Oct 24 2020

Woodside Glen, plus to top of Maungatuas

Published by under Trampers,Year round

No. 30 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Woodside Glen to Maungatuas. E Blackburn, D McEwan. Summer”

Short and long options.

(Maungatua climb fairly steep. 5-7 hours. Heavy tussock on top.  Route only. Manager: DOC.)

12. 28/10/2020. Trampers. Woodside Glen to Maungatua. H Leaders Gordon Grant and Phil Keene.

22 keen trampers were motivated by the great spring morning promising blue skies, golden
tussock, native forest and birds, and a promise we would not get blown away, either from
the NW or the SW.
At Woodside everyone was ready forthwith as we set off, according to the sign a target of
1.75km to the tree line, gosh we’ll be there for morning tea. The initial track to the stream
supported that supposition but we were slowed down by the rocks, depth and flow of water,
no one wanting to get wet – well what’s new we had been just going for 10 minutes; but also
it was evident that chivalry was not yet extinct. Well done Art.
After that well reality set in as apart from some sidles to encourage us, it was generally
onwards and upwards, and upwards. The chirpy birds welcomed us but the focus was
mostly on where to put your feet, who had the best grip, and the thoughts of dirty backsides
coming down. Dave was very subtle with his hints of the benefits of his new crampons, and
as interest built on the cost and where they were purchased from, started a rumour about
how he could get a deal for us, but it would have to be managed by him…….
A well earned morning tea provided a good break and time to take in the regenerating
forest; with some good stands of Totara around.
As the altitude changed so did the vegetation, with beech saplings prominent, some
sporting what was thought to be large beech seed capsules; but on closer inspection and
touch, these turned out to be soft sticky beehive like formations. Maybe new aerodynamic
golf balls, or pale strawberries ? (these needed greater investigation post walk and have
been found to be a fungi, cyttaria gunnii that is a parasitic fungi on the southern hemisphere
beeches; and yes depending on country they are known as beech strawberries, beech
oranges (when ripe), golf ball fungus and yes beech honeycomb treats and are edible and
full of sweet nectar. But most importantly they were used by Aborigines to darken the white
hair on old men’s whiskers….eat your heart out Bruce and Graeme).


IMG_20201028_132538 (2)

Photo and Caption Phil –

Shortly thereafter we broke out in to the open and after a couple of zig zags were in tussock
country with time to survey the great 270 degree views from the Rock n
Pillar/Kakanuis/Silver Peaks /Peninsula and Chain Hills etc., not to mention the Taieri, and
how big Outram is now and who lived where?
We selected various tracks in the tussock and headed to the Rock on the skyline, where a
longish lunch break was enjoyed with a bit of shelter from the zephyr breeze, and well the
views were…..
2 and ½ hours up proved to be 1 and ¼ hours down, mmm sounds like some formulae at
work there. Yes some dirty backsides were experienced on the descent, but everyone was
chirpy with no pride really dented.
With a few stops for water we were soon back at the stream; and well this proved how
attitudes had changed as most were happy to go on through and get wet feet rather than
seek to test their balance on rocks after having had a good work out, and at any rate fit and
experienced trampers can put up with wet feet for 10 minutes at least!
Well then on to the Goat for a mix of drinks, some seeking ice creams from up the road.
Yes the fare was fine but the doors were closing….an inspiring 7km day out in the hills of

Phil K


11. 24/10/2018. Trampers.Woodside Glen to Maungatua. H. Leaders: Gordon and Art.

13 determined trampers left their cars at Woodside Glen, to begin their tramp.

Ready to cross. Gordon pic and caption.)

Once across the Lee Creek it was uphill all the way until we reached the tussock.

Other than a short distance at the bottom, the track was good and dry, and non slippery. We were in light bush, with some large and obviously very old Broadleaf trees to be seen. Mahoe (white wood) were there in abundance, and many other species.
A level area beside the track at the appropriate time was the smoko stop.

Onward, the track was ever upward, and the perspiration flowed freely. A couple of steeper and trickier bits were safely negotiated,

The last steep pinch. (Gordon pic and caption.)

and in due course we all reached the first viewing point above the bush -and where the tussock began. Two of the group elected to wait here for our return.

Into the tussock now,

Traversing tussock country before the gale got up. (Phil pic and caption.)

the height of which reduces with altitude. We lost 5 more at the next rocky knob.

Lords and ladies surveying their domain…. (Phil pic and caption.) [[Ed: N.B. Not necessarily among the “lost 5”]

The remaining 6 trampers carried on for another 20 minutes before eating their lunch (10 minutes early) in the shelter of a rocky knob, with great views out over the Taieri Plain, and far away.

Last stop.Lunch & great views. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Shelter was absolutely necessary as it was quite windy up here.

Frequent clouds of pollen could be seen being blown out of the native bush, down in the Lee Creek area. Lots of pollen around this year.
As we packed up to begin the return, the wind was rising, becoming very strong and blustery. Hold onto your hat weather. At least one hat got blown away, but safely retrieved. It had cooled down too.
A fast return was made down through the beautiful tussock, which was waving in the wind.
Once back in the shelter of the bush the temperature rose notably, a bit hot in fact. Several clumps of the lovely white clematis could be seen as we reached the bush line.
Down, down, down now, all the way. We met two chaps coming up with a large number of dogs, out for exercise. Birdsong was heard all day in the bush and I heard my first Shining Cuckoo of the season.
No one was wasting any time for the descent, and the whole team were back together by the time we crossed Lee Creek again. It ended up a shorter day as we were back at the cars at 1-35.
A refreshment stop was made back in Outram.
Thanks to all. – Art.
10. 28/9/2016. Trampers. Woodside Glen to Maungatua. H. Leader: Arthur H.
Good weather had been ordered for this tramp, and it was delivered. The sky was partly cloudy with some wind from the west. (Down at Outram it was a northeaster.
Six trampers left Mosgiel with high expectations for the day’s adventure. We parked our cars at Woodside Glen, starting from there at 9.25 a.m. Only ten minutes or so brought us to Lee Creek which was a little tricky to cross. I think all made it with dry feet.
The work then began. It is a relentless climb upward through the bush, broken only very briefly by following an old water race. We had a good rest period at morning tea time though.
As the bush thinned out, a patch of low cloud was flowing down the gully to our right – coming in almost from the southwest. It didn’t affect us and soon cleared.
The track up through the bush was good and dry, thankfully, but would have been very slippery if wet.
The upper track had been well cleared as far as a rocky knob where the tussock began. We reached this position at 11.00 a.m., which was a good effort.

The westerly wind was cold here, but a brief stop to admire the view was made.

View of Saddle Hill. (Helen pic and caption.)

View of Saddle Hill. (Helen pic and caption.)

We were up in the tussock now (great) where the track is not well defined. Taking our time, as some found the tussock was a little slippery underfoot, we continued up the eastern spur of Maungatua.

A few minutes before 12 noon we reached a hugh knob from where the view was magnificent. This was our lunch spot…

Lunch Spot. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch Spot. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and in Antony Hamel’s book is marked as being at an altitude of 686 metres. (See his map on page 9.05).

The sky was rather hazy, with cloud down on the hills to the north and northeast – on Swampy, for example. But the climb had been well worth it for the view nevertheless.

Outram in distance. (Helen pic and caption.)

Outram in distance. (Helen pic and caption.)

No wind spoiled our lunch, which was quite a leisurely affair, stretching out to 45 minutes in fact – but don’t tell Neil! He would be horrified if he knew!
We began our return, taking care in the downhill slippery tussock. The trouble was that vegetation overhung the little used track and one could not see where one was putting one’s feet.

Out of the tussock and down…

Down, down and more down. (Helen pic and caption.)

Down, down and more down. (Helen pic and caption.)

…into the bush, where there are two or three difficult patches – not to be rushed.

Eventually we reached the creek, crossed without incident, and were back at the cars at 2.45.
The outward journey had been 2.25 hours moving, and a neat 2 hours returning. Distance? – From the map, an estimate of 7 km is all I can come up with.
The mandatory debriefing took place in Outram. All were enthusiastic about the day’s tramp and wanted it to be on our list of ones to do again in the future.
There is something special about being out in the tussock.
9. 23/10/2013. Hikers. Woodside area. Easy. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara.

Woodside Route

Woodside GPS of Route. 10.5km in all. (GPS recording started rather belatedly.)

We started from the West Taieri Cemetery and walked directly down Woodside Road to the intersection at the old Store and Post Office building, where we stopped for morning tea on an inviting lawn.

We then turned left and walked down McDonald Road past the grand Beardsmore property gates …



.. till we made a right turn up Mann Rd (3 km on route map) before returning the way we had come back to the old store corner.

Now a different route was to go left up Berwick Rd, right onto Helvellyn St and to almost complete the circumnavigation of the block, right again down Crossfeld St to then go left up Ravensburn Rd and finally left again via Mountain Rd into Woodside Glen. We entered the walking track alongside the Lee Creek (name?), finding it rather dangerously narrowed in places by slips, to discover it connecting with a newer, wider track further up which led eventually down to the Maungatua tops track stream crossing, where we lunched.  (6 km on route map). Three of our group ventured to rock-hop across the stream to lunch on the far side,…

Lunching across the stream.

Lunching across the stream.

… the rest judging the nearer side a safer spot.

Our return route to the Glen was by the safer new track which we found kept further up and more safely around the ridge (but made less  interesting by its divorce  from the stream) before descending to the Glen.

Here we met the group supporting blind trampers, who were just about to set off up the track, with much happy greeting exchanges. We went back out along Mountain Rd, down Ravensburn Rd to the old store again, to return back up Woodside Road to the cars.

Obviously a Woodside Glen walk needs a lot of road walk to fill out a decent day. Thanks to Barbara and Arthur for planning this well filling the day with much interest.  – Ian.

8. 30/4/2008. Hikers. Woodside Glen. Easy. Leaders: Bev H, Bev M.

7. 16/4/2008. Traquair/Whare Creek Track & Woodside Glen.

Viewing Traquair Creek

Viewing Traquair Creek

With inclement weather threatening the joy of a beach walk (Purakanui and Canoe beaches) and only 2 hikers along with 2 leaders, a decision was made to seek dry bush cover instead, and so we headed for the recently-upgraded Outram Glen walk. Neil B. diverted us however to a nearby track he had lately helped to clear  – the Whare (or Traquair) Creek track – starting at the Historical Museum. This turned out to be a great delight as it echoed with bird song and followed a dry-clad, benched course through both native and deciduous trees beside still waters and sometimes beside falling waters over large, mossy boulders.

Neil was an informative guide too, giving us the history of the track, showing us the site of the first flourmill in the country and noting features such as an underground water source, a high, man-made retaining wall, and origins of one of the first reticulated water supplies. We had morning tea back at the Museum and rewarded Neil for his services with freshly-picked mushrooms. We then proceeded to an ‘urban crawl’ through the streets of Outram, with a particular focus on new, spec houses. A decision to lunch at the West Taieri cemetery was thwarted by our driver whose momentum carried us on to Woodside Glen where we were

Lunching by Lee Stream

Lunching by Lee Stream

led up a different creek (Lee Creek) without a paddle, and took lunch beside the stream where the track crosses it. A nice spot indeed. Neil then took us on a ‘conducted tour’ of the once-thriving metropolis of Woodside, noting old shops, churches,



Old church?

Old church?

school and houses from one of which 2 sisters daily used to bike to the railway station and catch the train to Factory Road and thence to Mosgiel Woollen Mill to work. How times have changed!! So, we didn’t get to the beach or the river or the cemetery, but we did enjoy our varied walk. – Bob

6. 11/7/2007. Hikers. Woodside Glen. Easy. Leaders: Bev H, Bev M
5. 8/8/2001. Alt. Woodside Glen. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Mary Y.
4. 20/1/1999. Woodside Glen. Leaders: Joyce, Bev S, Les S.
3. 16/9/1998 Trampers. Woodside Glen to top of Maungatuas. Leaders: Bill H, Graham
2. 20/11/1996. Trampers. Woodside Glen to top of Maungatuas. Leaders: Jack R, George, Eleanor
1. 22/4/1992. Trampers. Woodside Glen Bush track leading to Maungtuas. Average+. Leaders: Bob H, Jack R, Doug & Ngaire
16 km from car park.

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Oct 22 2020


Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers


28 October

Trampers.  Woodside Glen / Maungatua. Leaders : Gordon and Assistant. H. $3.00

Hikers.   Government Track. Leaders : Alex Griffin, Clive Crossman. E. $6-00.


4 November

Combined. Pyramids and Victory Beach http: (Low tide 12.35pm) Leaders: Phil Keene, Keith Munro, Raewyn Keene and Shona Munro. E. $8-00


11 November

Trampers.Heyward Point ‎. Leaders Helen and Phil Morris. M. $8-00

Hikers. McKesser Track.  Leaders Betty and Jim Finnie. M. $8-00


18 November

Trampers. Siverpeaks Station – Jubilee Hut. Leaders Eleanor Ryan and Arthur Heenan. M. $9-00

Hikers. Macandrew Bay – Greenacres. Leaders Alex and Liz Griffin. M. $5-00


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Oct 22 2020

Leishmans, Chalkies and/or Boulder Hill.

Published by under Trampers and tagged: ,

No. 68 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Leishmans Falls – (J Roy) Summer”
14. 21/10/2020. Trampers. Chalkies Cicuit. Leaders Phil Keene, Rob Labes.

21 today! Not just the date but as it turned out the number of proven fit and experienced trampers!   Not deterred by the prospects of a walk straight up for two hours everyone set off in a pretty chipper mood and in perfect tramping weather, recent rain squelching beneath our feet as we passed the pump house and crossed the weir, then up and around and down into Leishman’s stream and the rope. Ah the rope, nope not a problem as far as the writer knows at any rate as an average 45 seconds for each of us to ascend.


Photo and Caption John – “Almost there Judy”.

From there, after re grouping, we stretched out onwards and upwards for 20 minutes, then had morning tea at the head of a gully with nice bush surrounds; after tea we continued up, some embarrassing moments for those with poor tread on their boots, plus some rather large step ups; bringing the comment that  the track must have been carved out by early versions 00of Gordon or Phil M ‘back in the day’.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Morning tea”.

Towards the top the track was quite over grown with flax and fern, effectively hiding more mud! So it was with some relief we emerged onto the forest track and followed it until we veered off into tussock and on to Powder Hill Trig at 525masl; the outlook not to the usual trig standard with a maturing forest and pest plants ‘in the way’; though I must say  the flowering Spanish Heath (of the Erica family) was rather pretty….


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Powder Ridge Trig (Summit)”.

We re-traced our steps and then headed off down to the Limestone outcrop for a well earned lunch.  It must be said that the two hour workout did nothing to lessen the craic or enthusiasm in the group. A few wondered how the initials PK came to be engraved on the rock…..but certainly not from  the recce the week before.  Clematis Paniculata was blooming abundantly through out the journey, a sure sign that possum numbers must be low.


Photo and Caption John – “Could stay here all day!”.

The track down was of a much higher standard and certainly the way to go for a quick training trip to the trig if one feels so inclined!  Good bird life was with us most of the walk, but alas the Robins sited on the recce had bobbed off somewhere else on the day.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Not far to cars now”.

Once descended it was a leisurely stroll through the stream to clean off mud, then back to the cars and onto Blackstone for a well earned cuppa at 1.45pm.  Not a long walk at between 7-8 km but one of the better workouts on a real tramping track!

Special thanks to Rob for recce and encouragement from the back…and all the best for your travel forays over the next few months.

Phil K

13. 24/4/2019. Trampers. Chalkies Circuit. Leader: Keith.
12 keen trampers arrived at the Chalkies circuit entrance on Silverstream/Whare flat road ready for a good walk.
The start of the track was pleasant through native trees.
G.1st photo-- The weir that supplied water for Mosgiel in the pastc

The weir that supplied water for Mosgiel in the past. (Gordon pic and caption.)

 We soon came to a cliff face with a rope hanging down for support. It looked a bit challenging!!
G.2nd-- Waiting @ climbing the cliff face with the aid of a ropec

Waiting @ climbing the cliff .face with the aid of a rope. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Everyone climbed it safely even though the knots in the rope could have been closer together. Morning tea was had on a flat piece of track above the steeper part.
G.3rd-- A deserved break @ top upc

A deserved break @ top up. (Gordon pic and caption.)

We then continued onwards and upwards through manuka/kanuka trees. It was good to see a lot of young totaras growing which in many years ahead may be the dominant canopy. The trig was reached by 11.10 – we had a good look around but cloud on the top spoiled the best views. We walked down to the limestone cliffs for lunch. Big rocks had fallen and destroyed the cave. However they made a great resting place for lunch.
G.7th-- Lunch break @ the Chalkiesc

Lunch break @ the Chalkies. (Gordon pic and caption.)

It was a steady and pleasant walk down the track, joining up with a drive that finally that lead us back to Whare flat road and the cars.
G.8th-- Autum colours heading back to carsc

Autumn colours heading back to cars. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Coffee was had at Blend with the knowledge that we had completed a significant and pleasant climb of around 460 metres.
12. 21/6/2017. Trampers. Chalkies Circuit. Leader: Arthur.
A good frost began the day, which was also the shortest day of the year.
13 Trampers turned up at the car park, from where we travelled in 4 cars up “Silver-Stream Valley” road to park near the beginning of what used to be called “Leishmans Track”. DoC have renamed it as “Chalkies Circuit Track”, with no mention of “Leishmans” any more.
The track was very wet and muddy to begin with, drops of water were falling from the tree canopy – presumably from the thawing frost.

We soon came to the old pump house…

The old pump house. (Keith pic and caption.)

…and weir of the long dis-used water supply going to Mosgiel from Leishmans Creek.

We had to cross the creek several times, and also negotiate some steep slippery steps, eventually coming to “The Rope“. The rope was essential as the track going steeply up here was very wet, muddy and slippery.
All of the group made it up safely, and I was assured that it had been fun, (no, I’m not joking). We continued on for another 10 minutes or so, until above the steepest part, before stopping for morning tea.
The track was drier, mostly, now as we proceeded uphill, ever uphill.
Speaking of the track, the whole circuit had been attended to very recently by The Green Hut Track Clearing Group, who had made an excellent job. Thanks, chaps, well done.

We made it out onto the summit of Powder Hill (altitude 525 metres) in time to have our lunch at the “trig”.

Margreet pic.

Good views in many directions; to Saddle Hill; some snow on the Rock and Pillar. Pulpit Rock was quite prominent too. A smoke haze covered the whole of the Taieri Plain indicating an “inversion”, it being very thick over Mosgiel.

We continued our tramp, downhill now, stopping to inspect the limestone outcrops of “The Chalkies”, for a few minutes.

Chalky rock. (Keith pic and caption.)

Further down we were lucky enough to see a pair of South Island Robins. They were aware of our group (quietly) watching them feeding on the forest floor only 2 or 3 metres away, but weren’t bothered by us.

Out of the bush, and down the private road, after a time we came to the ford by the pumphouse. From there it was down the still frozen road to the cars, having covered 8 km doing the circuit.
Back to Mosgiel, the smoke haze was extremely bad as we drove down Factory Road and Bush Road on our way to “Wals“.
It had been a very happy group out today, and all had obviously enjoyed the day’s exercise. It was also pleasing to see the numbers of our group growing.
Thanks to all. – Art.
11. 26/8/2015. Trampers. Leishmans, Chalkies.
Leishmans Long Ridge Chalkies

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Leishmans Long Ridge Chalkies. (Ken caption) Walked 11km; ave 3.4km/h; 3h 15m moving; climbed 730m; max 532m.

Todays tramp was different to what was in the program due to a problem getting permission for the farm walk we were supposed to do.
So we set off for Leishmans track in the Silverstream valley, which not many of the 7 trampers on the day had done before. This turned out to be quite a grunty climb to get up on the top of the ridge, & it was slow going with very slippery conditions underfoot. One member only got about 2 hundred meters into the track when he sat down in the first creek crossing, not a good start to the day !!! It was just past here that the track got steep as it wound it’s way up the hillside. After a few rest stops we eventually made it up into the flax & tussock area at the ridge top, & we made a short detour to see where the trig at the top of Chalkies track was, just to get our bearings. Then it was off along the 4WD track to try & find how to get onto Long Ridge.
We failed in this, so turned around & walked back down the road past the turn off to Leishmans, & away down heading in what seemed the direction of the Taieri. We eventually came across a track junction that I recognised from a few years back when a friend & I were in that area looking for deer.
After a short stop here we again turned around, & went back to the entrance of the Leishmans track, along here till the turn off to the trig at the top of Chalkies, & down here to the lookout area where we had quite a long break.
Lunch stop

Lunch stop (Ken pic and caption)


Lunch (Ken pic and caption)

Then it was down Chalkies, being careful to not slip on the slippery surface, & back out to the cars via the Scout camp grounds. – Ken
10. 28/5/2014. Trampers. Leishmans, Chalkies.
GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Leishmans Chalkies exploration. ((Ken caption)

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Leishmans Chalkies exploration. ((Ken caption)

We started off to go up Leishmans, & down Chalkies tracks, however, when we got to the Silverstream Rd, there was a ROAD CLOSED sign up, not a good start !!
We drove up to the start of Leishmans where there was a track closed sign up saying ‘Closed for Maintenance’ — so what to do?? We walked up the track to see what was happening, & soon came across the problem, it was a real mess with trees down across it & virtually impassable, so we retraced our steps back to the road.
Here we decided to go & have a look at Chalkies track, so we drove up the road to the car park at the pump house, where we could hear logging operations going on in the Chalkies area. We decided to go & have a look anyway, so as the stream was running a bit high we went the long way around, & came back down the road to get to the bottom of the Chalkies road, which was a quagmire for it’s full length due to the forestry operations. All of the forest on the LH side going up is gone, & the track up to where you turn off onto the bush track has been dozed, & is very muddy & rough.
It was a pleasure to get onto the bush track, but it doesn’t get any less steep as time goes on !!
As we had taken loppers with us, we did some track clearing on the way up, which helped to fill in the day. At the junction to the Chalkies ledge, we dumped our packs, & worked our way to the top where the spear grass started to appear, & we could see the trig on Powder Hill about 3 – 4 hundred meters away.
It was now well after 12pm, so we went back to the ledge & had a leisurely lunch break, …
Lunch at Chalkies Ledge (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch at Chalkies Ledge (Ken pic and caption)

… after which we walked & slid our way out to the cars, this time crossing the stream to wash some of the mud off our boots, with some getting wet feet for their trouble. – Ken.
9. 16/11/2011. Trampers. Leishmans, Chalkies.
Seven of us did the shorter 7 km tramp up Leishmans, down Chalkies. We entered in past the weir and old Mosgiel water supply holding tank and negotiated our way to the small bluff at the foot of the ridge. We were surprised to find a sturdy new rope. So, ‘plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose’.  First the old rope. Then the ropeless period after its removal. Now a new one. Well, bravo, anyway. Safe and reassuring.

Morning tea on the only plateau on Leishman track.

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Oct 21 2020

Taieri Mouth

Published by under Year round

No. 78 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Knarston Park Sth Coast (Ask Jean Young) Farm”
Location: 31.5 km.
10. 21/10/2020. Leaders Noi McCunn and Bob Mitchell

Photo and Caption Clive – “Knarston Park – the set off point”.



Photo and Caption Clive – “The road south from Taieri Mouth”.


Photo and Caption Clive – “The happy team.””.



Photo and Caption Clive – “View back from the coast.”




Photo and Caption Clive – “Lunch at the beach.”


20201021_114925 (1)

Photo and Caption Clive – “Surfs up”.


9. 24/4/2019. Hikers. Taieri Mouth Area. Leaders: Chris, Dot, Alex and Liz.

Route map, courtesy Ian. 8km limited to the 7 who returned after lunch. (The rest did 4km more not travelled by this Nike app!) The “8km” indicator hides the points on the map where the route started and finished.

About 26 Hikers and Ramblers mustered under a cloudy sky by the Taieri Mouth Bridge to walk through hidden nooks and crannies of the Taieri Mouth area, led by Liz and Alec.

We started off along Riverside Road and cribs that are only a stones throw from the flowing river.   A living history was related by Alec and Liz as we went past the cribs telling us stories of past and present inhabitants.   We eased along a lower part of the Millennium Track to a sheltered glade where we sat down for morning tea. More stories were told of holidays spent along these banks and of income gleaned from whitebait or discarded beer bottles.

C.1) Morning Teac

After morning tea we returned along Riverside Road to Hanning Place.   This is a turn off that is easily passed without discovering Picnic Gully.   Picnic Gully is a walk that used to be frequented by travelers from Dunedin more than a hundred years ago before the bridge was put across the Taieri.

C.3) Picnic Gullyc

Picnic Gully. (Clive pic and caption.)

We didn’t miss it this time and were soon into the thickly covered bush walk


which ended in a scramble up a bank onto a newly bulldozed track up onto Finlayson Road.   This track was very steep and soon had us all stopping to catch our breath.


We learnt that this gully walk crossed the land of Alan Gorton who allows us to cross other parts of his land when going to the old sawmill.  We also acknowledge the work done on the track by the children of the nearby Taieri Mouth school.

Down the hill saw us entering Knarston Park and led us onto the beach.   It was now close to low tide and we could see it would have been easy to walk out to Moturata Island, but not today.   We continued along the beach and passed a recently erected old tree and masses of toa toa and pipi shells.   Charlie and Jess had recorded their presence in Toa toa shells which would last only until the next king tide.K.4aIMG_1907c

Lunch was now in sight.   We arrived at Livingstonia Park as the sun broke through.   There was discussion over lunch as to the name for the park be it Livingstone or Livingstonia.   Those in the know confirmed it as Livingstonia and was a living war memorial to returned servicemen and women with amputations and other injuries.

After lunch we headed up Coutts Gully Road to a walk up through bush at Livingstone – Green bush walk and lagoon.   Someone had taken a lot of time and trouble writing notices along the path explaining the history of the bush area.  There was a great view from the top along the beach to North all the way to Saddle Hill.

C.8) The view from the topc

The view from the top. (Clive pic and caption.)

Once down the hill we skirted the lagoon to see geese spoonbills and ducks before heading back to the cars by the Taieri Bridge.   We had walked nearly 12 kilometers in 4 1/2 hours.   Some wished they could have taken longer as there was such a lot to see and enjoy.   Maybe something to do on another day.   Thanks Liz and Alex.

– Clive

8. 5/12/2017. Both. Livingstonia Park. Moturata Island. M. Leaders: Bob and Phil.

Route Map, courtesy Ian. (Ian pic and caption.)

A combined 32 Trampers and Hikers ventured down  through Brighton to Taieri Mouth , certainly not expecting traffic lights at Kuri Bush!  Livingstonia Park was the starting point after being warmly welcomed by Bob and we set off towards Akatore passing a range of new property developments; just prior to moving on up the rise to the highest point of the walk, Bob detoured us onto the lawn, surrounded by sheltering trees, at the old NZ Forest HQ.

Morning tea at Forestry HQ. (Phil pic and caption.)

Some of us pondered the thoughts of this site having a ‘second coming’ with the new governments initiative of a billion trees…….

We then headed south with the breeze at our back, up the gradually increasing rise, enjoying the views of forest and farmland and sea, interrupted regularly by shouts of ‘truck’ and ‘car’. before Bob again turned us off ( clearly a man with great local knowledge and contacts!)   and headed down through farmland to the seaside.  Here we mounted the stile and various scouts attempted to find their way onto the beach.  This was more easily achieved by Bob when his hands were free after helping at the stile!

A mix of short beach walks, interrupted by rocky headland became the norm, requiring some inventiveness to move through the formations,

Into the promise land? (Phil pic and caption.)

as well as some rather intimate team bonding as some larger rocks were mounted!  Well done everyone!

Eventually the main Taieri Beach came into view and on we set following the curve of the surf to the ‘bar’; nothing changes when tramping, initial hesitancy to getting the feet wet to plain old just barge on in or take the boots off.  Rumours of a channel were probably proved correct as a ‘minor river’ was crossed before the main bar being traversed …

Sand bar, not showing heavy-flowing channel needing to be waded. (Ian pic and caption.)

… and we reached the Island at around 12.30pm, to be greeted by large numbers of nesting gulls;


Birds nesting on Moturata Island close up. (Ian pic and caption)

apparently the island was used to collect guano in the good old days, and you could understand why.

Colours on the rocks over on the Island. (Helen pic and caption.)

With low tide being over half an hour past, it was decided to return to Knarston Park for lunch, and shelter from the incessant sea breeze.  This was a good decision as the ‘minor river’ had increased in volume, requiring river crossing techniques for some.

The scale of the bar was impressive, being much larger than thought, as were the patterns in the sand and rock formations both at the island and on the rocky headlands.

Following a late lunch, (more so because of the early morning tea!) everyone safely made their way back to the cars and met up with others who had completed a shorter walk.

I am reliably informed  the full walk was 11.4 km and well, we won’t specify the altitude will we….

The day was very satisfyingly repleted at the new Brighton Café, where it seemed we had more than 32 folk chatting away!

New coffee bar in Brighton.(Helen pic and caption.)

( Ice creams from next door more than welcome, as both shops are apparently owned by the same folk).

Ho ho and have a happy festive season. – Phil.

7. 26/6/2013. Hikers. Knarston Park. Moturata Island. Leaders: J Knox, P Clough

GPS of Route

It was a treat of a day. Well, yes, a bit of a cold wind, but – the sandbar!

We parked, morning-tead at Knarston Park on concrete picnic table seats that were not at all warm.

Then out to the sandbar. The tide was super-low, half a metre below sea-level. The bar was broad as broad. And dry. We walked and walked. This writer was overwhelmed with the experience of being on such a wide and long stretch of sand so under the waves at other times.  Eventually we reached the island.


At Moturata Island

We sauntered round. The tide was so-o-o low we were assured of plenty of time before heading back. We headed to the rocks the north end of the islands and scrambled over them to see the surf breaking on the seaward side of the island.


Rock at northern end of island.

And then we sauntered back. Marvellous, as John Campbell would say.

The wind was still a bit sharp however, so we went back to the cars and on round the road past the fishing boats. A couple of fisherfolk said they had already noticed us and it was good to hear that locals keep a sharp eye out for the sandbar trekkers. Then on further to the start of the John Bull for lunch. (5km marker on GPS route map).


Lunch at terminus of John Bull track.

Back down and across the bridge to walk round the beach on the river’s true left. Yes, back to the cold wind, but it was behind us. We observed the cliffs below the houses until we thought it best to get off the beach.  We climbed a set of steep large steps and up through a property and a wire fence to reach the highway at the top. (7km on map)

Onto road

Onto road

We took the road back, crossed the bridge and reached our cars at near the 10km mark. Thanks to Judy and Pam carefully checking out our chances the day before and their leadership on the day.

A most satisfying day. – Ian

6. 5/9/2012. Both. Knarston Park. Moturata Island – NOT! Leaders: Ian, Margaret.
Click to get full photo.

Morning tea time – when we were still optimistic of a successful outcome!

Tide, wind and flood were all against us.
Tide – Even though we had got the low tide time exactly as we had wanted, we failed to take in consideration that minimum low tide was still o.9 metros. Must aim for nearer 0.0 next time!
Wind – Although a boisterous wind was from off the land, whipping up sand and breaker spray, the waves were still coming in stronger than we had expected.
Flood – The Taieri River was in quite flood mode, breaking two channels across the sand-bar we had hoped to traverse.
S-o-o-o-o-o. We had morning tea. We walked down the beach to where the rocky part begins and back. We waited. And waited. Some more hopeful than others. Some more resigned to failure. We early lunched. Then walked down the beach again, aiming for a round trip through Livingstonia Park and back along the road, but short-cutted through a bit before that.
And then behold. KB contractors drilling a pipe-line for fibre-optic (we think) alongside the road with a wonderful machine. Complete with GPS guidance showing on a screen to the operator, it automatically screwed and push-drilled successive pipes through alongside the road and  under the ground, with a clever drill-head (we learnt on asking) that could tilt the pipe’s direction left and right, and up and down on the operator’s bidding. Marvellous! (To the technically-minded anyway.)
We were now close to the cars again. The day had been wind, but grew warmer as it progressed. Everyone was philosophical about the way the day had turned out.
Perhaps, as was suggested, a low-tide day late summer or autumn, when the Taieri is NOT in flood would be a much wiser day to tackle the Island next time.
5. 7/8/2011. Both. Taieri Mouth. Knarston Park. Beach Walk. Easy. Leaders: Lex, Graham.
There was a full tide around 11.30 a.m., which we cunningly exploited by negotiating the narrow beach parts before and after its peak.
The beach walk down river however, was rather constrained by the rising tide at one brief point, splitting the ‘(Fool(?)-Hardy Paddlers’ from the ‘Off-Beach-Detourers’ before we could make it to the large beach seen on the next pic.

The Taieri Mouth in the distance behind us.

Inevitably, we had to come to the rocky outcrops and were forced to make our way up a rope-lined track to paddocks.

A careful steep climb.

The track climbed. (Elaine pic.)

A view from the paddocks. (Elaine pic)

Further on, we were able to descend to another beach.

At one point, we were treated to a swimming seal lumbering its way out of the water to sun itself on a rock

Then it was time for lunch before retracing out steps back to our cars.
While we were seated, our President read out a text sent to us by Leslie S from hospital, saying she was feeling better and sitting up. (Today’s trip was a replacement for the scheduled trip to Waipori with Leslie and Bill as leaders.)

The lunch stop.

4. 30/6/2010. Hikers. Taieri Mouth. Beach Walk. Easy. Leaders: Lesley G, Neil.
A bitterly cold wind to start with. – Bill.

Taieri Beach, well wrapped up. Early lunch lunch stop. (Bill pic and caption)

Guess whose knees. (Members only.) (Bill pic and caption)

A necessary warm-up coffee stop. (Bill pic and caption)

3. 17/1/2007. Hikers. Taieri Mouth Easy. Leaders: Chris, Ray.
2. 14/6/2000 Taieri Mouth – Beach Walk. Leaders:Dot B, Joan H, Pam H

1, 8/2/1989. Moturata Island.

Moturata Island. Peg Chisholm, Molly Vaughan.

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Oct 14 2020

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.
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”]

41. 14/10/2020. Trampers. Leaders: Jill Dodd and Peter Gillespie

If we were to believe the weather forecast for Wednesday, some people would have been deterred by the gale force winds, rain and snow down to about 400m but no, 15 hardy trampers set off from the carpark by the bridge on Stage Coach Rd. We walked up to Saddle Hill Rd in the full force of a very strong south  west wind. Even though  we had amazing views over the Taieri plains and beyond it was hard to find a slightly sheltered spot at the lookout for morning tea . Carrying on past Jaffreys hill to Scurr road where we descended to Ronganui (place of the soul) the property of Colin Mackintosh and Marjorie Orr, who escorted us through their property .

Photo and Caption Wendy – “Colin McIntosh and Marjorie Orr”

This is a little hidden treasure. A QE11 Covenent area on the east side of Saddle Hill. There is 20 hectares of regenerating native coastal forest Totara, Rimu, Kahikatea, Miro, Matau and Kanuka.


Photo and Caption Wendy – “Natives everywhere”.

Another 20 hectares of liquorice all sorts – a collection of exotic trees – Eucalyptus species, Macrocarpa, Californian Redwood, Tasmanian Blackwood and Pinus Radiata.
Bird song was all around us as we traversed the tracks and bridges  meandering the property. This is all maintained by the owners who are the guardians of the land.

Photo and Caption Sarah – “The walk through the bush was special.”

The previous owner had done the planting of the exotics and the little stream the Murray River named after him.(His wife was a member of our tramping club -Eleanor Watt)
The stream was a very vivid orange colour and when Dave broke the dam!  (of a couple of sturdy branches) the water movement was quite sluggish and gel like.

Photo and Caption Wendy – “Dave removing the dam.”

It is an iron ore residue from the now disused coal mines that are on the hillside .
A real surprise for us all was when Colin dug into an old rotten log where he finally found a Peripatus a living ancient velvet worm like creature. These worms have been around for 500 million years and found throughout NZ.

Photo and Caption Wendy  – “Finding peripatus in old logs.”


These slightly blueish insignificant small creatures with 15 pairs of legs and 2 front antennae  exist in this undisturbed environment but had created much excitement with the researchers at the museum when 1st found here. Lunch in the forest at a designated picnic area so very sheltered we were oblivious to the outside world.

Photo and Caption Sarah – “Lunch in a designated spot”.

The walk concluded by reading a poem, dedicated to the greatness of trees, and looking at the 30year old kauri tree.


Photo and Caption Wendy – “The poem”.


Photo and Caption Jill – “The 30 year old kauri tree.”

IMG_9257 (1)res

Photo and Caption Wendy – “Outstanding views!”

There was a car shuttle back to the bridge but we probably tramped about 14 kms and the rain (apart from a quick shower) stayed away till after we had our coffee and  debrief at Blend.   Only a week late from the expected visit of Judith Collins and her team and they still had cheese rolls in the cabinet!
An interesting day shared by some very passionate landowners so close to home.

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.

(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


Route map

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Oct 14 2020

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.
24. 14/10/2020 : Leaders Ady Whitson

Well we had a very eventful morning.  Set off at 9am sharp to Blueskin Bay stretch of our days walk. Arriving in good time, to set out in good weather, as the cliffs gave us good shelter from the south west wind.


Photo and Caption John – “View of Purakanui Beach”.


Photo and Caption John – “Great craftmanship – railway line, tunnel, retaining wall and stone bridge.”


View from the Mapoutahi Pa site.

Spoke to a local who said we would be absolutely fine to walk to the Pa site have morning tea and return. That tide was on the turn and when we got up to the site we did not stay too long. Just as well we were caught by the tide at the rocks before the cave. I was absolutely very concerned, broken bones all over the place.  Some took their boots and socks off but others climbed over the rocks and others like me just ploughed through the water.  We really had no choice. Betty deserves the medal of the day and Doug just ploughed on through the water.


Photo and Caption John – “Wet feet” Well done to everyone and thank you.

Once we had got through this, morning tea was had and very grateful for that.  We went through the cave what a fascination the way the rocks are formed.

Photo and Caption John – “Through the cave.”

A further walk around the inlet and the view of Doctors Point was lovely seeing all the houses in the bush and the boat sheds.  Back to the cars for lunch and in the shelter of the dunes.


Photo and Caption John – “Lunch on the rocks by the cave”.

Well done to everyone and thank you.
Once we had got through this, morning tea was had and very grateful for that.  We went through the cave what a fascination the way the rocks are formed.  A further walk around the inlet and the view of Doctors Point was lovely seeing all the houses in the bush and the boat sheds.  Back to the cars for lunch and in the shelter of the dunes.

Photo and Caption Clive – “Where we are going.”


Photo and Caption Clive. – “Board walk.”

Travelled back to the board walk and away we went again.  It was a very uneventful afternoon thank goodness with afternoon tea at Blueskin Cafe.
Ady Whitson
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 ***


‘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. (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  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 (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.

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Oct 07 2020

Taieri Ferry and Finlayson Roads, Bells farm, Kennedys, Millennium.

Published by under Trampers,Year round

Read “Taieri River Geology” for some background information.
“Legends of the Lower Taieri” includes a section about John Bull if you persist in reading down far enough.

Wardells’ White House 25 km from car park.

15. 7/10/2020. Combined. Millenium Track. Leaders: Eleanore Ryan, Heather Kirk, Jay Devlin, Adi Whitson

This morning 38 Trampers, Hikers, Ramblers along with Ian Fleming (Good to see you Ian) were assembled at Peter Johnson carpark waiting to be taken to the Whitehouse at Taieri Ferry by Richard Trainer in his Good Company bus.  Today Richard got the bus to the start of the track.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Starting off.”

The weather forecast was sounding rather dodgy, with rain forecast. We left with jackets on at 9:45am to walk about the 10km track.  We walked about 20 minutes to the Picnic area to regroup for smoko.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Truffles for morning tea.”

We were treated with Marshmallow Balls by Jenni Wright to celebrate her Birthday—-Thanks Jenni, Bruce had the pleasure of carrying the rest up the hill to the lunch stop—-Thanks Bruce.
We watched a couple of fellows(known to some members) trying their luck white baiting

After a leisurely break the Trampers headed off first followed by the Hikers,  up a short climb, then the track levelled off as we wound our way along the bush covered banks of the river.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Great bush to walk through.”

The track crosses a small spur before joining at the Junction of John Bull Flat and the DOC track from Taieri Mouth.  It was warm, sunny and no wind, so jackets were discarded back into packs.  John Bull Flat is pretty much the half way point.


Off we went again(their used to be a shortcut up a steep track, no longer maintained). We went up and up some more, enjoying the magnificent tree ferns and native bush along the way till we reached the seat which also has great views of Moturata Island and the river——-not the whole hillside of gorse above the river though!!


Photo and Caption Gordon – “91 years not out!”

This was our long lunch stop, enjoying another round of Marshmallow Balls in the sun shine.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “View from lunch spot.”

By the time we were leaving with the sky threatening another shower, jackets were on once again as we headed towards Taieri Mouth.  By now it was down, down down.  In no time we hit the 200 or so metres of newly formed clay surfaced track, which has turned to slush.  We managed to slip and slide our way through the bog, hopefully, it will be gravelled one day.  Soon we came across the board walk at Muddy Gully, noticing lots of crab holes in the sandy shore.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading back to bus.”

Then only a short walk had us out to the quaint row of cribs (including Jay&Steve Devlins) spotting the Good Company bus in the car park.

Trampers were back around 1pm followed an hour later by the Hikers.  Meanwhile, the Ramblers enjoyed their smoko break at Waihola followed by leisurely drive  to Taieri Mouth for lunch.  We had no longer left the car park before heavy rain showers started.

Thanks to fellow Leaders, Heather Kirk, Jay Devlin and Adie Whitson


Photo and Caption Gordon – “91 definitely not out!”

Was nice to hear, quite a few Members had not been through the track before, and had enjoyed this tramp.  As always, good company makes a happy day.
Eleanore Ryan, Heather Kirk, Jay Devlin  and Adie Whitson.

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Oct 01 2020

Pump House, Tunnels, McRaes Weir, Racemans, return

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

10. 30/9/2020. Trampers. Tunnel track/ Racemans return. Leaders Gordon Grant and Arthur Heenan
Because of snow on the  Maungatua the days tramp was diverted to Whare Flat where 9 hardy trampers set off up Tunnel track to Mcraes Weir then turned left until arriving at Racemans track.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading up Tunnels track to Racemans”.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Morning tea”.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Creek crossing”.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Racemans Track”.


We continued on up Racemans to the Top Weir then returned back down the  track until a suitable place for a 12.15 lunch was found.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading to top weir”.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “The weir”.

After which we headed off down Racemans turning off on to Powder Ridge and on down to the cars.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading back to cars”.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Another creek crossing”.

The walk was thoroughly enjoyed by all, only a slight breeze, great bush and scenery. A lot of conversation which 8 carried on at Blends later.

Gordon Grant

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Oct 01 2020

Frasers Gully

Published by under Hikers,Year round

No. 92 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Frasers Gully – Brockville Rd Year Round”

16 km from car park.

29. 30/9/2020. Frasers Gully / Friends Hill. Leaders Jay Devlin and Jan Butcher

27 Hikers/Trampers met at the Wingatui Racecourse where we boarded a bus to take us to the Frasers Gully Track just off Kaikorai Valley Road. 27 Hikers/Trampers were well rugged up against the chilly wind. The track winds uphill in bushland and follows the Kaikorai stream.  We stopped and had morning tea in a nice clearing.


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Photo and Caption John – “Morning tea in Frasers Gully bush”.


Photo and Caption John – “Smoko over – on the go again”.


The end of the track comes out in Dalziel Road in the Brockville area.  We then took a right turn going past the Mount Grand Water treatment station.


Photo and Caption John – “Mt Grand water treatment plant.”

We followed this road to the end and then walked through a track that took us up to the Halfway Bush road to the end which is commonly known as Friendshill Road.


Photo and Caption John – “Quiet country road so close to the city”.

From there it was all downhill with fantastic views over the Taieri and down to Taieri Mouth.


Photo and Caption John – “Regroup to admire first glimpse of Taieri plains”.

We made such good time in the cold wind that we reached the Wingatui Racecourse in time for lunch at 12.15pm where we sat in the grandstand and enjoyed the sunshine.


Photo and Caption John – “Lunch back at Wingatui”.

It was a 9 and a half kilometre walk. 15 of us enjoyed coffee at Blackstone.

Jay Devlin and Jan Butcher

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Sep 24 2020

Tomahawk Lagoon and nearby tracks/areas

Published by under Beach,Hikers

Ocean Grove, also known as Tomahawk, is a suburb in the southeast of the New Zealand city of Dunedin. … The suburb was known as Tomahawk until the 1930s, the name not being a reference to the weapon, but rather possibly an anglicised form of the Māori words tomo haka, meaning “dance by a gravesite”.

No. 23 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Karetai Rd via Monument from Lagoon. Year round.”

Distance from car-park: Tomahawk: 19 km; Smaills Beach: 22 km;  Paradise Road: 26 km.’

DCC List: 41 Peg Track. Otago Peninsula
Accessed from Oregon St. 3.5 hrs ret. Tramping track – unbenched. Managed: DCC CAM, private land.
Description – This track provides a link between Ocean Grove and Highcliff Road. Access to the track in Ocean Grove is off Oregon Street. An attractive walk around Tomahawk Lagoon then climbs through gorse and native bush. Turn right towards Soldiers Memorial through paddocks with gorse sometimes obscuring the rock walls.

  • Classification – Hard
  • Time – Approximately 45 minutes.
  • Parking – Limited at Highcliff Road. No dogs.
  • Dogs – No
39. 23/7/2020 Trampers. Karetai Road, Soldiers’ Monument and Tomahawk Lagoon Circuit. Leaders Jenni and Bruce Wright. M.

It was a trip down memory lane as we formed part of a 24 strong group at the Smaills Beach car park. A quick briefing for those who had not heard the Downey family farm story and we headed up Karetai Road. Back in the 50’s this road was accessible by car and the trusty Land Rover and trailer carted many bales of hay from the paddocks. The views from the top of this climb over Southern beaches are outstanding.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “From the Southern most point of Karetai Road”.

Further on there’s a perfect spot for morning tea while still overlooking the coastline. The weather gods were on our side, and we carried on in near perfect conditions.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Continuing up Karetai Road”.

The terrain was reasonably flat, and this enabled lots of chatter.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “While the day was fine there was plenty of evidence of how fierce the Southerly winds could be”.

To our left we could see the Soldiers’ Monument and that was our lunch destination.   Finally out on Highcliff Road and a 3km walk to the turn off. Bloem’s farm’s odour was blowing our way and was pretty intense, still we needed to be reminded of their existence.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Bloem’s not so subtle message”.

 Not far now though to the Soldiers’ Monument (erected in the memory of those from the Peninsula who died in World War 1).  It was a relief to get off Highcliff Road and the traffic and a steep climb up to the monument. Someone had done a clever weaving on the flax which was pretty cool.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Is it an insect?”.

Some watches reported 11.58 but others were 12.01 so it was deemed lunchtime. There were two destinations for lunch, one a sheltered spot in front of the monument with spectacular views down to the heads and the second group, overlooking the beaches and Karetai track in the distance. We were spoilt for choices!



Photo and Caption Helen – “Climbing up to the Soldiers’ Memorial”.

After regrouping we headed off down the Lagoon Track which is well maintained and a very pleasant walk through farmland. The little lambs were delightful frolicking in the paddocks.



Photo and Caption Jenni – “Overlooking Tomahawk Lagoon”.

We enjoyed walking through beautifully formed trees, such an unexpected surprise.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Interesting Ngaio tree formations”.

The track from the monument to Tomahawk Lagoon takes 45 minutes and here we watched huge swans and their signets, ducks and their ducklings enjoying the sheltered waters, perfect for youngsters to learn their skills.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Swans and signets, Tomahawk Lagoon”.

Didn’t look that inviting for us to paddle though. 

There was a moment of exhilaration as we saw a Nichols’ vehicle in the park, thinking the coffee and scones had come to us, but sadly this was not to be. For the final part of our tramp, we headed up Tomahawk Road and stopped at the bunkers built to protect our coastline. Refer 



Photo and Caption Jenni – “Gun emplacements, Tomahawk Road”.

Back to the car park at Smaills Beach, and we could be thinking we were at Slope Point.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Very typical of low tide towards Bird Island – from top of Tomahawk Road’. 

Since it wasn’t delivered onsite, coffee and debrief was at Nichols Garden Centre. The tramp with a leisurely morning tea and lunch break commenced at 9.40 a.m.  and we were back in the cars around 2.00 p.m. 12.6 km according to a reliable source, and a great day spent with brilliant company.

Thanks, Jenni and Bruce. 


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Sep 24 2020

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
43. 23/9/2020 Friends Hill, Chain Hills. Leaders Clive Crossman and Shona Munro.
Today saw the first organized walk for the hikers for some weeks due to the Covid- 19 lockdown.   Anticipating rainy weather we all bought our raincoats but it turned out they were not needed.  Twenty of us mustered at the Wingatui Racing Club, and set off up Friends Hill.   That shook out a few cobwebs.   We met up with Janine at the stile that led to Chain Hills.
We then reached the pens at the top and decided that it was a good spot for morning tea in the sunshine.


Nicely rested we set off across the up and down bit that led to Chain Hills.   Some of those up bits were steep and left a few asking about the classification of ‘Easy Walk’?


After an hour we reached Chain Hills Road and then started the predominantly downward trek to Maurice Road, Quarry Road and Gladstone Road.   We had a nice lunchbreak against a new fence half way along Chain Hills Road.




As we gained the flat the challenge became not the up and down but the distance back to Wingatui Racing Club car park.   A couple to hikers had thought ahead and had their cars strategically parked on Gladstone Road to ferry a couple of hikers.

By the time we reached the car park (12 kms) we were all looking forward to a nice ”cuppa’ at Blackstone cafe for a social end to the day.

Clive and Shona

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Aug 12 2020

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; Mount Cargill Road car park: 25 km.
15. 12/8/2020. Trampers. Graham’s Bush, Organ Pipes, Mt Cargill. M. Leaders Jill Reid and Theresa Smith.

Early rain must have deterred some trampers today – just 11 keen souls drove to Station Road in Sawyers Bay, parking near the Brick Hill Road intersection.

The weather gods were kind and we headed up into Graham’s Bush, all enjoying the great track and variety of natives, particularly the showy tree fushia trunks, as we climbed to Mt Cargill Road.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Bit damp to sit for smoko.”


Photo and Caption Pam – “It was a steady climb upwards.”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Great bush up Grahams track.”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Up the steps to Mt Cargill road.”

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Photo and Caption Wendy – “Whew – made it!”


Photo and Caption Wendy – “Here is where we tramped.”

After catching our breath it was up the steep track to the Organ Pipes.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “A jungle of organ pipes.”

6 to 8 cattle were crashing through the bush here – perhaps exploring from a nearby farm? Unfortunately low cloud prevented us seeing very far, so we had lunch on steps in the bush near Buttars Peak.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch on the steps.”

Despite the minimal views 8 trampers continued to Mt Cargill, and were delighted to find the climb relatively easy with new steps in a previously challenging area – and we were of course pleased to summit the 676 m mountain!


Photo and Caption Wendy- “Towering into the mist!”

We retraced our steps to Mt Cargill Road and looped back to the cars via Upper Junction and Brick Hill roads.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading back down.”

Some found walking 6 km on the sealed road hard on their bodies – Gordon ruefully refused a ride with his son Roger (who just happened to be passing, having had a plumbing job in the area!!) – but all agreed it was a very scenic walk and great looking over the harbour now the cloud had lifted.


Photo and Caption Wendy – “Spectacular views of the harbour area as the cloud partially lifted.”

Distance covered was around 16 km. With community transmission of Covid-19 yesterday (after 102 days with none) we had been placed under Alert Level 2 again at midday……so do hope this is short-lived! Refreshments were enjoyed at Emersons. 

Jill and Theresa

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Aug 12 2020

Sandymount – Sandfly Bay Tramps

No. 24 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Lovers Leap – The Chasm – Sandfly Bay. N Strang. Farm. Year Round.”
No. 73 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Sandymount – Lovers Leap. Year Round”
29 km from car-park.
See Sandymount for area background information.
Sandymount closed for lambing Aug-Oct. Track unformed in places, grassy, slippery when wet. (See also article on pingao planting.)
22. 12/8/2020. Hikers. Sandymount. Leaders John Gardiner and Dave Roberts
Under a covid cloud, and with low, drizzly clouds overhead, 9 keen hikers set out on the Sanndymount adventure.

Photo and Caption John – “Amazing scenery.”

After first regrouping at Rotary Park, 3 cars arrived at the end of Ridge Road for the Sandfly Bay leg of our hike.
On the previous Friday, Graeme Souter, Dave Roberts and myself had done a recce of the hike.

Photo and Caption John – “View looking North from new lookout.”

We had walked down to the beach by deviating off the old Lovers Leap track, arriving at the northern end of the beach.
Therefore the early section of this hike was in the opposite direction to the way we came up from the beach. We did find our way down to the beach, but our way was blocked by what appeared to be a much deeper stream than we had encountered a few days before. The resulting “bush bash” detour over rough sand hills, covered in flaxes, lupins and Sea Lion tracks saw us at the top of a precipice.

Photo and Caption John – “Kids getting ready to try the slide.”

The only way down for our intrepid band of hikers was to slide down the slippery slope! Commendably all negotiated this rugged terrain without a bruise or sprain.

Photo and Caption John – “Wheeee—!!!


Photo and Caption John – “All made it.”

The beach treated us to magnificent surf, clean sand, and over 30 Sea Lions (roughly counted) . These majestic, somewhat unpredictable, animals lay on the beach, sometimes singly, sometimes in small groups.

Photo and Caption John – “Sea Lions Greeting.”

Their presence was a joy to see, and surely an indication of a healthy ecosystem offshore.

Photo and Caption John – “Happy Group.”

We had lunch, at a respectable distance, but very much amid, the Sea Lions, watching as a female came ashore to join a nearby group of 4 males. This resulted in much gesturing, mock aggression, and posturing amongst the males. Not the sort of thing that would happen amongst us civilised humans…….oh no!!!
We then returned to the cars the way we had come, only this time sticking to the main track (The river level must have gone down, fore it wasn’t too deep after all!).
Next it was into the cars for the short trip to the end of Sandymount Road, beginning the second leg of our hike. Never allowing things to be too easy, again we reverse tracked from our earlier recce and again paid the price! A wrong turn saw us follow an opossum trap track, but after a bit of an uphill climb, the end of the track rewarded us with magnificent views. Here some group photos were taken.

Photo and Caption John – “View from opossum track.”

The old lovers leap lookout was removed , (presumably for health and safety reasons ), late last year. In it’s place, further to the north, is a new lookout with an incredible vista. Stunning views, to the northwest,  of Allans Beach, Hoopers Inlet, Poatiri/Mt Charles, and inland to, Wharekakahu/Harbour Cone.

Photo and Caption John -“The happy hikers.”

From here it was through the alcove of trees, back to our cars.
Right on cue, at 3.00pm coffee was enjoyed at the Daily Dose Cafe,  98 Macandrew Road (as arranged prior). Here a
happy, but somewhat weary, group of hikers ‘pontificated’ on their day’s adventures, having walked 9.5km.
John Gardiner .

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Aug 01 2020

Booth Road, Ben Rudd

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

No. 43 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Booth Rd – Ben Rudd, R Hakkaart. Year Round”

Click Ben Rudd Article for background information.
Click Pineapple Track for background information.
Click Pineapple and Flagstaff walk for background information.
5/8/2020. Combined. Davies Track, Ben Rudd’s Shelter, Pineapple Track.

Tramper’s Report. Leaders Wyn and Ross

The Trampers and Hikers congregated at Peter Johnstone car park where Wyn and Ross got to model the new high-viz vests for tramping leaders. Arthur reminded everyone that leaders are now responsible after the day’s walk for handing over to the vests and the emergency locator beacon to the leaders for the following week. It’s also the responsibility of the following leaders to make sure they get the vests and beacon, and to familiarise themselves with the beacon instructions. We all met up at the bottom of the Pineapple Track in Wakari and started with a combined walk along McGouns Road. Just past the bridge we turned left into the bike track maze in the Redwoods. We safely navigated the maze to the skid clearing at the far end of McGouns Road and here we had our combined morning tea. 


Photo and Caption Gordon – “We’re off!”

Just past the bridge we turned left into the bike track maze in the Redwoods. We safely navigated the maze to the skid clearing at the far end of McGouns Road and here we had our combined morning tea. 


Photo and Caption Pam – “A happy group having morning tea.”

We separated then, and the 27 trampers immediately started off to join the Davies Track and head up the slopes of Flagstaff. The lower part of the track was a little slippery and damp, but good for this time of year.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading up Davies track.”


Photo and Caption Pam – “The bush kept changing but was very pleasant.”

The track was mostly clear and easy to follow. As we gained height we began to be rewarded with views out over the city. The day was overcast and almost misty higher up. We eventually emerged above the forest. The track above this point is easier to follow, especially towards the top through the area which was devastated in the fire. It is worrying to see that the gorse might be a big winner from the burning process. 


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Some of the aftermath of the September 2019 fire.”


Photo and Caption Helen – “Which will win – the gorse or the natives?”

We reached the Flagstaff-Pineapple Track and headed south and then west to the Firebreak Track on the other side of Flagstaff and then south and down to Ben Rudd’s Shelter.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “A welcome, relaxed lunch.”

This was a good place for lunch and a rest and a group photo.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “The happy 28 trampers.”

Then we retraced our steps back up to the Firebreak Track and north along this to the Swampy Ridge Track. Here we turned right towards the city to meet up with the Pineapple Track and the steep descent back to where we started about 4 hours before at the bottom of Booth Road.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading down to pineapple track.”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Not far to cars”.

Total distance was about 10.5 kms. It was a pleasant day for a nice walk; not too hot and not too cold, and hardly any wind and of course the company was great. 

We regrouped at Coffee Culture Café in the old Roslyn Fire Station for afternoon tea/coffee/cold drinks and they did a good catering for us all (with advance notice).

Written by Ross and Wyn

Hiker’s Report. Leaders Ady Whitson and Noi McCunn

We started off from the start of Pineapple Track but deviated up the lower McGouns track walking through lovely tall timber where I promptly tripped up as I was looking at the trees.  All fine and carried on up the Skid Track to where we had morning tea.

Photo and Caption John – “Combined morning tea”

The trampers then departed up the Davies Track.  We departed with 17 Hikers down to the start of McGouns track proper.  The weather was ideal for a hill climb and off we went.  Passed the cairn that was placed to commemorate 100 years of DCC Forestry in 2006.  It’s a lovely walk through that part towards the Pineapple Track with tree ferns and lovely native trees.

Photo and Caption Michael – “The hiking ladies found this trunk amusing!”

As well as keeping an eye on where I walked.
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Photo and Caption Ady – “I made everyone stop and appreciate the view.”

At the start of the Pineapple Track I told everyone this part is quite steep and thanks to Ross’s advice from our reconnaissance (had to look up dictionary to spell that)  last week we took small steps and slowly up we went.  We did have a few stops but everyone was fine with this. Stopped for lunch about 11.45 as it was getting a bit steep.  We did walk on a bit further than intended but turned back for lunch. We started back down the track which is in really good order.

Photo and Caption Ady – “View of Dunedin from Pineapple Track.”

A couple of places there is new gravel which you had to be careful walking over.  Arrived back at the cars at about 1.20 and off to Village Green for afternoon tea.  Thank you Noi for being tail end Charlie and I think a few laughs was had by all.  We travelled approx. 6.5 km, 115 Floors and 14000 steps.  Ross those small steps made a big difference and Doug came all the way.

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Jul 30 2020

Evansdale, Careys Creek, Honeycomb, Rongomai

Published by under Trampers

Location: 37 km.
From Evansdale Glen. Route. DOC. Stream crossings. Preferably February when water most likely to be low.
Track up Careys Creek alone: an easy walk.
Click information on the Seacliff Dam, historical creek track and pipeline.
15. 29/7/2020. Trampers. Evansdale Glen, Rongomai, Honeycomb. Leaders Arthur and Gwenda
The Trampers and Hikers congregated at Peter Johnstone car park, Arthur reminded everyone that hiking bags needed tags and new safety orange short sleeved tops for leader and tail end Charlie, for our groups. The trampers headed off to Evansdale Glen with a smaller group of fifteen (10 ladies 5 men). In overcast conditions we made our way up the dense bushed valley, making numerous water crossings, in reasonably dry conditions with muddy patches.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “One of the many!”

The birds were chirping and the pigs had being digging up the tracks in abundance. The morning tea stop was under a dry area under pine trees. Arthur with his strong knowledge of the area pointed out where we were heading as he described a tennis racket loop.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Smoko.”

He advised we would be heading up Honeycomb track and there would be a steady climb in somewhat slippery conditions.

Photo and Caption Gordon -“Another one!.

There were a couple of slips but we worked up the climb energetically with normal stops to check all was good at the back.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “A welcome break after the climb.”

The lunch stop was made at 12.40 with a view of the hills where we would meet the nature track as it was called.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Welcome rest and lunch.”

There were a variety of trees in view and fantails buzzing round and the odd pigeon taking off when disturbed. Gordon on the job taking some good shots of the group. After 20 minutes we put our lunch boxes back in our tramping bag with advice that the next bit was a bit up and down, already said 2 of our ladies we haven’t finished, in chirped Gordon, we all know why that is!! The group erupted with laughter.

Photo and Caption Helen – “The Rongomai junction with a great view.”

We moved on with many finding the terrain slightly gruntie after a lunch break, but none were going to say so, the sound of a stray goat and a grunt from a pig helped break the beauty of the nature.

Photo and Caption Pam – ” Arthur sawing a downed branch lying on the track”.

By the time we got to the end of the nature trail Arthur and a small group waited for a few moments, then Arthur went back to check group behind and found Gwenda had strained her calf so needed help from nurse Helen with medication to help strain. Once we had regrouped at the junction we headed down Rongomai Trail, noticing a fantail had joined in with the group, chattering more than the group, taking in last bit of tramp and enjoying the calm.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Down Rongomai track.”

Thanks Gwenda and Arthur for an enjoyable 12.2km jaunt in the Glen.

We arrived 2 minutes late (3.32) at Blueskin Nursery, with chairs on table, so NO afternoon tea, the cars returned to Peter Johnstone Park.
Written by Helen and Phil

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