Wednesday Walkers


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 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.

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Recent Walks

Otematata Walkway to Benmore Dam

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Weather:  Fine, mild, severe north-west gale.

Permission: None required

Travel: 95km

Trampers: 20

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

Twister at Benmore 21-9-23

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 

Trampers: 15

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

With a great weather forecast, 23 people turned up, most of whom had not heard about dramas encountered on previous walks on this property.  It has always been one of the longer walks the WW’s take on, so for that reason the leader came up with a plan that would allow anyone who felt inclined, to return the way we had come , thus avoiding further elevation and distance.  The plan was to do the trip in reverse.  However, part of the route up Sheepwash Creek Gorge has become impassable in the last few years (no longer any cattle on that block, they would have kept it open),  so we had to climb out of the gorge to Basalt Creek Rd. and proceed to our usual lunch spot at the historic Hammill homestead.  It was clear that the planned return journey by the same route was out of the question 
To their credit, those people who were looking forward to a shorter return journey didn’t flinch at the thought that we were not even halfway at lunch time.  However, in the afternoon and with a dose of adventure we took a risk down another valley, which cut a considerable distance off our journey, getting back to the cars at 4.30pm.
It must be acknowledged that the terrain (in places) took some of us well out of our comfort zone.
Bill B

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 

Taieri Peak

Wednesday 30 August 2023

19 Wednesday Walkers on a lovely warm fine day went to Taieri Peak farm for the first time in a while.
What used to be a farm has now been planted out in thousands of pine trees which are currently just 30 – 40 cm tall. As there are now no animals most gates are left open.
Following lunch at the river we climbed quite steeply up to the north to begin our first clockwise circuit of the farm. With Taiere Peak constantly in view to guide us we were able to finish the walk with the cars in view for much of it.
A wee highlight was a wonderful, reasonably close, view of a NZ Falcon looking at us from it’s perch on a rocky outcrop.

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.

Wanderers report


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.


Bells Pond

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.

Kurow Hill 

Wednesday 9 August 2023

The very doubtful winter weather forecast and maybe the venue on a cold winter’s day was enough to put people off as only eight people took part.  However, those eight brave souls enjoyed a great few hours of tramping on the old favourite, Kurow Hill.
After climbing the well known zig-zag from the village, and then the usual wander across the tops to the trig, we went exploring further west in the hope of getting a glimpse into the Awakino gorge.  That however was not possible because of the difficult terrain surrounding the gorge.  This adventure was prompted by an unusual change in the wind direction from southerly to norwester and slightly warmer temperatures in spite of the Kakanui mountains still being snowed on nearby.  We then went exploring again heading in the general direction of the Kurow cemetery.
This time our exploring was rewarded with the discovery of a very steep 4WD track that emerged on the A2O track just east of the cemetery.
Ironically, a few spots of rain that had been expected much earlier caught us when we were just 10min from the village.
Bill B

Group Skills

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. 09-9 First aid practise 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.

ABC Caves


Anderson Lagoon – Shag River

Ashlands Rd. – Kemp Rd. Katiki

Aviemore – Mt. Dryburgh

Awakino Ski Field

Awamoko Stream

Balmoral Huts

Ben Ledi

Ben Lomond

Ben Ohau

Benmore Walkway

Benmore Peak

Big Ben

Big Kuri Creek

Bike rides

Black Cap – Scout Hill

Bobbys Head – Pleasant River

Borland Lodge

Boundary Creek

Canyon Creek

Cave Hill

Central Otago Rail Trail

Chinamans Hut

Chinamans Cave

Clear Stream


Conical Peak

Deep Stream

Devils Bridge Cave

Devils Elbow

Doctors Point

Dome Hills

Domett Loop

Douglas (Rob & Sue)


Elephant Hill

Evensdale Glen

Flannagans Pass

Fox Peak

Freehold Creek

Gentle Annie Hut

Gibson Farm Walk

Glenthorn Station

Gunns Bush

Golf Course, Waianakarua

Government Hill


Gunns Bush

Hamilton Hill

Hampden / Moeraki

Hampden Township

Hillgrove Farm Walk

Herbert Forest

Heywards Point

Island Cliff

Island Stream Waterfall

Kakanui Peak

Kakanui – All Day Bay

Karitane Walkway

Kauru Hill – Fuchsia Creek

Kawairua  Station

Kettleholes, Omarama

Kurow Hill, Awakino Gorge

Kurinui Reserve

Lindis Pass / Dalrachney

Little Domett

Livingstone, Beaties Hill

Loman Run

Maerewhenua Gold Diggings

Moana Station

Moeraki Lighthouse

Moeraki walkway


Mt. Alexander

Mt. Alexander Loop

Mt. Bitterness

Mt Cargill

Mt Cook (Not the Summit)

Mt Dalgety

Mt. Dasher

Mt. David

Mt. Difficulty – Allan Rd

Mt Difficulty – Dasher

Mt. Difficulty – Hectors

Mt. Domett

Mt. Dryburgh

Mt. Evelyn

Mt. Fortune

Mt. Grayson

Mt Kirkliston

Mt. Kohurau

Mt Kyeburn

Mt. Mary, Trig J

Mt. Meyer

Mt Michael

Mt Milne

Mt. Miserable

Mt Nessing

Mt. Nimrod (Haka)

Mt Nimrod (East)

Mt Nobler

Mt. Obi

Mt Orr

Mt. Parker

Mt. Peel (Little)

Mt. Pisgah

Mt. Stalker

Mt Studholme

Mt. Sutton, Ohau

Mt Sutton, Waitangi

Mt. Trotter

Mts. Trotter & McKenzie

Mt. Watkin

Ngapara Farms Walk

Noondale Reserve

Oamaru Walkways

Obi, Mitchells Hut

Obi, Mt. Stalker

Obi, Shingle Creek

Orbell’s Cave

Otekaike Bridal Track

Otekaike Hill

Peel Forest

Pigeon Bush – Duncan Road

Pigeon Bush – South Peak

Pleasant River, Bobbys Head

Prominent Peak

Puketapu Hill

Pulpit Rock

Quail Burn

Raki’s Table / Tunnel

Raki’s, Belmont, Victoria Hills


Rock & Pillars

Rosella Ridge, Silver Peaks


Round Yards circuit / gorge

Seacliff Reserve

Shag Point

Siberia Hill

Staircase Ridge

Station Peak

Stony Ridge

Suttons Face

Swampy, Leith saddle

Table Top via Wainak  Reserve

Table Top via Herbert Forest

Tapui Farm Walk

Te Huruhuru

Temple – North

Temple – South

The Hays

Timaru Walkways

Trotters Gorge Reserve

Trotters Gorge Trig L

Tokarahi Farmwalk

Waihao Walkway, Hotel circuit

Waimate Gorge


Weston Escarpment

White Horse

Woolshed Creek

Wainono Lagoon

Starting place is the Towey St Tennis Courts (see the  map at the top of this page) usually at 8-30 am  every Wednesday.