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.
This Week’s Walk
The Hays – Hakataramea Valley
Wednesday 11 September
Wednesday 11 September
Last Wednesday there were 2 groups of Wednesday Wanderers out on a beautiful sunny day. Eight keen wanderers turned up at 9.30 and had an enjoyable walk down at Trotters Gorge where the stream was low enough for them to keep their feet dry. Four reported in at 8.30 and joined the Walkers for a great day on The Hays at Cattle Creek. We were able to drive up to the Air Strip which saved 500ft of climbing so we were at about 3000ft all day. For our 10km walk we had brilliant views of The Grampians, Haka Pass, Mts Dalgety, Nessing and Te Huru Huru, The Campbell Hills and down the Haka Valley to the St Mary range. We were challenged with a cold westerly but the return walk to the cars was easier. A great day out and back in Oamaru by 5pm. Jane
4 September 2019
This popular walk once again attracted a good turnout (28). This was surprising as the weather-forecast promised rain setting in later in the day. We were lucky however – spots of rain on the windscreen within minutes of our departure at the end of the walk.
Starting at the cattle yards on Bushey Ck Rd it was arranged that one or two walkers who were not intending to do the entire circuit would return to the vehicles later and drive a couple of them back down the road to the Simpson’s woolshed where the rest of the group would hopefully turn up later in the day. The other drivers were then ferried back to pick up their vehicles, saving a boring two km walk back up the road. This plan could well be locked in for future walks around this circuit.
As always, finding the easiest route towards the top of the Maerewhenua ridge over-looking the Bridle track, drew much discussion as we tried to dodge the head of several gullies while not adding too much distance, plus elevation.
Then we followed the 4wd track for the usual visit to what was the Hamel house (now derelict), down into the picturesque Sheepwash Ck and finally back up a steep sheep track to the Simpson woolshed on Bushey Creek Rd. (Walk about 11km,)
Thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Takitu Station Walk
28 August 2019
The first vehicle with three people from Waimate and two Timaru visitors arrived at the station homestead about 9.20am and Ian met with Leanne as prearranged for a farm plan briefing. We then turned about to wait up at the road entrance gateway. The Oamaru contingent should have arrived well before this time but were still unsighted. It did not take long for us to become rather anxious; this had not happened before in our experience. A quick call made to Jane’s phone, and Bill F hastened to his wagon to conduct a farm-yard search for the lost company since the farm dogs were making a hell of a raucous din; barking up loud and furious. A little panic began to descend upon us; what could have happened? You can imagine our relief when we heard the approaching traffic about twenty minutes later nearing the top of the Zig Zag Road.
The next thought of the very considerate troop leader with regards to the delayed arrivals from Oamaru, was to hasten a call to Leanne to request the use of the shed toilet for the women, prior to everyone starting off. Since the property was clean (not known to have much bush cover), with our hosts tree-lined driveway, well….. that would not be polite. The response to the offer for the toilet stunned the leader into a confused dither; gees, that’ll be a queue for all of half an hour. (over by the homestead) Oh god!
However after a few minutes waiting around the tree sheltered farm yard, adjacent to the homesteading, everyone finally set off soon after 10am. – through the sheep yard at the rear of the shearing shed and commenced along a well-formed farm access that led generally southwards. The first kilometre was through stock holding paddocks that were protected by well-established conifer shelterbelts, mostly along our left side and adjacent to the Elephant Hill Station. The farm road at about 1km mark diverged. The left-hand route would take walkers clockwise around the property to return via the other in a big loop, guestimated to be 16km to traverse the length of the farm. To reach the sighted distant hay-barn, locate the Takitu airstrip, the Overland boundary gate and the window view of N Otago and the Waitaki River, we basically hiked down two primary descents and up two primary ascents of medium hill country, typical of the area. On the first gradual descent we stopped for our tea break just on the topside of the farm road and enjoyed another joke from Henk before starting off again just after 11am. It was not long before two of the group decided they would not go on further and rest in the sunshine. It was looking to become a stretch for some walkers and ultimately the company would become split three ways for the return back to the start. The group, less two, made it to the outlying hay-barn atop the rounded hill. Here a few of the group decided they would remain while the majority continued on a little further to have a view of North Otago from the neighbouring property of ‘Overland’. A tree belt nearby afforded good shelter from the west wind for everyone to rest in comfort at 12.30pm for lunch,. Quite soon two farm vehicles appeared over the hill and stopped not far away, and to our disbelief and surprise, it looked like visiting tourists alighting, before we recognised that some of our gold card companions were being hosted around (with Peter and Leanne no less). Nothing more is known by the writer. After a forty minute lunch break we back- tracked to the Clarkesfield Back Road which ran by the haybarn and then descended to the large flat area where a pre-war lonesome iron clad hut of early times still remained, standing not far from new-looking farm storage buildings. The irony of the day was to see the majority of the party upon reaching the true flat flats electing immediately to climb the hill up out of the valley via the return road loop. About a km ahead of them we could just pick out the few walkers who had lunched separately at the haybarn keenly on their homewards way.
The leader on the day was pleased to have seven stoic companions allow him the opportunity to retrace his past youth on the final leg that went along the flat to the Campden Run boundary with Mt Parker (his first home). The longer route back for this group of eight added some 3km, but provided a better overview of the whole property and also a sight of the previously unseen Takitu sheep flock.
It was a good trip at least from the writer’s viewpoint and a much appreciated day out thanks to Leanne and Elliot for a very casual and enjoyable walk on a warm fine day around their station property. (About a 19km walk)
An uncle, trained to be a war pilot who did not return from WWll, spent his early courting days in the Waihaorunga area. He worked at Mt Parker and tripped overland into the Waihaorunga on his horse for weekends via Takitu. A great deal faster than motoring by road I understand. Ian McI.
Doctors Point- Mopanui, aka Mountain to Sea,
Wednesday 21 August
Trip: The drive from Oamaru took just over 1 ½ hours with stops at Maheno and Palmerston. We parked at the top end of White Road where there is now a signboard and stile leading to the Mopanui Ridgeline Track. This started along a gently rising line between fence and trees before crossing a stone wall into a block of regenerating native bush, winding between the trees before emerging onto a track running straight up the hill between dense gorse and a deer fence. At 11 am, about half-way up this track we stopped for morning tea in a clear sunny spot with views across the Waitati Valley to Swampy Summit and the Silverpeaks. We then continued up the track, which got steeper before emerging onto Mopanui Road.
It was now 11.30 and decision time. Sixteen trampers decided to carry on to climb Mopanui; seven preferred to head downhill to do a shorter walk; and one had, as planned, already turned back. The main group set off along Mopanui Road which ran above and parallel to the Orakanui Sanctuary perimeter fence and alongside a splendidly restored drystone wall dating from the 1870s. After a road walk of about 1.5 km, at a bend we came to the entrance to the track up Mopanui. The climb to the summit took about 20 minutes, the track being greasy in places and, in others, requiring scrambles up high rock steps; we reached the summit trig at 12.20pm. The top offers 3600 views and space to settle down for lunch, so we did.
At one o’clock we started the descent back to Mopanui Road, and along it to the entrance to the McKessar Track. This wide, grassy track is almost 2 km long and descends 200 metres to the main trunk railway line. On the way it passes the ruins of the stone McKessar house and some giant ancient macrocarpa trees. We were also lucky enough to spot a bush robin, one of a small colony which has moved into the area from the nearby sanctuary. We passed a number of pest traps, some which were occupied, which in time should increase bird life. The lower part of the track winds through nice lowland native bush, with some incursions of banana passionfruit, before emerging into the sunlight at the site of the former Purakaunui railway station. From there, we walked down the steep Purakaunui Station Road to meet Osborne Road at sea level.
In the meantime, the smaller group had followed the McKessar Track down to lunch by the railway and had then gone down to Osborne Road and followed it alongside the Purakaunui Inlet for 3 km to the sandy neck separating the inlet from the sea with the track to Mapoutahi Pa site leading off to the right. Looking to the west, they could see the waves lapping the rocks along part of the route back, even though it was only 1 ½ hours after low tide, so they radioed back to the main group suggesting they get a move on.
The main group did just that, keeping up a steady pace along the road and sandy track to the neck. As had the first group, we decided not to visit Mapoutahi but to hasten along Canoe Beach towards the rocks which, with a bit of a scramble, kept our feet dry for the 300-400 metres to the next sandy beach. We knew this led to caves which provided access through the rocky point to the Doctors Point Beach. Ten minutes later, at just on 4 o’clock, we reached the end of the road to find some of our cars which had been ferried down from White Road by the tramper who had returned in the morning assisted by members of the first group. The other cars soon arrived so we could all head for ice creams and home after a varied and interesting day, enlivened by a skirmish with the tide. John
21 August 2019
In a day full of grace, at a leisurely pace,
With no loss of face or wish to race
We enjoyed that place.
The wild seas had been and rocks, usually unseen,
Had a brilliant new sheen, as they seemed to preen
In the sunlight’s bright gleam.
White Horse – Studholme Bush
Wednesday 14 August 2019
The trip: On reaching Waimate our group of 16 was joined by 3 more, swelling the numbers to 19.
We began our walk at Te Kiteroa where we had the choice of three different routes up to the White Horse – a stylised concrete horse guarding Waimate. So we chose the steep track leading up through the beautiful native bush planted, around 1983, by the local owners of the land. At the bushline, in a sheltered area, there was a call for a smoko stop, (10am), and the last ones to catch up. Here we met one of the volunteers who do all the maintenance work on the track. Following smoko, it took us 20-30 minutes to reach the said horse – now looking somewhat sad with paint flaking off. (One walker left the group here, to return by the 7km cycle track to the carpark).
In a cold southerly we moved on towards the Bellbird track. But Ian, with his local knowledge, led the group across the open area rather than heading down to the Bellbird track. From here there was a great view of Mt Studholme cloaked in snow from the last fall. (At this point two walkers decided to return to the cars via the White Horse.) Following a winding track for about 30 minutes we reached the Bellbird/Quail Track junction then pushed further on to the junction of the Bellbird/Waterfall Track. Since there was no wind and ample seating in this sheltered spot, we tucked into our lunches. After lunch Ian encouraged us to climb the knob close by to view Mt Harris – our walk from 2 weeks ago.
From here on it was downhill to the embankment and with the wind behind us we quickly reached the Studholme carpark. But wait —-there is more yet! Another 5km of road and walkway to return via Waimate to Te Kiteroa. After a 2km road walk we reached the Waimate Creek bridge. Another 300metres on, a left turn onto Hillary St then another left onto Queen St. Ian was keen we view the new housing development before joining the recently built Walkway. Bill led another group straight to the walkway by the river. Both groups continued on to Point Bush road where the walkway continues on to Te Kiteroa. But on reaching the bridge on Point Bush Road Ian again varied the route taking the front-runners via Garland Rd track, arriving back at the carpark at 3pm after a 15.5-17km walk.
Sitting in the sun outside the (RAI)NBOW tearooms (Waimate) and rewarding ourselves with icecreams, was the finish to another great day in the hills. 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.