Little Mt. Peel

Sunday 19 November 2023

Five of us left Oamaru on a partly cloudy day and headed up through Geraldine where we stopped for a coffee break before heading to the car park for Mt Peel at the end of Blandswood Rd.

 We set off just before 9.30am on the Deer Spur Track with low cloud around the mountain tops, but we were optimistic it would clear. The first hour & and a half is a steep hike up through the Mt Peel Forest with some wooden steps build for giants and a bit of mud here and there to negotiate, which we got around not too badly.

 After coming out of the bush the cloud had lifted a bit, so we got a view of the ridge to come and that there was still more up. The track was pretty good with some boardwalk sections and the last part before the top was steep and rocky.


We got to the top at 1311m about 12.15pm and we were all in agreement that Little Mt Peel was not as little as everyone thinks. Lunch was had, taking in the views but we couldn’t see Big Mt Peel because it was covered in cloud.

 After lunch and taking photos, we decided to tackle the South Ridge Route down, which looked like it descended steeply over a narrow rocky ridge for a couple of hundred metres before levelling out a bit.

 The track was a narrow track with plenty of scrub to hold on to – to stop us from slipping over in places, and even when it did level off a bit it was still a bit rocky with some ups and downs. After about an hour we were back in the bush descending steeply down to Emily Stream and a side visit to the Emily falls.

 From here it was on the Emily falls track back out to the car park after 6 ½ hours of hiking and covering about 10.5 km. We all agreed that we had done enough hiking for the day and we would probably feel it the next day, so it was back to Geraldine for a refreshment stop before heading home.


I would like to thank Julian, Jonathan, Jenny and Mike for making the slog up more enjoyable.



North Otago Back Country Roads Bike Ride

Saturday 11 November 2023

The planned ride the previous Sunday was postponed because of wet cold weather, so with a brilliant fine day nine riders turned up at the Cant’s Road shelter on the Alps to Ocean bike trail at 1-30 pm.

We headed down the A2O towards Duntroon, thankful that the track had at long last been repaired and made more resilient from the 2022 flood.  A stop was made at Grants Road where one rider discovered a thorn in his tyre which necessitated a quick repair job. We continued down past Elephant Rocks to the Duntroon Livingstone Road before turning left and zooming up the flat towards Livingstone. 

The e bikes made short work of the Livingstone pinch and soon we were on Smiths Road, riding through the carbon farm, newly replanted after the fire  which caused so much damage. There were quite a few hills through here but we made good time, appreciating the 360 degree views. We eventually turned on to Davidson Road, which was mainly downhill, emerging on to the Tokarahi Tapui Road and a short ride up Cant’s Road to our cars shortly before 5 pm.
An enjoyable 42k ride through the North Otago Back country.

October 2023

Meeting held Mon.7th Oct 2023

Our meeting opened with Jenny welcoming members and our guest speaker Jan Finlayson executive member and past president of F.M.C.Jan talked about the role of F.M.C.and how it advocates for tramping clubs and others.F.M.C.(Federated Mountain Clubs) was founded in 1931 to protect public interest in the mountains and back country.
Some of the things they are involved in are Tenure reviews,concession applications, crown pastoral issues,overseas investments, legislative changes pertaining to recreation and conservation access.It also supports Trusts and provides outdoor education opportunities.lobbying the government  on our behalf is an ongoing job also.At the moment the classification of Stewardship land is the big project for F.M.C. We were impressed with the amount of work they do behind the scenes.
Trip Reports
Sailors Cutting to Benmore Dam 8 people on this walk Good weather and good views.
Trotters Gorge Dave’s Track working bee.Good days work on the track and some track markers were also installed .
Wednesday Walkers gave their report
Up and Coming Trips
White Horse Waimate
Labour Weekend Trip to Glenorchy 
Meeting Closed with a cup of tea at 8.50p.m.

+Head Of Lake Wakatipu

Labour Weekend 2023

Day 1: Setting off on Saturday morning, John, Neville and I were in anticipation of a good weekend ahead. Also between Oamaru and Cromwell, tuning into many radio stations to get the gist of the All Blacks vs Argentina game. We picked up Lois in Cromwell and then met up with Jenny, Karyl and Graham in Glenorchy. They had travelled over on Thursday and on Friday, Jenny had walked up the Sugarloaf while Karyl and Graham walked in to Lake Reid. After a quick lunch we ventured up the Rees Road. The Rees Valley is named after European Settler William Rees who was the first runholder in the 1860’s. The Invincible Gold Mine Track is a gradual climb through bush on a well used track which had regular open views to the Rees Valley and Mt Earnslaw/Pikirakatahi. It was an hour to the site of the old water wheel, a stamper battery and seven berdans which are the revolving cast iron bowls that ground the ore. Neville found the mine shaft about 100 metres away which was not sign posted. After walking back to the vehicles, we drove around to Kinloch Lodge for the night. This accomodation provides bunk rooms, single beds, and double rooms which have recently been upgraded as well as the showers. The kitchen is fully equipped and the dining tables surface is covered in local maps which is inspiring for future trips.

Day 2 Lake Rere: The Greenstone carpark is 30 minutes down the road from Kinloch and it was apparent by the 25 vehicles that many people were out walking. We started walking at 9.15am and soon after crossed the lower Greenstone River bridge to walk for an hour across Greenstone Station towards Elfin Bay. We stopped for a snack near what used to be a homestead, with flowering clematis, lilac and corokia. Continuing on a marked route and which was obviously a stock route was reasonably muddy in places, we were enjoying the shade of the mountain Beech. We reached the spectacular Lake Rere 12.30ish and could see a clearing at the other end which the Boss (me) decided would be a good lunch spot. After the lake, the track descended gradually down towards the upper Greenstone River bridge to link up with the Greenstone Track. A couple of hours later, we came to the Greenstone/Caples Track junction. Jenny and Lois had shot ahead so they could walk up the Caples Track for a while and returned to meet us at that junction. After passing some waterfalls along the track, we met up with Graham back at the carpark about 3.30pm. We did this track at a leisurely pace as it was a beautiful place to be for the day, remembering Lake Rere was a popular tourist destination for Victorian ladies in the 19th century. There were many groups going both ways and to avoid the hot afternoon sun, clockwise would be my pick. Driving back to Kinloch, there is an amazing view of Mt Earnslaw which John captured. A quick shower, drinks at Jenny and Grahams and then over to the restaurant for dinner – not hard core trampers.

Day 3 Moke Lake: John, Neville, Lois and I left the others at Kinloch as they were to drive back to Oamaru. We drove down the Glenorchy/Queenstown road and turned into the Moke Lake Road just before Queenstown. Reaching the lake 20 minutes later, we walked around the lake which was mirror smooth. The track is suitable for biking and has been upgraded recently with culverts and board walk over the wetland area. Also a track leads down to Lake Dispute. There is a high point of the track on the peninsula which is ideal for a stop. Two hours later, back at the camping area, we had lunch before heading home via the Crown Range to drop off Lois. The highlights for the weekend included the freedom to walk in a beautiful area and remember that early settlers had struggled for a long time. To think about how they got the gear that weighed tons to the Invincible Gold Mine site. To realise the dependency on the Earnslaw for provisions prior to and after the road opening in 1962. But the best highlight was the company of Lois, John, Neville, Karyl, Jenny and Graham. Bess.

Thanks to John for Photos.

Trotters Gorge Working Bee

Sunday 30 September  2023

Five of us headed down to Trotters Gorge on Sunday the 30th of September to do a bit of a tidy up on a track we have down there called Dave’s track. Dave’s track is in memory of a past member that liked exploring the trotters gorge area and was build many years ago by club members. Early this year I had been up the track and in was starting to get a bit overgrown and was in need of a cut back and tidy up.

We headed up past the Otago University hut, crossing Trotter’s Creek several times till we came to the clearing where the valley splits up past the hut. We took a track to the right and crossed Trotters Creek and up towards the eucalyptus trees. Along the way on this track, we had a bit of a cut back of the gorse, but it wasn’t too bad up this track to the entrance of Dave’s track just under Arns peak.

We cut back the entrance a bit and climbed up a good track and around the base of Arns peak, having a bit of a cut back along the way. Morning tea was taken before we dropped back down into the wee bushy valley. The plan for the day was to have a wee cut back and put some new markers up and having time for a walk in the area after lunch, but we got carried away a bit and spend most of the day working our way up the valley, having a good cut back and putting up new markers.

 At the head of the valley before you climb out, we had to re-route the track in places because there had been some small slips and the pigs had made a bit of a mess. It was about 2.30pm when we reached the forest road and instead of going up the road and back down passed Arns peak like we have done in the past, I decided that we would walk down the road to everyone’s joy to Horse range road which I hadn’t done before.

Well, it was a long 6km walk on a gravel road, so I know what it is like now and probably won’t go that way again, but I can say I have been down there now. We got back to the car about 4pm, so Dave’s track is now well cut back and marked and is all within the Trotters Gorge Reserve till you get to the forest road.

Thank for all your hard work and company for the day; – Bess, John, Maurice and Phyllis