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 email@example.com 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
1 July 2020
The timing of this walk is usually planned to coincide with the Autumn colours of the many poplar trees encountered en route.
However this year, without this added attraction, the enjoyment level for all seventeen of us was still right up there for a couple of reasons. The weather was surprisingly kind in spite of a doubtful weather forecast. The views to the Kakanuis revealed plenty of snow flurries. Secondly, we were privileged to be walking through three top class farms, all of long standing and not a dairy cow in sight.
The day was capped off appropriately with a visit to Fort Enfield without any detour whatsoever.
Durden Hill and Mt Baldie
24 June 2020
Trip: With a frosty start, a group of 24 walkers (including the five from Kakanui who joined at Maheno), set off on the southward journey to Palmerston. After our ritual stop there, we continued through Waikouaiti, turning right off the main road into Ramrock Road and immediately right again into Quarry Rd, parking across from an old quarry. We began our walk on the farm track leading to the Durden woolshed, continuing west along a fence line and down to a gate to access the south western end of Durden Hill. After a gentle climb, we stopped at a group of trees for morning tea. Despite the low cloud and light drizzle, we enjoyed views of the Hawkesbury Lagoon, Waikouaiti River, and the Karitane Headland.
Some chose to follow the steeper ascent along the fence line while others took a more zigzag route through the tussock to the trig at the top of Durden Hill (446m). After a brief stop at the cloudy summit, we walked down the boundary fence and turned left and headed towards the road. About half way down this fence line we continued into the paddock to avoid an impassable section. Then following a track above the creek we were entertained with a tui chorus while the hiriwa (silvereye) and piwakawaka (fantail) enjoyed the nectar of the early flowering kowhai. On reaching the bottom of the hill it was only a short walk to the road and north along a very attractive, tree canopied section – again more bird-song.
After a rather slippery descent we accessed the farm track where we lunched before heading up towards the Baldie Summit (311 m) – not such a challenging climb as Durden Hill but affording 360 degree views including glimpses of central ranges and north to Bobby’s Head. We scrambled down through ancient bush to find the best route towards the paddocks where Simmental cattle were grazing. As we were completing our circuit towards the cars, we came across a group of corrugated iron sheds, including a short-drop, and the most basic of shepherds’ shelters.
On our return to the cars, and after cleaning our muddy boots, we made the homeward journey with a group of nine stopping at Maheno to enjoy refreshments and each others’ company for a little longer by the fireside of Purtons Café and Bar. Lyn A.
A2O walk – Duntroon Wetlands
Seven enthusiastic walkers set off from Duntroon, making their way through the wetland area to their destination, where at the Maori rock drawings we had lunch. Such was the enthusiasm en route that we had to actually physically prevent Dave I from stripping off and entering the Waitaki River where he was keen to have a dip. Such behaviour is most unbecoming!!
Elephant Hill and Mussen
17 June 2020
Trip: The 25-strong Oamaru contingent travelled by the usual route via Glenavy and Redcliff Back Road to meet the pair from Waimate and Timaru at the entrance to Elephant Hill Station. We drove up the farm drive and parked under the trees on the west side of the yard. We decided to do the walk anticlockwise – over Elephant Hill first, then on up the hill to the back of the property – the aim being to give people the option of turning back after Elephant Hill.
About 9.45am we set off up the flats, turning right to cross the creek and start climbing up the trunk. Shortly before the 4wd track went through a gate to contour around the hill, we stopped for smoko in a sheltered spot, and then we headed through the gate. We followed the track around the hill until we could see the summit above us. Then we turned left to climb up the highest point at 510m, where we took in the 360o view. The route from there took us down a saddle before climbing again, this time up to the elephant’s rump and the peak surrounded by rocks and matagouri where in years past we had enjoyed Stan Ridley’s recitation of Albert and the Lion. A pause to suss out the route ahead and it was off down the hill to the saddle where the option of turning back via a track down the gully was discussed. Eight trampers decided to take the shorter route, with the remaining 19 opting for the Full Monty.
The eight short walkers took off along a grassy 4wd track that wound down from the saddle into the gully below the elephant’s tail. Not long after leaving the saddle, they stopped for lunch. After lunch they carried on down the track until it came out on to Elephant Hill Stream which they crossed. From there, the trip was mostly flat, following the stream through a rocky gorge with a couple more crossings, and finally back across the flats to reach the cars about 2.15pm.
Meanwhile, the main group crossed the saddle and started up the spur on the far side which took us climbing gently in a northerly direction almost to the road at the back of the farm. There we turned left to the west and carried on until we found a sheltered spot for lunch at about 12.45. Half an hour later, we upped packs and carried on, more or less parallel to the road and skirting around the tops of the gullies. The group kept up high until reaching a fence which led down a spur alongside a 4wd track. We proceeded down the track, past the knob named Mussen and at the bottom turned right to cross Elephant Hill Stream, thence back to the cars which we reached at 3.15 just on 5 1/2 hours from the off. The walk had been almost 16km and had climbed (and descended) over 900 metres.
PS: The weather had continued fine and warm throughout the tramp, but towards the end the sky to the south started darkening and, at 4pm, as some of us sat enjoying ice-creams in Glenavy, a vicious southerly blew up and the temperature plummeted. John
Wednesday Wanderers – Snake Gulley
On a very mild winter morning 6 walkers left Towey st. picking up the 7th at Maheno.
Travelling to just south of Hampden we turned up Ashlands road driving to the end and parked in the first paddock up the hill.
From there we walked up the airstrip ,on past the super bin, to the boundary with the forestry which we followed up to the top, where fantastic views of the rock formations and further up were able to look down into Trotters Gorge and see the roof of the varsity hut.
Lunch stop gave uninterrupted views north from Pukeuri to Otago Heads in the south and also a great view of the new poultry farm at Hillgrove.
While walking up the fence line a falcon made its presence known by flying from tree to tree beside us ,and it was obvious it had been feeding on pigeons.
All present really enjoyed the walk and timed our departure home just right as the southerly hit just after arriving back in Oamaru.
Hampden Beach to Moeraki
10 June 2020
A beautiful sunny morning, 26 people and a big question. Where to walk? Back in level one, able to share cars.The choices had widened and included northwest to Waimate, up the Waitaki to Benmore or south for a beach walk. The latter won and high full-moon tides favoured a Hampden to Moeraki option. Decision made. The tide was heading out as the walkers started out from Hampden beach heading toward the Moeraki Boulders. Forget the usual geological explanation that these are concretions created by the cementation of the Paleocene mudstone … exhumed by coastal erosion. A much more interesting notion is that they are stone cannonballs from a Chinese junk that was impaled in the nearby cliff by a tsunami back in the 1400s….Hmmm. Well there is a theory, John C. says. It comes courtesy of a chap called Gavin McKenzie who with Cedric Bell has written about Zheng He’s globe-trotting fleet of junks. More recent history outlined along the trek was that of the short-lived railway serving the Moeraki port. It now forms part of the Millennium walkway around Moeraki’s coast. The wealth of natural history included oystercatchers and pied stilts. Past Fleur’s restaurant, the walkers climbed to the headland before dropping down to the beach. Vicki J.
From the beach-landing, we now numbered 23 (3 walkers returned to Hampden at this stage), we navigated the rocks and rock pools from one headland to the next. Even though the 12.52pm low tide was low, you still had to gamble with the waves to keep feet dry. A seal rookery on the last headland made it tricky to pass but finally our passage to the first Kaika was ok’d by the resident seals.
We enjoyed a ‘long lunch’ in front of the village before taking the road back to the Moeraki Marae, street-walking back to the Millennium Track and then returning by the beach to the cars. The total distance added up to between 15.5km to 18km! What a fabulous day – sea, sun, sand and no wind. A perfect Wednesday Walk. Again, giant ice-creams and one chocolate éclair at Hampden completed the day. Margie
Herbert Forest – Swallows and Podocarp Tracks
3 June 2020
Trip: This was the third walk under the Covid19 Alert Level 2 rules so a group size of up to 100 was now OK but physical distancing requirements still applied. Herbert Forest was chosen as a venue close to home and not requiring permission. Because of logging activity, the Hoods Creek Track was closed, so the day’s tramp used the Swallows and Podocarp Tracks.
Two work parties of three and two respectively worked on rebuilding and repairing steps on the Swallows Track and re-netting three bridges on the Podocarp Loop. The main group of 19 walked the length of both tracks, taking the Glenburnie Loop on the way up and the main Podocarp Track on the return. They stopped for morning tea at the Queens Road entrance to the Podocarp track and lunched at Diamond Hill Road.
Most retired for debriefing at Purtons Café in Maheno. John
27 May 2020
Trip: This was the second tramp under Alert Level 2 of the Covid 19 regime. The big turnout posed a
challenge for the maximum group size and social spacing rules. The departure point was Towey Street
and we set off in groups of 9 to 10 by diverse routes to Test Street and thence on to the Cape Wanbrow
Track down to and around past the old gun emplacement, then back up along a fenceline to turn left
into a grassy alley which led to Bywell Street and the Harvey residence. There we met the Wanderers
contingent and we all spread ourselves socially distant around the Harvey’s deck and driveway for
After tea, we crossed the road to go on to the farmland which would form most of the rest of the tramp.
The route took us towards the south across the tops, with great views, then down a gully and out on to
the bottom of Bushy Beach Road. A gate below the parking area led on to a track which wound down to
Bushy Beach where we were observed from a safe distance by two hoiho and a seal. It was then back up
the track and up the road for about half a kilometre where we turned south back on to farmland. We
followed a shallow gully in a south-westerly direction before turning right up another gully and a hill
which gave splendid views to the east and south. This seemed like an ideal spot for lunch – sunny and
warm with no wind and a scenic panorama.
Lunch over, we turned west down the hill towards the golf course and an unnamed creek. A farm track
then took us north alongside the creek till it came out on to Beach Road which we followed past the Golf
clubhouse and then turned up Jessop Street, through the lawn cemetery and finally back to Towey Street.
An interesting walk over new territory on a perfect day. John
First Walk Alert Level Two – Local Walks
20 May 2020
After 6 weeks of lockdown at Levels 4 and 3, 16 walkers met at Towey St for the first ‘post Covid 19’ walk. With Bill opting to accompany a group of 8 in the Holmes Hill area and Margie with a group of 8 down to and through the Gardens, we were able to practise social distancing. The 2 groups then met, along with 3 Wed Wanderers, at the Link Track near the Resource Centre. From there the walkers climbed the hill up to the Skyline Track passing the Observatory Village. We then followed the Glen Creek track to Reservoir Rd and headed to the Reservoir Bike track to walk a circuit before returning for lunch on Barbara’s and Margie’s decks. One Wed Wanderer had returned near the Link track and two others shortened their walk at the Warren St Reserve and walked the Skyline Track to their cars in Chelmer St.
Following lunch the return trip took us back to the Warren St Reserve and over the Skyline track to Eden St. From there we walked through the Gardens and back up Towey St to the cars.
A good start after a forced break in Wednesday Walking. Everyone agreed it was great to be back. Margie
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. (Note that we carry several 2 way radios and also a Personal Locator Beacon for emergencies.)
* 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.