Jan 13 2016

Tomahawk Lagoon and nearby tracks/areas

Published by under Beach,Hikers

No. 23 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Karetai Rd via Monument from Lagoon. Year round.”
Distance from car-park: Tomahawk: 19 km; Smaills Beach: 22 km;  Paradise Road: 26 km.’
DCC List: 41 Peg Track. Otago Peninsula
Accessed from Oregon St. 3.5 hrs ret. Tramping track – unbenched. Managed: DCC CAM, private land.
Description – This track provides a link between Ocean Grove and Highcliff Road. Access to the track in Ocean Grove is off Oregon Street. An attractive walk around Tomahawk Lagoon then climbs through gorse and native bush. Turn right towards Soldiers Memorial through paddocks with gorse sometimes obscuring the rock walls.
  • Classification – Hard
  • Time – Approximately 45 minutes.
  • Parking – Limited at Highcliff Road. No dogs.
  • Dogs – No
*****
Distance from car-park: 19 km.
23. 13/1/2016. Trampers. Tomahawk – Peg Track – Memorial – Karetai Road.

Eight trampers turned up for today’s tramp. Due to weather conditions, we decided to change from Hermits Cave in the Silverpeaks, to the peninsula circuit from Tomahawk Lagoon up to the monument, then up Highcliff RD, along Karati Rd. & back down to Tomahawk via the old part of Karati Rd.

We had morning tea in the paddock 1/2 way up the gorse lined track, lunch in the shelter of the NZBC buildings along Karati Rd. as the wind was quite strong, & cold. We then hurried down to the end of Karati Rd. where we regrouped before heading off down the track towards the coastal cliffs. As the wind was strong, we decided that it would be prudent to just walk down the 4WD track, instead of going around the outside of the fence next to the cliff edge, where we have previously gone.
Then it was a long road walk back to the cars, where it was decided to meet at Nichols coffee shop for an after event catchup!! Just to keep up tradition you know !
walked 11.7km
4.3 km/h
climbed 511mtrs – Ken.

22. 24/6/2015. Trampers. Tomahawk – Memorial – Karetai Road.
walked 12.1km
2h 56min
4.1km/h
climbed 442m.
max height 392m – Ken.
Tomahawk – Memorial -Karetai Rd
9 am rolls around and lo and behold there is a record number of 11 intrepid trampers ready to set out for the day’s tramp. Arriving at the Tomahawk lagoon and on our way by 9.45 am, after some who did a few extra circuits to find the starting place.  Past the lagoon partly frozen over: ever seen ducks trying to land on frozen water
Ducks (Eleanor pic)

Ducks on ice (Eleanor pic)

or swans trying to get out of frozen water?

Swans

Swans on Tomahawk Lagoon. (Eleanor pic)

It was a steady climb along the marked walkway (often a corridor of gorse), with views over the pig farm and across to the east.  It was here we had morning tea and shed the first layer of clothes as the day was warming up and no wind.  On and up to the 10 metre high monument of the Soldiers’ Memorial – the lone soldier figure standing on blocks of bluestone.

Memorial

Soldiers’ Memorial (Eleanor pic)

The 360 degree view right around the Peninsula, over the city and across to the west is spectacular.  After the oohs and ahhs, and photos taken we wend our way down to Highcliff Road. The tarseal  walk…

Track

Tarseal Road (Eleanor pic)

… along Highcliff road and Karetai road leads us to a pleasant stopping place for lunch at the end of Karetai Road.  Lunch over, up over the stile, through the paddocks and to the cliff edge track …

Cliff Walk (Eleanor pic)

Cliff Walk (Eleanor pic)

… where the dramatic sheer cliffs get a second or third look before we head down beside Smailles Beach.

Out on the road is the  beautiful building of Tautuku Fishing Club to which one of our members declares:  “I used to live here!” Oh yeah?  “See that window?  That was my bedroom.”  So the clock winds back to when this was a farm-house – and we believe his story!  What next? Well,  we pass the two gun emplacements from WWII and then back to our cars.  A 12.1 kms walk with a variety of most interesting aspects. A great way to spend five outdoor hours. – Carol and Neil
21. 29/1/2014. Hikers. John Wilson Drive, Golf Course, Beach, Cave, Tomahawk Lagoon, return Lawyers Head Paper Road. E. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.
A few of the over Christchurch over 40s Tramping Club contingent lodging for the week at Waiora Scout Camp went off with our Trampers but the majority at the car park threw in their lot with the Hikers. The task for the Christchurchian cars to navigate through the city to the St Kilda playground adjacent to the John Wilson Drive was made easier by someone’s suggestion that locals spread themselves out amongst their cars as pilots and that worked well.
When we were eventually all gathered at the beginning of John Wilson Drive, Marjorie counted 51 of us. An all-time record? The views along the drive, with the Chisholm Park Golf Links and city on one side, the beach and sea on the other, was remarked upon by all. Further there were no cars to bother us this early in the day. It was time for morning tea when we reached Lawyers Head, one of a series of basaltic headlands which punctuate much of this section of the Otago coast, (others nearby being Maori Head and Blackhead). This one is named for the likeness of the cliff face to the profile of a lawyer in traditional legal wig, …
Lawyers Head

Lawyers Head

… so we supped our cuppas  around the Leonard Wright memorial at the Head.

Lawyers Head Lookout

Lawyers Head Lookout

Hidden hard nearby was a narrow steep track connecting down to the golf links, around whose Lawyers Head coastal edge the leaders had gained permission for us to single-file our way. We found ourselves right on the crest of the Lawyers Head cliff, the Tomahawk beach stretching out below us. We made quite a strung-out sight.
Silently viewing an about-to-be missed, nevertheless applauded tee shot.

Silently viewing an about-to-be missed, nevertheless ironically applauded tee shot at the end of our links perimeter stroll.

Now down and away from the links along another narrow, but lengthier track out and across to the Tomahawk Road.

A long line

Looking back upon another strung-out sight.

We emerged upon a playground on Tomahawk Road.

The suburb beyond us, now called Ocean Grove, was known as Tomahawk until the 1930s, the name being, not a reference to the weapon, but rather possibly an anglicised form of the Māori words tomo haka, meaning “dance by a gravesite”. (Wiki).
We descended the road a little way to the lower of the twin-lobed Tomahawk Lagoon, this lobe being its outer one,  whose outlet we skirted on its true left to emerge onto the Tomahawk Beach.
The day’s trip had been selected for one of Dunedin’s low-tides, so the beach was ours, as was the small tidal cave at its end, an addition to the area’s features.
Emerging from the Tomahawk Beach cave.

Emerging from the Tomahawk Beach cave.

Up a small but energetic sand-hill and we were on another track out to the road again, down it a bit, and into a side road leading to yet another side route and out onto a recreation area alongside Tomahawk Lagoon’s inner lobe, this one a wildlife reserve, although both lobes are noted for their bird life.

Here was to be the lunch stop, but prior to that there was a short walk up alongside the lakelet to where our local club members knew of a Trampers’ track leading up to a soldiers’ memorial on by the Peninsula high road. But this was to just to wander the level part of track and enjoy (??) at one spot a strong pong from the the slightly stagnant waters and mud verge. (Roll on a storm flush!)

So we lunched leisurely, variously at tables and on ledges until our leaders judged it time for the return journey.

Out on the road, a motor cyclist stopped to talk and admire our impressive size. He was glad to hear we were returning by the Lawyers Head paper road and invited us to notice the “use it or lose it” graffiti posted in a couple of places before its entrance. (Apparently the City Council proposed closing it.) We were going to be a wonderful “use it” example.

The ‘road’ led us through a corner of the Andersons Bay Cemetery, close by the towering Crematorium and out through the Chisholm Park Golf links. Then across the Pirates Football Club pitch and we were at our cars again and adjacent to a useful new toilet block by the playground.

Now came farewells and dispersal time. There were many appreciative remarks from the Christchurch Club members about the unique difference of such a walk, with its wonderful unexpected variations. ‘The best of their week so far’ was one comment.

I know our club felt quite proud to hear such unstinted praise, and of course are so indebted to Marjorie and Bruce for their careful planning, taking into account the meal stops, the permissions sought, and the trip duration. Bravo. Of course the day’s excellent weather didn’t hurt either. – Ian.

20. 1/6/2011. Both. Bowls Stadium, Cemetery, beach, Fishing Club, Karetai Rd, Smaills Beach, return. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.

Select only coastal part of GPS for this route. GPS Courtesy Ken. Distance travelled = 11.7km Moving time = 2hr 46min. Moving ave. = 4.2k/hr Stopped time = 1hr 50min

Twenty-three hikers and trampers set off from the Westpac Bowls Stadium in Tahuna Road at 1000 in cool cloudy conditions and went up the grass verge between the road and the Chisholm Park golf links before entering the first gate on the right to the Andersons Bay cemetery. We walked through part of the cemetery before continuing down the hill, watching some horses train behind a motor vehicle, and crossing the bridge over the outlet from the Tomahawk Lagoon. Immediately over the bridge we followed a gravel road alongside the outlet stream and then, after 80 metres,  a track alongside the stream down to the beach where trucks were removing sand, probably for attempting to remedy the erosion at Middle Beach.

Truck and loader for removing sand from Tomahawk beach. (Bruce pic and caption)

We proceeded along the length of the beach to the two caves at the far end and had morning tea on the rocks there. Some inspected the cave, risking getting wet feet in the process with high tide approaching at 1430.

Morning tea near the caves at Tomahawk Beach. (Bruce pic and caption)

After morning tea we ascended the sand hill to the Tomahawk Road and continued down the private road to the Tautuku Fishing Club, Dunedin and Haast Inc. We arrived there at approximately 1130 and were kindly shown around and given a history of the Club and the fine bluestone building by the club president Brett Bensemann.

Tautuku Fishing Club premises. (Pic: Ken. Caption: Bruce.)

Bob pic.

Bob pic.

The building was originally the homestead of Alexander Smaill and was bought by the club, together with some surrounding land, by the Club in 1972 for $5000.
At 1205 we continued up Karetai Road for 15-20 minutes

Bruce on Karatai Rd. track with others in the background. (Ken pic and caption)

to the corner near the style leading to a black and white Geodesic Trig on the right.

About nine of the group, following a route pioneered by Ken, went down to the trig …

Ken at the Geodesic Trig looking towards Sandymount (Bruce pic and caption)

… and then contoured around on a track

Bob pic.

back to the lower reaches of Karetai Road while the others retraced their steps down the non-rutted road in good  condition for walking. We lunched in a sheltered area close to the start of the first track on the left leading from the road to Smaill’s Beach.
After lunch we proceed to the beach via three routes, necessitated by a slip which had damaged the track (a) up the sand hills to avoid the slip, (b) via a narrow edge beside the river, or (c) retreating back to the gate and taking an alternative direct to the beach instead of going alongside the river bank. After briefly looking at the windswept beach and the offshore Bird Island (which has claimed many lives on account of a strong under-current including William and Thomas Henderson of Tomahawk  in about 1900)

Doug and others leaving Smaill’s Beach with Bird Island in the background. (Bruce pic and caption)

we climbed back up to the gun emplacements at the Jack Fox lookout. Two six inch Vickers coastal defence guns were part of a network of coastal batteries during WW2. The guns were removed  in 1945. A cluster of three similar batteries were present at Taiaroa Head  and the mother of one of the group nursed there.
We returned to the cars via Tomahawk Road, Luke Street, the disused Tomahawk School, the soccer playing fields and the cemetery grounds which we entered via the pedestrian entrance on the left a short distance above the bridge. We arrived back at 1445 somewhat wind buffeted but knowing more about Porbeagle Sharks which are only caught in the local area. (For more information about the Tautuku Fishing Club see: Tautuku Fishing Club) – Bruce.
19. 23/9/2009. Hikers. Tomahawk, Centre Road. Medium. Leaders Arthur and Barbara.
18. 4/6/2008 Both. Tomahawk Lagoon, Soldiers Memorial, Centre Road. Leaders: Joyce, Ian, Lesley G
Going down on way up. Margaret, Neil, Bob, Lesley, Joyce, Doug, Arthur, George.

Going down on way up. Margaret, Neil, Bob, Lesley, Joyce, Doug, Arthur, George.

Lunch. Peter, Barbara, Arthur, Bob, Bill, Tash, Claude, Lesley, Evelyn, Bob, Joyce

Lunch. Peter, Barbara, Arthur, Bob, Bill, Tash, Claude, Lesley, Evelyn, Bob, Joyce

Three shaggy dogs

Three Irish Wolfhounds

17. 26/9/2007 Tomahawk Lagoon – Soldiers Memorial. Leaders: Joyce, Eleanor.
Although the day dawned very cold, overcast and threatening to rain, 8 intrepid Hikers turned up at Glascow St. carpark for the day’s tramp from Tomahawk Lagoon. In spite of weather we had a very happy and enjoyable day. We left cars in car park by the Lagoon and set off up the track to WW 1 Soldiers Memorial on Highcliff. Although track was very wet and muddy it is now much improved to what it used to be when we tramped in the area many years ago. Morning tea was a very welcome and refreshing break in the slippery slog up the hill. Up to the Monument and lovely views of our beautiful harbour.

Peninsula Soldiers’ Memorial

Highcliff Rd to Centre Rd. was pretty cold but we soon warmed up. Then we had the great views over the other side of the Peninsula. Found a nice sheltered spot for our lunch and were vastly entertained by a very interested audience of 3 Irish Wolfhound dogs. Hard to say whether dogs or people were most fascinated.
Down the road and round the corner, back to cars after an enjoyable, sociable and refreshing day out. – Bev.
16. 25/7/2007. Trampers. Tomahawk Lagoon, Soldiers Memorial. Moderate. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.
15. 31/1/2007. Hikers. Tomahawk Lagoon. Easy. Leaders: Jean, Mary M.
14. 13/4/2005. Hikers. Tomahawk Lagoon. Leaders: Rosemary and Jack.
13. 3/12/2003. Hikers: Tomahawk Lagoon. Medium. Leaders: Colleen, Dot T
12. 29/10/2003. Hikers. Tomahawk Lagoon. Easy. Leaders: Joan H, Chris.
11. 11/4/2002 Tomahawk Lagoon. Leaders: Ray, Les W
10. 15/8/2001. Alt. Tomahawk, Karetai. Leaders: Nancy, Val, Peg C.
9. 11/4/2001. Tomahawk Lagoon. Leaders: Diana and Ray, Les W.
8. 23/2/2000. Tomahawk Lagoon, Centre Road. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara, Ria H.
7. 30/6/1999 Tomahawk Lagoon. Centre Road. Leaders: Jean Y, Denise, Eleanor W
6. 12/8/1998. Highcliff Centre Road from Lagoon. Leaders: Molly, Frank.
5. 18/3/1998. Tomahawk Lagoon, Centre Road round trip. Leaders: Jean, Ria H.
4. 9/7/1997. Tomahawk Lagoon, Monument, Highcliff Road, Karetai Road Leaders: Chris, Ria H, Jean
3. 18/9/1996. Tomahawk Lagoon. Leaders: Chris, Joan H, Ngaire.
2. 8/7/1992.  Tomahawk Lagoon, Karetai Road, Centre Road. Average. Leaders: Ria H, Jean A, Bev H, Merle
1. 12/7/1989 Centre Road, Highcliff. Average +. Leaders: Kees & Ria, Diana
B, Ria H
10. 15/7/2015. Trampers. Buskin Track, Boulder Beach, Paradise Track.

After a bit of a mix up over pickup points, we parked up beside Penzance Kennels, where we had a discussion on which way we would tackle the days walk. We settled on going down Buskin Track & worrying about the return journey later.
The track was mostly dry apart from a few areas where it has been damaged by water scouring it out quite badly. As two of the party of three, had never been there before we took some time to check out the cribs [baches] at the bottom of the track.

We also came across an employee of Otago Pest Destruction [I think that’s what they are called] who was happily banging a possum on the head, after it got caught in one of his traps. He said he got 27 the day before, so much for a possum free peninsula !!!
We then made our way out to the beach for some boulder hopping practice, before gaining the sand at the northern end. As we passed by the log shelter I noticed an intruder lying inside, looking very cosy indeed.

2 Intruder in the log shelter on beach

2 Intruder in the log shelter on beach

It lifted its head to survey me for about two seconds, then just went back to sleep ! What a life !!
We wandered along the beach wondering where all the sand had gone, the bank holding the tussock is badly eroded, & about 1 meter high. So now, there is no way for the Yellow Eyed Penguins to climb up & get to their nests further up the hill.
We walked back past the intruder in it’s cosy shelter,

3 Anothe shot of the intruder.

3 Another shot of the intruder.

& had lunch sitting on a large bit of driftwood,

Boulder Beach, Otago Peninsula New Zealand

1 Lunch spot at Boulder Beach

before walking up Braidwood Rd. to the gate into the paddocks leading along to the Double Bay area, where I had an unsuccessful look for the viewing hide I had seen at an earlier date, but the vegetation had me beat, so we retraced our steps around to the bottom of Paradise Track, made our way up there, & back along Highcliff Rd. to the car.

We walked 10km
ave 3.3km/h
climbed 475m – Ken

9. 28/11/2012. Trampers. Tomahawk, Soldiers Monument, Buskin Track, Highcliff,  Karatai Rd

GPS Tomahawk Soldiers Monument Buskin Track Karatai Rd, courtesy Ken.

Lunch at junction of Boulder Beach tracks. (Ken caption and pic)

View of city from Soldiers Memorial. (Lester pic)

8. 26/9/2012. Trampers. Smaills Beach, Karetai Road, Highcliff Track, Boulder Beach, Paradise Track, Highcliff Road, Karetai Road.

Karetai

Six of us parked at Smaills Beach car-park. We had dropped the idea of Silver Peaks because of the forecast rain with its fog. As we went up Karetai ‘Road’, we reached the rain level at our tea break and had to ‘parka-up’. We turned off further up onto the Highcliff Track …

Boulder Beach from Highcliff Track

and round to Beatties Cottage where we lunched. We didn’t bother going down to the beach but lazed in the sunshine (temporary but happily well-timed) in the shelter of the cottage’s large hedge from the wind.
The climb up Paradise Track gets no shorter but by and large, with its couple of zig-zags, provides a good gradient.
Along Highcliff Road, we forewent turning down the Buskin Track, with its promised steep climb back up the Highcliff Track, and carried on to the Karetai Road turnoff, returning down it to the cars.
Surprisingly Ken’s GPS recorded we had done 14.5 kms! A useful day’s walk. – Ian

7. 14/2/2007. Trampers. Boulder Beach, Karetai, Tomahawk Lagoon. Medium. Leaders; Bruce and Marjorie.

6. 14/5/2003 Hikers. Karetai Road, Boulder Beach. Medium.Leaders: Colleen, Betty

5. 20/3/2002. Alt. Tomahawk Lagoon, Karetai Road, Smaills Beach. Medium. Leaders: Lance and Lois.

4. 19/7/2000. Boulder Beach, Karetai Road. Leaders: Jean, Chris, Joan H.

3. 9/7/1997. Tomahawk Lagoon, Monument, Highcliff Road, Karetai Road Leaders: Chris, Ria H, Jean

2. 13/4/1994 Tomahawk Lagoon, Smaills Beach, Karetai Road, Buskin Road, Soldiers Track and return. Medium. Leaders: Ria H, Jean A, June G, Betty H
1. 7/3/1991. Cars park Karetai Road Car Park. Karetai Road from car park. A good peninsula walk. Leaders: Daphne, Margaret S, Les W, Jack M.

 

 

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