which was all fogged in. Just before the top, an unmarked track doubles back past a DOC sign that was lying on the ground that reads, ”This is not a maintained track past this point”. This is Rosella Ridge, a roughly cut track that runs the length of the ridge.

The start of the ridge is a bit up and down where we would have got some good views on a good day, but most of the track is through regenerating Manuka which restricted the views anyway.

 At point 633m we stopped for lunch in the bush just below a rocky outcrop. After lunch it was another ¾ of an hour till we met up with the Hunters Track which would take us off the ridge and down to the Waikouaiti River.

The Hunters Track descends down through broadleaf  forest, quite steeply near the bottom and someone had been up this track lately and had had a big cut back and clean up. So thanks to the people involved with that, you do a good job.

 A good cut track led us upstream till we crossed a stream and there was another track leading back into the bush, but with the plan to follow the main stream up to the Eucalypt track we stayed on the good track we were on. This was a bit of a mistake because after crossing the stream couples of times this track leads us into the pine trees. It was decided to miss the Eucalypt track and follow this track, which climbed steeply to start with through the pine trees, past where the Possum track comes up and out on to Mountain Rd.

It was about 1 km back down the road to the vehicles, arriving back about 3.30pm, 6 hours after we had left them. All in all it was a good day out in the Silver Peaks with some good tracks followed in some lovely bush.

Thanks to the 8 other trampers for you great company for the day.

Mike, Vicky, John, Phyllis, Maurice, Julian, Lynette and Bill F


Waianakarua – Table Top

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Sunday dawned fine and sunny after rain on Saturday which made for rather slippery track conditions from Mt Misery Rd down to the river.

Seven people assembled at the car park on Mt Misery Rd coming from various directions and varied forms of transport.

With much caution and the odd slip we all arrived safely at the river’s middle branch. A crossing was necessary to continue downstream and with the previous rain the river was up ,making for wet feet for some.

 The track up to Table Top is initially quite steep, but lays back further up and with the sun shining we were all well warmed by the time we popped out on the open tussock tops

. A well deserved break was taken while viewing the nearby ridge line and the pointed out features.

This was Robbie’s turn around point as he needed to be back early. The rest of us continued round to look for the now overgrown 4WD track and single track leading to the hunters camp. After locating this we continued to an open tussock clearing in the sun for lunch.

Locating the return section of the overgrown 4WD track after lunch we returned back down to the river and paused before the final push back up to the car park, arriving around 3pm.

A satisfying work out with great company.

Thanks to, Richard, Andrea, Jane, John, Robbie, Colin.


Ewe Range

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

8th September 2019

A couple of carloads left Oamaru at 8am and we picked up Bill at Kurow. The Ewe Range is south of Omarama so to get there, turn left onto Broken Hut Road, just after Omarama on the Lindis Pass Road.  At the end of Broken Hut Road, the easement over private farmland, starts going south along the fence line, then turns east, over a creek up to a small square mustering yard.  From here, the 4WD track zigzags up the side of the hill. 

From the start of the tramp, we could see that there wasn’t going to be much of a view as there was low cloud and clagged in. So we set about enjoying the company.  Near the top, there is a rocky outcrop, where we had lunch at 12pm.  Last trip here, we could see Ahuriri Valley and Aoraki Mt Cook.  Today, the view was zilch, nothing, Leidecker, zero, so we focused on the company.

After lunch we continued up onto the Oteake Conservation Area, where we moseyed around, taking photos of lichen (because that’s all we could see). To be able to access the Oteake Conservation Area from the Waitaki Valley, ideally, would allow more time in the Conservation Area. We made our way back down the same 4WD track.  On the way, with the use of John’s map, we clarified that the 4WD road opposite the Ewe Range, goes over the hill and down Camp Creek to the East Branch of the Manuherikia River and out onto Hawkdun Runs Road.  The other 4WD road that we could see further west, went up onto the Omarama Saddle.

Thanks for your company, John, Jane, Bill, Robbie, Roz and Neville. Bess