Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Feb 15 2018

Upcoming Trips

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Summer Start Time: 9.00 a.m.

21 Feb.
Trampers: Maori Peak/Split Rock M* $9.00 Neil and MargreetPurakaunui/Canoe Beach $8.00 Jill and Judy D
Hikers: Quarry/Chingford Park area E $4.00 Woodside Glen. E $4.00 Jan Y and Peter

28 Feb.
Trampers: Purakaunui/Canoe Beach $8.00 Jill and Judy DMaori Peak/Split Rock M* $9.00 Neil and Margreet
Hikers: McNally Walkway E+ $9.00 Liz and Alex  Mahinerangi/ Waipori area M $9.00 Bob and Leslie

7 Mar.
Both: Clarkesbrae/Nichol’s Farm M* $7.00 Jay and Jan B Continue Reading »

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Feb 14 2018

Aspiring Hut

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14/2/2018. Report on Mt Aspiring Hut Trip 12-15th February

Eight keen trampers  signed up for this trip. Wendy and I tramped in to Aspiring Hut early on Monday 12th February to secure bedding in one room for all of us.  Jill, Clare, Janine, Keith, Helen and  Phil arrived late in the afternoon after battling a head on Northwest wind and driving rain. This walk was 9km and approx. 2.5 hours. Aspiring Hut is owned by the NZ alpine club and operated by DOC. It was built in 1949 and its exterior is covered in river schist stones. It  is about to undergo a refurbishment which includes earthquake strengthening and interior lining. There are 39 bunks altogether in two bunk rooms. Gas cookers are supplied during the summer season. We all soon settled and prepared our meals.

The next morning it was partly cloudy. The scenery from the hut was superb without going anywhere!

Group. (Helen pic and caption.)

We decided to go up the valley to Pearl flat (2 hours). The valley walk is very pleasant through beech forest and open grassland surrounded by high mountains with clinging glaciers.

We then decided to go up to the Liverpool hut (10 bunks). (1134m – Helen). This track was steeper than expected but the team coped extremely well. We walked up through beech forest on a steep track with rocks and tree roots.

Half way up to Liverpool Biv. (Phil pic and caption.)

This took 2.5 hours. The views from above the hut were superb – either looking down onto the valley below …

View from the Hut hill.(Helen pic and caption.)

… or glaciers on Mt Barff and Mt Liverpool. We were also looking across to French ridge hut which is used by climbers to climb Mt Aspiring.

We got back to Aspiring Hut after a 9 hour walk knowing we had done it!!

That night of the 13th the hut and camping area had its record number of guests at 84. We felt like very rare Kiwis!!!

The next morning was perfectly fine – however our legs knew they had worked the day before.  Unfortunately Wendy had to leave as she had work early the next day. This time we decided to go up the Cascade saddle track …

Liverpool done, off to the Cascade.(Phil pic and caption.)

… – a pleasant walk through red and beech forest.

Morning tea on way to Cascade Saddle. (Helen pic and caption.)

This finally led up to a lookout after 2.5 hours. (1184m. – Helen). The views of the 2 valleys and mountains all around were amazing, especially looking at Mt Aspiring.

Above the bush line on Cascade Saddle. (Phil pic and caption.)

There were quite a few people heading up to the saddle.

On returning to the hut the ladies enticed the men to go down to the river for a dip. [No pics supplied! – Ed.] This was very, very refreshing especially for those who got under the water!!

Another interesting meal was cooked by all. There were a lot fewer in the hut – the men played poker with hilarity. Someone was heard talking in their sleep!

After breakfast and packing up we headed off down to the car park. The weather deteriorated with the following North west wind very strong – even blowing 2 of us over on the grass. The dust was rising in the river bed. The rain followed and it was quite wet by the time we got to the carpark. Rob Roy glacier was left for another day!  We were then off home having coffee and ice creams on the way.

Thanks to all of the team for making it a fun trip.

Also thanks to Eleanor for suggesting the trip but unfortunately was unable to make it.


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Jan 31 2018

Tracks between Racemans and Rollinsons Road

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12. 31/1/2018. Trampers. North Coal and Little Coal. M. Leader: Neil M.

9 trampers arrived at the Pump-house to start up Racemans at 9.20 am. We passed Tunnels track junction 1/2 an hour later and continued on till morning tea stop at 10 o’clock. Very pleasant in the bush as it was heating up out in the direct sunlight and the birdsong was all around us.

Group. (Helen pic and caption.)

Reached North Coal junction just after 11 o’clock and after a suggestion of going to the end of Racemans and returning, or going up North Coal and down Little Coal it was decided to do the loop, so up we went. After an hour of steady climbing with plenty of rests  we arrived at Little Coal junction. Was midday and no one was keen to go on the extra 3/4 hour to the picnic area at top of Steve Amies for lunch, so here we stopped. Again very pleasant in the shade and slight breeze.

In the shade of the bush for lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

After lunch it was mostly down and down in the bush on dry leaves where one had to be careful to not slide, till we arrived back at Racemans track. An hour plus later …

Crossing the stream wishing it was deep enough for a swim. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and we were back at the car park. Most retired to Blackstone for a refreshing drink and a chat. Although the day was very hot in the sunlight it was cool and very pleasant in the bush and everyone enjoyed the walk. – Neil M.

11. 11/10/2017. Trampers. Little Coal Creek and Steve Amies Circuit. M. Leader: Helen.

Eleven trampers left the car park and travelled to Whare Flat parking at the pump house car park. Walked along Racemans track until 9.50am. Too early said one unnamed tramper. Had our morning tea…

Morning Tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and carried up Racemans and then up Little Coal Creek Track. Views over to Green Hill, Pulpit Rock…

Pulpit Rock in the distance. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and over to Powder Ridge were seen. Then continued right up to the picnic tables almost at the road to Swampy.  A very pleasant lunch was had there.

Lunch at the top at the picnic tables.(Helen pic and caption.)

Had to go to the road for a look as well looking at the new trees and also older memorial ones which had been planted. Les Murcott, Steve Amies and some others.

On the down trip we went onto Steve Amies track…

Start of Steve Amies Track. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and then down the short cut track. Very steep down it was. Then onto the Tunnel Track and over the swing Bridge and back to the cars.

‘Our lady of October’ (as some botanists know Clematis paniculata) in all her glory. Great to see so many – a sign the possums are being beaten! (Phil pic and caption.)

A  very enjoyable 14.5km walk with lots of steep up and down. A few slipped and an unnamed person fell backwards but had a soft landing. We adjourned  to Blackstones for coffee and guess who was there, all the Hikers having their debrief. – Helen.

10. 21/1/2015. Trampers. Racemans, Raingauge, North Coal, Powder Ridge Loop.
Racemans Raingauge North Coal. (Ken pic and caption.) GPS courtesy Ken.

Racemans Raingauge North Coal. (Ken pic and caption.) GPS courtesy Ken.

Eight people plus Finn the dog turned up to do this tramp. We stopped at one of the track junctions for morning tea break, & then it was along to the end of the Racemans track by the top Silverstream weir, & up the first steep climb on Raingauge Spur. [Oh to have 4WD drive like Finn has !!!]

We had lunch in the grassed clearing…
Lunch stop, with an expectant dog ! (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch stop, with an expectant dog ! (Ken pic and caption)

…not too far from the top of Raingauge, then walked down the road to the Steve Amies Picnic area, where we stopped for a short breather before tackling the North Coal track. We paused long enough to check out the helicopter landing pad, which really needs some serious clearing work done, & then it was off down Little Coal track to the junction with North Coal track. This was when things got a little interesting !! The first part of this is quite steep,…
Another tricky decent (Elinore pic and caption)

Another tricky decent (Elinore pic and caption)

…& there was some storm damage which made the going a bit difficult, but we decided to press on, as going back up didn’t seem to be an option. As we progressed down the track it was obvious that it was going to be a lengthy climb down, as the storm damage didn’t get any better,…
Struggling through the storm damage (Elinore pic and caption)

Struggling through the storm damage (Elinore pic and caption)

…& navigation became an issue, as the track markers were badly obscured, or the trees that they were attached to were no longer standing. Under normal conditions, the track was very well marked in both up & down directions with orange triangles, it was just the storm damage that upset things, & we often had to search around for the correct way down. However, if we had just followed Finn, he would’ve led us down the correct way at all times. It really was uncanny how he knew where the track was, although Dermot had him down there a few months ago, so maybe he was remembering it from then.
We eventually made it…
Nearing the end of a difficult decent (Eleanor pic and caption)

Nearing the end of a difficult decent (Eleanor pic and caption)

…back out onto the Racemans Track, & then back to the junction that leads down to the Silverstream crossing onto the Powder Ridge track, where we wanted to check out some trees that were down across the track, with a view to taking chainsaws in to remove them. From there it was back across the bottom weir, & back to the cars.
The day turned into a real adventure, with the climb down North Coal, but everybody seemed pleased that they made it ok, although one  [who shall not be named !] took a tumble off the track at one point, into the scrub below the track surface. No damage was done, except to their pride, which was a relief to all party members. – Ken.
9. 7/11/2001 Bob H, Winifred, George

8. 29/4/2009 Rollinson Road. Picnic Area. Trig Q. North Coal Creek Track. Racemans. Weir. Rain Gauge Spur. Rollinson Track. Elbow. Rollinson Road. Leaders: Ian, Glenice.

Only five of us ventured. Dry for a start before the mist descended.
Pupit Rock hidden in mist. Ken's watch.

Pupit Rock hidden in mist. Ken’s watch.

Lip of lookout.Cuppa time.

Lip of lookout. Cuppa time.

Light rain as we got lower down. Heavier on Racemans. Odd break on Rain Gauge Spur until heavy soaking mist towards top.
Doug (rather wet) nearing top.

Doug (rather wet) nearing top.

George sans parka. Looking drier than he really was.

George sans parka. Looking drier than he really was.

We ended up fairly wet and glad to get back back down Rollinson road to car. – Ian.

7. 17/9/2008. Access Road, Picnic area, North Coal, Raingauge Spur. Hard. Leaders: George, Ken.

6. 27/7/2005 Rollinson Road. Elbow. Rollinson Track. Turn off down to Rain Gauge Spur. Leaders: George, Dorothy S

View from Raingauge Spur

View from Raingauge Spur

5. 1/11/1999 Silverstream Weir, Raingauge, Elbow, Raceman’s Track. Leaders: Margaret D

4. 17/8/1994. Silverstream Weir, Raceman’s Elbow. Medium. Leaders: Bob H, Peg C, Frances, Jack R

3. 28/4/1993. Silverstream Weir, Elbow, Raceman’s Track. Two groups. Medium or Easy. Leaders: Bob H, Les W, Diana, Joan A.

2. 1/5/1991 Elbow – Swampy – Raceman. Steep parts. Harder. Alternate route for some. Leaders: Mary McG, Daphne, Bob, Barbara McC

1. 11/1988 Leader: Peg C

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Nov 16 2017

The stone-wall ruins on the McKessar Track

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The stone-walled house was burnt out by a bushfire in 1914 after the McKessar family had left the district and the farm had been taken over by a neighbour.

George and Emma (Driver) McKessar had lived and farmed there. George was born in 1836 and Emma in 1853 and they had six children. Emma was a child of Richard and Elizabeth (Robertson) Driver. Richard was the first official pilot for Otago Harbour, and she had been born at the pilot house at Taiaroa Head. She died  at Purakanui at 47 in 1900 and George at 75 in 1912. – edited from research by Clive Crossman on various websites.


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Nov 15 2017

McKessar Track

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37 km from car park to Mopanui Road end.

2. 15/11/2017. Hikers. Purakaunui Station. McKessar Track, Mopanui Road. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

Starting off from the site of the old Purakanui railway station, a party of twenty hikers made the short road walk down hill to the Purakaunui inlet for an then returned, for the morning tea stop at the cars.

(Clive pic.) [Cars at the station a first for the Club. – Ed.]

This was followed by the hike up the McKessar Track in very pleasant conditions to our lunch stop at the end of Mopanui Road.  We had a breather on the uphill climb where Ian showed us the relics of the old McKessar homestead.

(Clive pic.)

An after-lunch

(Clive pic.)

stroll beyond the road end, took us to a point which gave us an excellent view to the north.  Little time was required for the pleasant stroll down hill back to the cars, which took us to our refreshment stop at the stadium Plaza cafe. –  Betty and Jim

1. 9/3/2016. Hikers. Mopanui Road, McKessar Track, Albert Road. E. Leaders: Bev, Lesley.

GPS of McKessar trek

GPS of McKessar trek

Horse Drinking Trough on Mount Cargill Road.

Horse Drinking Trough on Mount Cargill Road.

Orokonui Village

Orokonui Village

Hikers' cuppa at top of McKessar Track

Hikers’ cuppa at top of McKessar Track

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Oct 25 2017

Ross Creek and environs

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No. 94 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Ross Creek – McGlashan College Year Round”

25, 25/10/2017. Hikers. Ross Creek, Craigieburn, Cycle tracks, McGouns, Ross Creek. M. Leaders: Dawn and Pam.

Route map courtesy Ian. It stopped recording 1.5 km before finish! (Ian pic and caption.)

(Clive pic.)

Morning tea. (Clive pic.)

Steep descent. (Clive pic.)

Did they really order that much?. (Clive pic.)

24. 24/4/2016. Hikers. Ross Creek, McGouns, Tanner Lookout, Craigieburn. M. Leaders: Dawn and Pam.
GPS of route. Failed to complete it at time; hence straight line indicating car travel to Plaza Cafe. We did just on 7 km, despite the '6' not showing. (Hidden by the "1"?) Distracted by Spittles' wonderful disbursement of blackboy peaches.

GPS of route. Failed to complete it at time; hence straight line indicating car travel to Plaza Cafe. We did just on 7 km, despite the ‘6’ not showing. (Hidden by the “1”?) Distracted by Spittles’ wonderful disbursement of blackboy peaches.

Panorama of some of the 26 hikers lunching.

Panorama of some of the 26 hikers lunching.

23. 20/1/2016. Hikers. Woodhaugh Gardens, Ross Creek reservoir, Craigieburn, Tanner Lookout. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.
GPS route map of Ross Creek tramp courtesy Bruce.

GPS route map of Ross Creek tramp courtesy Bruce. Distance covered 10.6 km, moving time 2 hours 55 minutes, moving average 3.6 km/hour, stopped time 1 hour 44 minutes, overall average 2.3 km/hour, and total ascent 221 m.

Twenty-two hikers departed at 9.30 am from the Gardens’ Carpark opposite Mecure/Leisure Lodge on a sunny calm day, in contrast to the previous drizzly afternoon. We turned to the left in the Gardens and followed the north perimeter with the themed borders to the main gate, crossed at the traffic lights to the north side of Bank Street and walked around to the Woodhaugh Gardens, past the mural of the Otago University Clocktower building with a portrait of the architect Maxwell Bury (1825–1912), painted under the Pine Hill Road bridge.

Clock tower mural under bridge. (Bruce pic and caption)

Clock tower mural under bridge. (Bruce pic and caption)

We kept to the left in the Woodhaugh Gardens circumnavigating the duck pond by proceeding along a bush track and stopped at 10. 00 am for morning tea near the paddling pool.

Morning tea at Woodhaugh (Bruce pic and caption)

Morning tea at Woodhaugh (Bruce pic and caption)

Morning tea at Woodhaugh. (Bruce pic and caption)

Morning tea at Woodhaugh. (Bruce pic and caption)

We then followed the path near the right bank of the Leith to Malvern Street, crossing at the bridge and turning left opposite the building that was originally the Woodhaugh Hotel into Woodhaugh Street. We followed the track on the left on the left bank of the Leith Stream and passed an excavator at work clearing the boulder trap built in 1963. We ambled along the track up the valley past the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s property before crossing the foot bridge and continuing to the site of the disused Woodhaugh Quarry and the explosives store. Our path continued up the valley and along the true right side of the Ross Creek reservoir (facing down the valley) after which we crossed the bridge over Ross Creek and after proceeding about 300 m down the true left side of the reservoir took the track uphill on the left. Where this branched after another 100 m or so we turned to a relatively new and level track to the left which later passed close to some rimu trees before swinging right and coming out on the grassed area below the Craigieburn cow byre. After passing the byre and the left hand end of the stone wall further ahead we stopped at Tanner View at 11.40 am for lunch. After lunch we turned to the right on the track and then, at a sign, to the left passed the cobbled road to the little ruin.

Little ruin at Craigieburn. (Bruce pic and caption)

Little ruin at Craigieburn. (Bruce pic and caption)

From the ruin we took the track to the rimu forest eventually emerging at the bridge at the top of the Ross Creek reservoir that we had crossed earlier. We made our way down the left hand side of the reservoir and then followed our earlier route back to the gardens,

Group photo Woodhaugh Gardens. (Bruce pic and caption)

Group photo Woodhaugh Gardens. (Bruce pic and caption)

reaching Crocodile at 2.10 pm where many stopped for refreshments.

– Bruce and Marjorie

22. 25/3/2015. Hikers. Ross Creek and McGouns Track. Leaders: Pam and Dawn.
GPS of Hikers' route

GPS of Hikers’ route

The hike was planned well. First, we parked our cars at the beginning of Malvern Street. Pam and Dawn  then led us into the Upper Leith Walkway
Upper Leith Walkway (John pic)

Upper Leith Walkway recent sign. (John pic)

that runs alongside Woodhaugh Street till we came to and crossed the large footbridge onto the other side of the Leith and through the old quarry that lies under the cliffs that bound the north end of Maori Hill, where Braeview Crescent runs along their top. The path then twisted us up into Ross Creek, with cliffs now on our right marking the boundary of Rockside Road houses above. On and up until very steeply up to crest the big earth dam (that is scheduled to be reinforced some time) of Ross Creek Reservoir.
Plaque. Ross Creek Water Works. (Jphn pic)

Plaque. Ross Creek Water Works. (John pic)

Meantime the water level is kept remarkably low to relieve stress on the dam wall. Morning tea was up at the second part of the reservoir, which we found to be surprisingly set up for water polo, but absent any players.
Morning tea. (John pic.)

Taken by the morning tea stop. Unusual dewatered view of reservoir. (John pic.)

Then on up through the bush tracks. We passed through the Craigieburn area…
The Little Ruin. (John pic)

The Little Ruin. (John pic)

…to emerge at the intersection below Booth Road. This was an important regrouping point before Pam led us on through a gate…
A new McGouns Track sign. (John pic)

A new McGouns Track sign at entrance to McGouns Road. (John pic)

into McGouns Road leading to the start of the McGouns track. This took us across to the Pineapple Track and back down to Booth Road.
Back into the top of Ross Creek bush, but this time up to…
Tanners View sign. (John pic)

Tanners View sign. (John pic)

… the old cow byre …
Tanners View (John pic)

Old Cow Byre (John pic)

Lunch (John pic)

Lunch on old cow byre site. (John pic)

…for lunch.

After lunch it was simply back out and down through the Ross Creek environs to the cars.

Thanks to Pam and Dawn for a well planned hike. – Ian.
21. 12/6/2013. Hikers. Ross Creek and surrounds. Leaders: Lex and Fred.

Route. 9.65km

We parked our cars at the north end of Burma Road. Lex led us through the bush to exit up on Tannock Road. Along a bit and down Leighton Road to  morning tea in the grassy reserve at the road’s end.
Then back along Tannock Road, (just past 1km on map) down through the bush and along the reservoir to the dam at its end. It was a shock to see how much the water had been lowered.
Low water

Low water in Ross Creek Reservoir.

Of course, because of the cracks that have been detected in the earth dam.

Looking down

Looking down the dam face to cleared bush below.

We crossed the dam, turned left and down to walk past the cleared bush site …

Looking up

Looking back up the face of the dam.

and on down to reach the junction of Rockside Road at its bottom and Malvern street. (2km mark on map)

Then it was to walk leisurely up Malvern Street, stopping for Lex to point out various interests on the way. What surprised ss was a string of tall posts diagonally across the Leith above the first set of houses we passed. We thought it might be to trap flood debris.

Just further up Lex pointed out a weir, immediately below which he used to swim in when a small boy. Ian and Lex talked about the Clark family house that used to be across the locked pedestrian bridge overlooking the weir.

Then it was yet further up to the old Jacksons’ beautiful stone house when Ian recalled, (as a boy in company with others) stealing  cream out of a jar left to cool in the clear cooling water of a ditch, replacing what was removed with water. Just a bit further up, at the foot of Fulton Rd was the house of the late artist Eana B Jeans with only the gate of Ian’s old home showing a sort distance up Fulton Road. On up, to turn from Malvern Street up to the left onto Islay Street, (Beyond 4km mark on map) upon which, in a sunny spot, we stopped for lunch, just above the road connecting across to Fulton Road. Ian and Lex recalled calling the three roads the steepy (Fulton), the toppy (Islay) and the greeny (the connecting less-used road, now (surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly) closed.


Lunch on a bank in the sun on Islay Street.

At the top, opposite Lex’s childhood house we went over to the former plantation road (nr 5km mark on map) that led to the start of the McGoun Track and stopped to view the stone cairn 1996 Tannock memorial. Further on and up until we reached the top of the (comparatively) recent set of mountain bike tracks (2/3 of way to the 6km mark). These we took, zig-zagging down to reach the large car-park at the end of Wakari Road. (7m mark) It was here that one or two of our party of 17 elected to take a short cut down to the cars while Lex took the rest of us along Wakari Road, past the end of Polewarth Road to turn down Joshua Place (a bit before the 8km mark) and from the along to a track that led us back to Polewarth Road. This we turned down heading for Burma Road at its other end, until called back by some at the rear who had noticed a dog worrying a flock of sheep in a paddock. We cell-phoned the DCC to inform them of such, along with the dog’s registered number. – Good deed for the day. Then on down Polewarth Rd to join the Burma Rd (abt 9km mark) and along it back to the cars. Thanks to Lex and Fred for yet a further novel changed route – and the chocs! – Ian.

20. 24/10/2012. Hikers, Ross Creek. Leaders: Lance and Lois.

19. 30/5/2012. Hikers. Wakari Road. Cycle Tracks etc. Ross Creek. Leaders: Lex, Jill.

18. 25/5/2011. Hikers. Ross Creek area. E. Leaders: Lex, Molly
17. 21/7/2010. Hikers. Ross Creek area. New track. E. Leaders: Lex, Graham
16. 26/3/2008. Hikers. Ross Creek. Easy. Leaders: Lex, Jean.
In Ross Creek

In Ross Creek

As we’ve come to expect, Wed. was fine and 15 happy hikers parked by the Meter House, near the corner of Wakari & Burma Rds, ready to set off on the Ross Creek area and tracks.

Lex was our leader, and as he lived in that region from childhood he is very knowledgeable about the territory, which makes a popular walk even more interesting. We did various tracks through the lovely bush, stopping every now and then for Lex to tell us about some trees that had been planted and trialled, or other things of interest about that part. It was lovely to hear so many birds whistling and singing cheerily all round us. So often these days one is very disappointed at the lack of birdsong in a region where once you would have heard them. We arrived at Prospect Park

Lunch at Prospect Park

Lunch at Prospect Park

View from the Bullock Track

View from the Bullock Track

via bush and road and relaxed and soaked up the sun while enjoying our lunch. Then it was off down the Bullock Track to the lovely little trail along the Leith Stream through the old Woodhaugh Quarry area. From there it was back up one of the bush tracks to the cars. A lovely pleasant day out, as usual. – Bev Harvey

15. 26/3/2008 Leaders: Lex, Jean A

14. 14/11/2007 Trampers. Woodhaugh, Ross Creek, Davies, Flagstaff Track, Pineapple, Ross Creek return.

13. 21/2/2007. Hikers. Ross Creek, McGouns Track. Easy. Leaders: Lex, Dot B.
12. 14/7/2006. Ross Creek Reserve – Woodhaugh. Leaders: Doreen, Rosemary and Jack.
11. 28/9/2005. Hikers. Ross Creek. Leaders: Betty B, Nelson T
10. 13/10/2004 Ross Creek, Burma Road. Leaders: Lex, Doug M, Margaret D

Tree canopy

9. 2/10/2002. Combined. Ross Creek, Burma Road. Easy. Leaders: Lex, Doug M, Evelyn C.

8. 1/10/2001. Alt. Ross Creek – Cannington Road. Leaders: Joan H, Jean, Peggy M.
7. 18/4/2001. Ross Creek. Leaders: Bev and Ivan, Peggy M.
6. 24/11/1999. Ross Creek area. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Jean.
5. 8/9/1999. Rose Creek Reserve. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Jean.
4. 29/7/1998. Ross Creek, John McGlashan. Leaders: Ivan and Rosemary.
3. 19/11/1997. Ross Creek, School Creek from McGlashan College. Leaders: Bev and Ivan.
2. 7/8/1991. Ross Creek area from John McGlashan College. Easy. Leaders: Nel, Margaret B, Ivan, Margaret D.
1. 13/6/1990. Ross Creek and School Creek from John McGlashan College. Easy. Leaders: Margaret S, Joan, Jean and Jack.

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Oct 18 2017

West Coast Bike Trip

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Oct, 2017. West Coast Bike Trip.

Nine happy bikers, set off for the Coast.

To do the famous Wilderness trail- not that we will boast.

First to Kaniere, to drop off all our gear.

At a cottage in the bush – and then we had a beer.

A barbecue for dinner (after happy hour)

Then off to bed we all did go – we needed muscle power.


The morning dawned quite sunny, so down to Ross we drove.

To climb upon our bicycles, feeling fit, by jove.

The trail was good to start with, but then there came a hitch.

Jill and bike fell off the trail, right into a ditch. (A wet one)

Up she got, and carried on, but oops, what’s happened now?

A conveyor belt was in the way, right across our bow.

The track was closed, or so they said, to build a bridge one day.

We couldn’t let that stop us! We had to find a way.

The brave, strong men took over. They carried all across.

A dangerous operation, we did it without loss.


To Hokitika we did come, eventually, at last.

And had some lunch, ‘twas well deserved – we really went quite fast.

That unisex toilet, was a wonder to our eyes,

A mural weird and wonderful, it really took the prize.


After lunch we carried on, mostly up-hill now.

At last we reached the cottage, I really don’t know how.

Another night of merriment, more good food and wine,

And in the morning, oh alas, the weather wasn’t fine!

The vehicles taken down the road, Kumara was the goal,

The rain it stopped, the sun came out, and we were on a roll!


Up we went, and up – and up.  Judy’s turn to fall –

Right off the trail, it was quite steep, her bike it did a stall.

To Cowboy Paradise we came, I think they’ve got it wrong.

We weren’t even greeted, with rodeo or song.


We carried on, and on and on, mostly now it’s down.

But oops, where’s Keith?  He’s lost the trail, what a silly clown!

At last we’re sorted out again – don’t need another stunt.

But what’s this Dave, you silly B, your helmet’s back to front!


Kumara was a welcome sight, comfy huts and all.

And yummy dinner in the pub, we really had a ball.

The final day was misty, and cold about the knees,

But we didn’t seem to mind it, as we zipped among the trees.

Easy riding all the way, right beside the road.

And then along beside the beach, the ocean ebbed and flowed.

Into Greymouth at top speed, Jim and Betty first.

Thinking they were at the back, they (almost) boilers burst!

Nine happy bikers, aches and pains galore,

Headed home with smiles, wishing there was more. – Judy.

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Sep 20 2017

Portsmouth Drive to Marina

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17 km from car park.

3, 20/9/2017. Hikers. Portsmouth Drive to Marina. E. Leaders: Judy and Dorothy.

Twelve harbour strollers, went to Andy Bay.
We parked beside the inlet – it was a windy day.
Along the Portsmouth Drive we went, trudging in a row.
We passed the harbour molars, and onward we did go.

A sunny sheltered spot was found, and morning tea was had,
Relaxing in the sunshine, it wasn’t half too bad.
Then on we went, around the wharves, and round the harbour basin –
We found that walking in the wind, was really somewhat bracin’.

We viewed the plaque in memory of “Neptune”, sunk in war.
She hit a minefield in the Med, and then she was no more.

We passed the Neptune memorial at the wharf and some members were able to point to the names of loved ones who were involved in this tragedy. (Clive pic and caption.)

On we went and onwards, across the Leith we strode,
Then Clive led us along the groyne, to where the water flowed.

We took a walk out on the groyne at the boat harbour and nearly got blown away in the 20 knot winds. (Clive pic and caption.)

Back around the boat harbour, some picnic tables found,
For lunch and chatter in the sun, then homeward we were bound.

Lunch outside the Yachting Club. (Raewyn pic and caption.)

A cracking pace was soon set up, the wind was at our backs.
Perhaps the increase in our pace, was due to lighter packs?
We viewed a lot of logging trucks, a queue a mile long –
Sending all those logs away, we feel it is quite wrong.

A photo stop was taken, beside the harbour molars –
And so we coined the title, “The Mosgiel Harbour Strollers.”

The Molar strollers. (Clive pic and caption.)

The cars in view, we stepped it out and headed fast for home.
A coffee stop at Blackstone – and then I wrote this “pome”….
(Well, try to find a better rhyme!) – Judy.

Stats for the day: 11.7 kms; 3 hours and 4 minutes walking time; 480 calories. – Clive.

2. 14/1/2015. Hikers. Portsmouth Drive to Marina. E. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.

GPS of route

GPS of route

We parked in the carpark by the Bayfield High School. And 21 of us set out.

Some of us waited while others investigate the doings of a suspect prowler.

The bulk of us waiting for others investigate the doings of a suspect prowler back a the carpark and to call the police to investigate. Helen found a passing cyclist friend to chat to.

We walked along Portsmouth Drive past the molars, turned down Kitchener St, huggiing the harbour edge and stopped off for morning tea.

Sheltering from a cold wind for morning tea.

Sheltering from a cold wind for morning tea.

Carrying on, we turned round into Birch St, across the top of the harbour basin then down along Fryatt St almost to its end. Then it was up Wickliffe St, across the railway overbridge, briefly on Anzac Avenue, down Parry …


Skirting the Statium.

Skirting the Stadium.

…and Minerva Streets to cross the Leith on SH88 bridge, and on the north side to turn under the bridge and out along Magnet St to get to our lunch stop at the Marina.


Again sheltering from a cool wind, this time for lunch.

On our return, we walked the length of Anzac avenue. Then onto the railway station platform, where Dorothy performed a most believable but all too brief strut down the catwalk. Out at the other side, on past Toitu Settlers Museum and along the grassy verge ahead where we stopped, briefly thwarted by the railway bridge overpass pathless on-ramp ahead. So it was across all four laned SH1 Cumberland St, with the assistance of the lights further back. This safely accomplished, it was Les and Peter led us up Water St, along Vogel St, back down Jetty St and onto the pedestrial spiral ramp to get us onto the bridge. Then via Birch St, Buller St and French St we rejoined Kitchener St which took us back out onto Portsmouth Dr and back to the cars. From talking to one or two others, I must say coming to the end of eleven kilometres on hard pavement had taken its toll of leg muscles, on this the first tramp after the holidays. A good walk, not too hot or windy. Thanks to Peter and Wendy for a good start to the year. – Ian.

1. 20/11/2013. Hikers. Midland St, Portsmouth Drive to Marina. Leaders: Bev and Chris.



The walk was most inventive and interesting, leading us along back streets few of us had ventured on before. We parked at the bottom of Midland Street where we could cross onto Portsmouth Drive with the safety assistance of traffic lights. The laying of cable along the walkway forced us onto a less inviting traffic-coned path along the road till we returned to the walkway at the molars.


Molars. The 20 of us are almost all in the pic.

A little further on we turned down to the length of Kitchener St turning left up at its end into Birch St to join Wharf St esplanade and have morning tea on the seats, to admire the inner harbour view as well as a gentleman, lent back on a camp seat, fishing, hat over face, asleep.

A happy surprise was Lex sharing round chocolate marshmellows in anticipation of his 85th birthday the following day.

Then it was up and on again, down virtually the entire length of Fryatt St to turn left up Wickliffe Street and over the elderly railway overhead bridge, down the other side to the right, and to stop and admire (?) the special road-coned entrance/egress of Hall’s work-yard and the still-hooded traffic lights. We gingerly made it across Anzac Ave, across Frederick St, back again across Anzac Ave to join Parry St, make way across the SH88 Leith Bridge very wide pedestrian walkway, down, back, under the bridge and along Magnet St. (4 km)

and the Harbour Walkway (5 and 6 kms) to lunch at the northern end of the map in what shelter we could find from the nor-easterly wind.

We retraced our steps to the SH88 Bridge underpass, this time following the Leith bank up to Anzac Ave (7 and 8 kms)

which we followed right to the St Andrew St lights where we turned down along it to the roundabout, followed Mason St, then into Tewsley St and into Fryatt St to retrace our route alongside Wharf St (9 km), Birch St, Kitchener St and Portsmouth Drive back to the cars.  11 km in all. The harbour wind-blast along Portsmouth Drive almost blew us off our feet. Many thanks to Bev and Chris for a varied and interesting streets exploration around a corner of the harbour. – Ian.

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Sep 13 2017

Street Walk – Willowbank-Opoho area.

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13/9/2017. Street Walk – Willowbank-Opoho. E. Leaders: Lester and Peter B.
After some difficulty in finding car parks in Duke St, 18 Hikers began their walk with a look at the Wilson’s Distillery at Willowbank.We then made our way via George, Duke & Queen streets

View half-way along Queen Street North (just off Duke Street). Nelson Mandela? Martin Luther King? Opinions divided. House directly in front, plus two to the left (one out of sight) originally all one. Two to the left were disconnected and moved to the street front. (Ian pic and caption.)

to our morning tea stop at Woodhaugh Gardens.

With everyone refreshed,we continued on our journey to North Rd where we split into 2 groups, the first group going up Glendining Ave, while the second (and much fitter} group went up Chambers St. When we met up again at Arden St, Lester asked the Finnies what they had seen on their climb, and they both said THE FOOTPATH.

Our next stop was a visit to Knox College,where ‘Deputy Master’ Caroline gave us a woderful guided tour of Knox for the next hour. This was particularly interesting for Ian, as his parents had both worked at the college about the time he was born.

Carolyn was happy to take a group photo of us on the front steps. (Ian pic and caption.)

Looking down the stair well from the 3rd floor. There was still two more flights up the tower to go. (Ian pic and caption.)

Ah! On the top. Santa Sabina Convent (now commercial apartments, which we didn’t explore due to time constraints)  straight ahead. (Ian pic and caption.)

Onwards and upwards, we headed to the Gardens for lunch. Margaret and Molly joined us here. After lunch, it was a short walk up to the new Propagating Unit, where Alice took us into the various rooms, each with >a different temperature and all the latest watering equipment.

It was all down hill from there, with the coffee drinkers calling into the Kiosk to conclude the day’s activities. A big thanks to Lester,as he had obviously done a lot of preparation in making this such an enjoyable day. -Peter B.
18 Hikers walked the Willowbank-Opoho area. Many places of interest were explained. Morning tea was enjoyed in the Woodhaugh Gardens.
Down North Road where half our group went up Glendenning Avenue and the other half up Chambers Street to report in Arden Street at the top on the merits of each.
Down to Knox College for a great conducted tour, …… with Ian adding his family connections back in the early 1930s period.
Then up to Hatfield Street to look at the spiral chimney and gate posts of a property. Lunch in the upper Gardens where we added 2 more Hikers.
After a tour of the Propagation Unit, we headed down to the lower Gardens for coffee.
Great weather, company and walk, with many interesting places. A really enjoyable day. – Lester. [Report supplied by one who never reads them and wishes he had never taken up with emails and the internet! We were all impressed by the many property features Lester pointed out to us. Thank you, Lester. – Ed.]


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Aug 30 2017

Clarksbrae, Clarks Junction

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35 km

30 August, 2017. Hikers. Clarksbrae, Clarks Junction. Leaders: Jay and Jan.

Tramp Report from the hikers group.  Our walk today comprising of 21 enthusiastic  folk started at “Clarksbrae” Farm, Clarks Junction. Farm owner, Richard Nichol gave permission to us to walk along the stock lane way which was very comfortable under foot.   The walk was a gentle climb with three steep short gullies to get the heart rate up a bit. Very doable for all concerned.  The scenery encompassed The Maungatua, the Lammermoors, the Rock and Pillar Range and the Kakanui Range.  We had lunch at the trig station which gave us 360 degrees views. The walk back was all down hill. All up we walked 10.3ks.  – Jay and Jan.

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Aug 23 2017

Gardens to Surf

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2. 23/8/2017. Hikers. Gardens to Surf. E. Leaders: Pam and Dawn.

We Parked our cars in Duke Street, near the Woodhaugh gardens.  22 members started off.  We walked through the Varsity and had morning tea at the Polytech outdoor area.   Walked along Portsmouth Drive to Queens Drive down to St Kilda beach.   Walked along playing fields and some track to picnic area above beach, where we had our lunch.   We then continued on to St Clair, via street and caught the bus back to the Botanical gardens where we enjoyed a hot drink. Back to our cars and home to Mosgiel by 3.45pm.  A very enjoyable day was had by all. – Dawn.

1. 19/8/2015. Hikers. Gardens to Surf.
We had a good day walking from the Botanic Gardens…

Gardens (John pic)

Gardens (John pic)

Lunch panorama (John pic)

Morning tea behind the railway station. Panorama. (John pic)

…to St Kilda beach…

Sand logs? (John pic)

Sand logs? (John pic)

…and along the beach to St Clair. I had not been on the beach since the June storms and was blown away by the damage to the beach.

Rocks (John pic)

Rocks (John pic)

The piles…

Groynes (John pic)

Piles (John pic)

…are nearly all bent over by St Clair. Thank goodness I have done 3 paintings of the piles. Judy Knox was on TV Wed. night and did a very good interview on the local TV channel.
We all went back on the bus to the Gardens and all (I think) 27 of us didn’t pay. I think the bus driver got a bit of a surprise. – Elaine. [An unintended report, purloined from an email. – Ed]

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Aug 16 2017

Edgar Centre to Rotary Park, return.

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1. Edgar Centre to Rotary Park, return. Hikers. E. Leaders: Judy and Adrienne.

(Adrienne pic.)

(Adrienne pic)

26 hikers met at the Edgar Centre carpark in clear sunshine after a frosty start to the morning.  We walked along Portsmouth Drive a short way to the Bayfield sports fields for a leisurely morning tea on the comfortable eats in front of the pavilion.

From there it was another short leg to the bus stop at the bottom of Silverton Street, where we boarded the bus for the ride up to the Shiel Hill terminal.   Another short walk took us further up the hill and across the road into Rotary Park for an early lunch.  A lazy breeze found us well spread out, seeking sunshine and shelter – hard to find both.  The views of the city and harbour are magnificent from this park.

Soon we were joined by Les and Margaret, with welcome birthday chocolates – thankyou!  It was good to see Les up and about again after a bout of pneumonia.

Unfortunately it was a bit too cool for the proposed lengthy lunch and sunbathe, so by midday we were off again for the walk down the hill, via McKerrow St, Larnach Rd and Shandon Rd to the top of Arthurs Walk.  With knees creaking a bit we descended the many steps down to Portobello Rd, and so back to the cars, and coffee at Nichols.

Judy and Adrienne

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Mar 22 2017

Flood Bank Otokia to Allanton

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1. 22/3/2017. Flood bank walk from Otokia to Allanton. E. Leaders: Lester and Ian.

Route Map, Flood Bank Otokia to Allanton, courtesy Clive.

This flood bank walk from Otokia to Allanton was a first for the Club. It was Lester’s idea, with his knowledge of the Taieri River plain, to vary from the programmed regular one from Allanton to Outram.We had to car-shuttle. We parked our cars on a property at the end of Otokia East Road, by kind permission of a grandson of Dr Alex Luke. The weather was mild. We climbed onto the flood bank. 25 of us were away.

The Taieri River at Otokia. (Clive pic and caption.)

Lester had arranged for us to have morning tea in Mrs Mason’s attractive woodland property, which although alongside Centre Road was still a paddock or two distant from the flood bank on the day. How to get there? The leaders hadn’t worked that out. Barb wire fences in way as we moved on, looking for a way through. None. But who’s this?  Mrs Mason hurrying across the paddocks to us, wondering why we hadn’t turned up. Lester went back to talk to her while we waited, but this writer is ignorant of what transpired. Oh dear!

Too late now.  So a stop on the flood bank instead.

Morning tea on the stop bank at Otokia. (Clive pic and caption.)

Many gates on the way made for frequent stopping, opening and closing. Along with the level terrain. these rest opportunities  enabled everyone to complete the distance.

The lunch stop at Lenny Miller’s worked out more happily. On a lawn! A close-knit hedge sheltered us from a cool wind that had come up from behind us.

Lunch on lawn, courtesy Lenny Miller. (Ian pic and caption.)

Then it was on to Allanton. The leaders had warned about long grass to wade through, but as it turned out a top-dresser truck had just preceded us on that morning, and flattened an easy route for us instead.

Looking North along the stop bank towards Saddle Hill. (Clive pic and caption.)

So we reached the Allanton Bridge. Distance being  7.75 km by Nike app or 8.9 km by  a steps app. But here, a second reece neglect. The leaders had not checked whether there was a gate available across the road to enable continuing along the flood to the sale yards. Discussion. Eventually it was decided to walk down, under the bridge back up on the other side. Apparently there was some electric fencing to encounter. This writer, being a driver, was driven back to collect his car and meet up with his passengers at the sale yards. From there, we went on to ‘coffee’ at the Topiary Cafe. – Ian.




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Feb 22 2017

Tramps associated with the Whare Flat Schoolhouse

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No. 57 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Trig Q from Whare Flat. N Strang. Key from WEA. Year Round”

30. 22/2/2017. Hikers. Whare Flat. Leaders: Peter D, Janice.

Whare Flat/McRaes Weir (not quite) Wednesday 22nd Feb

26 happy hikers on a lovely sunny morning – what could go wrong?

Seven opted to drive up to the locked gate on Rollinson Rd and walk on to the start of the Steve Amies Track, where they enjoyed a pleasant amble to the picnic area and a leisurely lunch in the sun, before returning to the cars and off to Topiary for the usual coffee stop.

Little did they know of the drama that was developing below….

The other 19 left the cars at the park near the pump house, and set off up the track on the steep grunt that takes longer but avoids the water crossing and the possibility of wet feet.

However, Ian opted to do the shorter, easier version, risking wet boots, and meeting us in the clearing just past the swing bridge.

Ian reached the clearing safely and with plenty of time. In his own words –

’Ho hum. Oh! Time to get out the puffer and see how it might get me up the next climb and manage to avoid that first 5 min. heavy breathing before the blood vessels adjust and let me get away. Bummer.

(I had not used it for ever so long as usually I remember when it’s too late to use. It’s worked well on earlier occasions, but not in this case, standing, waiting, for such a long time before climbing.)

Started to feel faint. Got worse. Lay down, ended looking like a wee gnome in the grass, as one of you said. The rest you know better than I do!!!’

So, here was Ian, looking worse by the minute. While he was attended to by those with medical experience, we debated the options.

  1. Cell phone call for help. No signal.
  2. Use the locator beacon. Was there enough room for a chopper to land? Debatable.
  3. Go back to the cars and phone for an ambulance.

It seemed at this point that Ian was recovering – his colour was better and he was lucid. Two people set off for the cars. Over the swing bridge and just past the gate to the road they realised the house on the right was occupied. But no landline and still no cell phone coverage. The wonderful lady (who had a key to the gate!) drove them out to the cars. One went on to get coverage and call for help. The other returned, to find that Ian’s condition had worsened, necessitating CPR. Gulp. Back down the road – kind lady again drove. The police car was met at the (un)locked gate and immediately radioed URGENT to the ambulance.

Things happened fast. In just over an hour from Ian’s collapse the ambulance was at the swing bridge and Ian was stabilised and stretchered across the bridge, and off to A & E.

It was now 11.30 and we were all rather shell-shocked. Five decided to call it a day. Two went to break the news to Shirley, and the other three heading home.
The remaining 13 headed up the track to the next clearing where a very sober lunch was had. Then up the track we climbed to McRaes Weir Track. It was decided that the weir could wait for another day, and we headed back along the race track to the road and down to the cars, with rain starting to fall and the track becoming muddy and slippery.

Coffee at Topiary was welcome!
Thanks to everyone for the able assistance that was provided in so many ways. Ian is fine – he had a reaction to the ‘puffer’ and after tests and checks, was allowed home that evening.


  1. IF for any reason the group SPLITS, there must be at least TWO PEOPLE and preferably FOUR so that in the event of an emergency, one can stay with the ‘victim’, and two go for help. The same should apply to anyone deciding to turn back and in future this needs to be enforced by the leader.
  2. In a later debrief with Police, we were praised for the efficient handling of the situation. However, they said that we should never hesitate to use the beacon because a few precious minutes could be saved. On the beacon signal, our precise position is shown and authorities can then make the decision as to which services to use. So in future, no hesitation! Better a false alarm than a death.

29. 1/5/2013 Both. Steve Amies. Leaders: Ian and George.

This time we left from the schoolhouse, making it more of a road walk. We had morning tea on the lower  Rollinson Rd and lunch in the track clearers’ picnic area, after inspecting the helicopter landing pad a little beyond.

As we returned down the road, we were surprised to see the helicopter, and shortly after the tank truck making their way towards where we had been. Apparently this was the day to carry out the weed spraying we had been notified about – and we were now making a timely exit. A tramp for 25 of us and of 10.5 km according to Peter’s pedometer and 25. – Ian.

26. 15/6/2011. Trampers. Schoolhouse, Tunnels, McRaes, Racemans, ret. Medium.

Plan 1: Swampy to Green Hill via Sleepy Hollow. Cold winds too fierce on tops.
Plan 2. Schoolhouse, Little Coal Creek, Steve Amies. But wet weather meant steep tracks would be too slippery and dangerous.
Plan 3. The actual tramp (see above). – Racemans level and safer, (except for the gradual Tunnels ascent/descents). However wet tree roots still had to be carefully negotiated.
Although rain for a start, but it soon went off and only drippy bush had to be endured. Track still muddy in places, but in many places a grand avenue and well cleared. Seven of us ventured out and enjoyed what looked at first to have been an unpromising day. – Ian.

GPS of route. Courtesy, Ken. (Route double-tracked for some inexplicable reason.)

12.33 p.m. Ready to return from lunch spot on Racemans.

2.23 p.m. Top of Tunnels track. Rest stop on pine-needles on return.

6. 23/10/1996. Trig Q. Average. Leaders: Margaret and Les, Doug J.

5. 7/6/1995 Trig Q from Whare Flat School. Medium+. Shorter trip available. Leaders: Bob H, George, Jack R, Nancy


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Feb 15 2017

Tomahawk and surrounding area combinations.

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34. 15/2/2017. Trampers. Highciff Road, Karetai Road, Highcliff Track, Paradise ‘Road’, Highcliff Road.

Our tramp started on Highcliff road. 11 of us today. Lovely
to see Judy out again, also Bruce after his holiday. Also
back again was Neil number 3 after an outing with us last
Along Karatei Road to McMeeking Road and past farmhouse. Got
onto Highcliff track after our morning tea.

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

Some stunning views of Boulder beach,

Boulder Beach. (Helen pic and caption.)

farmland and the coastline. Along the side of the hill

Along the side of the hill. (Helen pic and caption.)

and down to not quite the beach.  It was closed for the penguins.
Passed the old houses and onto Paradise  track up to the
road having lunch on the way.
Up the road then and back to our cars. Decided to go to the
pool cafe at St Clair for our coffee debrief. A lovely tramp
all up. – Helen.

33. 8/6/2016. Hikers: Tomahawk/Smaills Beach. E. Leaders: Judy and Jay.

Nike Route Map.

Hikers’ Nike app Route Map.

A fine frosty morning found 30 hikers heading for the crematorium carpark.  We wandered down the track from the carpark corner out onto Tomahawk Road, and along to the Tomahawk School (now closed) for morning tea.
Unfortunately the planned walk up between the two lagoons could not be followed due to a last minute refusal from the land-owner.  So instead of a round trip, we turned into Oregon St and followed the track around the north lagoon, a pleasant walk in the bush.  The swans on the lagoon made a great sight (and noise) as they lumbered across the still waters and took flight from our invasion.
Across the style, and then a short climb up though the bush to a second style.  18 keen types carried on up the fence line for another 10 minutes, enjoying the views on such a marvellous morning.  (This track continues on up to the Soldiers’ Monument on Highcliff Rd.)

Calm lagoon, from Peg 14 track. (Sharyn pic.)

Calm lagoon, from 41 Peg track. (Sharyn pic.)

The rest wandered back down the track to wait at the picnic tables for the others to return.
Then it was back out to Tomahawk Rd, and a long pull up the hill past the gun emplacements, …

White Island, from gun emplacements.

Islet off Smaills Beach, taken  from WWII gun emplacements area.

… across the Centre Rd junction and down to the Tautuku Fisherman’s Lodge …

The notable Glen Cairn stone house. Originally owned by the Smaill family, early 1880 settlers in the area. (Sharyn pic.)

The notable Glen Cairn stone house. Built by the Smaill family, early 1880s settlers in the area. (Sharyn pic.)

… for lunch.  With no-one in residence there we had to crawl under the barrier arm and across the cattle stop, a good exercise in balance!
After a leisurely lunch,

Leisurely lunch. (Judy pic.)

Leisurely lunch at the Lodge. Where’s Fred off to with his chocs? (Judy pic.)

Ah, here's Fred. Good one!. Gotcha!. (Judy pic.)

Ah, here he is. Gotcha! Good one! Thanks, Fred, for the weekly treats. (Judy pic.)

it was back up the hill to the bus terminus, then through the track to the sand-hills and down to the beach.  A good low tide allowed some to explore the cave …

Exploring small cave at northern end of Tomahawk Beach. (Adrienne pic.)

Exploring small cave at northern end of Tomahawk Beach. (Adrienne pic.)

… at the end of the beach before proceeding to the far end, then out to the road and back up to the cars.
Coffee at Nicholls was enjoyed before it got too cold to hang around!
– Judy and Jay.

32. 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.

31. 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. (Ken pic and caption.)

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 Another shot of the intruder. (Ken pic and caption.)

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. (Ken pic and caption.)

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

30. 24/6/2015. Trampers. Tomahawk – Memorial – Karetai Road.
walked 12.1km
2h 56min
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 on ice. (Eleanor pic.)

… or swans trying to get out of frozen water?

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.

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…

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.)

… 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.
29. 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.

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

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.

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.

28. 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.)

View of city from Soldiers Memorial. (Lester pic)

27/9/2012. Trampers. Smaills Beach, Karetai Road, Highcliff Track, Boulder Beach, Paradise Track, Highcliff Road, Karetai Road.

Topo map of area.


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

26. 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.
25. 23/9/2009. Hikers. Tomahawk, Centre Road. Medium. Leaders Arthur and Barbara.
24. 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.

23. 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.
22. 25/7/2007. Trampers. Tomahawk Lagoon, Soldiers Memorial. Moderate. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.

21. 14/2/2007. Trampers. Boulder Beach, Karetai, Tomahawk Lagoon. Medium. Leaders; Bruce and Marjorie.

20. 31/1/2007. Hikers. Tomahawk Lagoon. Easy. Leaders: Jean, Mary M.

19. 13/4/2005. Hikers. Tomahawk Lagoon. Leaders: Rosemary and Jack.

18. 3/12/2003. Hikers: Tomahawk Lagoon. Medium. Leaders: Colleen, Dot T

17. 29/10/2003. Hikers. Tomahawk Lagoon. Easy. Leaders: Joan H, Chris.

16. 14/5/2003 Hikers. Karetai Road, Boulder Beach. Medium.Leaders: Colleen, Betty.

15. 11/4/2002 Tomahawk Lagoon. Leaders: Ray, Les W

14. 20/3/2002. Alt. Tomahawk Lagoon, Karetai Road, Smaills Beach. Medium. Leaders: Lance and Lois.

13. 15/8/2001. Alt. Tomahawk, Karetai. Leaders: Nancy, Val, Peg C.

12. 11/4/2001. Tomahawk Lagoon. Leaders: Diana and Ray, Les W.

11. 19/7/2000. Boulder Beach, Karetai Road. Leaders: Jean, Chris, Joan H.

10. 23/2/2000. Tomahawk Lagoon, Centre Road. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara, Ria H.

9. 30/6/1999 Tomahawk Lagoon. Centre Road. Leaders: Jean Y, Denise, Eleanor W

8. 12/8/1998. Highcliff Centre Road from Lagoon. Leaders: Molly, Frank.

7. 18/3/1998. Tomahawk Lagoon, Centre Road round trip. Leaders: Jean, Ria H.

6. 9/7/1997. Tomahawk Lagoon, Monument, Highcliff Road, Karetai Road Leaders: Chris, Ria H, Jean.

5. 18/9/1996. Tomahawk Lagoon. Leaders: Chris, Joan H, Ngaire.

4. 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

3. 8/7/1992.  Tomahawk Lagoon, Karetai Road, Centre Road. Average. Leaders: Ria H, Jean A, Bev H, Merle
2. 7/3/1991. Cars park Karetai Road Car Park. Karetai Road from car park. A good peninsula walk. Leaders: Daphne, Margaret S, Les

1. 12/7/1989 Centre Road, Highcliff. Average +. Leaders: Kees & Ria, Diana
B, Ria H

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