Mar 16 2019

Upcoming Trips

Published by under Uncategorized

2019

Summer Start Time: 9.00 a.m.

20 March.
Trampers: Mahinerangi area. A new tramp. Thornicroft Station. Amongst the wind turbines. M-H. $9.00. Jill R and Sue.
Hikers: Water Fall, Ross Creek. E. $4.00. Pam and Jill.

27 March.
Trampers: Ship at Anchor. M-H. $12.00. Arthur.
Hikers: Split Rock, Seacliff. E. $10.00. Jan B and Jay. Karitane area. $11.00. Leader: Judy.

3 April.
Both: Daisy Bank to Hyde. Bus. E. Bob. Continue Reading »

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Mar 16 2019

Tramps associated with Saddle Hill, (Makamaka)

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers,Hikers,Trampers and tagged: ,

[No. 7 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Creamery Rd. Ocean View. C Hughes. Farm. Lambing.”
Not during lambing September to October.
USE STILE AT END OF CREAMERY ROAD.
No. 84 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Taieri View (Blairs) (East Taieri) Farm”
No. 104 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Old Brighton Rd – Clevelands – Saddle Hill (See George Haggie) Farm”]

40. 16/3/2019. Hikers. Saddle Hill. Leaders: Bob and Jenny.

Today was my 1st official time at being “the Tail end Charlie” with fluro jacket.
I’m often at the back but not with a fluro.. there were 21 hikers and our 3 lovely ramblers. I think I got the numbers right???
We met in a paddock in McMasters Road. I presume Bob had permission?
The hike up the Saddle was the one that the Rotary had done as a fundraiser for the Mosgiel Pool. We had morning tea at the entrance to the scrub area,after which we climbed up a stoney track.It was good workout for us all. We came out to a clearing with fabulous views of wonderful coast line. Quite a few minutes were taken to enjoy and then we carried on up to the top for a photo shoot.
Alexc

(Alex photo.)

More panoramic views were taken in before we went down the hill,out of the cool breeze, and had a leisurely lunch looking out over the Taieri. We then wandered down the hill and out onto Saddlehill Road and back to the cars. Coffee was at the Village Green. Thanks Bob. – Jenny.

39. 19/9/2018. Trampers. Saddle Hill circuit. Leader: Eleanor.

On a very warm spring morning 14 trampers set off from Quarry road and walked up Coal Stage and Saddle Hill roads then down McMaster road.  Enjoying a great display of Kowhai in full bloom, also a mix of blossom and animals along the way.  One member recalls riding horses as a girl on a property we passed.

Just the best Kowhai forest around. (Phil pic and caption.)

We enjoyed smoko break overlooking the ocean.  At this point with the sun shining brightly upon us, we decided to do an add on.

Welcome morning tea break after earlier start. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Turning onto Old Brighton road we headed to Fairfield, then crossed over to Flower street walked up the couple of hills crossing a stile into the water tank paddock.  Once again (on both sides of the rather steep stile) with more great views, lunch and chatting was enjoyed.

View of Kaikorai Valley from lunch. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Donkeys on Chain Hill road. (Gordon pic and caption.)

We then walked along Chain Hill road and back down Quarry road to our cars.

View of Mosgiel from overbridge. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Blend was the chosen coffee shop, we enjoyed catching up with 2 members unable to tramp on the day.
We reckon we walked 15 km, give or take a little.
Great to be back out with such an enthusiastic group of friends.
– Cheers Eleanore

(12/2/2017.)

Route map

38. 6/4/2016. Both. A Circumnavigation of Saddle Hill, majoring on the seaward slopes. Leaders: Bob, Doug and Arthur.
The Hikers' easier route. The trampers took the beach.

The Hikers took the bus,  the Trampers, the beach.

Apr 6 Tramp Saddle Hill 2016. ... Distance not counting the bus travel 10.2 km. (Bruce pic and caption)

Apr 6 Tramp Saddle Hill 2016. … Distance not counting the bus travel 10.2 km. (Bruce pic and caption)

Trampers’ Report. Saddle Hill to the Sea. – Arthur.

Being the first Wednesday of the month, this was a combined operation. Together with the Hikers, our group parked beside the wool-shed on Saddle Hill Road, before walking through the “Saddle” and down through farmland on the other side. Special thanks to the landowners for giving us permission to do so. A suitable spot was found at 10 o’clock for morning tea.

The 27 of us at morning tea

All twenty-seven of us at morning tea, part-way down the slope.

The view from our morning tea spot

The view from our morning tea spot.

The two groups then split, with the Trampers forging ahead, as they had further to walk. We had 8 trampers now, and it was noticed that the 2 men were outnumbered by the ladies.

Continuing down through the sheep farm we climbed a style out on to Creamery Road. Going down the road now, we could view several lifestyle blocks with new houses on them. At the bottom of the hill a large contractor’s yard had obviously had much money spent on it.

Contractor's Yard

Contractor’s Yard

We arrived down at the main road to Brighton at Ocean View. After a short walk along the road we were able to gain access to the beach at the car-park (Freedom Campers spot). Good use of the facilities here was made for a comfort stop.

The tide was well out, just beginning to come back in, allowing us to walk on good firm sand for several kilometres. Other people were making use of the beach too – walking, exercising dogs and especially horses.

The Kaikorai Stream was closed to the sea, allowing us to return to the road on the Waldronville side, past the Pistol Shooting Club. The walk along the beach took a neat hour. We found a suitable lunch stop beside the car park at the road.

The Trampers' lunch spot. (Helen pic)

The Trampers’ lunch spot. (Helen pic)

From there we had to walk across the bridge and along the road a short distance. It was a little difficult climbing through a fence back onto farmland – several comments were made at this time about some not being as young as they used to be!

Trampers. A fence scramble. (Helen pic)

Trampers. A fence scramble. (Helen pic)

With the Green Park Cemetery on our left we had a very pleasant uphill walk through the large field, but with one especially steep pinch, before squeezing around the end of a gate and out onto the Old Brighton Road – closed long ago by a large slip.

Along the Old Road and then up McMaster Road a short distance, before taking a short-cut through private property. A donkey brayed a welcome as we passed, and then the lady was gardening at the house.

Coming back onto McMaster Road, we found three of the Hikers talking to the man of the house at his mailbox. The road levelled off, and soon we were back to Saddle Hill Road where we caught up with the Hikers with about a kilometre to go.

There were good views from here of Mosgiel, …

Mosgiel from lookout.

Mosgiel from lookout.

… the Taieri and beyond. In fact we had great views all day on this tramp, and good weather to go with them.

Our combined tramp could not have been more successful, as both groups began and finished the day together.

A big thank-you to Bob for this. Everyone was back to the cars by 2.15 p.m. The Trampers covered a distance of about 14 km (estimated).

***** SAFE TRAMPING IS NO ACCIDENT *****

– Arthur.

Hikers’ Report.

As Arthur has covered most of the day’s main points, this need be only a supplementary one.

Where Creamery Road joins Brighton Road, various options emerged.  Some drifted off: one had a car waiting for her, another walked to her home nearby, others shortened their walk by walking on the seaward side of the road to earlier catch the bus to Brighton and back. The remainder walked towards Brighton and waited at a convenient bus stop to catch the returning bus. The driver put on a mock-stern display, questioning our age entitlement and closely examining our Gold Cards. We had made his day, as we disported ourselves around his empty bus. From the Green Park Cemetery gates we made our way uphill behind the cemetery and were surprised (well, this reporter was) to see the beginnings of an eco-burial site of about twelve plots, aligned alongside a clump of bush, each plot planted with a native plant.

We lunched in a sheltered spot a little further on up the hill.

Hikers at lunch part way up hill.

Hikers at lunch part way up hill.

…. Much further on, as we turned from McMaster Road into Saddle Hill Road,  we were surprised and delighted to find ourselves caught up by the Trampers . The timing couldn’t have been better. Excellent planning, Bob. This has to have turned out the most rewarding “together-Tramp” yet!  – Ian.

37. 23/7/2014 Hikers. Greenpark Cemetery, McMaster Road, Creamery Road, Brighton Road, Beach. return. M. Leaders: Bob, Janice.

Cars parked at the southern entrance to the Green Park Cemetery. The leaders took us directly up through paddock from behind the cemetery, to swing right …
GPS

GPS of round route from Greenpark Cemetery south gate.

… and continue on
Blackhead

View en route. Blackhead (Liz pic)

Green Island

Green Island

Another view en route. Green Island (Liz pic, using zoom lens, no doubt.)
to eventually reach the style at the top of Creamery Road. Down the road to the Brighton Road, north along here to drop of Bruce and Marjorie at the home and on to the Ocean View domain for lunch.

Out onto the beach and a long walk to arrive near the Kaikorai Estaury. Through sand hills, skirt estaury, through horse yards, out onto the Brighton Road, and back along to the cars.
29/9/2010. Trampers. Saddle Hill from Old Brighton Road. Leaders: Keith and Glenis.

GPS Route Map, courtesy Ken.

Eight of us set off over a paddock much hollowed with slumps betraying old coal mine workings, caused probably by wooden props long since rotted, up towards Saddle Hill. (See last pic below.) As we approached the bush ahead of us, we were glad to be able to follow a cleared track that wound up to our left, foregoing the former track we used to take to the right, now heavily infested with gorse. The track further up was well grassed, but just SO boggy and wet, although drier in places. One such place was ideal for an early morning tea.

Morning Tea on log. (Ken pic)

On up through a second property and we crossed McMasters Road into a third property taking us up to the bush around Saddle Hill.

Bush track entrance.

The track through the bush took us round to the seaward side grassy slope and then it was up to another bush entrance for the last push to the top (473m, according to Ken), where there were views galore for our cameras. 11.00 a.m. and far too early for lunch.

Emma (Ken pic)

Saddle Hill trig. (Emma pic)

Mosgiel from Saddle Hill (Ken pic)

View south from Saddle Hill

We made our way down over a very bouldery grass paddock to Saddle Hill road, round into McMasters Road again to reach the place we had ascended, and then it was back down again. We found a most pleasant lunch spot softened by thick pine needles and sheltered in by pines. Then it was down and through the much-slumped paddock back to the cars.

Coal Mine slumps.

36. 27/2/2008. Hikers. Saddle Hill, Taieri Lookout. Medium. Leaders: Dot Bennett, Chris.

35. 25/1/2006. Trampers. Saddle Hill from Stevensons Farm. Medium. Leaders: George, Hazel.

34. 27/4/2005. Both. Creamery Road, Saddle Hill, Watts BushLeaders: Joyce, Hazel, Eleanor W, Eleanor B

33. 14/4/2004. Trampers. Saddle Hill via Creamery Road. Medium. Leaders: Doug J, Molly

Saddle Hill Hotel

32. 19/5/2004. Both. Saddle Hill, Pearsons Farm. Medium. Leaders: Pat, Bill, Betty, Ann
Doug, Bev H, Irene on slope background Kaikorai Estuary

Doug, Bev H, Irene on slope background

Kaikorai Estuary

Similar shot.

Similar shot.

Bob M and others descending seaward side.

Bob M and others descending seaward side.

31. 9/5/2004. Saddle Hill and Jaffray Hill from the overhead bridge. Average. Leaders: Bill & Pat, Betty B, Anne R
Saddle Hill stop. (Bob pic).

Saddle Hill stop. (Bob pic).

30. 5/11/2003 Creamery Road. Leaders: Ocean View Dot B, Chris
29. 5/11/2003. Hikers. Creamery Road. Medium. Leaders: Dot B, Chris.
28. 11/6/2003. Both. Saddle Hill through Pearsons.
Year round. Park overhead bridge. Contacts: Seek permissions. The Grange. Phone for appointment for permission to tramp on this property. “We like to see you face to face.” (Paddock with coal mine entrance and tram line track)
Park cars at motorway overhead bridge. Leaders: George, Hazel, Jack & Rosemary.
hotel

Doug, Catherine. Old hotel

Old Mine entrance. Arthur.

Arthur by hidden mine entrance.

Hi, Shirley. Bob on east side climb.

Hi, Shirley. Bob on east side climb.

old

foundations; tram track gap

tram

Coal Mine old Tram Track

27. 20/11/2002. Hikers. Creamery Road, Ocean View. Easy. Leaders: Dot B, Joan H, Muriel.
26.30/1/2002. Alt. Creamery Road – Watts Bush. Leaders: Dot B, Joan H, Lesley W.
25. 7/2/2001. Creamery Road, Watts Bush. Leaders: Nelso and Dot, Winifred.
24. 7/2/2001. Creamery Road, Watts Bush. Leaders: Nelso and Dot, Winifred.
23. 9/8/2000. Saddle Hill and Jaffray Hill from the overhead bridge. Average. Leaders: George, Hazel, Molly
22. 9/8/2000. Saddle Hill – Walnut Grove. Park Overhead Bridge.Leaders: George, Hazel, Molly.

21. 31/5/2000 Saddle Hill, Law Road, from carpark. Long Tramp. Leaders: Lance & Lois, Betty B

20. 7/2/2000 Creamery Road Finnies, McIntosh (frmly Watts) Bush, return Scroggs Hill, Brighton Road, Beach. Nelson & Dot, Winnifred

19. 8/12/1999. Creamery Road, Watts Bush, Scroggs Hill. Leaders: Dot B, Joan H, Bob H.

18. 25/8/1999. Car Park, Saddle Hill, Law Road. Long tramp. Leaders: Frank and Lesley, Arthur and Barbara.
Return Silverstream to car park. Long tramp. Leaders: Wendy, Evelyn M, Eleanor B, Hartmann
17. 24/3/1999. Creamery Road – Ocean View. Leaders: Doug and Ngaire, W W.
16. 20/5/1998. Creamery Road, Saddle Hill. Leaders: Daphne, Margaret D.
15. 1997 Saddle Hill, Jaffrays Farm, East Taieri Scouts Hall. Leaders: George, Betty B, Wendy
14. 26/11/1997. Saddle Hill, Fulton Hogans, Hills Clevelands etc. 5 hour tramp. Leaders: George, Betty B, Wendy.
13. 13/8/1997. Saddle Hill, Scroggs Hill, Walnut Grove. Leaders: Les W, Frank, Jack M.
12. 2/10/1996. McLeods – Saddle Hill. Average. Meet Ocean View carpark. Leaders: Eric & Dot, Pat
11. 6/9/1995. Creamery Road, Watts Bush, Scroggs Hill. Medium.Leaders: Eric and Dot, Joan H, Chris
10. 16/8/1995. Saddle Hill, Old Brighton Road, Taieri Lookout, Chain Hill, Fairfield. Medium. Meet at Fulton Hogan Yard, Old Brighton Road. Leaders: Rob Q, Nelson & Dot, Molly
9. 24/7/1996. Jaffrays and Saddle Hill from East Taieri Scout Hall. Average.  Leaders: Dot T, Les and Mavis.
8. 15/6/1994. Creamery Road, Saddle Hill, Watts Walk (now Finnies, McIntosh), Scroggs Hill. Leaders: Eric & Dot, Chris, Joan H.
7. 28/7/1993. Start from car park, Saddle Hill to Law Road. Long Tramp. Leaders: Wendy, Evelyn M, Eleanor B, Hartmann
6. 23/6/1993 Creamery Road Finnies, Watts Bush (now McIntosh), return Scroggs Hill. Medium but long. Cars at Ocean View Picnic Ground. Leaders: Eric & Dot, Jack M, Joyce S
5. 20/11/1989. Saddle Hill and Jaffray Hill from the overhead bridge. Average. Leaders: Mavis, Peg A, Margaret S, Daphne
4. 30/3/1988 Saddle Hill and Jaffray Hill. A little bit of history. Meet at Saddle Hill Lookout. Leaders: Daphne, Peg A
3. 18/9/1991 Green Park – Saddle Hill, returning via Hare Street and beach. Splendid coastal views. Cars meet at Green Park Cemetery. Average. George, Eric & Dot,  Les W
2. 20/9/1989 Creamery Road, Ocean View. Average. Meet Ocean View carpark. Leaders: Mary Y, Daphne, Betty B, Margaret D
1. 24/3/1989 Creamery Road, Ocean View. Leaders: Doug M, Eleanor W

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Mar 13 2019

Tunnels Track, Yellow Hut, The Gap, Gap Ridge

Published by under Trampers

Click Silver Peaks Forest for background information on the area.

Accessed from Mountain Road from old forest HQ 6 hr ret, Route, DOC and private land.

(Green Hut access: 41 km from car park.)

7. 13/3/2019. Trampers. Green track/ River Track. Leader: Neil.

Eleven trampers left Bush Road at 8 o’clock keen to get to Green Track arriving at 8:50 am – well worth while having the early start. 200 meters up Green track we turned onto Miners Direct, down past the end of Eucalypt Ridge and down to Waikouaiti South branch about 3/4 hr later. Turned right and went downstream, but missed the crossing place just past the blackberries, where some were busy sampling them. 10 minutes later we were in the creek because of bluffs, so after some discussion it was decided to cross to the true left

H.1.Crossing rriverc

.Crossing river. (Helen pic and caption.)

and bush-bash up-hill

H.2.Bush bashing to the trackc

Bush bashing to the track. (Helen pic and caption.)

till we came to the track, which we did, arriving at 10:25 and so morning tea break was gratefully received by  11 weary trampers.

H.3.Morning tea on the trackc

Morning tea on the track. (Helen pic and caption.)

The object of some trampers was to reach the bottom of Rosella Ridge by lunch time. This was achieved by 7 trampers at 12:30 pm. Four had wisely decided to return to the cars earlier, 2 via Eucalypt Ridge, and 2  visited Possum Hut by mistake before returning to the bottom of Miners Direct.
The track from morning tea to lunch was somewhat harder being more overgrown, less defined and not so easy walking, resulting in several members having trouble remaining upright. Another aspect of this walk that was commented on was the amount of bird life and bird song that was evident.
 The return walk took about 2 1/2 hours, arriving at the cars at  3 :30pm. Two took the new track up from the bottom of Miners Direct to the road and commented on the easier gradient all the way. A real credit to the Green Hut Track Group who did the rerouting.
The result of the earlier start was now evident as we had time for coffee at Waitati before the place closed

.

Overall, a day’s tramping enjoyed by all. – Neil.

6. 21/3/2018. Trampers. Tunnels Track. (Yellow Ridge.) Leader: Arthur.

The rain started as we left Mosgiel, but despite this, it wasn’t cold and the eight trampers were VERY DETERMINED to go tramping.

The cars regrouped at Waitati, and ONWARD was the only option – no one wanted to cancel. So it was up Double Hill Road and Semple Road to Mountain Road. A key allowed us through the locked gate and we drove up to, and parked at, the beginning of the Tunnels Track. The rain continued.

Our plan was now just to do a short tramp. It was very dark in among the trees as we descended the track, some wag asking for the street lights to be switched on!

After twenty minutes we came to the old gold mining tunnels …

At tunnels…no one home. (Phil pic and caption.)

… where we had a stand-up morning tea. No one was electing to sit on the wet ground. A N.Z. robin kept us friendly company here, which was nice.

From the Tunnels we followed the old water race to the main track, and then descended to the South Branch of the Waikouaiti River which was up a bit and a little discoloured.

At South Waikouaiti Branch. (Phil pic and caption.)

No use going further in the rain, so it was uphill back to the cars to finish at 11.15 a.m.

We had travelled slightly less than 4 km, and all had greatly enjoyed our little excursion, which had taken one and a half hours.

Surprisingly, the tracks were not slippery, even on the steepest bits.

Into the cars and to Blueskin Nurseries for hot drinks, before returning to Mosgiel.

Eight trampers had decided that a little but of rain was not going to spoil their day, even if it was a shortened tramp. Thanks to all participants. – Art.

5. 11/2/2015. Trampers. The Gap, via Yellow Ridge.

GPS Yellow Ridge to The Gap, courtesy Ken.  We walked just on 12km We climbed 1000mtrs.
ave speed 3km/hr moving time just over 4hrs. Stopped time 3hrs max elevation 700mtrs.

A good number of 6 trampers, & one visitor + dog turned out for the 8:30 start for the tramp to the Gap via Yellow Ridge. 4 members of the group had not been there before, so it was a bit of an experience for them. We started by walking down to the tunnels, for the ones that had not seen them before, then it was along the old water race back onto the main track, where we had morning tea…

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

…at the grassed area before crossing the Waikouaiti River, & then climbing the steep track up to the new Philip J Cox hut for a breather.
We then carried on towards the Gap, but two of the new members were starting to struggle a bit by now, & as we approached the last couple of climbs up to the Gap, they decided that they would find a nice spot for lunch, & then go back down to the hut & wait for us there. The rest of us carried on to the Gap, where we had lunch,

Lunch at the Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch at the Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

& admired the views.

View looking north from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking north from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking South west from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking South west from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking South-West from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking South-West from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

A quick trip was taken up to the trig on the northern side of the Gap to say we had been there, & then it was on with the packs, & back the way we had come. We caught up with the others at the hut, just a few minutes after they had got there, so an extended break was in order for refreshments,…

At Philip J Cox hut on the way back out. (Ken pic and caption)

At Philip J Cox hut on the way back out. (Ken pic and caption)

…& another breather before the steep decent into the Waikouaiti River again.
At this time, one of the group decided that he would start off down the track, thinking that he had told somebody that he was leaving, & it was not until we all got about 15mins down the track that I noticed he was not in our group, & asked where he was. We stood around waiting, thinking that he was still behind us, but in the end I asked our fittest member if he would go back & check. While he was doing this, we decided that the others would go down to the bottom, & see if he was down there, while I stayed to wait on the member we had sent back up the track. All this took approx 1/2 hr to accomplish, so we knew we would be a bit late getting back to the cars. As it turned out, the missing member was at the bottom waiting for the rest of us to arrive, & was very apologetic for his mistake.
We took another break at the grassed area…

Resting at Philip J Cox hut on the way out. (Ken pic and caption)

Resting at Philip J Cox hut on the way out. (Ken pic and caption)

…before we tackled the last climb up the steep track back to the cars. We had decided beforehand to go out the north end of Mountain Rd. as the road is in much better condition at that end. However, when we got to the last locked gate, we couldn’t unlock the padlock with the key that was given to us by City Forests, so it was about turn & drive all the way back to the south end & down to Waitati.
The weather was good, with no wind, & not too hot, & the low cloud that we observed when driving in was non existent when we got to the Gap. This is probably one of the harder tramps that we do, & is one that I might forgo in the future, although I managed it quite well, a result I put down to drinking Gatorade, & more fluids than I normally do on a tramp. – Ken.

4. 14/11/2012 Tunnels Track, Yellow Ridge, The Gap, Gap Ridge

GPS Yellow Ridge to The Gap, courtesy Ken. We climbed just over 1000mtrs.
ave speed 3km/hr
moving time just over 4hrs.
max elevation 668mtrs.

Four intrepid trampers gathered at the Bush Rd. car park before setting off at 8:30am on an adventure that 3 of us had never done before. The fact that Dermot had managed to get a key from City Forests for the gates on Mountain Rd. saved us about 9km of walking time, as we were able to drive right to the start of the Tunnels track. We set off down this track at about 9:30, & went to explore the tunnels themselves, a new experience for 2 of the group. Arriving at the grassy area at the bottom by the river, we had morning tea, & then set off across the river, without getting wet feet, & started the relentless climb up Yellow Ridge. On reaching the new Philip J. Cox hut, we had a short break to regain our breath, admire the hut, it’s fixtures & facilities. {We even swept the floor when we left]

Ready for the next part of the trip. (Ken pic and caption)

The next task was to get to the Gap for lunch, however remote this possibility seemed as, the track actually goes past it, instead of towards it for a while, & you start to wonder when you will be getting closer.

Nearing the top with The Gap showing. (Ken pic and caption)

At this point, one member of the group decided that he would go back to the hut & wait for us there. We eventually did get to the Gap,

Sign at the top. Thank God for something to lean on. (Ken pic [taken by Heb] and caption)

where we had lunch, then a short walk up to the trig on the top of the Northern part of the Gap,

Trig above Gap north rock. (Ken pic and caption)

where the views are magnificent, despite the lowering cloud/fog that had been hanging around all day. We then retraced our steps, carefully, due to the slippery nature of parts of the track that were very steep. Someone commented ” why didn’t they just provide a ladder” !! We stopped again at the Phipip J. Cox hut to have another drink, & to pick up our other group member, who we discovered had left a note for us, saying that he had left the hut 1/2 hr ago, & was making his way slowly back to the car. As we travelled back to the river, & up the Tunnels track, he had left numerous arrow signs, & the time that he had drawn them in the soft ground. So we knew how far in front of us he was, & when I arrived at the car, he had only been there about 3 minutes or so.

Everybody agreed that it was a worthwhile trip, & even although it’s a bit of a ‘gut buster’ it’s worth doing, but the early start, & the gate key is a must if you want to get home at a reasonable time. We made it back to the Bush Rd. car park just after 5pm, & I was home by 5:30pm. – Ken.

3. 20/2/2002 Tunnels Track, Yellow Ridge, The Gap, Gap Ridge Leaders: George, Ian, Hazel
Mountain Road, Tunnels track, Yellow Ridge, the Gap.
On Monday 4 Feb 2002, George Haggie, Hazel Leslie and Ian Fleming receed the route for the Taieri Recreational Tramping Club. We left Green Island meeting point at 8.30. On George’s prompting we drove further north and entered Mountain Road at Merton and drove 17 kms back to the Tunnels Track DoC sign on a good well metalled road arriving there a 9.30.  The south branch of the Waikouaiti River was shallow enough but the track up to the manuka scrub was in poor condition with a large slip crossing it.
Once in the trees conditions improved greatly and it was most pleasant all the way to Yellow Hut which we found to be in poor condition inside.  A DoC sign recommended going any further for experienced trampers only due to Silver Peaks notoriously changing weather conditions.
Beyond the hut we were into large tussock which being largely dry was not too much trouble to wade through although we walked more by faith than sight through the sea of tops, confirming we were still on the track with our feet. in many cases.
The route does a left-hand semicircle on a broad ridge. We lunched at the Gap at 12.15 in a very slight smirry rain but under dry rock overhang.
Returning, the tussock, now wet was much more difficult to push through, with the wet leaves lying lower onto the track, tangling our feet and tripping us up. The notorious steep never-ending climb back up from the Waikouaiti to Mountain Road keeps getting longer with more rest stops as one ages.
We got back to the car at 3 pm and continued round Mountain Road, now striking many potholes with several spots so severe as to be almost impassable.  This part was 13 km from Tunnels Track to Waitati. The sandy road metal contrasts with the rock metal on the northern part and although a few kms shorter and with many main highway kms eliminated  is not to be recommended at the moment. Returned home just on 5 pm, having driven 103 kms.
2. 23/2/2000. The Gap via Yellow Hut. Leaders: Margaret and Les, Ian.
1. 12/11/1997. Tunnels Track to Yellow Hut and Gap. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Claude.

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Mar 06 2019

Wairongoa Springs and North Taieri Church.

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

No. 33 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Wairongoa Springs area. Farm? Lambing”

Abt 10 km from car park.

Glen Lyon, McAlwee Cottage. Wairongoa Station and Springs. Farm walk.
Seek permission. Austen Banks has no problem with us tramping on his property. Sold: 8/3/2019.
Background History of the site – from “Taieri Buildings”, by Daphne Lemon, pub. 1970.
Account by a visitor to the site in 1895!

Directions: Wairongoa Spring. Cross small concrete bridge, take 2nd gravel drive on right.
Walk around front of house and veer right up hill to gate and find track to spring.

Background information on Salisbury property

9. 6/3/2019. All. Wairongoa Springs and Glen Lyon (McAlwee’s cottage) E. Leaders: Theresa and Jill R.

IMG_3542c

Route map Church to Spring return, courtesy Ian.

Park at North Taieri church on Wairongoa Road. Church to House 6 km return. Corner of lane up the drive to house and return, via the lane 2.5 km return approx. Church to restored cottage approx 1.5 km return.
287 Wairongoa road is a private property owned by Austen and Clare Banks, but is now sold.

K.A fantailIMG_1770c

A fantail graces us with a visit and sits upon the walking stick.(Kevin pic and caption.)

C.5) Gathered around the fountain from the South Seas exhibitionc

Gathered around the fountain from the South Seas exhibition. (Clive pic and caption.)

G.3rd-- An old FerneryP1050622c

An old Fernery. (Gordon pic and caption.)

G.5th photo-- Water from the Wairongoa Springc

Water from the Wairongoa Spring. (Gordon pic and caption.)

C.8) The gas plant shed from the Thompson bottling works erac

The gas plant shed from the Thompson bottling works era. (Clive pic and caption.)

The springs as well as the whole property is coved by a QE II  covenant. This was done at the time of Major Neill and his families’ ownership. The spring continues to flow as it has always done . The water is fizzy and has a distinctive taste. What that is, is up to each person’s own palate. Most tried it, some even took it home.
The water in the past was bottled and sold in NZ and Australia. The Thomson family were the original owners. It was marketed from Dunedin under the Thomson Company label, and later Lane Thomson.The bottling shed was built in 1894. After it  became  uneconomical it was closed in 1939.
Of interest on the property is an amazing  fountain. A relic of the past grandeur, that saw garden parties and train loads of people. The fountain is reputed to have originated from the NZ and SouthSeas Exhibition  held in Dunedin. Also of note are the extensive plantings of trees and ferns. Most notable are several Kauri trees, a species not especially known to grow in the south. This is the work of the unmarried brother Alec Thomson, who lived on site and was passionate about trees.
Lunch was held at the end of the lane, then we walked back to the cars. Some elected to finish while others walked up to  Glen Lyon, an 1864 restored cottage.

P.yearning for a more simple way of lifec

Yearning for a more simple way of life. (Phil pic and caption.)

Once again  private property, owned by the McAlwees and restored and furnished by Kevan. Back in the day the housekeeper from Wairongoa Springs lived in this cottage.
57  hot trampers and hikers enjoyed a remarkable part of the Taieri history. – Theresa.

8. 13/8/2014 Hikers – and a Tramper. Wairongoa Springs. Leaders: Peter and Wendy, Les and Margaret.

We parked the cars outside the North Taieri Presbyterian Church and Peter and Wendy led us up Tirohanga and Wairongoa Roads to where Austin was awaiting us at a turn-off at, what he told us, was Mill Creek. (At this point, Wendy and Peter left us for another appointment and handed leadership over to Les and Margaret.) A bit up the farm road we stopped at “The Major’s Playpen” where Major Neil was accustomed to practise dressage on his horse. We then turned right, passing several kauri trees, much studied by experts on such things, and proceeded on to the large old bottling house. A fascinating multi-purposed building in its day. Jim recalled as a young boy its original wooden roof.

 

Inside

Inside the original bottling plant.

Retired builder Doug told us the thick long-lasting corrugated iron on it and gasometer building had a high proportion of lead, leading it to be easily bent to any desired shape.

Octagonal Hut

Hexagonal Hut which housed the Gasometer where the natural carbon dioxide, collected from the spring water, was used to charge the soda syphons.

where the natural carbon dioxide, collected from the spring water, was used to charge the soda syphons.

Ceiling

The hexagon ceiling.

Our next visit was to the South Seas Exhibition fountain. Some remarked it was a pity such a wonderful artwork had to be so hidden away from public view.

South Seas

The remarkable fountain the Thomsons had brought back to the property from the South Seas Exhibition in the 1890s and placed in the garden.

We passed the following sight on the way.

Framed house

A bush-framed house

A further remarkable sight was the following:

Fountain

A much-weathered Fountain

A ‘bivvy’:

Hobbit house

A whimsically titled Hobbit House as Austin told us someone had called it.

Further along the track Austin lifted a wooded panel to reveal a piped overflow from the nearby brick-enclad well. So heavy was the iron content, Austin had to wipe it away before the soda water would run clear.

The real thing

The real thing, which Austen shared with us in thoughtfully provided pottles. Some bottled it to take home as well.

On again we went, some faster than others, to the extent that this 26-year-experienced club failed to notice a division in the track so that fatally-separated stragglers  took a wrong turn. By dint of Judy’s searching and calling, they were located on a nearby ridge and called back down to eventually join the leading party. They were courteously treated to a second description by Austin of the Fernery as it would have been in its heyday.

Fernery

‘Fernery’ ruins.

From here we climbed to reach a much better and wider track that led us on to Austin’s house.

Austin

A final address by Austin at his house outside which we lunched.

A cold wind that had us all wrapped up when we left the cars had abated for most the time at Wairongoa and was blowing only lightly as we lunched on the lawn slope in front of the house.

A leisurely lunch, a thank-you speech by the President to Austin for his generous escorting of us around his remarkable property, and we were down his drive to reach the end of Wairongoa Road. An option Peter and Wendy had offered us to at this point to  to return via School Road was

8. 2/7/2008. Hikers. Waironga Springs, and North Taieri church. Leaders: Arthur & Barbara. Directions: Waironga Spring. Cross small concrete bridge, take 2nd gravel drive on right.
Walk around front of house and veer right up hill to gate and find track to spring.

A very large gathering assembled in the paddock close to Austin Bank’s property at Wairongoa Springs at North Taieri.There were so many cars approaching along the road it looked like a funeral procession. Austin and his exuberant chocolate labrador welcomed us to his property and gave us an outline of his plans for the day.

Austin explains

Austin explains

We ambled our way through his garden and into a forest that was 100 years old. The main trees in this area were larches, many of which were starting to rot at the base and in danger of falling over. The area is under a conservation covenant so the trees can be dealt with only when they have fallen. We stopped at a delightful crossroads in the woods where some seats would be wonderful resting spots in the summer.
The next part of the forest was quite different and predominantly manuka with very little ground cover, unlike the previous part where the ground was covered in stag horn ferns.
The next contrast was the beech forest area where very large trees dominated the slope up and over the stream. Austin loved to come here in the early morning and watch the sunrise. century. Deep in the bush we came upon the natural spring. A tower has been erected to enclose the spring

Enlarged tower

Brick tower, closed in to prevent anyone falling into the spring and drowning.

and many of us partook of the waters from a pipe emerging just outside it.

They were slightly aerated and often called soda water. The whole property is steeped in history from the late 19th and early 20th.The house was built by the Thomson family who established a business here using the local natural resource of the spring which produces large quantities of aerated water every day. This was the highlight of our ramble .

Further on we came to an amazing fountain that the Thomsons had bought back to the property from the South Seas Exhibition in Dunedin in the 1890s and placed in the gardens,

Enlarged fountain

Enlarged fountain

The Amazing Fountain

The Amazing Fountain

where many visitors used to visit for picnics. Ponies and cart horses were bred and used for transporting the bottled water and the original cottage that the horse trainer lived in is still there.
Finally we came to to the original bottling plant and gas works. The buildings are in a very good state of repair and the original corrugated iron is still in place.

The building had an interesting history with the workers staying in this building during the week and being used by the operatic society at the weekends. Many of the original chalk signatures are still there on the wooden boards.

Enlarged chalk on wall

The chalk signatures on the wall

This is where we had morning tea, sitting on the hay bales.
We continued our walk around the rest of the grounds and came to the giant shed (that Priscilla Neil called the Major’s playpen)

The Major's Playpen

The Major’s Playpen

where Major Neil trained his horses. A fascinating insight was gained into the early history of some of the well known families in the North Taieri area.
It was then onto the North Taieri Church. Several cars did not arrive at the church so Austin returned, suspecting that they had got stuck in the mud and this had certainly turned out to be the case. The Es had been unable to get their car out of the mud.
Once rescued we walked up to the beautifully restored stone cottage in the valley at the back of the church.

The beautifully restored cottage

The restored stone cottage

This is where we had our lunch thoroughly admiring the handiwork of the restorers and being so grateful to the family who had “rescued” the cottage and been prepared to invest so much time and money in it. The link to Waironga springs was that the daughter of the lady who had lived in the cottage had worked for the Thomsons as their housekeeper. Tash
A big thank you to Austin for his time and interest but also to our leaders, Arthur and Barbara who did such a good job. – Tash

7. 19/7/2006. Hikers. Wairongoa Springs. Easy. Leaders: Joyce, Eleanor B, Nancy.

6. 22/8/2001. Alt. Wairongoa Springs. Leaders: Lance and Lois, Eleanor.

5. 28/10/1998. Salisbury from Wairongoa Springs. Leaders: Margaret S, Bev McI

4. 3/7/1996. Wairongoa Springs Salisbury. Average/Easy. Leaders: Frank, Lesley S, Shirley R.
3. 28/6/1995. Salisbury, Bowbyes, Waiarongoa, Hamiltons. Leaders: George, Johanna H, Rosemary and Jack.
2. 12/10/1994 Wairongoa, Salisbury, Bowbyes property. Medium Leaders: George, Chris, Joan H, v Heyden
1. 20/6/1990 Wairongoa Springs. Interesting history. Leaders: Doreen, Diana B, Norman, Hartmann8/6/1989 Wairongoa Springs. Bring bottles for mineral water. Interesting history. Leaders: Molly, June, Peg

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Feb 27 2019

Horsehoof Station Tramps

Published by under Lambing Sep-Nov,Trampers,Year round

No. 1 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Maugatua Microwave. J Roy. Year Round.” Permissions from Horsehoof.
Distance from car-park: 24 km.
21. 27/2/2019. Maungatua. M. Leader: Gordon.
A Fairy Tale.

Once upon a time 12 happy trampers set out to climb the big mountain of Maungatua. They wanted to get to the top, and were very determined.

But the nasty rain came just as they set out, and the cold wind joined in to make things unpleasant for the 12 happy trampers.

The cloud came down too, to hide the top of the mountain, but that was no deterrent either. Jackets and gloves kept them warm.

Uphill they went, on the good 4WD track, into the cloud and with the wind and rain attacking them.

In time they were high up on the mountain, and stopped to have their morning tea in the slight shelter of a little hut, beside some aerials.

After a brief stop to enjoy their hot cups, discretion was decided upon, and the 12 happy (still) trampers returned back down the mountain to their cars.

But the 12 happy trampers had had a good morning’s exercise, covering more than 6 km and the rain and wind had given a good test to the weatherproofness of their clothing.

Feeling a bit wet and cold, the 12 happy trampers drove back to Mosgiel, returning safely to their homes.

And they all lived happily ever after! – Art.

20. 10/5/2017. Trampers. Maungatua trig via Horsehoof. M. Leader: Arthur.

Clear skies, a light breeze, and lots of sunshine gave perfect conditions for our tramp up onto Maungatua. The cars were left high up beside the farm road on Horsehoof, a group of 13 happy trampers setting out from here on the uphill dozed farm track.

About halfway up morning tea was taken, with stunning views to enjoy at the same time, in the clear air.

Onward and upward, we reached the top boundary of Horsehoof Station, and climbing through the fence were in the DOC reserve which encompasses all of the top of Maungatua. It was then single file through the tussock and turpentine shrubs on the faint track.

We stopped to admire the Big Rock,

The beautiful rock. (Helen pic and caption.)

photos being taken of the group.

The group of 12 plus me. (Helen pic and caption.)

Just as we were preparing to move on a pair of N.Z. falcons flew in and landed on top of Big Rock just above us. They weren’t at all worried by us humans, and it was marvellous to see them there.

In single file we moved on, and eventually came to the summit post at 12 noon – perfect timing for lunch.

From here, on the highest point (895 metres) we could see in all directions – 360 degrees. A huge fog bank right down the coast totally hid the sea and the Otago Peninsula, but the land was in clear view as far as the eye could see. What terrific scenery.

Margreet pic.

Lunch over we began the return journey, which meant retracing our steps. With an occasional brief rest/regroup stop, we were back past Big Rock, through the fence onto Horsehoof again, and down hill with a brief uphill bit to reach the cars.

A group of 13 happy trampers had had a great day, walking a total of 12 km. The perfect weather certainly added to the enjoyment of the day.

But, the tramp finished too soon (obviously too short), as it was necessary to stop in Outram for a while on the way home so that discussion that hadn’t had time to be had during the tramp could be concluded.

The leader was particularly pleased to have such a good turn out of trampers today – thank you to all. – Arthur.

19. 11/1/2017. Hikers. Maungatua Big Rock and Trig via Horsehoof. M. Leaders: George and Ian.

It wasn’t the best tramp to ease into after the relaxing holidays. However the easier programmed Kuri Bush beach walk had not taken the tide times into account. What to do? Something inland. George scouted Saddle Hill (summit not tackled by the Hikers since 2010) and Horsehoof (last done by the Hikers 2011). Relevant property owners for Saddle Hill could not be reached, so Horsehoof and Big Rock then.

Seventeen turned out on the day. A respectable number, given that some members were still on holiday. Admittedly the road entrance to Horsehoof is easily missed, as happened to some on the day, but eventually all the cars arrived and drove on up to park in the high paddock where the FWD track to the top corner of the station starts. At about 690m here, we had already made good inroads on Maungatua’s Big Rock elevation of 880m.

It was still a bit early so we trudged through that first unavoidable gully to merelyregain the cars’ height a kilometre or two further on, finding a bank to sit on for morning tea.

(Clive pic.)

No more gullies now but it was up, steadily up, with frequent regrouping stops to eventually reach the Horsehoof Station’s top corner. At 865m effectively all climbing was behind us. We had gained 225m since leaving the cars. One of us elected to stop here and await the return of the others, and Mollie, who hadn’t wanted to miss the chance of revisiting Horsehoof, was happy to keep her company.

Now it was 15 who scrambled through the fence onto the Maungatua reserve to push on through the tussock and dracophillum (turpentine bush) till we reached a point opposite to the Big Rock.

(Clive pic.)

Here, along with George, ten were happy to make this their destination stop,

(Clive pic.)

while a remaining group of five carried on with an assurance it was only another half hour to the trig. W-e-l-l not exactly. More likely three quarters, as one found the going harder than others. But we got there! Or rather two did.

Made it! 895m.(Ian pic and caption.)

Too bad,the other three had stopped off short of the last rise and lunched. However with the encouragement of the trig returnees (or is it returners?) they were encouraged to push on so that they could say they had made it too. And they did!

On the return we discovered the hypotenuse short-cut that avoids a right angle in the fence and which we had missed on the way in due to overgrowth disguising it at its other end. A shame. It needs a fence indicator.

When we arrived at Big Rock, we discovered the ten others had long since given up waiting for us, and were back waiting for us when we straggled up the last weary slope up to the cars – at least weary for this writer.

So there it is. A good traditional tramp perforce resurrected for the hikers by an unfortunate tidal assesssment. And an enjoyable stop and chat at the Wobbly Goat to finish it off. And roll on the better weather. – Ian.

18. 10/2/2016. Maungatua Summit. Leader: Arthur H.

Horsehoof Station to maungatua peak. GPS of route, courtesy Ken. (Ken pic and caption)

Horsehoof Station to maungatua peak. GPS of route, courtesy Ken. (Ken pic and caption) 13.2km; 3.7km/h; 3h 33m moving; total ascent 409m; max height 900m

Nine trampers set out in ideal conditions to conquer Maungatua. The day was sunny with some high cloud. The breeze was light all day – westerly, then changing to southerly for a while, and then died away altogether.

We drove in through Horsehoof Station, up the road towards the microwave. A car shuttle was set up by taking one car back 2-3 km, leaving it at the top of the hill above the woolshed.

We took the dozed farm track that winds its way up to the top of Maungatua, stopping for morning tea at a suitable spot.

We reached the top of the track, where the small shed and various aerials are situated, at 10.50 a.m. Climbing over the fence we were then in the DOC Reserve, which covers a large part of Maungatua.

From here there is a faint track heading to the summit, which is some 2.5 km away. This is undulating country.

We soon came to the large tor, and stopped for several minutes to inspect and photograph it.

Side trip to rock tor (Helen pic)

Side trip to rock tor (Helen pic)

Continuing on along the track, which follows the fence line, we gained the summit a few minutes before 12.00 noon. A black and white painted post now marks the spot, …

"Trig" post (Helen pic)

“Trig” post with rock placed on top by one of the party. (Helen pic)

… and is visible from a short distance. Sitting down in the tussock, we had a relaxed lunch on the spot. The slight breeze was just a tad cool, we noted.

Lunch at the "trig"

Lunch at the “trig”

From the summit there is a great 360 degree view, but unfortunately haze in all directions spoiled this somewhat.

Half of the group had a look over the brow, down in the direction of the 3 Kings -which isn’t visible. All of us then picked our way through the rough vegetation, in an easterly direction, to get a better view down on the Taieri Plain and Airport.

Making our way back up to the track, we returned along it to the shed and aerials, and over the fence. A brief stop here, where it was noted the altitude was 865m, compared to the 895m at the summit.

We now walked down a 4WD track through the tussock, following the western spur.

On fence llne track well down to the Lee Creek gully

On fence line track well down to the Lee Creek gully showing ‘uphill grunt’ on other side. (Helen pic)

A restful stop was made at the bottom, in the shade of the beech trees at the north branch of Lee Creek. A short uphill grunt gave a “tang” to the end of our tramp, and we were soon back at the “shuttle” car.

All agreed that it had been a good tramp and an enjoyable day. This had been a first time for most.

Seven held a debrief at Outram on the way back home.

Coffee at Outram. (Helen pic)

Coffee at Outram. (Helen pic)

The tramp distance was 13.2 km. – Arthur H.

29/3/2010. Private. Horsehoof, Maungatua Trig.
GPS of route from car to trig

GPS of route from car to trig

At the Maungatua Trig (1)

At the Maungatua Trig (1)

At the Maungatua Trig (2)

At the Maungatua Trig (2)

17. 4/5/2011. Both. Horsehoof upper paddock to Big Rock. Medium. Leader: George.

George had recceed the programmed McKendry Road tramp and found the mud too squishy and the undergrowth too thick so elected to fall back to Horsehoof Station again.
We took the cars on through several gates to the paddock that gave us a shorter walk up to the paddock corner at the top.
It was a misty day, but at our tea-break the weather cleared to reveal the wind turbines beyond Lake Mahinerangi.
Beyond the fence at the top corner, we went on to negotiate the turpentine shrub (dracophyllum longifolium), tussock and alpine moss to reach the large rock for an early lunch.
A cool westerly wind drove us to shelter in a cleft in the rock’s SW side.

A sheltered lunch spot.

An interesting bank of fog in the west.

The tarn beyond the big rock.

Obviously scientific, an exclosure on the tarn.

After all that, we returned the way we had come back to the cars. A good outing. – Ian.
16. 15/9/2010. Trampers. Horsehoof to Big Rock. Medium. Leader: George.
Walked up the 4WD track that went by the Microwave.

Morning Tea break. George. (Emma pic)

Lunched at the Big Rock.

Keith and George at the Big Rock. (Emma pic)

Returned back down through the Woodside Creek gully.
15. 6/5/2009 Both. Horsehoof Station. Bridge over Woodside Creek, top corner, back down the more regular farm road. Medium. Leaders: Bruce, Wendy.

Many were discouraged by the wet morning start, but 8 of us enjoyed a farm walk on what turned out to be an cold overcast day (which we were well wrapped up against) interspersed by sun at morning tea and lunch. From the regular parking spot, for a change we turned down steeply
click to enlarge

Descent to bridge

Descent to bridge

to cross the Woodside Creek upper tributary nearby

Woodside Creek

Woodside Creek

and to then climb steeply

Climb ahead

Climb ahead

to enjoy a cuppa at the set of rocks a little way up.

Cuppa.

Cuppa.

Then to carry on up to the top corner of the station. This was a route the club hasn’t taken for five years and more. We forewent going on to the big rock and tarn through the rather heavy wet dracophyllum we would have had to struggle through, so lunched at the top under the shelter of a bank

Lunch in sun

Lunch in sun

and returned by the more regular farm track.

Rock and Pillar Range in sun

Rock and Pillar Range in sun

Recycled car bolstering bridge. Wee waterfall behind.

Recycled car bolstering bridge. Wee waterfall behind.

We all enjoyed a good tramping day but regretted there were not more to share the walk with. Bruce stood in for Marjorie who was indisposed on the day. Our thanks to Wendy and Bruce for their leadership. – Ian.

14. 12/11/2008 Trampers. Horsehoof Station, Maungatua Trig. Leaders: George, Ria.

This turned out to be a tramp from Horsehoof Station rather than from the advertised Allendale Farm. So it was simply up by the regular farm road to the Maungatua Trig and back.
click to enlarge

Decorated Trig. George, Hazel, Ria, Emma

Decorated Trig. George, Hazel, Ria, Emma

Saddle Hill from Maungatua

What was different was the wind measuring masts

Mast for measuring wind?

and various markers presumably installed by Trustpower. A breeze pleasantly tempered the heat of the sun and 8 of us enjoyed a tramp in the tussocks and Maungatua top with the George making it easier and shorter by having the two cars parked further up the hill than on previous tramps. – Ian

13. 27/8/2008 Trampers. Horsehoof Station Upland road-walk Leaders: Ian, Ken
Winter conditions decreed a firmer road walk in place of the anticipated soggy ground we would have encountered at the Flagstaff big rock. So it was Horsehoof Station for a look at the fast disappearing snow conditions.
click to enlarge

Drift snow remains. Ken

Seven of us set off from our cars parked down at the shearing shed and walked steeply up in the general Maungatua direction. It was a good walk in the fresh air with general sunny conditions turning to threatening clouds later. The breeze was fresh but sheltering in the lee of a gully made for a comfortable morning tea.

Lunch was on the sheltered side of the repeater station,

Emma and Glenys approaching the Microwave. George ahead.

reached by cutting across a couple of wet gullies swollen with fresh snow runoff.

The return. Bill, Pat, Emma
A shorter day but the sun was out most of the time and the views and company were good. – Ian

The return. Bill, Glenys, Emma.

12. 18/6/2003 Horsehoof Station walk. Leaders: Shirley M, Bill & Pat.
1

Lex, Doug J, Arthur, Doug M

2

Snow on NE Maungatuas

11. 16/2/2005. Both. Maungatua with Summit option. Leaders:  Val and Brian, Arthur  and Barbara.
10. 18/9/2002. Microwave – Maungatua Summit. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Barbara and Arthur.
9. 21/11/2001. Maungatuas Summit from Microwave. Medium. Leaders: Les W, Mary M, Shirley R.
8. 27/6/2001 Leaders: Claude, Bill, Pat
7. 8/12/1999. Maungatua, Microwave. Leaders: George, Hazel, Graham.
6. 18/8/1999. Microwave to Maungatuas. Leaders: George, Doug M, Hazel.
5. 3/12/1997. Microwave to Maungatua Summit. Leaders: Bob H, Judy C, Sabina.
4. 18/9/1996. Maungatua Trip, Micro Stn, Loop and return. Average+. Leaders: George, Ian, Nelson.
3. 6/12/1995. Microwave to Maungatua Summit. Medium. Leaders: Bob H, Jean, Ria H, Jack R
2. 26/8/1992 Leaders: George, Les W, Peggy A, Peggy M
1. 10/2/1989 Leaders: Graham, Shirley, Wendy

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Feb 27 2019

Coutts Gully – Sawmill Roads – options

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers,Farm

No. 76 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Coutts Gully Return Sawmill Rd Farm”
Livingstonia Park distance from car-park: 31.5 km.

27/2/2019. Hikers. Sawmill-Coutts Gully Roads. Leaders: Clive and Francis.

22 Hikers and ramblers arrived at Livingstonia Park in time for the rain to set in.   The hikers set off along the beach in a bracing breeze and made their way in a loop up to Alan Gartons’ farm at the top of Sawmill Road.   Alan offered us shelter in an a barn to have our morning tea out of the elements.

C.1) Morning tea in Alans shedc

Morning tea in Alans shed. (Clive pic and caption.)

All refreshed we set off Westerly in what was remembered as a more level walk. (it got quite steep in places).  After passing several points remembered from the earlier visit we struck off towards Coutts Gully Road and the paper road extension.   Several spots were greasy under the steady rain and a few ended sitting on the track!.   Just as the rain eased we turned East along Coutts Gully Road and reached the old sawmill about 12.30pm, in time for lunch in warm sunshine.

C.2) Lunch at the old sawmillc

Lunch at the old sawmill. (Clive pic and caption.)

C.3) Lunch at the old sawmillc

Lunch at the old sawmill. (Clive pic and caption.)

K.a great one of Judy.IMG_1757c

A great one of Judy. (Kevin pic and caption.)

 

From there it was a straightforward walk along the formed road back to the cars and onward to Brighton for afternoon tea. – Clive.

Ramblers. Leaders: Mutually agreed.

The four of us first fortified ourselves with a leisurely morning tea at Livingstonia Park. We then motored off in search of a faintly-remembered-by-Ian Livingstone-Green family bush walk. First try:  Sawmill Road. Surprise! Ahead, the Hikers. Nothing to do but to gaily sail past to find our bush walk but it was not on that road. Returning back down to the Hikers with what dignity we could muster,  we enquired of Leader Clive who confirmed it was on the other road, – Coutts Gully, – so we retreated thence. Only to realise when we arrived, the extreme narrowness of both board and track, a bit unnerving for some of us to tackle. Anyway, it was too hilly as well.

But back down the road a bit was a lovely flat walk diagonalising across from the C-G Road to Moturata Road bordering  the shallow private wetlands estuary there, with which Ornithological-Society-of-New- Zealand-member-Lesley was familiar. Out with the binoculars, identifying Stilts (flighty), Fern Birds (invisible but with distinctive clicks), a white duck, a Spoonbill, a Shoveller and half a dozen others. Most enjoyable to watch them feeding, floating and flying, accompanied with Lesley’s learned commentary. Rain? Hardly any. Sun? Occasional. Shelter from wind? Great. (Just a pity I forgot to get the camera out.)

We walked back up the road to the aforementioned Livingstone-Green walk entrance to lunch under a rain-proof tree which sheltered us from a brief shower.

Well… What now? What else, but to precede the Hikers with coffee at Brighton, and then home. – Ian.

19. 5/4/2017. Both. Sawmill-Coutts Gully Roads. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.

Route map, courtesy Bruce.

Eighteen hikers and trampers set off from the grass berm in Burma Road after most of the cars parked on the berm. Five hikers, including Les, Margaret, Leslie and Bev made a separate excursion in the area. The main group walked beside the trees on the beach side of the park and then followed a track through the sand hills to Moturata Road  near the bridge,  following the 2 signposts with first a turn to the right and secondly a turn to the left.  We crossed Moturata Road where the track emerged and then walked 50 m to Sawmill Road on the left. We proceeded up this road and stopped for morning tea just past the house of the farm owner, Alan Gorton, through a gate and just before the dog kennels.

Morning tea. (Ian pic and caption.)

After morning tea we proceeded up the road about 200 m and turned to the left, passing an old coal range and some implement/vehicle sheds,  opposite the Mongolian style dwelling, a Yurt (Mongolian: Ger). We followed a farm road which wound down to the right through some bush and then went up hill through the farm. After some distance we followed sheep tracks straight up a steep part of the hill …

Not the farmer’s bath night. (Clive pic and caption.)

… rather than following a bulldozed track to the left. At the top of paddock was an open gate with a steel bar attached to it.  We went through the gate and continued to the next gate which was closed and had a plastic water tank with sides about 1.3 m in length. We went through this gate and then turned to the left and proceeded in a straight line  through a further 3 open gates, noticing a bulldozed track down the hill to the left but not going towards it. At the top of a brow of the hill, at the end of the straight line of travel, there was bush ahead and soon a grassy track was visible to the left which we went along for 100 m. We then noticed the start of the bulldozed track on the right which led down the hill through bush. The start of the track was not easy to see until we almost reached it because of the slope of the hill. The bulldozed bush track crossed a stream and then went up hill to reach a grassy paddock. We turned sharp left here and proceeded along Coutts Gully Road. The road in its upper parts is just a narrow path between some gorse bushes. We closed the Cyclone gate some distance along and erected 2 netting fences, with plastic bags on them, which were there to keep stock in. We had lunch at the sawmill further down the road.

Lunch at deserted sawmill. (Ian pic and caption.)

Near the bottom of the hill the group split in two with some doing the 40 minute Livingstone-Green family bush walk …

A 40 minute side trip. (Clive pic and caption.)

… with a loop at the end. We went to the right side of the loop.

At the top of Livingstone-Green. (Clive pic and caption.)

The rest of the group proceeded back to the cars. The last of the bushwalkers reached the cars at approximately 2.15 pm. The distance was approximately 11.5 km without the bush walk and 12.5 with the bush walk. The weather was cool but the rain that had threatened in the forecast some days previously did not eventuate. – Bruce and Marjorie.

18. 4/3/2015. Both. Sawmill-Coutts Gully Roads. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.
Route 2

Garmin 62S GPS of route, courtesy Bruce. Distance travelled: 12.68 km, moving time 3 hrs 43 mins, stopped time 1 hr 35 mins, moving av speed 3.4 km/hr., overall av speed 2.4 km/hr.

GPS of route

A grosser GPS of route, showing rough kilometers.

Twenty-seven trampers and hikers, including two guests from Wales who had been on the Turf to Surf cavalcade walking group, Jeremy and Mary, departed from Livingstonia Park, Burma Road, Taieri Mouth, at 9.45 a.m. on a calm sunny morning via the marked beach access track closest to the Burma Road entrance.

Entering beach from Livingstonia Park.

Entering beach from Livingstonia Park. (Bruce pic)

We proceeded north along the beach and turned to the left to the white marker pole on the beach edge which led to Moturata Road, just before we came to an assembly of some hundreds of seagulls, or, in the view of George, terns arranged in a square like a cohort from a legion of Roman soldiers.

We crossed Moturata Road and proceeded up Sawmill Road, stopping to admire two Clydesdale horses…

Horses. Clydedales, as someone said?

Horses. Clydesdales?

…that were patted and fed some grass by Chris.

Further up the road, we were greeted by a frisky pup, and then at 10.30 am we stopped for morning tea near a caravan, some houses and a yurt, a Mongolian style tent. After morning tea,

Morning Tea

Morning Tea

we entered the gate on the left, with the permission of Mr Allan Gorton, son of the late Bill, and continued down a steepish winding farm road through native bush into a gully and then up the other side into open farmland…

Emerging from deep gully.

Emerging from deep gully.

…which gradually led further up the hill.

At a gate some distance up the hill near a bush gully we veered to the left to go through another gate. After cresting the hill brow and passing a further gate we climbed another undulation and on the far side of this came eventually to a greenish track that led into the bush on the right. We noticed a further gate away to the left but did not go to it.

The bush road was also somewhat rocky and steepish. At 12.05 pm we stopped for lunch near a corner of the road at which a bank with a rocky backrest provided some seating. Proceeding again at 12.45 pm, we descended further and then gradually climbed up the other side and out of the bush into farmland.

The exit was adjacent to the upper part of Coutts Gully Road which continued towards the top of the hill via a gully on the right. We took the part of the road to the left and descended down towards an old truck parked in the bush on the left side of the road and the sawmill. The initial part of the road was a relatively narrow gap in the gorse. We then came to a Cyclone gate and subsequently a netting gate. Several birds chirped in the QE2 covenanted bush, including melodious korimako (bell birds), on the left of the road. Piwakawaka (fan tails) flitted around in the trees. After passing the sawmill, which had a pile of fresh sawdust indicating it had been recently used, we continued down the road until it emerged from the bush.

Then on the left, we had the option of doing the Livinstone-Green 30–40 minute Green Family bush walk.

Sign indicating walk through QEII reserve on Coutts Gully Road.

Sign indicating walk through QEII reserve on Coutts Gully Road.

A little over half the group did this travelling over a narrow well maintained bush track with steps, bridges and hand rails. We stopped for a rest near a seat that gave a view of Moturata Island,

The seat at the to of the QEII bush walk

The seat at the to of the QEII bush walk. Moturata Island in the background.

set in a turquoise sea, from near the top of the loop track near the end of the bush track. The grass track up to this along the fence line had been recently mown. We then proceeded back to the start/finish of the bush track.

The final portion of the walk was along Coutts Gully Road and Burma Road to Livingstonia Park, where we arrived back at approximately 3.30 pm. – Bruce.

17. 22/1/2014. Trampers. Coutts Gully, Sawmill Road.
After explaining to everybody about the possibility of coming across some bulls, and bees, we set off up Coutts Gully Rd.
Had morning tea in the usual spot at the pine trees where a side road branches off, then went on to tackle the climb to the top road.
After climbing through the top fence, we were surprised to see some bulls in that paddock, as I was under the impression that they were in the paddock we wanted to go back down through. However, we gave them a wide berth, & pressed on regardless, with only one or two showing any interest in us, with most of them moving quickly out of our way. I must say I breathed a sigh of relief when we finally reached the top road, & the safety of the gate. There was certainly a “lot of bull in that paddock”, with probably 50 or so animals. As we had safely negotiated the bull paddock, we then stuck to the original route down Sawmill Rd. At this stage it was starting to get a little cooler, with a breeze, so we decided to get down into the shelter of the pines for a lunch stop. After lunch we walked down Sawmill Rd. [which is just a 4WD track at it’s top end], and spooked a couple of deer on the way down. From the bottom of Sawmill Rd. it was a short walk back to the cars.
We did 13.5 km; 4.3km/h ave.; 3hr 7mins moving time; climbed 320mtrs. max height 347mtrs. – Ken
16. 21/3/2012. Trampers. Coutts Gully, Sawmill Road.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

Six of us trampers took to the hills behind Taieri Mouth, via Coutts Gully Rd.  We had morning tea at the normal spot under the pine forest, then tackled the rather steep climb up to the tops. Two of us decided to go the longer, more difficult way up, while the rest took the easier route.
However when Neil and I reached what we believed to have been the agreed lunch-spot, the others were not to be seen. After a half hour spent looking for them, we had lunch on the top where we could get a good view all around, but saw no sign of them at all.
As we were finishing lunch, we got a phone call from the others asking if they could go on!!!
After inquiring as to their whereabouts, we discovered that they were not too far from us, but had lunched in a place where they could not be readily seen. Ah well…
After joining up again, we made our way back down to Taieri Mouth via a track down a ridge, onto Sawmill Rd, & back to the cars. – Ken.
15. 20/4/2011. Trampers. Coutts Gully, Kennedys, John Bull. Car shuttle. M.

Route GPS. (Courtesy Ken). 14.56 km in 4h 23m. (4.4k/h in 3hrs 20m actual tramping.) Max elev. 305m.

There were 9 of us on the day. A good number. Upper Coutts Gully Road quite muddy after recent rain. Occasional light skiffs of rain, and some sun on the day.

Tea break, well up Coutts Gully track.

Lunch at top. Sheltering from the skiffs of rain and shifting wind.

After this was the walk out to Finlayson Road, along to Kennedys Farm and down to the seat on the John Bully Gully track. Down in the bush the track very muddy and deteriorating in places, especially THE muddy broken-stepped patch. – Ian.

14. 24/11/2010. Hikers. Coutts Gully, Sawmill Road. M. Leaders: George, Dorothy

13. 9/6/2010. Trampers. Coutts Gully Road, Finlayson Road, Sawmill Road, Taieri Mouth.Leaders: George, Bob.

Scanned Google Earth pic of the area of Wed’s walk with a red line tracing the route we took. (Bob pic and caption)

Coutts Gully road was wet a muddy on the first sunny day after a series of wet ones. We discovered as we went further up that the track was now a National Trust protected open space.

Coutts Gully track now a protected open space.

Yet further up and a reminder of the sawmill in Coutts Gully.

Sheds in the sun

Sic transit gloria, mutatis mutandis, or plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose, or something not at all like that. Anyway, a track off to the side, which we used to take, was discovered to be no longer viable. Quite overgrown.

We found that the entrance to a track we had formerly used was now overgrown.

You can see just how muddy the track was, as we edged past stacked wood, well-shrouded against wet winter weather.

On past the sawmill’s stacked wood

Our trekking hitherto had been in gully shade. Now out into the sun, it was time to remove extra clothing which the cold morning’s start had necessitated.

Up into the sunshine and time to remove a layer of clothing

Out into higher open paddocks, but the climbing became much steeper than the more gentle gully incline.

One of the steep paddock climbs

Then it was grudgingly down into a dip, to cross over to a yet more arduous extended paddock climb. Rain had soaked the sheep-nibbled grass to make steeper slopes very slippery also.

The beginning of an long steep climb

We kept to the left of and beyond the route marked out on the map (at the top), to make a fuller day of it. Towards the top, we lunched on the way by a gorsed fence, rewarded by great views of the coast. Until we eventually emerged onto Finlayson Road. Only a short way down and the leaders took us through a gate on the right to make our way back down. A paddock or two and we came onto a most useful connecting ridge, nicely cleared, to get us on the way down to Sawmill Road

On the way back down, on a convenient ridge

As we continued to make our way down, looking back into the sun, we could detect through the bush a track we had taken on one or two former times to take us through a gully from another ridge to this one.

Looking back to a track we have used on earlier occasions – through a bushed gully

Now it was only to continue on back down and out. A good day. Thanks to George and Bob for guiding us through some tricky turns at times to make for a tramp, parts of which we had not tackled before. – Ian
12. 3/3/2010. Both. Coutts Gully Road, Finlayson Road, Sawmill Road, Taieri Mouth. Leaders: George and Bob M.
It was a good ‘walk-in-the-hills’ at 17km as pedometers read it, and it was a good round-trip route from sea level to skyline

From sea to skyline. (Bob pic and caption)

and back on a pleasant summer’s day with distant views to Cape Saunders for the baker’s dozen who did it (perhaps the previous week’s walk had worn some out?).

Setting out. (Bob pic and caption)

There was little ‘road’, in spite of the title of the walk, just some gravel at start and finish, but most of the trip was good pasture land often on cattle tracks or farm roads across Gorton and Wilkinson properties. Morning tea was near a still-operating, one-man sawmill, processing logs from nearby plantations. Pleasant bush lined Coutts Gully with ample birdsong especially from Bellbirds. We slowly climbed out of the gully and then plunged back through it on a 4WD track and out onto spur tops. Lunch was past the landmark lone pine

Lone pine and lunch stop. (Bob pic and caption)

and in a warm enclave among hawthorn and macrocarpa.

Artists Bob E and Elaine at work. (Bob pic and caption)

Here George held a remembrance observance for Ngaire Moir who passed away this week. People remembered her as having been on this walk many years ago when she was active in the club. Our sincere sympathies were expressed for Doug and the family. From this point, we rose by degrees to the Skyline Road which gave us vistas both east and west. A group of friendly cattle walked with us at one point.

We are joined by other ‘walkers’. (Bob pic and caption)

After only 15 minutes or so along the top we turned through yet another gate and took a downhill route along a different spur. There were more friendly/curious cattle, a little club of sheep with one solitary goat who’d joined them as a fully paid-up member, and at one stage George rounded a fenced bend and unexpectedly drafted a flock of sheep back towards us down the path. Then came perhaps the nicest stretch of the walk along a ridge top sheltered by manuka on both sides but through lovely summer grass along a quad bike path.

Grassy ridge. (Bob pic and caption)

From the open pastures that followed, we had good views of Moturata, Green, and White Islands, Sandymount, Saddle Hill, and the whole Dunedin coastline north.

Moturata view and beyond. (Bob pic and caption)

To the southeast, there was the Akatore catchment and forested hills aplenty. And so along Sawmill Road beside the lagoon which sadly did not present us with the flock of Royal Spoonbills seen on the recce, back to the cars (parked outside Denise’s crib, where there were good exchanges with the residents). Bob M
11. 1/6/2005. Trampers. Coutts Gully Road, John Bull. Leaders: George, Bob H
10. 13/8/2003 Trampers. Coutts Gully, Kennedys Farm, Taieri River. Medium. Leaders: George, Joyce.
Sabina

Sabina. Up beyond Coutts Gully Road

Down

Bob, George. Down spur to River

Above

Bob, Tash, Doug, Lex. At seat above the Taieri

Track

Doug, Bob H. Track back down along River

9. 3/6/1998. Coutts Gully, Sawmill Road. Leaders: Dot B, Joan H.
8. 26/3/1997. Coutts Gully Sawmill Road. Leaders: Doug and Ngaire, Frank.
7. 1/5/1996. Sawmill Road – Coutts Gully. Average. Leaders: George, Eric and Dorothy
6. 21/6/1995. Sawmill Track and Coutts Gully. Medium. Leaders: Eric and Dot, Joan H, Chris.
5. 13/9/1992 Coutts Gully, Taieri Beach Road. Long. Leaders: Ray W, Dave & Jean, Shirley
4. 20/2/1991 Sawmill Road – Coutts Gully. Good tramping and views. Average. Leaders: Eric and Dorothy, Jean, Joan.
3. 9/5/1990. Coutts Gully tramp, Taieri Mouth. Average. Leaders: Denise, Jean, Dorothy and Eric, Ria.
2. 12/4/1989 Sawmill Road, Taieri Mouth. Leaders: Denise, Jean, Ria, Margaret
1. 16/11/1988 Sawmill Road, Taieri Mouth. Leaders: Jean, Ria, Judith

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Feb 20 2019

Doctors Point, McKessar, Mopanui, Ridgeline

Published by under Beach,Trampers

37 km from car park to Mopanui Road end, and 40 km to
foot of McKessar Road.

The stone-walled ruins on Mckessar Track

11. 20/2/2019. Trampers. McKessar circuit from Doctors Point. Leaders: Jill D and Judy D

Another great day for 12 trampers to head north to Waitati then out to Doctors Point where we parked to do a circuit trip.
We started out along the beach while the tide was low and access to the walk through caves possible .Morning tea was up at the Mapoutahi Pa a near perfect spot – calm sea and generally uninterrupted panorama.

G.2nd-A view heading to Maori Pac

A view heading to Maori Pa. Gordon pic and caption.)

From the pa it was a road walk around the Purakaunui inlet for the hill climb to the Purakaunui (now unused) train station, where we started a long steady climb on a well maintained track to the Mopanui Rd, and the deer fence. Throughout our climb we were walking under a  luxuriant canopy of trees – pines and natives.

G.4th--Heading up McKessar Trackc

Heading up McKessar Track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Some visited the derelict stone house en route.

G.5th--Studying old stone house remainsc

Studying old stone house remains. (Gordon pic and caption.)

At the top where we had lunch with some great views esp towards the Silver Peaks and Pulpit rock, where we had been the previous week. Below was the Blueskin Bay filling up with the incoming tide and also the Orokonui reserve and predator proof fence line. Quite a feature in the area is the dry stone (locally sourced) walls withstanding the test of time throughout the elements of nature. These craftspeople were very patient and skilled in their workmanship. We followed both the deer fence part way and stonewall down through a Manuka and Kanuka plantation to just above Doctors Point again some spectacular views of the surrounding areas. From here it was on a formed road walk back to the cars. Approx 13 kms. Coffee was at Blueskin Bay nurseries.

G.8th--Makes it all worth-whilec

Makes it all worth-while. (Gordon pic and caption)

– Jill D

10. 26/9/2018. Hikers. Mopanui Ridgeline Track. Leaders: Bob and Jan.

17 hardy hikers braved the elements & set out to walk the Mopanui Ridgeline Track (also known as White’s Track).   2 cars travelled up Mount Cargill Road into Mopanui Road where we commenced our hike.  2 cars drove around Doctors Point Road and parked up beside the railway line (our destination) then Bob drove the passengers up to Mopanui Road in his 12 seater to join the rest of the party and have our morning tea in a sheltered area before setting off.

It was a gusty wind that followed us down the track but we managed to keep on our feet and soon came to an area with a canopy of tall trees which was a welcome relief.

(Jan B. pic.)

We came out to a clearing again and it was a short walk down to the finish of the track where we had an early lunch in the shelter of the rock wall behind us.

(Jan B. pic.)

We climbed over the stile

(Jan B. pic.)

and made our way down the road, stopping to view Warrington beach and the township beyond

(Jan B. pic.)

then continued on down the road to our cars.  We transported the drivers who had their cars back up the hill and a few of us walked the 1k or so back to Blueskin Cafe for refreshments and a chat.
A good day out and no-one got blown away!!
– Jan & Bob

9. 29/8/2018. Hikers. McKessar Track from Foot. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

The sun was not shining when we left the car park and as we approached Port Chalmers it looked like it would be a day destined for coffee only.  As we continued our journey, there was a marked improvement in the weather as we reached the Purakaunui Railway Park.  From the car park the walk was down hill to Sea level then back up the road to the cars for the morning tea break.  All the Twenty Two then walked up to our lunch stop at Mopanui Road where we sat with our heads in the cloud.  The up hill climb included a breather to marvel at in the relics of the McKessar Homestead.  We descended back down the track & into the cars for our refreshment stop at the Plazza Café.  Conditions could be described as a little moist. – Betty & Jim Finnie

8. 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

7. 25/5/2016. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Deer Fence, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. M. Leaders: Neil and Carole.

Wednesday 25th was the perfect day – light cloud, blue seas, 2kph breeze, when 10 trampers assembled at Orokonui (Waitati) junction and headed over to Doctors Point parking area at 9.45am.

The walk along the beach and through the arches (almost dry-footed) led us to the rocky foreshore.  However the tide being an hour off low-tide required boulder-hopping skills on the cliff side of the rocks to ensure dry feet….

Start and round rocks. (Helen pic and caption.)

Start and round rocks. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beyond the rocks we had morning tea under a lone pine tree and then moved on to circuit the Pa site and admire the view.

Beach from the Pa. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beach from the Pa. (Helen pic and caption.)

On to the beach, Osborne Road which we branched off to walk through the pines and view the old Maori Cemetery (Purakaunui Urupa) which a couple had not been to before. 35 minutes later we returned to the road following the estuary, turned into Purakanui Station Road and uphill to the railway line.

Lunchtime:  3 minutes on, no gorse, no blackberries in the middle of the walking track so a good place to sit!  (Not the railway track.)

Lunch up above railway line. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch up above railway line. (Helen pic and caption.)

We passed the old stone house relics at the lower end of McKessler track where someone was doing reparation work for the owner, Jill Hamel, an 84 year old archaeologist who lives in Anne Street, Roslyn.  (Neil rang and spoke to this lady!)

Continued up McKesslar track which ends at the road by the Orokonui predator fence and the drystone wall.

Beautiful rock wall up top of tramp. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beautiful rock wall up top of tramp. (Helen pic and caption.)

We followed the deer fence down, turned into ‘gorse alley’, bypassed an uncleared section by going through a paddock and then back onto the now excellent lower track.  Looking across the slightly misty tidal flats …

Moody view over Estuary. (Helen pic and caption.)

Moody view over Estuary. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and down to White Road brought us back to our cars at 3.00 pm after 14.5 kms. Pleasant tramping days tend to end at the local coffee shop and this was no exception.- Carole.

6. 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

5. 9/10/2013. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Deer Fence, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. Medium.

GPS of McKessar route

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Doctors Point, Mapoutahi Pa, Osbourne, McKessar Track, Deer Fence, White Road.

I messed up with the GPS, as I forgot to turn it off when we got back to the car. However, we estimate that we walked approx 13km [as it was 8.? something to the top of McKessar Track, ] We climbed about 350mtrs to the highest point, which was the top of McKessar Track.

5 of us made our way along Doctor’s Point beach to the Mapoutahi Pa site, where we had morning tea just after 10am in the shelter of a large Macrocarpa tree. We then went & explored the Pa site for a while, before setting off along the Access Rd to Osbourne, where a climb up to the railway line set the blood circulating a bit faster.
The walk up McKessar Track was interesting, as it has been completely cleared, the water tables have been cleaned out, & gravel has been spread on some parts as well. During lunch break,…

Lunch at McKessar Track

Lunch at McKessar Track. (Ken pic and caption.)

… we had a visit from a man who works for the two women who own the land there, & he filled us in with quite a bit of knowledge on the area etc. We also had a discussion on which way to go down to Doctors Point again, either along the Orokonui fence, or down the deer fence. He was sure that the deer fence route was not available, but as I had rung Ian on his cell phone from our lunch spot, & he had told us to go down the deer fence, that is what we decided to do, & that worked out OK, with just a bit of gorse on the way down the 4WD track below the deer fence to negotiate. It was then just a walk along White Rd, & Doctors Point Rd back to the cars.
All agreed that it was a good day, especially after we stopped off at the Waitati Coffee shop for refreshments on the way home!- Ken

4. 21/3/2013. Ken and Ian found the gorse alongside the deer fence had been sprayed and passage was possible again. But ascent to Mopanui from McKessar Track, although the track is detectable at both ends has still a middle bit where we could not find a way through to the track on the other side! Perhaps two, one coming down from Mopanui and another up from McKessar, equipped with radio contact could find the way through, because that part must not be very extensive.

3. 27/5/2009. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Mopanui, Mopanui Rd, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. Medium+. Leader: Ian

The feeling was magical starting out on the beach on such a clear morning.
click to enlarge

Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance.

Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance. Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance.

The tide was so far out it was easy to walk even round the outside of the caves, to stop for morning tea at the far end of Canoe Beach.

Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave.

Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave. Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave.

We were shocked to find the road from the beach under so much flooding. After MUCH thought, there was nothing for it but to charge? through.

Ria carefully negotiating flooded road just up from beach.

Ria carefully negotiating flooded road just up from beach.

We encountered dip after flooded dip in the road, each of us tackling them in our respective timid or reckless ways.

Sabina emerging from flooded road

Sabina emerging from flooded road

The flooding was not just on the road of course. It went right back to the cliffs, down which a waterfall was coming. A sight we had never witnessed before and hopefully will never again.

Waterfall. In shadow). Cause of all the flooding.

Waterfall (barely discernable on right edge of shadow. Cause of all the flooding.

Yet another dip. Probably the last one, although the road proper beyond still had rivulets in it.

Managing to stay out of yet another flooded part.

Managing to stay out of yet another flooded part.

We had news for the hikers whom we surprised on a corner coming the other way. Their walk was due to be rather truncated and hopes of lunching on Canoe Beach to be shattered. (We doubted many of them would appreciate wet feet.)

Meeting (and warning) Hikers coming the other way. Nr Osborne.

Meeting (and warning) Hikers coming the other way. Osborne Road. Our destination towering in background.

We turned up the Purakanui Station Road (near Osbourne) and crossed the railway into the newly-signed McKessar Track, beautifully cleared. Further across the north flank of Mopanui we turned off up the zig-zag track that eventually took us to the marker indicating the route up to Mopanui. Here we lunched. Sabina and Ian made it to the Mopanui trig, Ria cautiously turning back, to avoid possibly slipping on the large rocks near the top, were they to turn out to be wet.

Looking down ridge from Mopanui. Sanctuary fence glinting in sun.

Looking down ridge from Mopanui. Sanctuary fence glinting in sun.

Sabina photoed Ian on Mopanui. Potato Point in background.

Sabina photoed Ian on Mopanui. Potato Point in background.

We met Ria back down at the track junction and made our way out to the Mopanui Road, avoiding the worst of the gorse. Down at the end of the road, and adjacent to the other end of the  Mckessar Track, the owner of the farmland had taken the trouble to leave the upper and lower gates unlocked, so we could avoid the encroaching gorse on the outside of the deer fence. Earlier delays had lengthened our day so we stopped for afternoon tea mid-way down the paddocks on some convenient rock outcrops. Then it was out through the far gate and on down the long FWD track to the top of White Road, down that and back along the road to Doctors Point and the car. A good day. – Ian

2. 22/11/2006. Doctors Point, Mopanui. (Low tide 11.26am). Moderate. Leaders: Ria L, Hazel.

1. 5/10/1992.Trampers. Osborne from Doctors Point. Av. Leaders: Eric and Dot, Molly, Mavis.

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Feb 20 2019

Heyward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road

Published by under Beach,Farm and tagged:

No. 86 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Heyward Point – Melville’s Farm Farm”

40 km from car park.

Part: Tramping Track, Managed by DOC. Rest: Not during lambing Sept-Nov. Seek Permission.
17. 20/2/2019. Hikers. Leaders: Jan B and Jay
23 hikers set out on a lovely warm still morning for Heyward Point via Port Chalmers. After parking up at the end of Heyward Point Road we walked along the DOC track for a short time before stopping for morning tea under the shelter of a stand of Pine trees.

Setting Off. (Clive pic and caption)

  Carrying on we arrived at a point overlooking the spit and surrounding vista which we stopped to admire
C.2) Aramoana and Taiaroa Headc

Aramoana and Taiaroa Head. (Clive pic and caption.)

before carrying on around the cliff line to decend through a tree lined track for a while then climbing up onto a clearing again.  We continued along the clearly marked  track

C.3) Pam and Shona heading towards Heywards Pointc

Pam and Shona heading towards Heywards Point. (Clive pic and caption.)

and around to our left through a paddock of long grass until we reached a point for the lunch stop overlooking Kai Kai beach and beyond.

C.4) Lunch above the beachc

Lunch above the beach. (Clive pic and caption.)

After lunch, with renewed energy, we climbed the style and began a short sharp climb up Chapman’s paddock which soon eased into a steady climb up and up through several gates which eventually lead us back to the track leading back to the cars.
We travelled on up the hill for a short distance to the Orokanui Cafe for the customary tea/coffee fix & completed the journey home over the motorway. – Jan B.
16. 23/1/2019. Trampers. Hayward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road circuit. M. Leader: Keith.
Eight trampers arrived at the end of the Heyward Point Rd and set off at 9.50am. We had morning tea in the shelter of the trees before entering the reserve.
After a visit to Heyward Point proper where there were a good number of seals with pups,

Seals and gulls on the Island. (Eleanor pic and caption.)

we headed up hill and over the stile into Chapman’s farm. We followed some ribbons ( put out by the farmer) up hill to the top gate then followed a steep descent on slippery grass to the beach.

KaiKai beach. (Eleanor pic and caption.)

We strolled along Kai Kai beach where a large leopard seal kept a watchful eye on us, before we followed the cliff back to the bivvie for lunch.

The cave(Lunch). (Eleanor pic and caption.)

We continued uphill again on a good farm track to the Jenning’s house,

Historic Jennings cottage. (Eleanor pic and caption.)

then back to the cars. The predicted rain arrived 10 mins too soon so we were quite wet by the time we returned to the cars. Coffee at Emersons. – Keith.

15. 9/8/2017. Trampers. Hayward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road circuit. M. Leader: Janine.

On what looked like a lovely clear day, 15 trampers set off in from Mosgiel in 4 cars. Difficulties set in very early when 2 of the cars were delayed by a car accident on the motorway – 2 other cars were fortunate to be able to detour through Fairfield. Next difficulty was the further we drove, the thicker the sea mist became and on reaching the end of Heyward Point Road, after the 20 minute delay, visibility was extremely limited in the murky fog.

We set out through the mist and after a short walk stopped under some pine trees for a late morning tea

Morning tea under the trees.(Helen pic and caption.)

then pushed on to the coast edge above Aramoana- BUT still no view on offer!! Disappointing for those of us who knew what we should be seeing and unable to show those who hadn’t been to the location before just what a spectacular coastline we have!

With care we followed the cliff edge, passed through some pine trees, scrambled a short rocky hill to suddenly find the mist had lifted and we had a view. Along to Heyward Point we were able to see the Mole, Aramoana, 2 ships at sea, numerous seal and pups, and a multitude of seabirds.

(Margreet pic.)

Shags in a hole in the rock. (Helen pic and caption.)

Onward and we tackled a steep hill – up and down still skirting the cliff edge till dropping onto Kaikai beach area. Due to the late start and time limitations we didn’t venture to the sandy beach but cut accrss the paddock straight to the nearby cave/holiday home where groaning stomachs were replenished.

Lunch stop. (Helen pic and caption.)

With the late lunch, we were all delighted with the original Maori fantail legend told to us in real ‘storyteller’ style by Bob.

All refueled, it was another steep climb to the historic ‘Jennings house’- after a quick viewing and discussion on the sturdy foundations of this old homestead – we continued on through paddocks meeting young curious cows and arriving back to the road above Whareakeake beach. The road walk to us back again through thickening mist to where the cars were left. Despite all that water vapour the walk wasn’t too ‘wet’ and the 9.75km ramble appeared to be enjoyed by all. Each car then made their own arrangements for coffee / home drop offs. – Janine.

14. 10/8/2016. Trampers. Hayward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road circuit. M. Leader: Arthur H.
We parked the cars at the end of Hayward Point Road and walked for ten minutes to find our morning tea spot.
The ground was still hard from the frost. The sky was cloudless with just a hint of a cold southerly breeze. We could not have had better weather for our tramp, even if we had been able to arrange it ourselves.

Another short walk took us to the start of the DOC track to Hayward Point itself. Great views up here, of the Otago Harbour entrance, the Aramoana Mole and across to Tiaroa Head.

Mole and Heads. (Margreet pic).

Mole and Heads. (Margreet pic).

A large ship was heading into the harbour. A very scenic spot indeed.

Following the cliff-top track, we came to the grassy headland block on which were grazing a mob of hoggets. We descended down to Heyward Point but could see only two seals (usually twenty or more can be seen) and two shags on the little off-shore islet.

Rock with small and large gulls plus seals and shags. (Helen pic and caption).

Rock with small and large gulls plus seals and shags. (Helen pic and caption).

Plenty of seagulls about though.

We admired the rusty old winch, which had been used to bring up the acetylene gas bottles to power the beacon in years past (solar power now), before continuing.
Uphill next to get above the very steep face, which has recently been fenced off and put into a Q.E.II Covenant Reserve.
Going down again was a bit tricky, and it was necessary to hold on tightly to the fence so as to remain upright for a distance in the wet muddy conditions. Once out onto the grass paddock the going was much easier, but it is a long way down.

The tide was halfway out as we walked along Kaikai beach. A very beautiful place away from civilisation. At the end of the beach we turned inland to admire the holiday cave dwelling.

Cave dwellings (Helen pic.)

Cave dwelling. (Helen pic).

From sea level it is all uphill back o the cars, so we ascended the first hill to lunch at the old house (the Jennings house).

Old house where we had lunch. (Helen pic and caption).

Historic old Jennings house where we had lunch. (Helen pic and caption).

Some stomachs were complaining by then, but morning tea had also been late.

A close inspection of the house followed. Apparently it had last been used during the second world war by the army for coast watching duty.
Up through the paddocks, onto the road, which we followed, returned us to the cars at 2.25 p.m. We had covered 11 kms.
The fine day, together with the great views, had combined to give the seven of us a very enjoyable tramp.
On the way home, a diversion had to be made to observe the weekly ritual at Careys Bay. – Arthur H.

13. 11/5/1016. Hikers. Heyward Point, anti-clockwise loop return over paddocks. M. Leaders: Judy, Adrienne.

Heyward Point Route Map

Heyward Point Route Map

21 intrepid hikers parked at the end of the Heyward Point road and set off in beautiful weather after almost forgetting the Bathgate car load who took a wrong turning….
After a leisurely morning tea …

Morning tea panorama

Morning tea panorama

… in the first group of pines, Dorothy came to grief at the first hurdle (style), making a great job of scraping her leg.  She was ably patched up …

… by a bevy of nurses and returned to the cars with Chris for a quiet sit in the sun for the rest of the day.

Harbour Entrance

Harbour Entrance

The remaining 19 proceeded along the cliff path where the ups and downs tested our fitness in the rapidly increasing heat. Clothes were shed in all directions before we reached the paddocks above the point.  Six keen souls went down to the rocks

Split off 'island' adjacent to lighthouse

Split off ‘island’ adjacent to lighthouse

Birds & seals on 'island'

Birds & seals on ‘island’

and were rewarded by the sight of families of seals cavorting in the rock pools.  The bulk of the party proceeded to the style perched steeply on the hillside above Kai Kai Beach where we stopped for lunch and were soon joined by the other six.

Lunch

Lunch

Then it was a steady slog uphill and across farm paddocks for another hour, to reach the track a couple of hundred metres from the cars.
Fantastic weather, incredible views and good company made this a most enjoyable hike, concluding with a coffee stop at the Stadium Cafe.
-Judy and Adrienne.

12. 26/3/2014 Trampers. Heyward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road.

We had 8 people today, our numbers were boosted by 3 young men from Israel, who were bought along by Hazel.
We had good weather apart from a strong wind on the way back up to the top road again, & all agreed it is a good walk. – Ken

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch at the cave accommodation (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch at the cave accommodation (Ken pic and caption)

11. 16/1/2013 Trampers. Heyward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road.

We had a very good walk today, with great weather, a good mix of terrain, & we had a good chat to Sue & Partner. Judy is related to both Sue, & the woman who live at the very start by the gate, she is Sue’s sister. So lots of ‘catching up’ was done.

Morning Tea break. (Ken pic and caption.)

Morning Tea break. (Ken pic and caption.)

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Feb 13 2019

Pump House, Tunnels, McRaes Weir, Racemans, return

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

8. 13/2/2019. Hlkers. Whare Flat Area. Leaders: Jan and Peter.
Another hot Wednesday, but fortunately this tramp was mainly under bush cover which made things a bit easier.  There were 30 of us, including 5 ramblers and a few trampers.  Jan led the ramblers and anyone else who wanted an easier start via the ford, while Peter led the rest up the more interesting undulating bush track to the right of  the Silverstream.  We met up just past the swing bridge for morning tea.
C2.2) Morning tea near the suspension bridgec

Morning tea near the suspension bridge. (Clive pic and caption.)

  Then a short climb up to the Tunnels Track where we took a left and went part way round the McRaes Weir track before retracing our steps to the junction.  From there it was a gentle ramble along the Tunnels Track and a slight climb up through the previously forested open area.  People lunched in various spots along this part of the track where it was shadier, but some of us were in the open  area.  Great views, and fortunately there was a very welcome slight breeze here.  Interesting to see that this whole area has been replanted in pine trees.  Carried on up a bit further after lunch.  Track has grown over a bit in this area, but easy to follow the markers.  Then descended down through more bush and came out on a shorter track to the road which avoids a somewhat tricky creek crossing at the end of the track.

C.3) Bruce checks out the tunnel on tunnel trackc

Bruce checks out the tunnel on tunnel track. (Clive pic and caption.)

C.4) The Kereru checked us out2c

The Kereru checked us out.(Clive pic and caption.)

C.5) There was more than one tunnelc

There was more than one tunnel. (Clive pic and caption.)

  Returned to the cars via the hot dusty road which was a bit of a drag.  Perhaps we could suggest to the DCC that a return track be formed along the bush line parallel to the road.   A very welcome coffee at Wals.  Jan and Peter

7. 7/9/2016. Both. McRaes Weir – Racemans Circuit. E. Leaders: Ian, Doug and Arthur H.
GPS of route

GPS of route. Nike App switched on at swing bridge. Sorry! Tramped 10.5 km.

Well! It was a most successful tramp for the first Wednesday of the month for both groups together – four trampers and four hikers, to be precise. So sorry the REST of you didn’t come along.

We enjoyed a sunny sheltered tramp around the McRaes Weir

McRae's Weir. (Helen pic and caption.)

McRae’s Weir. (Helen pic and caption.)

Circuit. (This reporter sticks to the implication of Hamel’s terminology, despite thought-provoking signage at its Racemans’ end.) From there we went further up the Racemans, past the Steve Amies Track turn-off, to reach the point where the Powder Creek Circuit comes across-stream to join the Racemans. Then we turned back, in view of the promised impending storm, till we reached a clear sunny spot to lunch at 12 noon.

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch View. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch View. (Helen pic and caption.)

From there we returned, via the shorter Racemans track this time, eschewing the lengthier  McRaes Weir Circuit, crossing the swing bridge …

Silver stream looking lovely. (Helen pic and caption.)

Silver stream looking lovely. (Helen pic and caption.)

… to the Silverstream’s true right (we had initially entered by way of it’s true left to that point),  but of course in consequence suffering the foot-soaking (for some) ford to arrive back at the cars just as the predicted storm’s rain began to fall at 1.00 p.m.

Oh, did we mention? We had prudently cancelled the scheduled Traquair tramp the night before, lest the storm caught us in the afternoon while still exposed up on the hills. And we DID promise there could be morning’s sun for a sheltered Racemans’ tramp in the morning. Happily 8 of us took full advantage of the opportunity. Again, we’re sorry the rest of you missed out on our rewarding time together.

P.S. The trampers’ carload enjoyed a post-tramp birthday toast  to one of their own back at The Wooden Table.

Coffee Wooden Table. (Helen pic and caption.)

Coffee Wooden Table. (Helen pic and caption.)

The hikers’ carload returned home out of the rain. – Ian.

6. 25/5/2016 Waiora Camp, Whare Flat Road, Pump House, Mcraes Track, return. Leaders: George and Peter H.
Nike GPS map of Hikers' route.

Nike GPS map of Hikers’ route.

It was a dark and stormy night … nay, ’twas a cold and frosty morn, giving way to a perfect calm and sunny winter’s day. However, an early winter rain-fest on the Monday had put a damper on the Leaders’ plans for Wednesday. Flooded fords at each end of the day’s hike sprang disappointments at both points; the first resulting in a refusal to follow the leaders’ urging, the second, – planned for but only because the lesser of two evils – a boots’ soaking.

But to begin. With on a little confusion, all drivers negotiated the Waiora Scout Camp roads to reach its central parking area. (George had arranged this alternative to the usual spot because on an earlier occasion he had returned to find his car had been broken into.)

While in the camp, we visited a nearby lookout point, remembered by some, only to find the its outlook reduced by healthy bush growth. After that, it was back out the camp gates and up the Whare Flat Road, only to find a strong flow of water streaming over the first of the road’s two fords, blocking our progress. Despite the leaders setting up a rope railing and encouraging group members to take the plunge, no one wished to get cold wet feet so early on a frosty morning. However, before turning back, George recounted the history of the Whare Flat School , whose school house was further up the road, attending to the education of the children of the water race families and settlers in the area. Also, Chris told us of her mother being a former pupil at the school, and also of a relative who had worked on the race. All most enlightening.

So, plan two. Retrace steps back down the road and enter the pump-house area. Back at the pump house, the ford here was equally flooded as shown here in Sharyn’s photo.

Flooded ford. (Charyn pic.)

Flooded ford. (Sharyn pic.)

So it was along the track that followed the fence-line on the stream’s true left and up and over its hilly ridge. The climb is steep, and several turned back, but the majority persisted on. At the track’s outlet by the swing bridge, we circled round …

s-Frost melt vapour. (Sharyn pic.)

Frost melt vapour. (Sharyn pic.)

… to ascend the nearby track that took us to the end of the Tunnels Track – the other end of the one the leaders had originally planned to take.  But  we turned left and took the water race track leading along to McRaes Weir.

About half-way along, we reached the site of the short (dry) water pipe taking the race through a small ridge. Challenged upon learning that it had been scrambled through on previous occasions by many of the older hikers, three new heroes ‘took the plunge’, so to speak, notably Bruce, (who broke the cobwebs for the others, Adrienne, …

Adrienne by pipe exit. (Unknown photographer)

Adrienne by pipe exit. Success. (Unknown photographer)

… Peter …

Peter emerging from water race pipe. (Adrienne pic)

Peter emerging from water race pipe. (Adrienne pic)

… and Janice, …

Accomplished! Bravo Jan. (Adrienne pic)

Accomplished! Bravo Jan. (Adrienne pic)

… emerging from the other side of the hill to the applause of the lesser souls who had preferred the climb over the ridge.

We lunched in the sun …

Lunch. (Sharyn pic.)

Lunch. (Sharyn pic.)

… just a bit short of McRaes Weir, and afterwards continued along the track, past the 1913 storm-damaged wreck of the raceman’s hut, to reach and view the weir and also the challenging steep climb out on the other side of the stream. Either respectively too wet and too steep for the day.

All that was left now, was to return out the way we had come in, but avoiding this time the steep ridge we had negotiated on the way in in favour now of the swing bridge …

Swing Bridge. (Sharyn pic.)

The Swing Bridge. (Sharyn pic.)

… and the soppy ford …

Sloshing across the ford by the pump-house.

Sloshing across the ford by the pump-house.

… by the pump-house. So it was back to the cars in squelchy boots, a change of foot-ware, and then sociable coffee at a cafe for some. – Ian.

5. 7/11/2007. Pump House, Tunnels, McRaes Weir, Racemans, return

Peter, Sabina, Doug M, Joyce, Neil, Wendy, Pat, Bill

Tea break. Identifiable: Peter, Sabina, Doug M, Joyce, Neil, Wendy, Pat, Bill

As this was another first Wednesday of the month, 25 Hikers and Trampers combined for a delightful walk in the Silverstream Water Race area. Joyce and Lesley led us on a round tour of part of the Racemans track area. Because the pedestrian bridge by the Pump House is now a casualty of the large 2006 flood, we kept to the stream’s true left the entire day, appreciating the new track that took us to beyond the swing bridge further up where we stopped for morning tea on a sunny grassy area. We had enjoyed bush rich with bellbird song on the way. Then a gentle climb took us up to the

Rest stop. Peter, Pat, Bill, Bob H, Neil

Rest stop. Peter, Pat, Bill, Bob H, Neil

Racemans Tunnel Track and level all the way along to the old McRaes Weir, which we were shocked to find badly flood-ravaged. Along the way however, Lex pulled a leg muscle. With pain-killers, he was able to return with two supporters to wait for us back at the cars. We crossed the little McReas side- stream and made our way along the McRaes track , admiring some quite large Pungas on the track-side until we reached its junction with the main Racemans Track. At this point we enjoyed

Ken, Wendy, Joyce, Neil, Margaret, Chris, Who?

Lunch. Identifiable: Ken, Wendy, Joyce, Neil, Margaret, Chris, Who?

a leisurely lunch-break in beautiful sunny bush. Then it was down the main access track, past the old Silverstream weir, past the Pump House water intake, along the newer first part of the track, past the Pump House itself and back to the cars to find Lex and his companions waiting for us in the sun. His leg was still sore but not excessively and he looked forward to returning home and getting cold compresses on it. The day proved a good social outing with both groups enjoying each others company. Ian

4. 7/11/2007 Leaders:
3. 13/9/2006. Trampers. Tunnels, McRaes Weir, Steve Amies, Little Coal Creek, Racemans. Medium+. Leaders: Bob H, Athur H.
2. 19/10/2005. Hikers. Racemans, Tunnel Track. Leaders: Nancy, Eleanor B
1. 10/11/2004. Both. Tunnels, Raceman Tracks. Leaders: Bob H, Victor, Nancy.
Weir

Old Weir. Lance, Lois, Anne, Who? Who? Dot, Pat? Bill, Sabina.

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Feb 13 2019

Shuttle: Mountain Road, Pulpit Rock, Long/Powder Ridges, Whare Flat

Published by under Trampers

3. 13/2/2019. Trampers. Mountain Road to the Silverstream. Hard. Bus. Leaders: Arthur and Eleanor.
The sun was shining brightly in a clear blue sky as Bob the Busman (no, not Bob the Builder) transported 16 eager Trampers to Mountain Road for the day’s adventure.
The tramp started at 9.35 a.m., with the first objective being Pulpit Rock.
Afters 30 minutes, morning tea was partaken of trackside – in the shade, as the heat was building.
A brief rest stop was taken at Green Hut (site), and then again, briefly, after the short stiff climb just after.
Past Green Hill, and then up the steep climb towards Pulpit Rock. Puffs of a lovely cool nor-east breeze were very welcome assistance here, although the group got well spread out anyway.
G.2nd--Heading to Pulpit rock-SteepP1050472c

Heading to Pulpit rock – Steep. (Gordon pic and caption.)

G.3rd--Not long nowP1050473c

Not long now. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Eventually we made it to the top, several going to the summit of Pulpit Rock (760 metres – we had started the day at 400 metres.)

G.4th--The few who conqured the Rockc

The few who conqured the Rock. (Gordon pic and caption.)

The others were content to wait and rest on the track below, and all had earned a good rest.

G.3rd--The group before starting down Long Ridge trackc

The group before starting down Long Ridge track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

At 11.55 a.m. we began the descent down onto Long Ridge. Altitude is lost quickly at first, and the track had been well cleared here.

The walk down Long Ridge was most enjoyable, although it was through knee high grass mostly. The lunch stop was called at 12.30, when a suitable shady spot was found. A very enjoyable half hour was spent here.

At 1.25 we had climbed up off Long Ridge onto the highest knob of Powder Ridge (586 metres) and taken a last view of the Pulpit. The cloud was building now on the windward side of the Silverpeaks and Swampy, with its pleasant cooling breeze accompanying us.

The final leg of our tramp was now down Powder Ridge, and a new rope was a great assistance going down the first brief steep bit.

The track undulates, always trending down, but with some brief climbs up a knob before descending once more. It is a beautiful track, and the N.E. breeze was filtering through the trees to help cool us.

Rest and regrouping stops were made at 2pm and 3pm. It is a long way down Powder Ridge, but the time eventually came for the final steeper descent to the bottom of the track.

Easy going now, we crossed the Silverstream at the old weir,

G.4th--The last obstacleP1050486c

The last obstacle. (Gordon pic and caption.)

and onward, arriving at the car park at 4.20 – tramp complete (at 100 metres altitude). The distance metres stated 19 km -what a great effort by the group. Congratulations to all for completing it.

A special tramp indeed!

And thanks to Eleanore for helping organise the day so ably. And also to Gordon, Dave, Alan, and Art. for getting up early to position the cars at the Pumphouse, so that we could all return to Mosgiel.

What a great day it was.

Thanks to all the group. – Art.

2. 15/10/2003. Trampers. Semple Road to Whare Flat. Hard. Shuttle. Leaders: Lex, Wendy J, Evelyn C.

1. 25/2/1998. Semple Road to Pulpit Rock, Long Ridge, Whare Flat. Bus fare to be arranged. Leaders: Jack R, Nelson, Claude.

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Feb 06 2019

Chrystalls Beach, Toko Mouth

No. 47 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Toko Beach. M Young”; also No. 65 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Chrystalls Beach Farm”

Location: 59 km from the car park.

Directions: On SH1, before Milton, at Helensbrook intersection, left onto Forsyth Road, right onto Back Road, left onto Glenledi Road.
Best in Summer. The stock winter over.
19. 5/2/2019. Both. Cooks Head. Farm walk. Took Mouth. Return beach. M. Leaders: Arthur H. and Lester.
It was a 50 minute drive for the 7 cars transporting our group of 31 Trampers and Hikers (combined), to reach Chrystalls Beach which is out at the coast from Milton.
A rather chilly wind coming up the coast greeted us, so it was jackets or windbreakers on. A semi-sheltered pine plantation was our morning tea stop – in the sunshine.

Morning tea in sun out of the wind. (Gordon pic and caption.)

A little later, as we passed the cowshed on the dairy farm, a light shower arrived necessitating sheltering in the lee of some trees for 5 minutes.

A shelter-belt of trees on our left gave good shelter as we walked down the farm lane in a southwest direction.

Eventually we crossed the last paddock and negotiated the two-wire electric fence (turned off, thankfully) to arrive on the bank of the Tokomairiro River, and followed it to the sea.

Part of Toko township. (Gordon pic and caption.)

IMG_1735c

Jim and Keith comparing sticks or contemplating the distance to China. (Kevin pic and caption.)

The wind had eased somewhat by now, and it wasn’t quite as cold. After a rest stop we began the Beachwalk on the return part of our circuit, but now with the wind coming from behind it was much more pleasant.

Heading off along the beach. (Gordon pic and caption.)

After about half a kilometre we stopped to eat our lunch at the top the beach. It was low tide, and the surf was endlessly roaring.

Lunch on the beach. (Gordon pic and caption.)

No lingering over lunch, and then onward again. Chrystalls Beach is not a particularly pleasant beach to walk on because the coarse sand does not pack down hard. Nevertheless the group made good time up the beach, with the only thing of note being, sadly, the dead body of a very young Little Blue Penguin.

Heading off to Captain Cooks Head Rock. (Gordon pic and caption.)

All were very glad to reach Cooks Head, to have a breather in its shelter …

The Rock. (Gordon pic and caption.)

… while admiring its volcanic origin.

The rock makeup. (Gordon pic and caption.)

IMG_1743

(Kevin pic.)

Strangely no one wished to climb to the top today.

Will we climb it or not? (Gordon pic and caption.)

A short walk through the sand dunes, and on the road soon had us back at the cars, having covered just over 9 km for the day.

We had had only the one shower during our tramp, but there had been rain inland, and it was raining at Milton as we travelled homeward.

A refreshment stop was made at Waihola, before arriving back in Mosgiel at 3 p.m. – Art.

18. 21/9/2016. Trampers. Cooks Head. Farm walk. Took Mouth. Return beach. M. Leader: Arthur H.
We had a day at the beach.
Seven trampers left Mosgiel at 9.00 a.m. and travelled for 50 minutes to reach Chrystalls Beach, which is out at the coast from Milton.
After parking behind the beach, we walked back up the road we had just descended, – “Irishmans Road”. The overcast sky was beginning to show some blue patches now, the day becoming quite sunny.
An easterly breeze was coming in from the sea, and was noticeably cool. We had dropped Helen off at the top of the hill to find us a sheltered morning tea spot. The rest of us were nicely warmed up by now, and morning tea in the sunshine was most welcome.

Onward we walked, and were soon on one of the lanes of the daily farm. Downhill towards the cowshed …

Towards Toko Mouth. (Helen pic and caption.)

Towards Toko Mouth. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and then followed the main farm lane heading south.

The lanes were dry, and perhaps not too interesting themselves, but it was a pleasure to walk through the farm and enjoy the colour of the fresh spring grass. We had passed the large mob of dairy cows soon after leaving the cars, grazing in their paddock beside the road.
Eventually we came to the end of the lane, and crossing one paddock, arrived at the bank of the Tokomairiro River. Under the electric fence and along the specially cleared track through the gorse and we were at the water’s edge.
We could look across at the Toko Mouth houses as we followed the river for half a kilometre or more to the mouth.

It was getting close to low tide, but just a little early for lunch, so we began  the beach walk, coming to our dining seat before too long. A nice smooth log was perfect, plenty of room for all of us to sit side by side while munching away happily – like a row of birds on a wire.

H-114941Lunch on beach. (Helen pic and caption.)

H-114941Lunch on beach. (Helen pic and caption.)

We could watch the endless waves breaking on the beach and listen to the surf. Sea birds were noticeably absent, however.

Lunch over, we resumed our northward beach walk. The sand conditions were rather trying (and tiring), being a bit soft to walk on. It is about 3.5 km along the beach, and all were glad to eventually reach “Cooks Head” rock.

Rock and then close up. (Helen pic and caption.)

Rock and then close up. (Helen pic and caption.)

Time was taken to inspect the volcanic formations, similar to the “organ pipes” near Mt Cargill, which form the rock. Two were keen enough to climb to the summit …

Arthur and Eleanor on top of Cooks Rock. (Janine pic and caption.)

Arthur and Eleanor on top of Cooks Rock. (Janine pic and caption.)

… and admire the view.

The view. (Arthur pic.)

The view. (Arthur pic.)

The others were content just to watch.

Ten minutes more and we were back to the cars soon after 1.00 p.m. Not a long tramp, at around 10.5 km overall.
An historical note – In 1907 a French sailing ship, the Marguerite Mirabaud ran aground in fog on Chrystalls Beach. No lives were lost and the cargo was auctioned off behind the beach after being recovered. The sea broke up the ship though.

On the way back to Milton we stopped to inspect the sign erected by the Milton Rotary Club on the roadside, to mark where Richard Pearse had lived for 10 years from 1911.

Sign. (Arthur pic.)

Richard Pearse Sign. (Arthur pic.)

He is credited by some as flying a powered aircraft in 1902 or 1903,  before the Wright Brothers.

The cars then made an essential stop at Waihola on the homeward journey. All seemed to have enjoyed their day at the beach. – Arthur.
17. 19/3/2014. Trampers. Cooks Head, Chrystalls Beach, Toko Mouth, farm walk return. Easy.
 Chrystalls Beach to Toko Mouth & farm walk was the destination for our outing this week. Quite a few of the six who turned up had not done this before, so it was especially enjoyed by them. This time, to make it a bit different, I decided that we would do the trip in reverse, so walked back up the road to the farm house, where we were met by a overfriendly young dog that wanted to follow us, so we tried tying it up, but it went absolutly berserk, so we had to untie it, & really growl at it to make it stay at the house.
There has been quite a change to the look of the farm, with new roads, & the top paddocks bare of vegetation, but the lower paddocks are still the same. We had a lunch break …
Lunch

Lunch break (Ken pic and caption)

… along the beach a bit from Toko Mouth, then walked along to Cooks Head & inspected …
Cooks Head rock formation. (Heb pic and caption)

Cooks Head rock formation. (Heb pic and caption [Ed note: on the seaward side of the ‘Head’])

… the rock formations, before walking back to the cars.
The weather was very nice all day, with bright sunshine, & mostly calm conditions, which was enjoyed by all. – Ken.
16. 25/9/2013. Trampers. Cooks Head, Chrystalls Beach, Toko Mouth, farm walk return. Easy.
Chrystalls Beach Circuit. GPS of route courtesy Ken.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Chrystalls Beach, Toko Mouth, farm, circuit.

On a day that looked threatening weather wise, 5 of us travelled to Chrystalls Beach, & after parking the cars away from some loose wandering cattle, we made out way across to Cooks Head where we had morning tea.
Morning Tea stop in the shelter of Cooks Head. (Ken pic)

Morning tea stop in the shelter of Cooks Head.

Then we rugged up for the very windy walk along the beach to Toko Mouth. The sand was just as soft & hard to walk on as I remembered it from last time I was there.
We had a regroup around the corner of the Toko estuary out of the wind, then made our way along there to the point where it is possible to climb through the gorse, & up onto the farm paddocks. It was then a case of deciding which way to go to find the big hay shed where we had lunch the last time. After locating this we walked along the muddy track to where our route turned off into the paddocks, to head back up to the top road again. We had lunch out of the wind, hunkered down behind a large stack of trees that the farmer had torn out of the ground, & stacked up in piles along the new fence line. After lunch, it was just a matter of walking back up the slope that leads past the house on the property, & then along the roads back to the cars.
We all agreed that it was a good walk, despite the wind, & the very occasional light spot of moisture.

15. 14/7/2010. Cooks Head, Chrystalls Beach, Toko Mouth, farm walk return. Easy. Leaders: Ian, Ken.
Because of low tide at 11.00 a.m., we walked the beach first for the first tiime instead of doing the tramp the more usual other way round. So it happened that we came upon Cooks Head from the north instead of the south and discovered a cave we had never noticed before.

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Jan 30 2019

Herbert Forest

Published by under Uncategorized

30/1/2019. Trampers. Herbert Forest. Leader: Dave.

34 keen trampers and hikers met at the carpark and organised themselves, into vehicles to head to Waianakarua’s Herbert Forest. The drive from Mosgiel is approximately 1hr 15mins to the start of the Swallows track.

The clue is in the middle 4.5 hours Total Loop! (Clive pic and caption.)

The track was damp in places, we passed through Punga ferns to a cave where we had morning tea.

Morning tea at caves. (Gordon pic and caption.)

It was then on to the Podocarp track which is known for its big native trees that weren’t milled ie. Totara, Rimu, Matai, Miro and Kahikatea. It was pleasant in the damp gully on such a hot day.
Lunch was had at the top of this track on Breakneck road.

Part of the large group at lunch. (Gordon pic and caption.)

The final track was the Hoods track which included stream crossings, waterfalls and climbing down a vertical ladder through the bush!

One more obstacle. (Gordon pic and caption.)

One of many sream crossings. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Nearly down. (Gordon pic and caption.)

The walk ended by visiting a beautifully, large landscaped garden. “The trees and plants looked good to the eye wherever you looked”.

Enjoying the beautiful garden. (Gordon pic and caption.)

The trip concluded with well deserved icecreams at Hampden.
Thanks to those who assisted on this walk.
Distance for the day: approximately 14 km. – Dave.

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Jan 30 2019

Grahams Bush/Old Rd Car Park, Organ Pipes, Buttars Peak, Mount Cargill.

Published by under Trampers

Click Grahams Bush history for background information.
Click Mount Cargill history for background information.
No. 19 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Sawyers Bay – Grahams Bush. M Deuchrass. Summer.”
Sawyers Bay Road 28 km from car park
14. 30/1/2019. Hikers. M. Leaders: Jan Y and Pam.

We were down in  numbers owing to several of the hikers going to Herbert with the trampers, but after some initial confusion between Hall and Station Roads, 16 of us set off for the Grahams Bush track.  The four ramblers followed for a bit, then peeled off on a different route.  A very hot day had been forecast, but it was reasonable under the bush cover.  The track is quite steep in places and not easy going, but fortunately it was much drier underfoot than earlier in the week when we did the reccie.  The creek crossing has been replaced by a bridge, which made things easier at that point. There was quite a bit of bird activity, with fantails and tomtits.   Reached the top of the track by 12ish and had lunch at the organ pipes car park.

(Wyn pic)

Watched with interest as a van carrying cyclists and their gear arrived and unloaded.  The cyclists were heading back down North Road – I’m not sure of their destination.  The heat was ramping up, and we trudged along North Road to the turnoff to Upper Junction Road.  The views were fantastic tho, as the harbor looked a picture and there was a bit of activity with a couple of cruise ships in.  Headed back down to Sawyers Bay which was a more enjoyable walk as groves of trees lined the road in places and gave us some shade.

(Wyn pic.)

  Arrived back at the cars around 2, and the co-leader (whose suggestion it actually was) was overheard to remark that it was a hard tramp, and next time it appeared on the programme she wouldn’t be doing it!!).  We headed round to the Carey’s Bay Hotel for a very welcome drink, some alcoholic and some non-alcholic (the beer went down very nicely). It was so pleasant sitting in the shade at the front of the hotel we lingered for quite some time.  Had a slow trip home once we hit the motorway as an accident ahead forced al the traffic through Fairfield, and there was a huge buildup of vehicles.  Finally got back to Mosgiel well after four.  

We did 10.9ks, so not a bad effort for a very hot day.  Jan and Pam

13. 12/9/2018. Trampers. Sawyers Bay/Mt: Cargill/Bethunes Gully/Upper Junction/Sawyers Bay. Leader: Phil.

15 intrepid walkers set out from Hall Rd on a pretty balmy Harbour day up through Graham’s Reserve.  Birdlife was rife including some nice plump Kereru.  This may be in part due to the community trapping initiatives that now encircle the Eco Sanctuary as birds there stretch their wings to increasingly safer climes.

Morning tea was taken on and around wooden steps,

Morn.tea break in the bush. (Gordon pic and caption.)

looking through the canopy of a wonderful lady rimu; the quality of the bush was ‘right up’ there, with good stands of Rimu (also on the downward beat to Bethunes Gully).

I thought progress was steady, but when we arrived at the carpark on North Rd, and checked the watch, to my surprise 15 walkers did it quicker than 1 person on the recce, and that included morning tea time……must have been that the track was now so much drier!  Or was this a particularly talented and fit group of walkers?

A short break to catch breath and have a swig was taken at the carpark, where we also co opted a Welsh tourist to join us up to Buttars Peak, the Organ Pipes

Not much of Organ Pipes left. (Gordon pic and caption.)

having lost much of their points of interest.

Lunch was taken on the battlements at Buttars Peak,

A Welshman admiring our Valleys. (Phil pic and caption.)

what a place to repel the invaders, and although a coolish breeze tempered things a bit, the views were still ‘top notch’.

View from Buttars Peak. (Gordon pic and caption.)

We set off after lunch at 12.30pm and turning left at the Junction we descended to Bethunes Gully in 66% of the time the signposting stated.  Most took advantage of the low wooden fence to chill out, almost like waiting for the bus,

Waiting for the bus at Bethune’s Gully. (Phil pic and caption.)

which did not come, so we went up up and up Norwood St; it did not seem like this when I recce’d in the car…..

From here it was a short trip along North Rd before descending down through Upper Junction.  The Harbour areas and gullies have such a great eclectic mix of housing and gardens tucked away.  From Upper Junction Rd a small detour was made to by-pass the closed road and works, following major road slumping.

From here it was back up Hall Rd to the cars, and noticeably this road seemed quite steep in places!  A suggestion for another time being to park the cars at the bottom of the hill!

There was some differing perspectives on how far we had walked, depending on the country of origins of the myriad of devices, whether or not they spoke to you etc.….going by the DCC pamphlets and my car speedo I thought 14 km but then again I know my speedo understates speed by about 10%…….This proved to be a challenging loop walk but one that was appreciated and proved the all round fitness of everyone who came. And yes everyone knows how to tell if a Rimu is male or female.  Some even how to identify a Miro tree by the berry fruit.

It was agreed we would return to Blackstone for coffee, but because they had had such a busy day did not want our patronage, so we crossed the road and enjoyed great craic at Blend ( debating the merits or otherwise of traditional roles v sensitive new age males); we had to apologise to some other customers for the noise, and as they left said we were just like teenagers!  Wow what a complement to finish the day. – Phil.

12. 8/8/2018. Hikers. Mount Cargill from Old Road. M. Leaders; Phil and Raewyn.

24 intrepid hikers drove to the Organ Pipes track carpark on Mt Cargill.

Mt Cargill Road carpark. (Clive pic and caption.)

  A few ‘Oh dears’ were voiced when the steps at the beginning of the track were first seen, but taking it slowly we finally reached the morning tea stop, 15 minutes in.  Then it was onwards and upwards again with those jolly steps appearing around every corner.  Soon though we came across the pile of rubble which was once the Organ Pipes formation, and taking turns, everyone viewed the last remaining pipes standing.

New organ pipe evolving at the Organ Pipes site. (Phil pic and caption.)

  After a slippery boardwalk, the track evened out and it was a pleasant walk through the bush up to the turnoff to Buttars Peak.  Eight adventurers climbed to the top for a ‘wow’ moment,

Buttars Peak….Harbour Cone will be nothing after this. (Phil pic and caption.)

while the rest of us waited and waved from below.  Onwards around the base of the transmitter tower and the final ascent to the top – Oh no, those darn steps were back again with a vengeance.  Determinedly we all made it to the top for lunch…

Mt Cargill at the top. (Clive pic and caption.)

Lunch….listening in for contact from the galaxies. (Phil pic and caption.)

…and the 360 degree views over Dunedin, the Peninsula & Blueskin Bay.  The cool breeze that whipped up soon had us on the return trip and facing all those steps in the opposite direction.  Our ‘Ramblers 3’ joined us for morning tea, and did really well to continue upwards to have their lunch by the organ pipes rubble.  Well done ladies.  A great day followed by coffee at the Plaza Café. – Raewyn.

11. 18/10/2017. Trampers. Grahams Bush – TV Mast. M. Leader: Helen.

Only eight trampers today. Lots away. Started at Hall Road in Sawyers Bay. Parked cars at the start of the Grahams Track. Lovely walk up through bush and also some muddy areas. Had our morning tea stop on this section of the tramp. Up the steep steps to the Mount Cargill Road.

(Margreet pic.)

Across that and up to the Organ Pipes most which have fallen down now.

Organ Pipes. (Helen pic and caption.)

Continued on up to the top of Mount Cargill going past Buttars Hill. Had our lunch up there in the shelter as was quite windy on the top. Down we went again after conversations with other hikers and workman on our way down to the road. From there we decided to walk

View from road. Roseneath Quarantine Island and Portobello. (Helen pic and caption.)

in a large loop back to Sawyers Bay and cars. Distance was 16.5kms. Coffee at Blackstone in Mosgiel. A very enjoyabld day with lots of chatting. – Helen

10. 10/6/2015. Trampers. Grahams Bush – TV Mast.M.
We had a good turnout of 10 trampers for todays assault on Grahams Bush — Organ Pipes, & track up to the transmitter mast on top of Mt. Cargill.
We had morning tea break at the junction of the private road, & the left turn onto the track. I should’ve waited till a bit later as once into the bush the ground was nearly dry, whereas where we stopped was quite wet.
We made good time up to the road at the top of the Grahams Bush track, & after a short rest stop where we learnt that a couple from the Czech Republic had their car broken into, in the Organ Pipes car park, & a backpack stolen, which contained their passports along with other items, we carried on up to the Organ Pipes.
Those that had not been there before, or for a long time took the opportunity to view the tumbled down remains of the once great landmark, before we set off for the junction with the track leading up to the transmitter mast. We found a reasonably sheltered spot among the bush edge to sit down for lunch,
Lunch stop. (Ken pic)

Lunch stop. (Ken pic)

before going up the rough track [in places] with the big steps up to the top, where it was very windy.
After having a good look around up here, & admiring the great view, we started to retrace our steps back down & along the Organ pipes track to the Mt. Cargill Rd. I was very pleased to see that the boardwalks that I built in the mid ’90’s are still like new after nearly 20 yrs.
Once at the road, two of the women members decided that they would walk back via the road down into Sawyers Bay, instead of negotiating the Grahams Bush track in reverse direction.
The walk back out to the cars was uneventful, with everybody making it safely.
A good workout for the lungs, & legs, with almost 1 KM climbed, but I didn’t hear any complaints, so I guess they all enjoyed the day.
Walked 11.6km @ 3.6km/hr.; moving time 3h 15min; Climbed 891mtrs. – Ken.
9. 9/2/2011. Hikers. Old Mt Cargill Rd car park, Organ Pipes, Mt Cargill, return. Leaders: Bev. and Lesley.
The title of the walk was “Tracks and Trails” – which allowed our leaders licence to take us anywhere. And so the 15 of us climbed to the organ pipes and continued past Butter’s (DOC signboard) or Buttar’s (expert Lex who remembers the family farming there from when he lived in Leith Valley) Peak and on to Mount Cargill …

And so on the Mt Cargill. (Bob pic and caption)

View back to the harbour mouth. (Bob pic and caption)

… where we lunched in the lee of a now keen southwester with a great view overlooking Pigeon Flat and the Waitati area. We then met up with the upward track again and returned.
Morning tea was at Hard Rock Café as Bob called it – that huge boulder decked with drips from the night’s rain sparkling in the sunlight. See if you can identify the drips in the photo!!

Identify the drips. (Bob pic and caption)

The Organ Pipes don’t impress as much these days as I can remember them doing from years ago before earthquakes tumbled many of them down. There are still a few standing tall but most are the ‘dis-organ-ised’ pipes now. (See below under the 6 Nov 08 entry for an “Organ Pipes” pic  of the ‘few standing tall.’ – Ian.)

Identify the dominos. (Bob pic and caption)

The track to them climbs up steps composed largely of fallen columns. After passing a track junction to the Mt Cargill Walk, you find a scree slide of columns where there was once a viewing platform. There is a good view of the Organ Pipes from here.
Wikipedia says of them, “… a prominent formation of columnar jointed basalt known as the Organ Pipes. Similar outcrops are found elsewhere in the Dunedin area, at Blackhead near Waldronville and at Second  Beach, Saint Clair. A second point of interest is the small temperate cloud forest which dominates the vegetation of the upper slopes. Though not a true cloud forest, in that it is not tropical, it bears many of the hallmarks of true cloud forest, with abundant moss and fern cover under thick low canopy. The cloud forest is protected within a 1.8 square kilometre reserve, which includes the peak of the mountain as well as several secondary peaks.”
The Organ Pipes rock formation was formed by the cooling of lava that flowed across Mount Cargill during the last period of volcanic activity in the Dunedin area. The hot lava cooling against the cold rock caused powerful expansions and contractions. When the volcanic ock cooled at the time, it cracked along long joints and consequently looks much like organ pipes standing up – that is, when they were standing up!!

Well, after all that, there was one still standing. (Bob pic and caption)

Which craggy protuberance is George? (Bob pic and caption)

Some of us simulated the domino collapse of the pipes, namely Bob who
slipped on a wet boardwalk and catapulted into Lesley who lost her
glasses in the process. Fortunately they were recovered !! Whew.
A good day’s outing. Bob
8. 11/6/2008. Trampers. Grahams Bush, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes, with Mount Cargill option for some. Medium. Leaders: Ian, Leonie

Tea Break

Organ Pipes

Buttars Peak summit

Buttars Peak summit

Trampers met at the top of Sawyers Bay Hall Road to walk from sea level to the “Top of the World” on yet another
glorious Wednesday. The tramping gods were certainly on our side as there was not a cloud in the sky as we started our ascent. The track is well maintained and a flat benched in track all the way which made for easy walking. Parts of the walk were in beautiful bush but every so often we would come to a clearing where we could look back over the harbour,

and enjoy glorious views while we got our breath back. Morning tea on the track a short way into Grahams Bush to give us sustenance for the hill climb and then onwards and upwards. Eventually we came to the road after ascending a steep flight of steps. Then over the road and up another flight of steps. During our lunch stop Evelyn entertained us with her story of the TV being blown by a gust of wind from its place in the wall into the conversation pit.

Sounded amazing. Lots of discussion about chloresterol levels and how to control them while some of us ate cheese (the bad boy) for lunch. Nearing the top there is a branch off the track which we followed to ascend Buttar’s Peak with its rugged basaltic columns. Sitting up there was like being on top of the world with uninterrupted views all along the coast from north to south with the harbour below with its picture-perfect reflections

Harbour from Buttars Peak

Harbour from Buttars Peak

and then over to the peninsula and all its magic beaches. That view has stayed with me since and hopefully for ever! After scrambling down from the peak the track divided and one group went back down and to the cars while the others went on to ascend Mount Cargill which was just in front of us.

Mt Cargill from Buttars Peak

Mt Cargill from Buttars Peak

A wonderful day and a good introduction for a visitor, and a few others who hadn’t tramped for a while. – Tash.

7. 23/8/2006. Grahams Bush, Mount Zion, Buttars Peak Organ Pipes round trip. Medium. Leaders: Jacqui, Doug J.

6. 21/4/2004 Leaders: Barbara M, Evelyn C
Enjoying the view. Glenice, Tom.

Enjoying the view. Glenice, Tom, etc.

The Buttars Peak scramble.

The Buttars Peak scramble.

5. 9/10/2002. Grahams Bush – Mount Zion. Medium. Leaders: Donny, Barbara McC, Sandra P.
4. 22/8/2001. Grahams Bush – Mount Cargill. Easy. Leaders: Graham, Bill H, Lesley S.
3. 9/11/1988 Grahams Bush to Organ Pipes. A good tramp with native bush and lovely views. Leaders: Mary Y, Peg A, Betty
2. 29/11/1995. Alternative to Hindon Pipeline: Grahams Bush – Organ Pipes. Leaders: Diana, Jack M, Les W.
1. 9/11/1989. Graham’s Bush to Organpipes. A good tramp with native bush and lovely views. Cars meet at Hall Road. Leaders: Mary Y, Peggy A, Betty B.

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Jan 23 2019

Doctors Point area tramps

Published by under Beach,Hikers and tagged: , , ,

Distance from car-park to Waitati: 34 km.
Distance from car-park to Doctors Point: 38 km.
23/01/2019. Hikers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Urupa. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

The early morning shower made the cancellation of the hike a real possibility, but an improvement in the weather encouraged the 24 hikers to the starting point of our hike. The early section to the Mapoutahi  Pa site for the morning tea stop,

Morning tea at Mapoutahi Pa site. (Clive pic and caption.)

showed some amazing changes in the beach with the sand completely stripped away from familiar beach sections and a sand build up in the caves to a height of over a meter.

The tunnel. (Clive pic and caption.)

Canoe Beach Dr’s Point.(Clive pic and caption.)

This Pa site provided a good view of the Purakaunui Beach which we traversed in about 15 minutes to the channel, into the Purakaunui Inlet.  After a tramp in heavy sand we entered the forest, for a visit to the Purakaunui  Urupa ( Cemetery).  Early lunch

Lunch at Purukaunui Urupa. (Clive pic and caption.)

was followed by an easy stroll on defined tracks, to connect again with the beach at the junction of the Mapoutahi  Pa.  The distance to our cars was covered in short order, as there was the sign of a storm brewing, which arrived soon after we were installed in the Blueskin Cafe. – Betty & Jim   

21. 13/6/2018. Hikers. Opeke Track and Orokonui Estuary Track. Leaders: Lesley and Bev.

This area is a popular one for the hikers. Especially at this time of the year when weather can be somewhat inclement. This Wednesday was one of those days. Dull and overcast, threatening rain. However, 27 turned out and once again enjoyed a pleasant relatively easy walk. The rain did start after lunch but was really only a misty-like drizzle, so not too unpleasant. We parked at Blacks Bridge as usual and had our morning tea before we started as it was well after 10am! Walked down Doctors Point Rd to the far end of the Opeke Track then back along the track, enjoying the views and scenery as we went. Were a bit early at the favourite lunch stop but decided just to have an early, leisurely lunch break anyway.

Then it was back along the road, in the the rain, to Chelivode St. and the start of the Estuary Track. We didn’t waste much time walking this track back to the cars as we were getting rather wet. We still enjoyed the bush, birds and views along the way though and everyone said they’d had a good day out in spite of the weather.

Adjourned to Blue Skin Café for after-hike refreshments and chat. – Bev, & Lesley

20. 2017 Jul 26. Hikers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Urupa. E. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.
23 hikers reported for duty at the Doctor’s Point carpark on a calm winter’s morning.

The tide was still going out as we made our way along Canoe Beach, through the caves

Clive pic.

 to our morning tea stop at the bottom of Mapoutahi Pa.

Our pathway to Purakaunui Beach was almost blocked by a large tree which had fallen due to the recent floods.
Then, as we headed along the track towards Osborne Road we encountered deep water which made us retrace our steps and walk along the beach.

After a pleasant beach walk,we made our way through the trees to the Maori cemetery.

Clive pic.

We then retraced our steps back to Mapoutahi,where we planned to have lunch. This plan was quickly abandoned,as the incoming tide was threatening our route back to the cars.

Clive pic.

We eventually had lunch on the beach near Doctor’s Point.
 Time and tide wait for no Hikers!!! – Peter B.
19. 2017 Jun 21. Hikers. Orokonui Estuary & Opeke Tracks. E. Leaders: Lesley and Bev.
On a cold, frosty but rather dank morning 27 keen hikers parked their cars at the parking/picnic area on Orokonui Rd., where the Estuary track starts. From there we walked the short distance back. to the Waitati Cemetery where we had morning tea.

Clive pic.

Quite a few people hadn’t been there before so were interested to have a look around the graves. As it was rather cold though we didn’t linger too long. On down Orokonui Rd. till we reached the little bridge crossing the Waitati river which brought us out onto Killarney St. at the end of which was a new bit of track with some board walk coming out onto Doctors Point Rd. From there it was along the road till we reached the far end of Opeke track. By this time we were all feeling somewhat warmer after a reasonably brisk walk. Then it was down onto the Opeke track. This is a very attractive and interesting walk which gives pleasure to the many people who use it. Locals and visitors alike. Near the end of this track is a short detour into an area that has some seats and great views across Blueskin Bay to Warrington and the other side of STH 1. Ideal for our lunch stop.

Wednesday’s walk was the nicest walk I have done. The plantings of native bush out there is so beautiful and the track was great as well. (Eleanor W pic and comment.)

We had a fairly leisurely lunch and then it was off again

At The cove was the royal blueskin Bay yacht club HQ just below the nesting tree of the Royal spoonbills. (Clive pic and caption.)

Clive pic.

to the end of the Opeke track and back onto Doctors Point Rd. The walk along the road helped to warm us up again as it had got a bit chilly sitting at lunch time!. We turned up Chelivode St. and along to the other end of the Estuary track. This took us back to the car park and the end of what everyone agreed was a most enjoyable and ideal walk for a winter”s day. The Estuary track is a lovely track with bush and birds plus lovely views. We all felt it a suitable one to repeat yearly. The day finished off as usual with coffee break at Blueskin Café. Lesley & Bev

18. 2016 Aug 31. E. Hikers. Orokonui Inlet Track via Orokonui Ecosanctuary exclosure fence lower gate. E. Leaders: Leslie and Bev.
Hikers' route map around Orokonui Inlet. Nike app updated again. To get all the goodies in, had to save it in landscape, rather than portrait. The "55.55' is the elapsed walking time spot since start. Altitude and speed indicaters now seem accurate.

Hikers’ route map around Orokonui Inlet. Nike app updated again. To get all the goodies in, had to save it in landscape, rather than portrait. The “55.55′ is the elapsed walking time spot since start. Altitude and speed indicaters now seem accurate.

Cars at tramp start.

Cars at tramp start.

Lunch spot beside Ecosanctuary fence.

Lunch spot beside Ecosanctuary fence.

View from further up along fence.

View from further up along fence.

17. 2015 Jul 22. Hikers. Opeke and Orokonui Inlet track and back blocks of Waitati. E. Leaders: Lesley and Bev.
iPhone route map of Opeke and Orokonui Inlets.

iPhone route map of Opeke and Orokonui Inlets.

What to start off with? Well, two things, actually. We are suffering a barrage of birthdays presently. Adrienne had a big one last Wednesday, Dorothy anticipates a bigger one next week and Ian a small one a few days ago. And the other? Maybe a record? A full twenty of the twenty-four hikers of the day socialised for coffee later. A beautiful Birthday Card, crafted by Pam and signed by all present, was presented to Dorothy, who responded with a most pretty speech.
Tramp matters. The day was calm and got really warm.
Cuppa time in from the further lower entrance. Table, seats and all.

Cuppa time in from the further lower entrance. Table, seats and all. (John pic)

Many who hadn’t been on the last visit to Opeke were struck with the embellishments added to the trackside. The CAR, and small limestone carvings to mention only two. We had parked at the bridge and road-walked between Opeke and the Orokonui Inlet Track.

A calm and sunny spot for lunch.

A calm and sunny spot for lunch. (John pic)

Two birthdays

Two birthdays (John pic)

The track crowns the inlet’s head and finishes off along the Orokonui Road. We took the foot bridge across the Waitati Stream to skirt a back-blocks or two …

A neat vegy patch on a roadside property which caught the eye

A neat vegy patch on a roadside property which caught the eye (john pic)

… before emerging onto the Doctors Point road and returning to the cars. Lesley and Bev had picked on doing this trek again, foregoing the earlier swap plan of exploring the Old Waitati Road area due to his colder shadiness under the hill. So thanks to Bev and Lesley for opening this newer area to even more Hikers. – Ian.

16. 2015 Apr 15. Hikers. Orokonui, Estuary and Opeke Track. E. Leaders: Bev and Lesley.

*** THE POEM ***

OROKONUI ESTUARY WITH THANKS TO LESLIE AND BOB

‘Twas a cold and windy morning – the sane ones stayed in bed.

But fourteen hardy hikers, bravely out were led.

They travelled to Waitati, the river was quite high –

They didn’t fancy wet feet, I can’t imagine why.

Instead, the estuary beckoned, with better shelter there.

With coats and hats and gloves on, they didn’t have a care.

 

The track was easy walking, through bush and flax and trees.

They lingered over morning tea, sheltered from the breeze.

A grassy bank was found for lunch, it wasn’t even wet.

John took lots of photos, you’ll see them on the net.

Leslie found a bird’s nest, she took it home to keep.

(I hope the birdies last night, did find somewhere to sleep).

 

On to Blueskin they did go, for coffee and a talk,

Joined by Jim and Betty, who didn’t do the walk.

Plans were laid for Luxmore, a short two weeks away,

With satisfaction they went home – It was a lovely day.

– Judy

***  THE REPORT ***

(Sorry, no route map. It seems a bug got into my application. Ian.)
On a day when only heroes and the mad go out, we found the Waitati Stream at the foot of the Waitati Valley Road too full to attempt the intended crossing. So leader Leslie, who with Bev had already recceed  the above  Orokonui Estuary walk set for later in the programme took fourteen of us on a route more suited to the day. We parked at the Estuary bridge and set off, well-clad in storm gear, to the Opeke track’s northern entrance for morning tea at the lovely setting of table and seating near its entrance. Fortunately although windy, (and here we were well sheltered) the day was dry.
Cuppa (John pic)

Cuppa at the table and seats by the Opeke track.  (John pic)

We completed the Opeke circuit – for the first time in this reporter’s experience – in an anticlockwise direction. It’s so revealing viewing stuff when going in the opposite direction. As well, quite a number of improvements were there to be discovered, not least an old wreck of a car…

What's this alongside the track? (John pic)

What’s this alongside the track? (John pic)

…tied down and waiting to be wreathed in nature’s verdure – apparently!

Trekking back from Opeke, we turned off just short of the bridge up Chelivode street, passed a hay-baled house, and turned down a newly-made track to skirt the side of the Orokonui Estuary.

Track (John pic)

Track (John pic)

The track wound up, down and around through bush and paddock to emerge at the head of the estuary to cross swampy ground…

Solid (John pic)

A walkway across swamp, solidly built to last a lifetime.  (John pic)

…to reach the back yard of a number of farm sheds accessed from Orokonui Road. The track diverted down around a paddock or two to soon parallel the Orokonui Road on one side, and a heavily swollen Waitati Stream on the other.

Waitati Stream

Waitati Stream (John pic)

We lunched on a now sunny bank, still clad however in our parka-covered woolly underlays.

Lunch

Lunch. (John pic)

Further along,…

The nest referred toby Judy in her poem. (John pic)

The nest referred to by Judy in her poem. (John pic)

..and we crossed the stream via the Erne Street footbridge to walk along Killarney Street and turn into Foyle Street. Here we came across a garaged honesty stall featuring jams and sauces…

Garage (John pic)

Garage (John pic)

…and lingered a while. Then it was out onto Doctors Point Road, back to the cars and to resort to the Blueskin Nursery cafe,…

Coffee (John pic)

Coffee at Blueskin. (John pic)

…- all 14 of us, augmented by Jim and Betty who turned up.

Thank you to Lesley and Bev, ably supported by back-marker Bob keeping us safely together, for devising such an appropriate alternative for such a challenging day. – Ian.

15. 2015 Jan 21. Hikers. Doctors Point. Mapoutahi Pa, Forestry and Urupu, return. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.
GPS of route

GPS of route

Jim and Betty, who had been allocated leadership the last three visits to Doctor’s Point, gave the trip an original twist, – by dint of three recces to get matters precisely aligned to the tide. They led 29 of us to the Mapoutahi Pa site for the tea break.

On former Mapoutahi Pa site.

On former Mapoutahi Pa site. (John pic)

Via the beach beyond the peninsula we turned off into the FWD through the sandhills, past the cliffs and on to the beginnings of the road proper, at the corner of the forestry. Here Jim opened the gate and led us past the following sign.

Urupu notice

Purakaunui Urupu notice at forestry’s entrance.

Another FWD track led us a considerable distance through the forest to terminate at a historic Maori graveyard.

A Urupu site

The Urupu site (John pic)

Betty and Jim then led us on through the forest by a route that they had previously explored and marked (well done!) to take us out to the inlet’s entrance, where there was quite a cold wind persuading several to don more protective garments.

Panorama

Panorama  of Potato Point and Purakauni. (John pic)

Only a little way down towards the beach Jim let us into a well-sheltered spot amongst Marram Grass for lunch, where a warm sun persuaded garment-offing again.

Lunch

Lunch (John pic)

The return walk along the beach took us over the neck of Mapoutahi Pa peninsula to happily reveal that there was still a stretch of navigable beach at the bottle-neck by the rockfall not yet swallowed up by the incoming tide.

Returning through cave

Returning through the cave. Thought this photo worth displaying. (John pic)

A walk back to the cars ended a most satisfying day, with all of us congratulating and thanking Jim and Betty for the quality time they invested into their recce. Thanks to them here, too. – Ian.

14. 2014 Mar 19. Hikers/ Waitati, Opeke Walk, Doctors Point, Mapoutahi Pa, return. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara.

GPS of Route

GPS of Route

This must be our most popular tramp, as we schedule it about twice a year. This time Arthur and Barbara gave us the full Waitati to Mapoutahi Pa road and beach walk, with Opeke for morning tea in between. The very low tide gave us the largest beach expanse this reporter has ever seen. The sea mist spoilt views but cleared just enough for us to glimpse the rail tunnel from the peninsula. The near record of 30 of us included three new members and one visitor. Thank you Barbara and Arthur for your good careful leadership. – Ian.
13. 2013 Oct 9. Hikers. Waitati, Opeke Walk, Doctors Point, Purakaunui inlet, Mapoutahi Peninsula. Leaders: Jim and Betty.
GPS of route

GPS of routes. First Opeke Walk. Second Drs Point to Purakaunui Inlet mouth, return, 8.53 km total.

We parked the cars first at Michies Crossing, and walked across the line Continue Reading »

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Jan 16 2019

Chain Hills-Friends Hill Tramps

Published by under Hikers

No. 102 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Friends Hill Chain Hills Year Round”

Saddle Hill Hotel

41. 16/1/2019. Hikers. Friends Hill Road and Farm circuit. Leaders: Jay and Jan.

Route map, from cars to house and farm walk only, courtesy Ian. (5 km flag hidden under the 1 km flag. Evidently the app ignores altitudinal distances, only level.)

On a very warm morning, 25 hikers travelled to Wingatui Raceway where we parked up and commenced our walk up Friends Hill.  We arrived at the farm gate which was locked and unfortunately the key was missing, so we scrambled over the wooden fence and on down to revisit the old cottage on the farm with its great view over the Taieri.  We then backed up

View of the Taieri. (Clive pic and caption.)

and did a circuit of the farm, downhill for a while and then a good nudge back up to Friends Hill

Up hill to the lunch stop. (Clive pic and caption.)

road again.  As it was a hot day, some chose to take advantage of Janine’s kind offer to visit her property and stayed there for a tour around the garden and then lunched.

Lunch at ‘Pixies Place’ (Thanks Janine). (Clive pic and caption.)

(Francis pic.)

Others of us carried on up the track hoping to be at the top for lunch.  However the day was getting warmer and there was no respite from the burning sun, so we wisely backtracked down the hill and some chose to sit on the side of the track in a lovely shady area for our lunch and others walked back down to Janine’s for their lunch.  After lunch we joined up at Janine’s place and all agreed that we would carry on down to our cars at Wingatui and enjoy a nice cold drink at Blackstone where we sat outside enjoying the shade. – Jan B.

40. 21/11/2018. Trampers. Friends Hill and Pixie Patch. Leader: Janine.

After large amounts of heavy rain producing some minor flooding, turnout of enthusiastic trampers was a little sparse. Discussion of available, suitable options led 7 trampers to venture off from The Pixie Patch in Friends Hill under cloudy, indecisive weather conditions. Rocky, the dog, …

(Janine pic.)

… was left home as we headed off up the hill finding the gravel road in excellent condition despite the still considerable amounts of rainwater running down the drains. 100 metres on – a short stop to examine the very busy large breather holding connecting incoming water pipes from Deep stream and Silverstream – then running up the road to join us came Rocky!

Near the gate blocking traffic from throughfare to Dunedin we turned left climbing the fence to more views accross the Taieri

(Janine pic)

and examined all the ‘large puddles’ on the plains before us. Stepping along the track, originally designated as a road leading to numerous lifestyle blocks which never eventuated, Rocky had great delight when a rabbit ventured on that same path (it got away). It would seem this block of land is the home of broken dreams as the subdivision never went ahead, that owner declared bankrupcy, then a later owner had plans to make use of these extensive views and put in little home stay cottages. After making a start he also left the area uncompleted, so we trampers examined the start up of the first cottage with great despair at such great ideas being abandoned.

The plan was then to return to The Pixie Patch for morning coffee then head off over the newly logged area towards Chain Hills. On the way home Rocky was determined to get something in a woodpile so was left to bark and run round in circles while we walked a little quicker trying to ignore the thickening cloud. As we reached The Pixie Patch one member asked for a garden tour ‘quick’!!

(Janine pic.)

By the time we filed in for coffee it was decidedly damp and even Rocky came home thinking maybe there were biscuits too. No biscuits but we had plenty to talk about after our Hollyford trip and despite the offer to investigate the Chain Hills track/views all were happy to chat till lunchtime.

So we had a very social day, walked 2.5 km, had a coffee break, discussed tramps, trampers, budgies, books, painting, prices, but not world peace, then ate lunch. – Janine.

39. 17/10/2018. Hikers. Chain Hills Road, Flower Street. M. Leaders: Shona and Keith, Ian.

25 hikers and ramblers parked at the area  bounded by Coalstage Rd
and Morris Rd before walking single file across the motorway bridge
 then turning up onto Chain Hills Rd.
A stiff tail wind helped us up and down until we stoppped in a

sheltered hollow for an early morning tea.

Morning tea in a Chain Hills driveway (out of the wind). (Clive pic and caption.)

Continued on to turn right into Flower St, climbing over the high stiles

Crossing Stile in Style. (Clive pic and caption.)

and wandering downhill through the paddock and following Flower St,
before turning right into Martin’s Rd meeting up with the ramblers and

stopping for an early lunch at the skate board park at the Fairfield Hall.

Lunch at Fairfield Community Hall. (Clive pic and caption.)

 We straggled back from there back to the car park.
Distance 9.5kms – Leaders Shona Ian Keith

38. 13 Jun 2018. Trampers. Friends Hill circuit. Leader: Janene.

As I was quickly sweeping the outside doorway, 12 trampers arrived, enthusiastic about what I had in store.

The weather was cool (not cold) and clear as 13 trampers set off from The Pixie Patch, Friends Hill and crossed the road onto the start of the well known ‘Chain Hills’ walking track. After passing the water reservoir we turned left downhill and followed a track along the bottom gully, passing the entrance to the old railroad tunnel …

The old railway tunnel. (Gordon pic and caption.)

… before ever so elegantly scrambling over the barbwire fence (it had been lowered!) Now on Abbotsroyd Farm we all powered up a sizeable hill, the promise of a coffee break at the top deterring any breathless moments, to find a magnificent few of Abbotsford, Green Island, Saddle Hill and all surrounds. While on our refreshment break, the whistle blew and along came the Fonterra train passing along just below us.

So this is what’s on the other side of the hill. (Phil pic and caption.)

All that replenishing and the long downhill traverse with excellent footing saw us speedily depart Abbotsroyd and venture onto road-walking for a while. North Taieri Road then Abbotts Hill Road was a steady climb turning to a track then reaching the tarseal of Mount Grand Road.

Scotch mist o’er Abbotsroyd. (Phil pic and caption.)

The weather had started to slowly deteriorate with a misty fog surrounding us. From there the steady climb turned ’real grunty!’ Come on people – was a lovely avenue of huge old macrocarpa trees at the top and I did allow a lunch break there!

Lunch under the trees. (Gordon pic and caption.)

After lunch we continued, somewhere along the way the road changed from Mt Grand to Dalziel Road, and at the Mt Grand reservoir we turned into Brinsdon Road for more ‘gentle’ climbing, passing through the ‘no vehicles’ track on to Halfway Bush Road which also at some unknown point becomes Friends Hill! The downhill …

Heading back to the cars. (Gordon pic and caption.)

… was a little treacherous and all that mud sure stuck to the boots – and the promised views were detained in the fog – but we had no muddy bums and no complaints (that I heard). Probably because we had coffee and eats at the Pixie Patch afterwards, and everyone went in the front door after I swept the main doorway!!

13.3km covered in great company and I delivered some walnut cookies from afternoon tea to Abbotsroyd the next day. – Janine.

37. 17 Jan 2018. Hikers. Friends Hill Road. M. Leaders: Jay and Jan.

Route Map, courtesy Ian, not including racecourse walk.(Ian pic and caption.)

We parked at the Wingatui Racecourse. From there 23 hikers set out in very pleasant temperatures for a trek up Friends Hill Road

Road (Clive pic and caption.)

to the top gate where we stopped for morning tea.

morning tea. (Clive pic and caption.)

We then set off for a walk round farmland with views over the  Taieri.  We made our way to a little cottage that was first built about 15 years ago as a B & B but was never completed inside.

A surprising substantial unfinished cottage. (Ian pic and caption.)

Unfortunately the door didn’t do its job properly so the starlings made good use of the free accommodation leaving behind a carpet of their own making!!!

From there we carried on this farmland which backs on to Invermay to a track through a stand of Manuka trees and then made our way to our lunch spot which was at the home of tramper, Janine Hearn who kindly said we could sit on her deck, enjoy the views and walkaround her lovely garden.

A friendly tramper who lives on Friends Hill said we could use her back garden for lunch – Thanks Janine. (Clive pic and caption.)

 After lunch we headed back to the cars and five of us did a circuit of the racecourse and the rest opted to go for coffee at Blackstone.  – Jay and Jan

36. 2 Aug 2017  Both. Fairfield to Friends Hill. M.  Leaders: Keith and Shona.

It was drizzly and cold as we gathered at the Bush Rd car park.

After considerable discussion 20 people caught the bus …

What does the Taieri Recreational Tramping Club do and a wet cold winters day – They catch a bus and head for the hills! (Clive pic and caption.)

… to Fairfield, where further discussion occurred before Keith led the group along and up Flower St to the morning tea stop in the trees.

Route Map, courtesy Ian. Remembered to start it only at morning tea stop! so add 1 km from Flower St bus stop. Tunnel diversion for the “8” added 3 km. Do your own math for your total.

We headed up the track to Chain Hills Road where we met Janine and her little dog Rocky.

After about an hour we made it to the top of Chain Hills Road that was covered in mist with constant rain. (Clive pic and caption.)

By then the drizzle had eased and after the first downhill, …

Among the gum trees on the descent of Chain Hills. (Clive pic and caption.)

… 8 went [yet further! – Ed] down with Janine to inspect the Wingatui tunnel …

Eight of the more intrepid trampers branched off to view [& walk! – Ed] the old [800m – Ed.] railway tunnel [end to end, return! – Ed.].  Several found the novel way down [the first track – Ed.] by sitting down in the mud (unintentionally)! (Clive pic and caption.)

… and the rest negotiated the muddy track, climbed the stile and moved into Janine’s home to eat lunch. (Thanks, Janine.)

As we left, the 8 appeared [back up! – Ed.] over the stile and we all meandered back to Mosgiel, 7 having coffee at Blackstone.The remainder had disappeared (?) home for coffee, showers or even lunch for some. – Keith and Shona.

35. 19 Jul 2017. Trampers. Chain Hills. Leader: M. Helen.

A nice tramp today. Starting from Gladstone Rd and walking up hill over the top of the motorway. Turned onto Chain Hill Road. Found a nice spot for our morning tea on the top of a hill overlooking Mosgiel.

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

View from top of inversion layer over Mosgiel. (Helen pic and caption.)

The 12 of us then proceeded along the ups and downs along to the end. Turning left over the stile and the down through the paddocks to Friends Hill Rd. Down to the racecourse where we sat in luxury in the grandstand for our lunch.

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

Chen a leisurely walk along Gladstone Rd back to our cars. Coffee for 9 of us at Blackstone’s. Lovely day and a nice 12.2km tramp. – Helen.

34. 10/5/2017. Hikers. Friends Hill, Chain Hills, Gladstone Road. M. Clive, Jay and Jan.

Nike app route map, courtesy Ian.

Autumn on the Taieri.   One of those Southern days of sunshine found an intrepid band of hikers (16) setting out from Wingatui racecourse to walk up Friends Hill and then across country to Chain Hills Road.   The going to start with was steep and a challenge for some,  but then it came to the stile to get onto the public pathway to Chain Hills Road; the step up to stile was about a meter and made for more limber people.   Well all rose to the challenge and made it over the stile to the sheep pens at the top of the hill where we rested for morning tea …

Morning tea. (Ian pic and caption.)

… and watched the fog in the valley roll away.    By now the temperature had risen to the promised 17 degrees and jumpers and fleecy jacket were shed to climb the next couple of hills to Chain Hills Road.   It was then we found that the first stile was just a taster for the next two stiles that were very high and over barbed wire.    Some gentleman from years past laid down his coat so that the ladies did not snare their stocking on the barbed wire. [’twas the reporter! – Ed.]    We gained Chain Hills Road by 11 o’clock so it was a nice walk along the ridge line to arrive above Mosgiel just before midday and a spot to sit and eat lunch.

Lunch. (Ian pic and caption.)

A herd of friendly cows watched from across the road and then when they realized we were not there to feed them showed their opinion in that unique bovine manner – pats all round.

Thanks for the view too, Clive, as well as all the above. (Clive pic, Ian caption.)

The walk off Chain hills had the leader focused on road safety and the safest way to negotiate Morris Road (a busy road), down to Quarry Road.   Then it was along the flat back to Wingatui to pick up the cars for afternoon tea and Blackstones cafe.   I think we got a suntan on the way! – Clive.

33. 18/5/2016. Hikers. Flower Street, Friends Hill, Wingatui, Car Park. M. Leaders: Keith and Shona.
Hikers' Route.

Hikers’ Route. Morning Tea stop in rain at about 1 km. Lunch in sun at 6 km. Coffee at 10.6 km.

18 Went by bus from outside the Mosgiel Post Office, arriving Flower St, Fairfield about 9.30 a.m.

Wandered up to the top of Flower St to have morning tea in the gum trees, as there was still drizzly rain falling.

Rain eased and we progressed over the stile and up the grass track, exiting onto Chain Hills Rd. After turning right, followed it to the end. Negotiated the stile there safely and followed the fence line down, up, and around, …

Green Island(?) from Flower Street. (Sharyn pic.)

Green Island from a ‘down’ paddock. (Sharyn pic.)

Wingatui from Friends Hill. (Sharyn pic)

Wingatui from above Friends Hill. (Sharyn pic)

… eventually exiting onto Friends Hill Rd.

Walked to Wingatui Race Couse for lunch, where there were toilets and dry seats in the grandstand for the rain had stopped. Made our way down Wingatui Rd, through track, across Haggart Alexander Drive, down Green st to end at Blackstone Cafe for a coffee. – Shona and Keith.

32. 11/6/2014. Hikers. Chain Hills, Flower Street. M. Leaders: Pam, Dawn.
GPS of route

GPS of route. Cars parked foot of Coalstage Rd, Morris Rd overpass, Chain Hills Rd, Flower St, Kennedy Rd, Walkway, Main Rd, Park by Fairplay St, Main Rd, Saddleview Pl, Underpass, Saddle Hill Rd, Coalstage Rd again. Distance: 8.93 km; Fastest 4.78 kph; Slowest 3.73 kph.

Pam and Dawn led us, thirty strong this trip, on a route largely familiar to most, but a little less so to this reporter. We took the SH1 overpass, stretched out indian-file, making quite a picture no doubt to motorists passing underneath, to judge by the horn toots we got.
Bridge

Overpass. (John pic)

Down Morris Road to turn sharply up Chain Hills Road.

We ‘morning-teaed’ at the red spot on the map between kilometer marks two and three on the GPS map.
Panorama

The customary morning tea spot on Chain Hills Road. (John pic)

A little further on as we took the Chain Hills Road right fork taking us down to Fairfield. The top of Flower Street lay through private land, guarded by locked gates provided with not-very-accommodating styles.

Style queue

The style at the Flower Street top locked gate. (John pic)

Further down again (or was it higher up?) we came across this mock farmyard, complete with tractor, water wheel, cow, et al.

Glove

A rubber glove udder for a tinny cow. (John pic)

Down in the paved part of Flower Street we were taken with a letter box making industry operating out of a private property.

Letter Boxes to order

Letter Boxes made to order.

Then it was into Kennedy Road, out through a walkway to emerge on the Main Road and on to lunch at a park abutting Fairplay Street.
Collage

Collage of lunch groups (John collage)

From there it was further up the Main Road, then to be pleasantly surprised by the leaders taking us not via the customary Morris Road but by Saddleview Terrace and through the SH1 underpass and up, very steeply up, Saddle Hill Road to Coalstage Road. A short distance along and we stopped to admire Janice’s house and to farewell her down the driveway. Then it was just on down back to the cars.

A good day out, despite an icy edge to the light wind at times. Thank you, leaders. – Ian.
31. 12/3/2014. Hikers. Friends Hill. Leaders: Fred, Elaine.
We parked our cars  up Quarry Rd to the right of the overbridge on the north side of the
Saddle Hill.
25 fit and healthy Hikers started up over the bridge and up Chains Hill Rd.
We were met early on by a very fit brown lab dog who followed us all the way …
Dog

Dog (Pic John)

… to the morning tea stop.

Morning tea

Morning tea. (John, pic.)

It sat down and waited while we ate and sipped our tea and water.

Continuing on, we arrived at the Chain Hills Rd end. I thought the dog would have gone home. The DOG sat down and waited till we all leaped over the stile (some climbed carefully).
The DOG then left and went home.
Lunch was at a cosy spot …

Sheltered lunch spot

Sheltered lunch spot (John, Panorama pic.)

… out of the wind.
Fred gave out chocs.
The ground was even and not at all muddy. The views are worth stopping for to catch a breath.
When we reached Gladstone Rd North, we walked to the Wingatui Hall where we had cunningly had a car parked for those who needed a lift back  to the cars up saddle hill. Several Hikers took up the offer and Fred transported them up to their cars. We continued down Gladstone Rd North to the z station, then up quarry rd back to the cars.
Several hikers took up the offer of going for coffee to Wals at the end of the day. (Can’t guess who. – Ed)
A very hot day enjoyed by all. – Elaine.
30. 11/12/2013. All.  Friends Hill, Chain Hills. End of Year finger-food lunch at Wingatui Hall. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.
GPS of route

GPS of route from Friends Hill to Chains Hill road, return.

Our leaders had to change our end of year location. Berwick Camp had been already booked. Where to plan the tramp? A brilliant choice. From the Hall, up Friends Hill to the stile and across the poled route to the Chain Hills road end for morning tea. It was the first time this reporter remembers doing the route UP from ‘Friends’ to “Chain’. He discovered how much easier it is doing the reverse route DOWN. The trampers among us were not disappointed either. Bravo, leaders. Our shared lunch was  another successful end-of-year treat. Thanks to Bruce for leading us in a sing-a-long. Happy holidays. – Ian.
29. 28/3/2012. Hikers. Chain Hills. Leader: Graham.
28. 23/11/2011. Hikers. Fairfield circuit, Fairfield. Leaders: Graham, Wendy.
27. 29/6/2011 Friends Hill. Leaders: Fred, Elaine.
Start Carpark at Saddle Hill overbridge,
to end of Chain Hills road,
across farmland …
Single

“Single File please people.” (As if we could do anything else.)(Bob pic and caption)

Downhill

Pleasant downhill walking. (Bob pic and caption)

What

Lunch queue? A good spot actually with shelter, sun, and log seats laid on. (Bob pic and caption)

Fred

Fred jealously guards his chocolates. (Bob pic and caption)

… down to Friends’ Hill Road.
Good leadership – except that Quasimodi challenged for the leader’s role, …
Quasi

Quasimodo joins the group. (Bob pic and caption)

… the leader threw down the gauntlet (ie orange jerkin), and the usurper reigned, …

gauntlet

Quasimodo surges into the lead. (Bob pic and caption)

…  and misled the people at one point,
at which the the old guard led the errant followers correctly.
Along Gladstone Rd, and
up Quarry Rd to cars.
We started with 18 and with defections reduced to 6!!
A lovely walk. Great weather. – Bob.
26. 26/1/2011. Hikers. Chain Hills Road, Flower Street, Fairfield. Easy+. Leaders: Frank and Lesley.
Some 18 of us (the number varied a little at points in the walk) set out from the bridge carpark on Saddle Hill on a fine and calm morning, continued up Chain Hills Road with morning tea at the “potato planter” (pictured),

Morning tea by the potato planter. (Bob pic and caption)

Ditto. (Bob pic and caption)

across a small piece of farmland by the reservoir (where there was the possibility of a confrontation with a cattle beast

Does he want to have a beef with us? (Bob pic and caption)

– but avoided because of the amiable nature of all on two or four feet ) and so onto Flower St, Fairfield, and past several novel garden ornaments, one of which is pictured.

Neill admonishes the little people. (Bob pic and caption)

Lunch stop was at the park with shelter from the hall wall against the strengthening wind, and chocolates from Fred, and the last part of the round-trip was up the old main road (Morris Rd) in gathering drizzle. A frequent topic of conversation was the ailments (and recovery) of various people present or absent, and the name of Don who used to come out with us but whom we haven’t seen for some time and whose name eluded several. [Donny Hunter? – Ed] ( I am reliably informed that there are no longer “senior moments”, but rather “intellectual pauses”.) Two new faces, Jim and Betty, came to ‘try us out’. Thanks to Frank and Leslie for leadership. – Bob M
25. 9/6/2010 Hikers. Chain Hills Road, Flower Street, Fairfield. Easy+. Leaders: Frank and Lesley.

I guess that the residents themselves are their best critics. (Bill pic and caption)

24. 22/4/2009 Hikers. Chain Hills Road, Flower Street, Fairfield. Easy+. Leaders: Frank and Lesley.
23. 28/5/2008. Hikers. Overbridge, Chain Hills, Fairfield. Easy. Leaders: Frank and Lesley
22. 23/1/2008. Hikers. Chain Hills to Fairfield. Easy. Leaders: Frank and Lesley.
21. 27/9/2006. Hikers. Chain Hills, Fairfield. Easy. Leaders: Eleanor W, Dot T.
20. 17/8/2005. Hikers. Overbridge, Chain Hills, Fairfield. Leaders: Margaret S, Carmel.
19. 28/7/2004 Fairfield Tavern, Chain Hills, Fairfield. From over-bridge. Leaders: Les W, Ray, Mary M.
Dunedin from Mount Grand

Dunedin from Mount Grand

Mosgiel from Friends Hill

Mosgiel from Friends Hill

18. 16/7/2003. Hikers. Overhead Bridge, Flower Street, Fairfield. Easy. Leaders: Lance and Lois.
17. 19/2/2003. Chain Hills Circuit from Fairfield Tavern. Medium. Trampers. Leaders: Donny, Graham.
16. 19/6/2002 Alt. Winter walk from Fairfield Tavern. road walk. Leaders: Joyce S, Eleanor
15. 29/5/2002. Chain Hills Circuit from Fairfield Tavern. Medium. Leaders: Donny, Wendy, Graham.
14. 23/5/2001 Friends Hill. Leaders: Bev McI, Mary M, Val
13. 26/7/2000. Fairfield via Flower Street from carpark. Leaders: Lesley and Frank, Margaret D.
12. 24/5/2000 Fairfield Tavern, Chain Hill Circuit. Leaders: Ronny, Irene, Hazel
11. 17/5/2000. Chain Hills – Circuit. From Fairfield Tavern. Leaders: Donny, Irene, Hazel
10. 10/6/1998. Wingatui, Friends Hill, Chain Hills. Leaders: Peg C, Molly.
9. 1/3/1998 Friends Hill, Chain Hills. Leaders: Margaret D, Lance, Lois
8. 25/6/1997. Maurice Road, Fairfield, Chain Hills. Leaders: Betty B, Judith D, Mary Y.
7. 20/11/1996. Friends Hill and beyond. Meet at Wingatui Hall. Leaders: Mary Y, Betty B, Judith D.
6. 1/11/1996 Friends Hill, Chain Hills. Leaders: Mary Y, Betty B
5. 19/6/1996. Chain Hills – Fairfield Tavern for lunch – Return Main Road. No fare. (Alternative to Pole Line) Leaders: Daphne, Evelyn M, Colleen.
4. 16/8/1995. Saddle Hill, Old Brighton Road, Taieri Lookout, Chain Hills, Fairfield. Medium. Leaders: Bob Q, Dot and Nelson, Molly.
3. 16/9/1992. Wingatui Friends Hill Rd Halfway Bush Rd Three Mile Hill Rd Dalziel Rd Brinsdon Rd return
2. 6/5/1992. Walk from Glasgow Street car park, Saddle Hill, Chain Hills, Wingatui. Easy. Leaders: Jack M, W Bathgate,
1. 9/8/1989. Wingatui Racecourse. Over the Hill. Easy+ Leaders: Betty, Molly, Ria.

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