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 a recommendation of what to bring.
Otematata Walkway to Benmore Dam
Wednesday 20 September 2023
Weather: Fine, mild, severe north-west gale.
Permission: None required
Trip: Five vehicles travelled from Oamaru with 19 trampers, picking up the 20th at Kurow, and parking in the Boat Harbour camping area just west of the Otematata River. The day had started mild but severe wind warnings suggested we could be in for an interesting walk.
Walking started around 10 o’clock, initially up beside the boat harbour to a river outlook, equipped with a new shelter in memory of former WDC councillor Ross McRobie, then back along the Otematata Wetlands Walkway, noting the new planting and track constructions that had taken place since our last visit. Around 10.30 we stopped for morning tea at a well-sited picnic table near the top of the old airstrip. We then carried on through the camping area to join up with the A2O track alongside the Loch Laird Road. The north-west wind was strong and trees further up the hill could be seen being beaten by the wind. We climbed up the road past the dam to reach the parking loop at the end just on 12.30. The wind was now unpleasant so we looked for a relatively sheltered spot for lunch. There was nothing suitable on the first few hundred metres of the walking and A2O tracks, so we retreated back down the hill a short distance and settled down on a sheltered but sunny bank. About this time, we also decided that the strength of the wind would make it at best very unpleasant and at worst dangerous to climb up to the peninsula lookout, so this idea was abandoned.
After a leisurely lunch, we started off back down the hill accompanied by the constant roar of the wind, punctuated by gusts which sounded like a cross between an express train and a Boeing 747 taking off. As the view of the dam and lake opened up, we could see lines of spray being driven up by the gale. Then, as we watched, one of these turned into a tornado which veered away from the dam and headed straight towards us on the hillside. As it approached the column of water turned into one of dust and leaves as it knocked some of us sideways on its path up the hill. Nobody was injured but some managed to record the phenomenon on camera. Also noteworthy were the extraordinary wind sculpted cloud formations contrasting against the bright blue sky.
After this excitement, the trip back to the cars was uneventful and we reached them about 3.15. However, on the way back down the road to Kurow and ice-creams, we saw wind-driven water topping the Waitaki dam and falling in a sheet down the dam face.
Click below to download this vidio
Wandering to Moeraki and the Boulders
Wednesday 20 September 2023
Last Wednesday 18 Wanderers parked at the south end of the Hampden/Moeraki Beach before walking 🚶♀️ along the Millennium track to have morning tea at the playground. Some braved the wind and went up to the Lookout then walked down the road. We all had lunch in a sheltered area off the beach before most of us walked along to the Boulders and return. Lovely wide beach and no wind. A bit of a shock to deal with the wind while we ate large icecreams at Hampden. A good day out from Jane.
Wednesday 13 September 2023
Weather: Fine, sunny, mild, with a light easterly breeze strengthening in early afternoon.
Travel: 24 km
Trip: We parked in front of the woolshed and were welcomed at the farmyard by the manager who had prepared maps with a suggested route around the hills which border this part of the Waitaki Valley. In contrast with the October 2022 visit, this year’s walk would be anticlockwise. We set off at 9.15.
The route was all on vehicle tracks and started by turning sharp right behind the woolshed. After a short climb, the track dipped down to cross the Waikoura Creek as it emerged from a gorge and then wound uphill to reach a high point which offered extensive views from the snow-clad mountains to the sea. It was now 10 o’clock so we stopped for morning tea.
After smoko, we carried on down into a valley past the previous year’s lunch spot, crossing a creek on the way. This was followed by another steady climb passing a pine plantation on our left to reach an impressive set of cattle yards. A gentler climb took us on to an airstrip with its fertiliser bin and more 3600 views, passing a prominent rock outcrop on the way. Approaching midday, we came to a flattish area where several tracks met with good views to the north-east and reasonable shelter from the strengthening breeze, so we sat down for lunch.
After lunch, we took off down on the homeward leg – or so we thought. After the best part of a kilometre, it became apparent that the track came to a dead end at a gravel quarry. So, it was about turn to climb back up to the lunch spot, then head down the main track back to the yards and cars, which we reached just before 1.30pm. A pleasant walk with great views helped by the weather and very welcoming farm staff.
Waianakarua River Mouth and Coast
Wanderers on Wednesday 13 September 2023
20 of us had a great day out. We crossed the Waianakarua River to the South side, walked across farm land above the cliffs to a track which led us down to Boat Harbour. This is a lovely remote beach with golden sand and a few native trees scattered at intervals along the beach. We had plenty of time to explore and having such a beautiful warm, clear sunny day was an added bonus.
Sheepwash Creek – Maerewhenua
Wednesday 6 September 2023
Wandering the Whitehorse Hill
Wednesday 6 September 2023
On Wednesday 19 Wanderers met at Studholme bush carpark after leaving Oamaru at 9.30. 2 people had come from Waimate to join us. We had 3 groups. Four of us drove to The Whitehorse carpark to avoid the long climb but we still had a lot of climbing. Another group managed to walk the extra distance to the Whitehorse before returning to the carpark. About six people went down Ngaio track back to the cars. Icecreams in Waimate completed an enjoyable day out in the sun. Jane
Wednesday 30 August 2023
Wanderers @ Bells Pond
14 Wednesday Wanderers travelled to Bell’s pond which is on the north bank of the Waitaki River. We enjoyed a 2km walk to the Salmon hatcheries where we were met by Lin Koevoet who gave us an interesting tour through the hatcheries. After lunch most people walked further upstream before returning to the cars down the north side of the pond. We had perfect weather for an enjoyable day out with good company. Jane
Wednesday 23 August
With the promise of a fine winter’s day it was not unusual for 22 walkers eager to climb Mt Dryburgh (922m) – with a height gain of 450m. After leaving Towey St at 8.30am we arrived at the parking area at the top of Hayes Rd by 9.45am for a 10 o’clock start. Around 10.30 we found a suitable site for morning tea. From here on, the views unfolded – first the Hakataramea Valley and Hunters Hills. Then the Kirklistons with snow covered Mt Milne. Onwards and upwards and sometimes downward, until the the final track lead us to the place where we climbed the fence and made our way to the summit of Dryburgh. A few spikey spaniards made for careful navigation to the trig point – an upright piece of wood in a cairn-like pile of stones.
With a rather chilly breeze we hunkered down for lunch in the tussocks. Great views all around – Lake Aviemore and further to the Ohau range, Mts Kohurau and and Domett, Waitaki River, Kurow and more.
After lunch, having just negotiated the homebound ridge, there came a surprise call from the leader of the Wanderers. They, five of them, had just reached the top of Mt Dryburgh. Then, with a kilometre walk down the 4WD track we took a left turn through a gate to follow the steep descent back to the cars.
There were many comments made on the enjoyable walk and fabulous scenery in this scenic part of the Waitaki area. After a chat to the other 3 W Wanderers at the cars, the Walkers headed back to Kurow – icecreams on the menu. And back to Oamaru by 4.30pm.
Wanderers on Mt Dryburgh
Wednesday 23 August 2023
8 left the cars just before 11am for the climb up the 4wd track towards the Mt.Dryborough summit. After a steep initial climb to the second gate we stopped for morning tea. The view over the Hakataramea valley was superb with the weather being fine and calm.
About halfway up, three decided that was enough climbing for the day and elected to return the same way. Five continued up to the summit, arriving just before 1pm, just in time to see the Walkers disappearing over the next hill on their way down.
As it was a brisk wind on top, lunch was quickly eaten, photos taken and we continued over the tussocks until we found the next 4wd track to take us down This track was quite steep and was carefully negotiated, with views of Lakes Waitaki and Aviemore.
At one point we looked directly down on the Waitaki dam. After some steep descents the track leveled out somewhat and we arrived back at the cars just before 3-30pm. An enjoyable walk with great views of the Waitaki Valley and the surrounding snow capped mountains. Ice creams were enjoyed at Kurow on the way home.
Ten of us had a great day out in the Herbert Forest. Our walk started from the Mountain bike carpark where we followed the bike tracks uphill, meeting Maurice Algar and his dog enroute. Maurice accompanied us for a while letting us know that there was a new bike trail in the area . After an early lunch we explored a couple more trails before walking back to the cars via the Swallows Track. A beautiful warm sunny day.
Wednesday 16 August 2923
Inland snow conditions provided an extra chill to the morning breeze but we soon warmed up a little with a brisk walk along the access road to the salmon rearing races near the Waitaki River. We were met there by three volunteers of the Salmon Hatchery, Mike, Bill, and Pete who opened the facility so we could see its operation and some of the fish stock being raised there. The purpose of the venture is to raise breeding stock to enhance the wild quinnat salmon population due to the lack of their numbers returning naturally into the Waitaki River system.
We moved not far to a suitable sheltered smoko stop under the willows a little upstream from where jet boats can be launched. Encouraged by the warming weather and refuelled we set forth westwards to wander the extensive spray irrigated pasture lands that greened the ancient Waitaki flood plains. We soon exited the formed accessway and crossed the bridge over, then generally followed the meandering groundfed clear stream a further c.3km to find another warm sheltered spot for lunch beside the boundary fence on the river berm land. Prolific growth of crack willow, gorse and blackberry dominated beyond the boundary of the developed land as far as you could see in either direction. It was a real surprise to discover that wild pigs were also inhabiting this area. Animal tracks and the pig rootings on the pasture land was very obvious.
The return walk, initially more to SE than outward, took us through the only mob of dairy cattle encountered c500 head prior to traversing back towards the bridge crossing. Four of the party had returned earlier in the day via the left bank of irrigation channel. Reassured of this route the main group saw the more picturesque view of the Bells Pond from the north side before reaching cars around 1530hrs.
I hope everyone has recovered well. Ian.
Wednesday 9 August 2023
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.