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
Wednesday 6 November
Trip: This tramp comprises a 300 metre westerly descent from One Tree Ridge in the Herbert Forest down to the south branch of the Waianakarua Rive,r followed by a 400 metre climb on to the ridge leading to Tabletop. Both tracks are steep at the bottom and of easier gradient higher up. The western (Tabletop) side tends to be muddier with more tree roots, so can be slippery when damp.
The attempt to do Tabletop two weeks previously had been stymied by weather. Despite marginal conditions this time, we decided to go. Access to the starting point was by means of Mile Flat, Razorback and One Tree Ridge Roads. Finding the starting point proved tricky, with something of a tiki tour around the forestry roads before the sign for Hunters track #3 was found barely poking above the encroaching gorse and visible only from the north. So it was 10 o’clock before we parked and booted up. The track initially led through gorse-covered replanted land, then headed down through pine forest and finally, more steeply down through native vegetation. This took ¾ of an hour and it was almost 11 o’clock when we sat down on the river bank for morning tea.
After smoko, we headed up the muddy track on to a ridge which it then climbed, through regenerating bush notable for the number of young lancewoods, before levelling out as it approached the mix of manuka and grassy clearings near the ridge top. A counter-intuitive turn right took us to a junction with the old 4wd track along the top of the main Tabletop ridge where we turned left (south) for the final 10 minute walk to the high point known as Tabletop. The first group arrived at 12.15 and settled down in the tussock on the more sheltered east side for lunch and to enjoy the Leidecker view. The remaining trampers straggled in over the next 20 minutes or so.
Fed, watered and rested, we started on the return journey around 1 o’clock. The descent took about an hour and involved several mishaps as trampers lost footing on some of the greasier sections. A pause at the river, then it was up the return leg, through bush, in places with a deep mossy carpet, then pine trees and finally gorse to reach the cars just on 3 o’clock. John
Herbert Forest – Wed Wanderers
Wai O Toura (Gard’s Road Scenic Reserve)
Wednesday 30 October
It’s just over 3 years (14.9.16) since we volunteered to plant around 1000 trees at Gard’s Rd Scenic Reserve and 2 ½ years (24.5.17) since we volunteered to plant/replant and release.
Today the early morning cloud heralded a cold day as we set off from the DoC headquarters in Regina Lane. An almost full busload of Wednesday Walkers/Wanderers and some other volunteers headed up to Gards Rd Scenic Reserve where, on arrival DoC Ranger, Andy Powazynsky briefed us on the day’s ‘work’. Miraculously by the time we reached Gard’s Road the sun was shining. A nor-west wind became stronger as the day progressed. After water, juices and biccies we began our planting and/or releasing (weeding around existing trees). Quite a large number of plants had either died by being nibbled by rabbits/hares, knocked/blown over or died simply through lack of watering.
Most of us knew the drill and set to work digging, planting and fitting the plastic protector around the trees – a choice of griselinea, kowhai or ribbonwood …..and manuka? By mid-day a welcome lunch provided by Harcourts Real Estate was ready – barbecued sausages, bacon, egg and onions. And tea, coffee, juice or water. But not to forget the locally donated cinnamon oysters!
Following lunch representatives from the Whitestone Waitaki Geo-Park Trust explained the progress made in relation to the UNESCO application as a Global Geo-Park.
A rep. from Motukarara DoC Nursery, near Lake Ellesmere, spoke to us about the plants that were grown in the nursery and planted in conservation areas like Gard’s Road.
Then it was back to field-work – mostly releasing in the afternoon, as most plants seemed to have survived in a greener gulley where there was more moisture for survival. But on the clay, stony face the survival rate was the opposite. No replanting here though as the supply of plants was exhausted. By 2.30pm all was finished and back at the bus Andy had prepared a Devonshire tea for everyone! We were so well-treated. Soon after 3pm we were on our way to Oamaru and just in time to witness the threatening storm from the south. Back in town at 4.30pm to a much cooler temperature than we had worked in during the day. A satisfying day – we hope the new planting will survive. Margie
Hampden Heritage Trail
23 October 2019
The Trip: The scheduled trip was to Tabletop, but the weather forecast and conditions meant that we parked cars at the Hampden Hall where a notice board gave information and pictures replicated in a brochure and map which we used to follow the Hampden Heritage Trail. We saw many sites of original buildings and some which have survived in original form, such as the school, (1864) still being used, and then proceeded to a rather chilly Hampden Beach for smoko. We returned to the main road to look at the square and War Memorial and learn the origin of the commonage practised in the village . Firewood and grazing rights were sold to finance the present Community Centre and Memorial Hall(1953). On we went to gather in the R.A. Lawson designed Presbyterian Church where we sang “Happy Birthday” to one of our venerable (and venerated) members.
We passed the little Catholic Church (1894) – Our Lady Star of the Sea- and returned to the beach for an even chillier lunch and a visit to the cemetery. We were back at the cars by 2p.m. and drove to the Maheno Hostelry for a variety of food and drinks and a functioning woodburner, where we were joined by some of the Wednesday Wanderers after their walk in the Livingstone area, and they gave the venerable one another rendition of “Happy Birthday”. We departed about 4p.m. after a different but interesting and celebratory sort of day. Margaret C.
Wednesday 16 October 2019
Route: Drive south to Palmerston, turn right onto Dunback Rd. At 2.2km turn right onto Switchback Rd, then right onto Chalmers Rd. Drive 200m past Vickers new house and turn into the first gate on the left. Follow the easement and at second gate turn right and take the higher track on true left of stream to park close to Begley’s cattle yards.
Trip: Wednesday Walkers: After three false starts to this trip, due to weather conditions in the last month, we finally woke up to a sunny morning. A total of 24 WW’s participated today. We followed the route description and parked close to Begley’s cattle yards, before turning right to follow the stream for about 1km. After several crossings we walked another ½ km to the first turn left. Here we had morning tea. Following smoko (10.30am) we continued left up the 4wd track for another ½ km. before turning right onto a track that took us to the ridge leading straight to Trig L. The tussocks have grown higher since we were last here 2 years ago making the animal tracks a little harder to negogiate. We continued to follow the fenceline – steeply uphill – till the grade became somewhat easier. From here the Trig L (401m) was easily accessed and we all made it for lunch in the lee of the trig by 12.15pm. Wonderful panoramic views of surrounding countryside from the trig
On our return we took the track heading west from the trig and continued on this till reaching the gate on the left. Here we took a south turn, connecting us to our homeward track. At the first junction 7 walkers peeled off to the left on an easier downward track eventually leading to the morning tea junction. The remaining 17 took the higher track to a ridge where there were views of the Rock and Pillar, Shag valley and Razor-back area. All downhill from there and all back at the cars by about 2.45pm. The walk: 10.1km
Wednesday Wanderers: This group, led by Jane N. continued up the 4wd track from the morning tea site. They finally reached a high point at a T junction and turned left to have lunch further along the track. They returned to the cars by soon after 2pm, after a 3 hour walk. Margie
Saltwater Creek-Centennial Park
Wednesday 9 October 2019
Weather: Light overcast, mild, easterly breeze
Trip: It was third time unlucky as the planned trip to Trig L was again frustrated by bad weather. Prospects looked better to the north so the decision was made to head to Timaru. We parked just across Saltwater Creek and started walking, just before 10 o’clock, along the track up the side of Saltwater Creek. Despite warning signs, we saw no trace of a sea lion and soon reached the old stone bridge at Fairview Road. A turn right for a couple of hundred metres and across the road took us to a morning tea spot half an hour after the start.
Morning tea over, we carried on up the track running alongside the true left of Otipua Creek North Branch. This took us to the swing bridge marking the entrance to Centennial Park. Into the park and we turned uphill to take the highest cycle track up the true right of the deep valley, following the boundary fence most of the way and skirting steep faces of old quarry sites. Eventually, after some downs and ups, the track ended at a road where we turned back across a bridge into the park. A hundred metres or so in, the valley widened with a grassy flat and a sunny sheltered bank providing a perfect lunch venue (at about 12.15).
After a leisurely lunch, we crossed the nearby bridge to follow tracks along the true left of the valley. Initially we walked along an old railway line which had served the basalt quarries supplying rock for the Timaru Harbour breakwaters. Where options presented, we generally chose the highest track to work our way down the valley. A small group broke off to investigate facilities across the lake, but we all met up back at the swing bridge. We paused to admire teenagers jumping their bikes on the splendid BMX track, then carried on to retrace our steps back to the cars, which we reached at 3 o’clock. Lack of a local ice cream source meant we had to pack up and head south to find relief. John
Prydes Rd- Elephant Rocks
Wednesday 2 October
Trip: For the second week in a row the planned trip to Trig L was frustrated by bad weather: it had rained in the early morning and more was forecast for the afternoon, and a strong, cold southerly wind would have made conditions on the hill extremely unpleasant. So it was decided to tackle another stretch of the A2O, this time from Prydes Gully Road to Elephant Rocks.
We set off from the Awamoko Valley end of Prydes Gully Road at 9.30am, following the A2O track up through a sheltered gully, past a cluster of grain silos, and out on to the exposed tops. Half an hour after the start, we sat down in the lee of a shallow ridge and some pine trees for morning tea.
After smoko it was on across the tops, then starting the descent into the wide Maerewhenua Valley, the view across which to the snow-covered mountains was admired with an added stimulus from an electric fence. Shortly, the descent steepened down a zig-zag into the limestone bordered valley of Anatini Farm. We passed the entrance to the whale fossil site and climbed gently up to the road, which we followed for a short distance before turning into the paddock which is home to the Elephant Rocks. It was only 11.20 and too early for lunch, so we had a look around, climbed the odd rock, then headed back up the hill and turned into the bicycle track to follow it down to the valley floor where we went through the gate to the Anatini whale fossil site. It was now midday so, after puzzling over the mystery of the whale fossil’s anatomy, we settled down for lunch in a sheltered, sunny spot.
Lunch over, we climbed up from the whale site to a lane leading to the Island Cliff-Duntroon Road which we had decided to follow back as it was relatively more sheltered than the bike track and would present different perspectives on the landscape. The promised afternoon rain turned out to be nothing more than a very brief sleet skiff and we got back to the cars in good order before 2 o’clock. John
Wednesday Wanderers – Herbert Forest
Wednesday 2 October
Three of us met in Towey Street at 9.30 before picking up two more keen wanderers at Maheno to go down to Herbert Forest. We parked in Reid Rd and walked up South Ridge road then Cross Road which joined Middle Ridge road. Most of the time we were sheltered from the gale force S.W. which had been forecast. We had lunch on a sunny bank near the top of Swallows track before going back to the vehicle via Middle ridge. What a change in the landscape where all the forest either side of Couches Road has been felled. The gardens at Cosy Dell were a picture with Flowering Cherries, Ericas, daffodils etc in flower. Dave drove us along to the ford where we were treated to song from about 40 Tuis and a dozen Bellbirds in very old Kowhai trees that were still in flower. A great way to finish an enjoyable day in the forest. Jane
A2O Peaks Rd- Rakis Tunnel
Wednesday 25 September
With snow forecast down to 300m around Otago, Trig L, above Trotters Gorge, was not an option for either Walkers or Wanderers. We decided on a walk closer to home – Windsor- Peaks Rd – Rakis Tunnel and the final 6km leg on the A2O cycle track to Windsor.
Twenty hopeful Wed Walkers/Wanderers turned up at Towey St – hopeful that we weren’t going to head south to Trig L. So, the above decision was greeted with relief. Parking our cars outside Windsor Cottage (see pic) we thought it better to walk widdershins and do the hill- walk up Peaks Rd first. After about 4 km we found a sheltered tiered area on the side of the road by a pine forest (where the A2O originally went before the final section was built lower down.) for smoko among the ‘morning trees’. Here, Henk read a very amusing poem written by Roger Lusby (folk singer/writer).
At this point two Wed Wanderers took the short cut by the forest to Rakis Tunnel while the rest of the group, now 18, pushed on up Peaks Road to Tunnel Rd. Walking along the flat tops of Peaks Rd we could see the threatening stormy weather- Mt Domett and Kakanui Range, as well as the coast shrouded in snowy -looking clouds. No precipitation where we walked until we arrived at the other end of the tunnel, where mobile phone flashlights and torches helped light the way to the other end. Most decided to have an early lunch, 11.45am, in the tunnel entrance to keep dry. One carload walked the last 6km to the carpark for an early finish to the day. Only a few drops of rain fell, but the temperature was gradually dropping. By 1.30pm we arrived at the car-park at Windsor. From there a ‘slight’ detour took us to the Maheno Pub for a happy hour, along with coffees, ‘skinny’ hot chocolates and a beer or two. Everyone agreed the 14-15km walk was ideal for the weather conditions and that Trig L would keep till next week – weather permitting. Margie
Moeraki – Kaika
18 September 2019
Trip: At about 9.30am the 23 trampers set off from the Millennium Walkway car park on the way into Moeraki village, following the path with occasional forays on to the beach below. Through the village we gathered at the helicopter pad before setting off up the track to the Moeraki lookout. The track was a mix of steps and raw mud, fortunately dry. Near the top, we stopped for morning tea at a relatively level spot with a good view of the village, bay and inland hills. About 10.30, we set off again, climbing up to the road below the lookout, then turning left to descend via a grassy gully to sea level, leaving four members up on the road to take the inland route to the First Kaika.
The main group turned right along the golden sandy beach towards the first headland, Punatoetoe Head, which would perhaps answer questions about whether the coastal route would prove practical, given the potential hazards of sea (it was an hour before low tide), rocks and seals. It did, with some choosing a dry route scrambling over rocks and others opting for wet feet and sand. The seals showed no signs of aggression, probably because they were not yet breeding.
Having navigated this point, we carried on along a shortish sandy beach to round a smaller point and on to a longer beach towards Maukiekie Island, home to both royal spoonbills and Otago shags. This beach ended in another headland beyond which we could see the First Kaika. Here the main group met up with the four who had taken the inland route and together we walked along the beach to Tikoraki Point, the larger headland which separates the First and second Kaika. This point has a rocky passage between the cliff and a reef which facilitated progress but raised the possibility of a seal ambush. It did not happen as seals either slithered away or sat up watching us curiously. And so we arrived at the second Kaika and settled down on the beach for lunch.
After lunch, a number explored the village and some met up with acquaintances who suggested that we follow a track over a fence and around the side of Tawhiroko Point to see the seal colony which inhabited the rocks below. There we watched a number of seals exercising in the waves and rock pools before heading back via the beautiful sandy beach on the south side of the point. Back in the kaika, it was now too late to return to Moeraki by the coastal route so we walked a short distance up the road and turned right through a gate on to a grassy track which took us over the hill to the First Kaika, whence we headed up the road past the marae and into Moeraki. The road down the hill led by chance to the Moeraki Tavern, which fortuitously offered an ideal venue for a formal debrief. This took place on the verandah in the sunshine as we talked about a tramp which was very different from the usual, new to most and enjoyed by all. Then it was back to the cars and home. John
The Hays – Hakataramea Valley
Wednesday 11 September
no images were found
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
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.