23 May 2021
Seven keen trampers, armed with loppers and clippers, set off from the Trotters Gorge car park and up the track past the Otago University hut to the junction where the tracks diverge, with one branch heading west up Trotters Creek and the other going north up an unnamed creek to Dave’s Track. There the party split, with four going west and three north; it was agreed to regather at the junction at 2 o’clock.
The Trotters Creek team succeeded in clearing the track right through to the boundary of the Reserve, providing good access for anyone heading in that direction. The Dave’s Track crew found the track to be much more overgrown than expected and progress accordingly much slower, getting around half-way along the track.
Thanks to Phyllis, Maurice, Ross, Julian, Neville and Robbie for a good day’s work. John.
Sunday 4 July 2021
Five trampers set off at 9.45 am from the Bethunes Gully car park in north Dunedin, having driven the 114 kms from Oamaru. The day was fine – not a cloud in the sky – and brisk, with a heavy frost in the secluded valley. The track is dual purpose in its lower reaches, although no mountain bikes were seen, and it winds steadily at a reasonable gradient up from Lindsay Creek. It initially passes through stands of towering conifers with native undergrowth, but this soon changes to lowland native forest, becoming more stunted as it climbs and transiting to subalpine associations dominated by Dracophylla near the top. At about the half-way point, a short loop track goes off to the east, where we stopped for smoko. We then re-joined the main track via the apparently unused return leg of the loop and carried on to reach the top ridge shortly before midday. There we turned left for the final 20 minutes up to the summit, dominated by the 105 metre television mast.
We loitered on the summit to take in the 360o panorama, from the snow-clad Lammerlaws and Rock and Pillars in the west, past the Silverpeaks and Horse Range to the deeply sculpted coastline to the north, the spectacular Otago Harbour in the east and Dunedin City to the south. We then returned down the track to settle in a sunny, sheltered nook overlooking Blueskin Bay for lunch.
Lunch over, we set off at 1 o’clock back down to the track junction where we took the east branch. This headed gently down into a saddle, past Buttars Peak and reaching the famous Organ Pipes after about half an hour’s walking. As we sat admiring the standing basalt columns of the ‘pipes’ high above us, we speculated about what had brought down the many pipes in the jumble where we sat and the chances of more falling on us.
The return journey, retracing our steps, took 1 ½ hours to reach the carpark at 3.15. All agreed it had been a great day with interesting bush, spectacular views and perfect tramping weather. The numerous walkers of all ages, many with dogs, and runners we had met seemed to share that view. Those enjoying it were Sylvia, Uwe, Bev, Margaret and John.
6 Members walked the length of Katiki Beach from the North end and continued round over the Shag Point Rock Shelf at low tide. The exit from the beach was, as usual, guarded by a contingent of fur seals, but as they were sleeping in the warm sun, it was easy to dodge around them.
Mt Cargill was climbed from Bethune’s Gully along with lots of other walkers and runners. The fine day enabled 360 degree views including the Rock and Pillar Range. They returned via the Organ Pipes.
Woosies bike trip from Kakanui took them down the coast, with the pedal power bikes turning up Bowalley Rd. and the ebikes continuing to the Waianakarua River. Both groups returned via inland routes to lunch at the Kakanui Café.
Coming Trips are to Big Hut on the Rock and Pillar Range, Queenstown walks with the Hokanui Tramping Club and cross country skiing at the Cardrona Ski Farm.
Wednesday Walkers had return walks on the A2O from Windsor through Rakis Tunnel and Otematata to Benmore Dam. A Timaru coastal walk revealed substantial damage from the previous night’s high seas, and a circuit from Ashlands Rd to overlooking Trotters Gorge and a return via Snake Gully was endured in a bitterly cold Sou-wester.
Club members then showed photos of various trips they had been on.
They included a return trip up the Karangarua River to Douglas Pass, some exquisite photos of mountain flowers, a tramp on Great Barrier Island, “creatures of the forest” showing life like moss covered stumps, the Hump Ridge track in a snow storm, and the Able Tasman which finished with a kayak trip in rough seas.
Club Night 14 June 2021
16 bikers did a round Otago Harbour ride, starting with a ferry crossing from Port Chalmers to Broad Bay, doing a return trip to Portobello, lunch at McAndrew Bay and back to Port Chalmers via the Dunedin waterfront. An enjoyable ride on a sunny autumn day that will be even better once the tracks at each end are finished.
Trotters Gorge had some much needed track maintenance with 2 Trotters Creek Tracks being opened up again and a start made on Dave’s Track.
Swallows Track in the Herbert Forest received some gravel on the muddy areas.
The Wednesday Walkers had day trips to Lower Ben Lomond, returning via Sheepwash Creek, Black Cap and Scout Hill, Maraeweka Forest and Kuriheka via the Island Streem waterfall, Moeraki Millennium Track round to No2 Kaika and a new farm walk in the Island Cliff area. Older members also provided a guard of honor for Ivan Main’s funeral.
Coming trips are to Silver Peaks looking for Hermits cave, a Katiki Beach and Shag Point rock shelf beach walk, the Mt Cargill organ pipes and a 35k bike ride from Maheno. Members were asked to bring some photos of their favorite trip, to the July Club Night.
Guest Speaker was club member Julia Christie who gave a presentation of her and husband Bob’s Federated Mountain Club trip in Peru and then a private tour of Chile, Brazil and Argentina.
FMC tour leader Eileen Cameron took them on some fantastic tramps in the Andes mountains of Northern Peru in altitudes of up to 5000m above sea level. She made sure they acclimatized to the altitude gradually so there were only minor altitude sickness problems. Fast climbs were definitely not on the agenda though! We saw some fantastic photos of the high Andes with a smattering of June snow and a large variety of native birds and animals.
Another highlight was a trip into the Amazon Jungle with its associated animal and bird life including large flocks of white herons.
Cuzco, centre of the ancient Inca empire was the next stop, with a trip to Machu Picchu followed by walking the Lares Inca Trail nearby. Walking the Ausangate Trek brought to an end their FMC part of the trip.
It was then over the border to NE Chile, to the town of San Pedro de Atacama in the high altiplano and its extensive salt flats, pink flamingos, Valley of the Moons, volcanos, geysers and hot springs.
A flight to Rio de Janeiro and visits to Brasilia, a New Zealand owned dairy farm, the Iguazu Falls, Montevideo and Buenos Aires completed a fantastic 5 month tour of South America.
Sunday 16 May 2021
Dunedin Cycling day around Otago harbour 16th May
After an anxious week watching the weather, it turned on a good day for us for our cycle trip.
We met at Port Chalmers to group up and enjoy a coffee etc before heading around to Back Beach. The ‘Port to Port’ ferry was booked for us to sail at 11.00. Rachel was amazing at loading the 10 ebikes and 5 real bikes into what appeared an impossible space. It all went like clockwork, and we enjoyed a thorough commentary as we crossed the water.
As we landed at Broad Bay, we had a warm up peddle of 3.5km back to Portobello. This involved a small section that is the final part of the cycle-way construction. Meeting Marion there, we had our total of 16, to head into a bit of a wind as we wandered along the almost flat trail to a Macendrew Bay Cafe for lunch.
Once well nourished, it was totally flat but interesting riding on the water’s edge to head into Dunedin for another meet up at the ‘Teeth’. The next section through the industrial and port areas has a specific bike track, a little harder to follow, but I knew all the turns to get us onto the W Harbour Trail out to it’s finish at St Leonards.
From there we headed onto conveniently placed back-roads, that would eventually lead us back into Port Chalmers. There were a few hilly parts on this section, but we all eventually made it back to the vehicles, without loosing anyone or any accidents or brake-downs.
Thanks to Lyn, Barbara, John, John, Graham, Chris, Les, Ross, Judith, Karyl, Georgie, Noel, Linley, Kim and Marion for a good day! Jane