Dec 05 2019

Upcoming Trips

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers


Spring Start Time 8.45 a.m. for 9.00 a.m.

11 December.
Combined. Christmas Breakup. Waiora Scout Camp. * E. Eleanore and Jill D., Noi and Adi. $3.00.


15 January.
Combined. Kirk Farm. Shannon. E-M. Heather and Sarah McC, Jan B. & Jenny. $11.00

22 January.
Trampers. Poleline Track. M. Neil and Carol. $4.00
Hikers. Ross Creek, Craigieburn, McGouns. E-M. Pam and Dawn. $4.00.

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Dec 05 2019

Lamb Hill: 3 O’Clock, Fiddlers, Orbells

Published by under Trampers

8. 4/12/2019. Trampers. Lamb Hill Airstrip to Three O’clock Stream. Leaders Arthur and John
“The wind is like the golden breath of the World; when it blows, we feel that the world is alive, and so are we!”
(Mehmet Murat ildan)
Under the threat of rain (a few drops on car windscreens), 17 trampers set out on the Lamb Hill 3 O’clock Stream tramp.
With only one of the four vehicles having 4WD, the journey up Hindon Rd, then a farm track, was testing, but all made it to a paddock near the top of the hill.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “On our way”

We walked downhill, following a fence line, being treated to magnificent panoramic views, but battered by ‘oh’ so strong winds.


Photo and Caption John – “We sit with views to our backs like this”


Photo and Caption John – “Some company for morning tea”

These winds were so strong , on our right side, they made conversation difficult, tore at our clothing, and right ears!
P1000712 (1res)

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Where we have to go”

At this stage Bob Dylan’s words seemed entirely appropriate:-
“Idiot wind, blowing every time you open your mouth.”

Photo and Caption John – “The steep decent to 3 O’clock Stream”

Eventually, after a steep, rough, final decent we reached 3 O’clock Stream.
Thoughts of that wind again dominated:-
“You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not lying down.”
(C.S. Lewis)
After a comparatively straight forward river crossing we had lunch by a very well equipped musterers’ hut, complete with a gas Bar-B-Que!

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Crossing stream to a well deserved lunch spot”



Photo and Caption John – “Idyllic!, lunch by 3 O’clock Stream”

In these sheltered, idyllic, surroundings, thoughts of the wind changed:-
“Loud wind, strong wind, sweeping O’er mountains,
Fresh wind, free wind, blowing from the sea.
Pour forth thy vials like streams from airy mountains.
Draughts of life to me.”
(Dinah Maria Murlock Craik)
Following a slightly deeper river crossing we headed uphill again, now with the wind battering us from our left side of course.
The return journey to the cars, punctuated by a short rest amongst some sheltering rocks, was pretty uneventful.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “20 more minutes to cars. Everyone happy with another great day”

This in spite of some literally being blown off their feet, but others always nearby to help:-
“The winds of grace blow all the time,
all we have to do is set our sails.”
In all we walked 11.9km (That is if it had been in a straighter line, without the zig zag wind effect!)
Afternoon tea was enjoyed at Outram’s Wobbly Goat Cafe.
A time to enjoy good company and reflect with a feeling of accomplishment all that the tramp had offered us:-
“A little sun, a little rain.
A soft wind blowing from the west,
And woods and fields are sweet again,
And warmth within the mountain’s breast.
A little love, a little trust,
A soft impulse, a sudden dream,
And life as dry, as desert dust,
Is fresher than a mountain stream.”
(Stopford Brooke 1832-1916)
John Gardiner

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Dec 05 2019

Bull Ring, Ben Rudd

Published by under Hikers

Location: 15 km.
Click Ben Rudd Article for background information.
Click Pineapple Track for background information.
Click Pineapple and Flagstaff walk for background information.
See Flagstaff Name for its origin.

4/12/2019. Hikers and Ramblers. Bull Ring. Leaders Betty and Jim Finnie

The weather was marginal at the start but improved as we progressed up the fire break to the turn off to Ben Rudd’s hut.  This was a pleasant sheltered spot for the 20 hikers to enjoy morning tea with the sun making its presence felt.  Retracing our steps back up to the fire break we followed across to join the Pineapple track which we followed for a short distance to inspect the recent burned area, giving us an excellent vista of the city.


BeFunky-collage bullringres

Collage Clive

Again retracing our steps to a sheltered spot near the summit of Flagstaff we had a chance meeting up with our 4 ramblers for lunch.  Westerly conditions persisted on the way down hill to the cars at the Bull Ring.  Coffee stop was at a busy Topiary’s where a strong breeze seemed to assist the sparrows in their dive bombing attempts for food.

Leaders were Betty & Jim Finnie

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Nov 29 2019

Kempshall Road, Maungatua

Published by under Trampers,Year round

3. 27/11/2019. Trampers. Maungatuas Meander via Kempshall Road. M Margreet and Neil

It was warm and balmy as 20 eager trampers set out on our ‘meander’ today. Several in the group were adamant that ‘meander’ slightly understated the nature of the outing – and thought a better description would be ‘a very long Baldwin street’!!
The steep gravel road access to the parking spot proved challenging for some cars and passengers/pushers, but we all made it!


Photo and Caption Gordon _ “And we’re off”

In order to prepare for the ascent ahead we decided to have morning tea on the balcony at the landowner’s bach, which was just a short side trek from the main track.


Photo and Caption Gordon -“A great place for morning tea”

Views from there were stunning and to be honest the group was a bit reluctant to move on.

The steep climb up Mt. Maungatua to the top boundary took around an hour of huffing and puffing and moaning and groaning!
There was no sign of the aggressive NZ falcon and group of fallow deer encountered on the reconnoitre.


Photo and Caption Helen – “At the top looking out over the plains”

But once conquered the vista over the fertile Taieri Plain, wetlands and lakes; was outstanding.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “A view of Saddle Hill and the Taieri plains”


Photo and Caption John – “the beautiful Taieri Plain”

Heading south we traversed gullies of verdant native bush and ridges of lush long grass.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Still climbing”


Photo and Caption John – “Further than I would usually take my dog”

We stopped for lunch on a grassy knoll prior to descent.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch, a disappearing view and a very special birthday shout”


Photo and Caption Helen – “Birthday wine shout by the birthday boy Dave”

Within minutes a light easterly brought in low cloud which reduced visibility to a few metres. The leader,using all his native tracking skills, led the beleaguered group safely downhill to the lower track. What a hero!!


Photo and Caption Helen – “Walking down one of the many hills”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “”Heading down to the cars we hope”

From there it was uphill and down dale back to the cars, pausing briefly to inspect the adventure course being used by the chatty children from Hampden school.
Recovery was commenced at Outram’s Wobbly Goat with coffee and cake.
P.S. A consensus asserted that this adventure be reclassified from M to H!

Margreet and Neil

2. 19/4/2017. Trampers. Meander the Maungatuas via Kempshall Road. M. Margreet and Neil.

As we drove through Outram heading for our ‘Maungatua Meander’; the rain bearing cold front forecast for lunch-time, arrived 3 hours early! Nevertheless 5 hardy gentlemen and 6 ‘complaining’ ladies set out on the steep 78 minute climb to the top boundary of this private property! We passed ‘Climbing Rock’ and inspected the outdoor adventure course where a tiered viewing platform made a handy stop for morning tea, sheltered from the wind and rain.


Morning Tea. (Margreet pic and caption.)


Confidence course. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Jill on the helipad. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Plodding (and puffing) upwards past ‘Falcon Rock’, the top junction was soon reached, but the awesome scenic vistas promised by the leaders, were less than spectacular!

Heading South we followed the farm track passing through gullies of beautiful native Beech forest, and ridges of productive pasture. Destructive wild pigs had been busy in many places. The weather dictated an early descent for lunch beside a waterfall in the sheltering beech forest.


Lunch. (Helen pic.)

A side-trek to visit the landowner’s beautiful ‘Bunker’ completed the meander, during which we covered 8.5 KM and climbed to 1900 ft.

We enjoyed a debrief at the Wobbly Goat Café before heading home. -Margreet and Neil

1. 28/1/2009 Kempshall Road, Maungatua Leader: George
(Off Maungatua Road, beyond Grainger Road.) Permission.

Small waterfall. Doug, George. (Hazel pic)

Small waterfall, small pool, big rock. Doug, George. (Hazel pic)

Twin rocks. Taieri Plain from Kempshall Rd Track. George, Glenice, Doug (Hazel pic)

Twin rocks. Taieri Plain from Kempshall Rd Track. George, Glenice, Doug (Hazel pic)

Back at the cars

Back at the cars. Glenice, Doug.  (Hazel pic)

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Nov 28 2019

Chingford Park, Quarry

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

Distance from car-park: 20 km.
6. 27/11/2019. Hikers. Palmers Quarry, Chingford Park. Easy. Leaders Jan Y and Peter D
BeFunky-collage palmers

Photo and Caption Clive – “The ‘collage’ says it all.”


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Nov 25 2019

Rosella Ridge

Published by under Trampers and tagged: , , , , ,

Mountain Road, Green Hut, Rosella Ridge, Waikouaiti River. 5-6 hrs 13 km, hard.)
7. 20/11/19 Trampers, Rosella Ridge Leaders Arthur and Joy

The sky looked promising, despite a forecast for showers, as the group left Mosgiel at 8:15am.After driving to SEMPLE ROAD, 11 keen trampers left the cars at 9:05am on the SILVER PEAKS track.  A neat hour got us to the site of the old GREEN HUT,


Photo and Caption Gordon – “At the site of the old Green Hut”

but we continued a few minutes more before stopping at a sunny, sheltered spot for a 15 minute smoko break.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Morning tea sheltered from the wind”

From here we were quite exposed to the cold Sou-west wind as we carried on up to the top of ROSELLA RIDGE.  Lots of cloud about, but sunny much of the time.

It was a relief to be in the shelter from the wind as we started down ROSELLA RIDGE. Our goal for the day was to walk down the fully length of the RIDGE to the river—-something never previously done by our Club, I think.

There were many Peaks and Humps to climb, as sometimes said, we went up and down a lot as we went down!

Sometime after passing LITTLE PULPIT ROCK we came to a tussocky knob in the sunshine, and with views in all directions.  We made this our 30 minute lunch stop.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Just below Pulpit rock looking at where we are going”

A very brief skiff of hail passed over.  Anyone quick enough could have enjoyed Iced coffee or Iced tea with their lunch!  Some were reluctant to move, but we still had far to go.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading down Rosella ridge to the stream”

After another hour of descent we reached the very bottom of ROSELLA RIDGE.  We had a rest period, before changing direction to follow the WAIKOUITI RIVER SOUTH BRANCH upstream.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Finally the stream”

The GREEN HUT CLEARING GROUP have done much work in this area in the last year or two.  A major engineering feat has been accomplished at a major climb, by installing a double zig-zag with an easy gradient.

Turning onto the HUNTERS ACCESS TRACK we crossed the river 3 times in quick succession, to begin the climb out.  A good rest was taken, with water and energy food consumed, at the bottom.Turning onto the HUNTERS ACCESS TRACK we crossed the river 3 times in quick succession, to begin the climb out.  A good rest was taken, with water and energy food consumed, at the bottom.

The first 15 minutes was a stiff uphill climb, Good recently remodelled steps before reaching the dozed Forestry track.  No rushing here, with several rest stops.

And then it was much easier going, and quite pleasant with the strong wind in the tree tops high above.  We had 2 more short, steeper climbs before reaching SEMPLE ROAD.  A few minutes walk had us back to the cars at 4:20pm, for an elapsed time of 7 1/4 hours for the days tramp.

The Leaders estimate of the distance was only a tad out, as we had tramped 20kms.  WELL DONE EVERYONE!  All were very happy and satisfied with the day;  It was good to have achieved such a long and challenging tramp.

My thanks to all of the group and especially HELEN and GARY for being Assistant Leaders.



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Nov 25 2019

Waikouaiti: Matanaka, Beach Walk

Published by under Hikers

Distance from car-park: 57.5 km.
11. 20/11/19 Hikers Waikouaiti Matanaka Leaders Shona and Ady
A group of 27 hikers and ramblers assembled at Inverary St beside the Hawksbury Lagoon.
We left 3 ramblers to “do their own thing” the rest walking down Nairn and
Dumbarton Sts to  Edinburgh St before sheltering there out of the wind at the golf club for morning tea.
Proceding left, we walked up the hill to Matanaka, where we explored the stable,
granary, school house, privy and a farm shed on the farm established around 1840 by Johnny Jones.

Photo and Caption John – “A most exposed dramatically stark, eerie, yet resilient set of buildings is hard to imagine!”


Photo and Caption John – “What life must have been like for those first settlers from the ship ‘Magnet’ from New South Wales”

DSC03634 (1)res

Photo and Caption John – “Inside the stables of the Matanaka farm buildings (circa 1840’s)”

Heading downhill we had lunch at the side of the road.
We continued on over the estuary mouth and down to Beach St, walking  up to see the
St John Anglican church built in 1858, the first church built in Otago.
As the rain was threatening we increased the pace into Scotia St and over the boardwalk and across
the lagoon where there was amazing birdlife, including paradise ducks with ducklings and swans with cygnets.
Coffee was at Blueskin Cafe and while we were there, the forecast  shower eventuated.
Collage – Clive
Distance walked approx 10 kms
Leaders Ady and Shona

10. 30/5/2018. Hikers. Hawkesbury Lagoon area. Leaders: Judy K and Elaine

After a frosty start in Mosgiel, 25 hikers parked at the end of Beach St, Waikouaiti and walked along to the river mouth, enjoying the views and watching the horses training on the beach. The track up through the pines was followed to a morning tea stop just before the Reserve, where a leisurely break was enjoyed in the sun.

Clive pic.

The walk into the Reserve …

Clive pic.

… showed us plenty of bird life – especially ducks, geese and swans. At the end of the first causeway we turned right to cross the little bridge to follow the track round the edge of the water, across a stile, up through the paddock, and across another stile to Dumbarton St.

We turned left here, and followed Dumbarton St to the T junction at the end, turning right into Nairn Stand then left into Inverary St, which took us to the northern entrance to the Reserve. Just before the bridge we made a right turn onto the causeway which was followed out into Scotia St. A left took us into Beach St, with a toilet stop at the Camp and so back to the cars.  Lunch was had on the grassy area just below the car park. 

Clive pic.

Some new signage in the Reserve, and good track surfaces, show that this special place is really being cared for.

After lunch the majority opted for a quick visit to Matanaka, which was new to about half of the group.

Clive pic.

Arriving at Blueskin Nurseries for the obligatory coffee stop, we found we had been pipped at the post by the trampers, who were cosily huddled inside.  The more intrepid hikers chose to brave the elements outside (well, most of them).  A great day out for the last 9 0’clock start of the season.

– Judy and Elaine

9. 30/11/2016. Hikers. Hawksbury Lagoon and beach. E. Leaders: Judy K and Jay.

Hawksbury Lagoon route map courtesy Ian.

Hawksbury Lagoon route map courtesy Ian.

A blustery sou-wester did not deter 30 hardy souls from the drive to Waikouaiti where we gathered at the end of Beach Rd.  Along the road to the pines we had the wind behind us so it didn’t feel too bad, and the walk through the pines brought us to a sunny spot for a leisurely morning tea break.  Then it was out into the open again, across the first causeway to the bridge, observing a variety of bird life on the way – mostly paradise ducks and their young, and plenty of black swans and cygnets …

Black Swan on nest. (Ian pic and caption.)

Black Swan on nest. (Ian pic and caption.)

Another black swan and nestlings. (Ian pic and caption.)

Another black swan and newly young. (Ian pic and caption.)

… learning foraging skills.

A short detour over the bridge to the right, and on round the inlet proved to be rather rough and overgrown, but provided an interesting diversion.  We went back to the bridge, turned right and then left, to cross the next causeway, with a brief stop to decide whether to pass the female swan sitting on an egg right in the middle of our path.  With some reluctance she let us by, with a blustery display of spread wings to protect her nest.  A little further on another nest with two eggs lay unprotected.

A brief rain squall caught us just before the end and we were pleased to find the shelter of the trees.  A gentle road walk followed, out to Beach Rd and back to the cars just before midday.  Lunch was had in a sheltered spot on the grass between the car park and beach.

After lunch 17 members opted for the beach walk, while some of the others headed for home and some up to Matanaka to explore.  The beach walkers …

Waikouaiti to Karitane beach walk route map, courtesy Ian.

Waikouaiti to Karitane beach walk route map, courtesy Ian. Only remembered to start app 1 km after leaving lunch spot!

… strode out into the head wind to reach the end of the spit in 45 minutes. Here we had quite a different view of Karitane.

The old Karitane wharf high and dry. (Ian pic and caption.)

The old Karitane wharf, but high and dry at low tide. (Ian pic and caption.)

New Karitane wharf, still high, but wet.

New Karitane wharf, also high, but wetter. (Ian pic and caption.)

The return walk with the wind at our backs was more pleasant, as was the coffee stop at Blueskin Nurseries. – Judy and Jay.

8. 4/11/2015. Hikers. A walk around Waikouaiti’s back streets. Leaders: Jan, Jay.
GPS of route

GPS of route

28 Hikers and Trampers parked at the car park down at the corner of Beach Street and Matanaka Road. We walked down to the beach and along to its northern end. We were struck by the damage heavy seas had made to the beach edge.

Devastated beach verge. (John pic)

Devastated beach verge. (John pic)

The Lagoon had completely sanded up.  We stopped for morning tea at the car park at the beach end. We walked back along the beach to reach the sanded-up outlet of the Hawksbury Lagoon Wildlife Refuge area and entered by the forest edge.

Up into the Lagoon (John pic)

Up into the Lagoon (John pic)

We followed the path up and across the lagoon onto the end of the Nairn Street track which led us out of the Lagoon where we turned right onto Inverary Street, which took us along the back of a long large building under repair which some thought might be Waikouaiti’s chicken farm, left down Cromaty Street, right on Clackmannan Street and a look-in passing the back gate of the Waikouaiti Racecourse.

Grandstand. (John pic)

Grandstand. (John pic)

Left along Edinburgh Street, left again along Glasgow Street and left along SH1 at its end. We stopped along the way to look into, and some to shop in, Beano’s Pies and Artisan Bakery.

Artisan Bakery (John pic)

Artisan Bakery (John pic)

A little further  up and across SH1 (opposite the end of Mount Street) into a park beside the Events Centre with seating to have lunch,

Lunch in gardens beside the East Otago Events Centre. (John pic)

Lunch in gardens beside the East Otago Events Centre. (John pic)

placed conveniently behind very new public toilets, with sliding doors operated from within by lighted buttons, ridged to the touch and promising to have locked the door only by faith.  Cross SH1 again at crest of the rise, a little further up and into Kildaire Street. At next crossing, right along Collins to its end and go down Henry Street to its end. Down Henry Street and left around corner at the bottom into Fell Street and right at its end out onto Beach Street with only a block further down it to arrive at the car park again.

Thanks to Jan and Jay for looking after us and taking us on a new and interesting back-streets-walk to open up a Waikouaiti few if any of us had known of before. Garden flowers and trees bright with colourful blooms

Colour in garden. (John pic)

Colour in garden. (John pic)

and houses new and old made interesting viewing. – Ian.

7. 31/10/2012. Hikers. Matanaka. Leaders: Fred, Judy.
6. 17/10/2012. Hikers. Matanaka. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.
5. 28/3/2012. Trampers. Matanaka, Cornish Point. Easy.

We clockwised the Lagoon loop and antied the other. GPS courtesy Ken.

We set off from the cars directly across Hawksbury Lagoon

Looking back on sharp straight ledges

Lovely old stable at Matanaka

4. 10/3/2010. Hikers. Matanaka. Coast Walk. Leaders: Barbara, Molly.

3. 6/5/2009 Both. Waikouaiti. Beach walk: Waikouaiti – Karitane. Easy+. Leaders: Lesley S, Bill H, Bill M, Pat.

We parked on Beach Road between the tavern and camping ground and walked to the north end of the beach where we had morning tea.
Tea Break. Waikouaiti beach

Tea Break. Waikouaiti beach. Bill, Evelyn, Bob, Who? Chris, Peter, Lex, Bev, Elaine, Pat, Lesley, Doug, Wendy, Lesley, Neil, Fred, Barbara, Ken, Bob

Then followed the nice long flat beach walk to the Karitane spit, admiring along the way the distant view of Huriawa Peninsula and a bunch of OGHS girls practising their surf canoeing skills under their coach’s supervision.
Walking to Karitane

Beach walk to Karitane

Wave and Karitane peninsula

Wave and the Karitane Huriawa peninsula

OGHS Coach and canoer

OGHS Coach and canoer

We rounded the spit to lunch on its landward side to admire the settlement of houses and the two (cray-fishing – Ken thought they might be) boats and the splendid view up the river of Mount Watkins.

Lunch at Karitane

Lunch at Karitane. Bill, Pat, Doug, Peter, Who? Angela, Neil, Lex, Wendy, Barbara, Who? Lesley, Margaret, Bev, Joyce, Elaine, Lesley, Evelyn, Bob,

Fishing boat at Karitane

Mt Watkins from Karitane

Mt Watkins from Karitane

After the leisurely lunch, it was a leisurely strung-out amble back along the beach to the cars. A good day and thanks to Bill H and his team for this variation on the usual Matanaka walk. – Ian

2. 9/4/2008 Leaders:

Trotting horses being exercised along the beach

What a glorious day for hiking it was and 11 hikers were really looking forward to their day when we parked our cars in Beach St, Waikouaiti, and set off to the beach. We walked a short distance along Beach St, then turned right into Fell Rd and from there went into the Forest where we sat in a lovely patch of sun and had our morning tea. Then off down to the beach. Couldn’t have had a more perfect day for walking along the firm sand, lapping up the sun and really soaking up the beautiful views. Great to see several lots of horses being exercised along the beach. Some trotting behind a vehicle, attached to a cart, others with riders in sulkies. At the end of the beach it was up the hill to Matanaka. A fascinating and very interesting place to visit. We spent a bit of time looking in the old school house and

The schoolhouse

The schoolhouse

Coming away

Coming away

inspecting the other old buildings which are all very well maintained and looked after. Then it was a leisurely lunch, sitting in the sun and taking in the view, really making the most of a super day. Then it was back down the hill and along Matanaka Rd. and then Matanaka Dr. to the back of the Motor camp which we walked through back to our cars. We all agreed we had had a fabulous day. – Bev

1. 17/10/2007. Matanaka, Cornish Head. Medium. Leaders: Graham, Glenice
Tea break in pines. Graham, Ken, Lex, Hazel, George

Tea break in pines. Graham, Ken, Lex, Hazel, George

Down to skirt bottom of steep face. Glenice, Hazel, Doug, Pat, Bill, Graham

Down to skirt bottom of steep face. Glenice, Hazel, Doug, Pat, Bill, Graham

Down round point. Lex, Who?, Pat, Ken, Graham, Doug M, Glenice

Down round point. Lex, Who?, Pat, Ken, Graham, Doug M, Glenice



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Nov 15 2019

Sullivans Dam, Cloud Forests, Escarpment, Cowan round trip

Published by under Trampers,Year round

click to enlarge

Cloud Forest and Escarpment

Map: Sullivans Dam, Cloud Forest, Telegraph (Old Bridal) track to Pigeon Flat, Escarpment Track, Cowan Rd, Short Cut to Fox Rd, down to Sullivans Dam

9. 13/11/19. Trampers. Sullivan’s Dam. Cloud Forest, Transmission Line. Return. M. Leaders: Karen and Gary

On an overcast but mild morning, 21 trampers set out from the picturesque Sullivan’s Dam. Shortly
after, we were joined by our 22 nd tramper. Making our way along and up the track and well constructed boardwalk, we passed through beautiful bush including Alpine Cyprus and masses of low ground ferns.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading up the bush ridge”

Up through the bush and boggy sections to the transmission line where we stopped for our morning tea.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Smoko and view at top”

The coolish breeze was offset by the magnificent view over Blueskin Bay , the northern motorway and hills beyond.

IMG_7650 (1)

Photo and Caption Helen – ” Great view looking across to Northern Motorway”

With everyone refreshed we carried on up through the bush and muddy sections, over fallen trees
and slippery tree roots to the rocky outcrop.


Phot and Caption Gordon – “A steep part”


Photo and Caption John – “Almost at the top”

Spectacular views were to be had while we all waited for our turn to scramble up and around the rocks. The terrain flattened out to a mixture of replanted pines and open low scrub areas.
The lunch break was in an area of replanted pines.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch amongst the new planting”

Next was a short walk to Cowan Road which we walked for about a km (one even stopping to pick a spray of native clematis)


Photo and Caption Helen – “Noi wearing her new headwear courtesy of John”

before dropping down onto the Three Peaks track lined with flowering broom.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Not too far now!”

We made our way down to the paddocks and were entertained by a herd of very curious steers, some even coming close enough to be patted and lick the odd hand. From there it was a short walk through more fuchsia and bush to the Leith Valley Road.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Happy trampers, another great tramp!”

We stopped at the gardens for refreshments, all of us pleased with having accomplished a tramp
that was challenging in places but rewarding to be part of. – Karen and Gary.

8. 10/10/2018. Hikers. Sullivans Dam. Cloud Forest, Transmission Line. Return. M. Leaders: Pam and Dawn.

Morning tea at Sullivan’s Dam. (Clive pic and caption.)

Up through the trees. (1) (Clive pic and caption.)

Up through the trees. (2) (Clive pic and caption.)

At the top before the rain set in. (Clive pic and caption.)

Lunch sheltering from the rain. (Clive pic and caption.)

7. 20/7/2016. Hikers. Sullivans Dam. Cloud Forest, Transmission Line, Round trip to Lookout and Leith Saddle. Return. M. Leaders: Pam, Ian.
22 Hikers turned up. 14 went to Transmission line, 11 did ‘Leith loop’ (a first for us). – Ian.
View of some of the stepping stone steps.

Some of the multiple ‘stepping stone’ steps – on one of the easier gradients. [Ed: Have seen such nowhere else.]

Lunch at Transmission line.

Lunch at Transmission line at top of Cloud Forest track.

Bluesman Bay view from Transmission Line lunch spot. (Adrienne pic.)

Blueskin Bay view from Transmission Line lunch spot. (Adrienne pic.)

Dunedin view from lookout point. (Adrienne pic.)

Dunedin view from lookout point. (Adrienne pic.)

Dam view from where? - Lookout? (Adrienne pic.)

Sullivan’s Dam view from  Lookout point. (Adrienne pic.)

Ends of track down from Lookout, on Leith Saddle end of Pigeon Flat Road. (Adrienne pic.)

Ends of track down from the Lookout Loop, on Leith Saddle end of Pigeon Flat Road. (Adrienne pic.)

6. 9/3/2011. Trampers. Sullivans Dam, Cloud Forests, Escarpment, Cowan round trip.

Pines up ahead, through which and around we have to go.

At the foot of a rocky bluff we had to climb around.

On the top of the bluff. (Apologies for badly aimed shot.)

It was an great tramp. Some challenges, like having to crawl on knees over the huge rocks, crawling under some gigantic fallen trees, going through bush so dense that we couldn’t see the ground, pushing our way through gorse and holding on to trees to swing through a few muddy patches. A couple of times there was some discussion on which way to go, but with our two awesome experienced leaders, Ian and Doug, we were soon headed in the correct direction.
A small problem for the ladies was some cattle in a paddock we had to go through, first Dawn was too nervous to move when the beasts started coming towards her, but Ian assured her they were only curious.   After waiting for Pam and Jill to appear, Ian decided to investigate, so he climbed back through the fence and went back up the paddock to find two more ladies nervous of the cattle.  He confidently escorted them down the rest of the way.
The tramp took 6 hours but didn’t seem that long with great company and the best escorts, it was a wonderful experience and I look forward to many more. – Dawn.

It was disappointing to find much of the Escarpment Track so overgrown. It had evidently not been tramped very often lately.

But thanks to those who have looked after the short-cut from Cowan Road through the trees down to Fox Road, and further on, to those who had trimmed back the gorse from the track down through the regenerating forestry. – Ian.

(5.) 12/8/2009 Sullivans Dam, Cloud Forests, Escarpment, Cowan round trip. CANCELLED. BAD WEATHER. Leaders: Bill, Doug.

The following photos taken on RECCE!:

Sullivans Dam

Sullivans Dam. (Bill pic)

Blueskin Bay from Telegraph Track

Blueskin Bay from Telegraph Track. (Bill pic)

Track notice

Track notice. (Bill pic)


Boulders recently climbed. (Bill pic). Doug.

Vert. Escarpment

Mud on Escarpment. (Bill pic). Doug.

4. 22/7/2009 Sullivans Dam, Cloud Forests of Leith, Lookout, Leith Saddle, Pipe Line back to Dam. Leaders: L Gowans, B Harvey.
3. 18/7/2007 Leaders: Abe, Ian

From Sullivans Dam, we made our way through

Tea Break. Ian, George, Tash, Helen.

Cloud Forest, crossed Pole track, crossed Telegraph/Bridal Track, North face of Mt Cargill, down Cowan Road, Short-cut to cross Bridal Track,

Down Cowan Road. Keith, George, Arthur H, Glenice, Diane (obscured), Helen, Tash, Ian.

through cleared forestry,

Down through cleared forestry. Ian, Helen, Diane, Arthur, Keith, Tash

McCutcheon paddocks, up pipe line back to dam.

2. 30/11/2005. Trampers. Sullivans Dam, Cloud Forest, Escarpment, Cowan Road. Round trip Leaders: Bill & Pat, Bruce
1. 20/7/2005. Sullivans Dam, Cloud Forest, Escarpment, Cowan Road. Round trip. Leaders: Bill & Pat, Bruce.

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Nov 15 2019

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.

28. 13/11/19. Hikers. Frasers Gully. Leaders Jay and Jan B


23 hikers set off for Frasers Gully on a cool clear



Photo and Caption Clive – “Setting out up Frasers Gully”

We left 5 ramblers to set their own pace and proceeded up the well formed gully track.



Photo and Caption Clive – “Zig zag through the bush”

We stopped for morning tea in an area with some dappled light and beside the creek before continued on up to the top of the track which came out on Dalziel Road.



Photo and Caption Clive – “Morning tea beside the track.”

We walked along this road for a bit and then turned right taking us up past the Mount Grand treatment plant then left and on up past the Penno block and around the corner until we came to Halfway Bush road.



Photo and Caption Jan – “Walking and talking along the track”

  We walked down this road until we came to the end of it where it meets with the top of Friend’s Hill and as we were a little early for lunch, we walked down Friends Hill for about 20 minutes and found a place to stop for lunch which was nice and sheltered.


Photo and Caption Clive – “The view across Taieri Plain”



Photo and Caption Clive – “Lunch at Halfway bush road.”

After lunch a couple of guys decided to continue down Friend”s Hill and back to their car which is another option we can try in the future.  The remainder of us returned back to our cars by the same route.  It being all down hill this time.  About 11 kms were travelled.

Afternoon tea was at Sunnyvale.  I can recommend the Bundeberg.  They have half a dozen different flavours!

Jay and Jan B

27. 2018-07-11. Hikers. Fraser Road Dalzier Road round trip. M. Leades: Jay and Jan B.

Map of route, courtesy Ian.

23 Hikers gathered in lovely sunny weather in Frasers Road . From there we trudged up the steep zigzag track …

Up the zig zag track beside Fraser’s Gully Track. (Clive pic and caption.)

… which took 30 minutes with many stops on the way to admire the city views or so was the excuse to
have a breather. At the top we stopped for morning tea …

Morning tea. (Clive pic and caption.)

… and then followed the track up to Mooltan Street. From Mooltan Street we turned into Ashmore Street until we reached Taieri Road.  From there we made our way along Dalziel Road to Townleys Road for our lunch stop. The weather by this time took a change and it was very windy and cold so we didn’t dally too long.

A cold place sheltered from the wind for lunch. (Clive pic and caption.)

After lunch we made our way down Brockville Road, with the weather improving again, admiring the lovely city and beach scapes. We turned into Glenross and went through a lovely park and over a quaint little bridge …

Across the bridge in Fraser’s Gully. (Clive pic and caption.)

… that then took us back to our cars in Frasers Road. A very pleasant ten and a half km walk with plenty of variety. We had coffee at Sunnyvale Stadium. – Jay and Jan

26. 12/10/2016. Both. Frasers Gully area. E+.  Leaders: Alex and Liz.

Route Map

Route Map, Roslyn-Frasers Gully Recreational Reserve: 1. Fresh Choice; 2 Ann St; 3. Falcon St; 4. Frasers Rd return; 5.  side track Frasers Road to grassy Tilburn St; 6. Tilburn St; 7. different return track Tilburn St to Frasers Road; 8. side track Frasers Road across to  Glenross St; 9. Glenross St; 10. Brockville Rd; 11, Kaikorai Vly Rd; 12. Falcon St; 13. Ann St; 14. Fresh Choice. – Ian.

Frasers Gully walk was enjoyed by Trampers and hikers together owing to Trampers leader away.

Frasers Gully "Road".

Frasers Gully “Road”. (Liz pic.)


A forceful “Barred!” near the top . (Helen pic.)

Weather held off, however some of the track was a little bit slippery but support from all concerned worked well.It was interesting that one track was a new experience for some old members which made it even more enjoyable.

Lunching on the flat. (Helen pic)

Lunching on the flat. (Helen pic)

Steep climb ahead.

Steep climb ahead. “Why do we do this?” (Ian pic and caption.)

Plodding up Falcon Street steps. (Keith pic and caption.)

Plodding up Falcon Street steps. (Keith pic and caption.)

You'll reach the top eventually. (Helen pic.)

One step at a time will get you to the top e…vent…ual…ly. (Helen pic.)

The walk was not long but seemed to be accepted by all concerned. Coffee to follow at Roslyn worked out well which had a good attendance of 24.

Coffee. (Helen pic.)

“We’re not sitting with that lot over there.” (Helen pic.)

The total numbers to start the walk was 32, with the main group leaving from Fresh Choice Roslyn car park.  (Permission to park there was appreciated.) – Liz and Alexander.

25. 18/2/2015. Hikers. Frasers Gully Area. Leaders: Bev and Adrienne.

GPS of route

GPS of route. Kms: 1. Frasers Rd Gully. 2. Brinsdon Rd Cnr. 3-4. Brinsdon & Halfway Bush Rds. 5. Three Mile Hill Rd. 6. Taieri Rd. 7. Ashmore and Mooltan Sts. 8. Track rejoining Frasers Gully nr its foot.

Bev and Adrienne led us through two of Dunedin’s Recreational Areas, up through the Frasers Gully and the down through the Tilburn Street reserve, the latter incorporating a very steep track, entailing an unavoidable recce UP it to ascertain its top entrance off Mooltan Street, imperceptible between two properties.

Anyway, for 27 Hikers, it was up the Frasers Gully ‘road’ as it says on the map

Up the Frasers Gully track.

Up the Frasers Gully track. (John pic)

and along Dalziel Rd to stop for morning tea in welcome shade at the corner of Brinsdon Road (2 km on map).


Cuppa time panorama

Then it was on up the road to join with Halfway Bush Road.

Ascending Brinsdon

Ascending Brinsdon Road (John pic)

Along Halfway Bush Road, down Three Mile Hill Road and surprise: around the corner by Ashburn Hall and onto Taieri Road and behold: a new (to this reporter) lovely grass-mown reserve. (Nr 6 km point on map.) Time for lunch.

Lunch panorama

Lunch panorama (John pic)

A little further on, a turn into Ashmore Street and further on still the bus stop.

Bus stop

“Room for one more” (John pic)

On, into Mooltan Street, around and the insignificant grass strip between two properties that would take us into the Tilburn “Street” Reserve. Well, paper-street, then. This took us around below the back of Moultan Street’s properties for some distance before plunging into some bush and out again into the scene below.

Steep down

Steep down

And was it steep, with careful shuffling by the more cautious. Zig-zags back and forth eventually landed us out on the flat of the Frasers Gully track within sight of the cars.

Thanks to Bev and Adrienne for a well-planned walk through two of Dunedin’s reserves bringing the bush into the town, and interspersed with welcome shady stops on a hot day. – Ian.

24. 5/6/2013 Both. Frasers Gully. Leaders: Evelyn and Fred.

Frasers Gully

Frasers Gully. 8km as crow flies, 9km with ups and downs. Cars parked at Ashmore St.

Friends Hill

Lunch finished. Top of Friends Hill.


Judy feeds apple to horse with very fashionable cover. At Halfway Bush Road exit.

23. 26/9/2012 Hikers. Frasers Gully Leader Evelyn
16 of us met at Frasers Road. Heading on up towards the start of the Frasers Gully track at 9.26 a.m. the word “Earthquake” was called out we stopped looked at each other and decided the ground wasn’t shaking so didn’t rush out to the field and “Drop, Cover and Hold On”, as workman were using machinery on the field, and decided we were more likely to get hit by a machine than a falling tree so carried on. We passed the newly opened up track going up to Mooltan Street which we would come back down on the way home. This track has been there for many years but had become quite overgrown and hard to find but after the tree felling took place it has been opened up resurfaced with gravel and had many plants and shrubs planted up both sides making it a very pleasant walk up the hill.
We stopped for morning tea about 20mins up the track at a clearing, but by the time we had finished it was starting to rain lightly but on and up we carried on. Alas the rain decided to get heavier the further we went but we were reasonably sheltered by the trees on the track but eventually had to stop and put on rain-gear. When we reached the top of the track it was raining quite heavily and didn’t look like stopping so a decision was made to go back down the track with the shelter of the trees (instead of carrying on as planned up past the water treatment station to the top for lunch then back along Halfway Bush Road down Three Mile Hill Rd around Ashmore & Mooltan Street and back down the new track to Frasers Gully).
When we did get back to Frasers Gully the rain had stopped so we decided to go up the new track for a bit to see the view, some of us found it quite steep going so came back down and had an early lunch while some of the others carried on to Mooltan Street then carried on around the road and came back down a clearing further on to meet up with us all at the bottom then back to the cars. Distance travelled was aprox. 8 km.
A good walk was had by all even though we didn’t cover the original distance.
22. 16/7/2011. Hikers. Frasers Gully. E. Leaders: Bev, Chris.
21. 18/11/2009. Hikers. Frasers Gully, Mount Grand Water Treatment Station, Brockville, Dalziel Road. Leader: Evelyn.


Dalziel Road. Evelyn, Bill, Bev. (Elaine pic)

Garden enhancement?

Garden enhancement? (Elaine pic)

20. 25/3/2009 Hikers Frasers Gully,Townley Rd E+ 30km ret. Leaders: Les & Margaret, Bev H

19. 16/7/2008 Frasers Gully

Fraser's Gully

Frasers Gully

Those who assembled at the car park on a cold and foggy morning all went on the hikers walk today. This began at Townleys Road on Kaikorai Valley Road and, thanks to Peter’s detour, took us along the recently-established Stream track as far as Donald St. Very picturesque and a worthwhile addition to the Dunedin walking landscape. 5km along KV Road we turned into Ellis Park and had morning tea on the steps of the changing rooms.

Morning Tea

Morning Tea

The next section of the walk up Fraser’s Gully follows a vigorous and attractive Kaikorai Stream as it foams and musically cascades over weirs and rocks overhung by beautiful bush. The wide, well-gravelled track winds through stands of fuschia and broadleaf trees and under the occasional old totara, and slowly climbs to the road. The fog still wrapped the heights but warblers’ song penetrated. Very picturesque. You can tell that the writer has never been there before and really appreciated the opportunity! At the top we were still in a shroud of mist as we skirted the invisible reservoir at the Mt Grand Water Treatment Station.

Lunch in the mist

Lunch in the mist

Our lunch stop was roadside in an avenue of ‘grand’ old pines on Dalziel Rd. Bob sneaked a swing on the neighbouring property – he thought the owners wouldn’t detect him in the fog. Then on down Townleys Rd, at times quite steeply, the cool mist growing even cooler, until back to the start some 12km later. Thanks to Neil for not losing any of us (well, we did find Joyce again after not too long!) – Bob

18. 16/7/2008. Hikers. Frasers Gully from Townley Road. Easy+. Leaders: Neil, Ray.
17. 9/5/2007. Townley Road, Frasers Gully. Easy+. Leaders:

16. 10/1/2007. All. Frasers Gully far end, Dalziel Road. Easy+. Leaders: Lex, Bob H, Joyce, Eleanor B.
15. 19/4/2006. Hikers. Frasers Gully, Townley Road. Easy+. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Peter.
14. 9/3/2005 Mary M, Les W, Ray
13. 23/7/2003. Hikers. Frasers Gully, Townley Road. Leaders: Jean, Chris.
12. 31/7/2002. Alt. Frasers Gully – Townley Road. Leaders: Les W, Mary M.
11. 21/3/2002 Betty B, Denise
10. 19/9/2001. Alt. Frasers Gully. Leaders: Jean, Mavis, Denis.
9. 21/3/2001. Frasers Gully to Brockville. Leaders: Mavis, Betty, Denise
8. 28/6/2000 Frasers Gully – Brockville Road. Leaders: Bev McI, Mary L, Eleanor
7. 31/3/1999. Frasers Gully – Brockville Road. Leaders: Margaret D, Betty, Peg C.
27/5/1998. Frasers Gully, Brockville. Leaders: Les and Mavis.
6. 16/7/1997. Frasers Gully, Brockville. Leaders: Judith D, Denise, Jack M
5. 14/9/1994. Frasers Gully, Circle Hill, Southern Reservoir.Medium. Leaders: Eric and Dot, Peggy A, Chris.
4. 24/3/1993. Frasers Gully to Brockville. Return via Townley Road. Long, but easy. Leaders: Evelyn M, Wendy, Eric and Dorothy.
3. 11/9/1991. Frasers Gully to Brockville. Native Bush. Good views. Easy. Leaders: Margaret S, Bev H, Bev McI, Janice.
2. 28/3/1990. Brockville from Frasers Road. Interesting tramp. Leaders:  Nancy, Norman, Peg M
1. 24/5/1989 Fraser’s Gully into Brockville Road. Unusual views. Meet at Ellis Park sports ground. Leaders: Mary Y, Denise, George

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Nov 07 2019

Quoin Point Bull Creek

Published by under Beach,Both Hikers & Trampers,Farm

No. 79 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Quoin Pt – Bull Creek – Farmland (see George) Farm”

45 km from car park.
“quoin” definition: 1. An exterior angle of a wall or other piece of masonry.
2. Any of the stones used in forming such an angle, often being of large size and dressed or arranged so as to form a decorative contrast with the adjoining walls. Seek permissions.
Coast and farm walk. Bull Creek nature walk to waterfall (tiny!) recommended.
15. 6/11/2019.  Quoin Point to Bull Creek.


On a calm morning 33 keen, happy members drove up Law road and along the coast through Akatore to Quoin Point road, driving a couple of kms down to the wool shed.  At 10am 6 Ramblers headed off to enjoy their day, leaving 27 to hike to Bull Creek.




Photo and Caption Helen – “Up and down”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “regroup”

We walked down through paddocks to the rocks where we had smoko.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Smoko among the rocks”

(In 2014 we tried to count the pod of seals both big and small), however, today we only spotted a couple along the way.  As well as 4 leaders, we had markers still in place from the Tokomairiro High school trail bike fundraiser held a couple of weeks ago guiding us. The paddocks were dry and nice to walk on.  With lots of gates to open/close, amazing coastal scenery, gullies with native bush, 3 old farm houses and a couple of creeks to cross.  2 hours of hiking then came to a standstill at the now fenced off access to Bull Creek.  Even with 2 stiles to cross over, their was not a track to be found.  We  back-tracked a short distance and found our way down.  3 Members decided on a bit of  bush bashing, 2 were through in no time———then through  came Doug (our 90 year old) with a grin, having enjoyed his scramble!!



Photo and Caption Helen – “Doug taking the hard way down



Photo and Caption Helen – “Bull Creek”

To save getting wet feet, a most enjoyable, sociable and scenic lunch was had by all on the rocks, before you cross the creek to the iconic kiwi cribs from 12:00 to 1:00.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch at Bull Creek”



Photo and Caption Gordon- “Couple of Kilometres left”


Photo and Caption Gordon- “Heading to Cars”


Then it was time to head back the way we came, arriving to the cars at 3pm.  2 cars travelled down the Taieri Beach road through pine forest (a new road for some) while the others down the more scenic road to the Black Swan Waihola for Coffee.

As always another happy outing covering about 12 kms.  I think it is really important having the combined monthly hike, walking, talking and catching up with our hikers and ramblers.


Photo and Caption – Gordon – “View”


Different theories on how Bull Creek got its name.  From a fictional character called John Bull, to the Otago Witness’ report in 1904 of the story of a wild Bull meeting a grisly end in the area, with the bull’s head later being hung on the wall of “Bulls Cottage”
The 42 or so cribs are spread over about 4ha and have their own 35 year lease, set up some years ago with the then land owners.
Eleanore, Helen, Bob and Jannette

14. 4/4/2018. Both. Quoin Point to Bull Creek. M. Leaders: Ian,  Arthur and Bob.

Hikers’ Route map, courtesy Ian.

The day was fine when twenty-seven of us started down from a  busy shearing shed at the end of Quoin Point Road to morning-tea down by the Quoin Point rocks. Both we and a multitude of inquisitive young seals were amazed at the sight of each other.

Quoin Point at the sealions gathering. (Clive pic and caption.)

Morning tea at Quoin Point.(Clive pic and caption.)

Ten trampers set off first, closely followed by eleven Hikers…

(Kevin pic.)

… leaving seven Ramblers behind to enjoy a more leisurely walk, which they took as far as the first house, returning along the beaches before having to regain the paddocks. They got back to the cars at 1.15 p.m.

For the others, the route varied between the flats of rocks and beach where practicable, and paddocks and gates where necessary. Towards lunch-time the query of “how much further” was beginning to be raised by some of the newer hikers. The hut-on-the-paddock’s site had complicated matters with new electric fencing forcing skirting around it before reaching the familiar route again. (We did better on the return trip.)

The trampers arrived at Bull Creek …

Bull Creek. (Clive pic and caption.)

.. in time to get round to including the picnic area and the  Bull Creek Bush Walk.

Along the waterfall walk. Clive pic and caption.)

Along the waterfall walk. (Clive pic and caption.)

The Hikers, with their much later arrival, (their walk enriched however with much mushroom-picking) had time only to get through their lunch

Brief lunch. (Kevin pic.)

before the low-tide’s turn prompted getting back across the creek.

On the return trip, our two groups were mixed and strung out as people moved off from Bull Creek in their own time. Admirably, Bob, our back marker, kept his disciplined place, to ensure we all got back in one piece.
This time, at the second stile, fortunately Arthur remembered to remain on the flat until we had got past below the little paddock hut before resuming the paddocks.
So we straggled back to the cars, strung out in various groups, some faster, others slower as the weariness of a 12 km tramp set in. Bob’s sterling work as back marker, at this point really paid off.  Several paddocks short of our destination one of us found the going too much and needed rescuing. Gordon, a new member of the club who had accompanied Bob stayed back to keep watch, while Bob strode on to fetch his large four-wheel-drive ute back to the rescue.
So all’s well that ends well. with the day ending with a congenial “coffee” stop off at Brighton. – Ian.
13. 30/7/2014. Trampers. Quoin Point to Bull Creek.
A good group of eight set out from the farm road at Quoin Point to walk along to Bull Creek. there was a bit of a wind blowing which kept the temperature down, & it was VERY muddy going across the paddocks. We didn’t get onto the beach very much as the tide was quite high, even although on the tramp program it was stated to be low at 11:30 approx. [Yes, a 0.3 m low tide i.e. on the higher side – Ed]
It was surprising to see that the gates along the coastal paddocks had “Walking Access” signs attached to them, so good on the land owners for allowing this.
We had morning tea in the shelter of some rocks, & lunch at Bull Creek. Lunch was a reasonably hurried affair, as the sandflies were eating more than we were!!! The exit of Bull Creek onto the beach was probably passable, but we didn’t fancy getting wet feet so we stayed on the Nth. side.
After lunch, it was just a return walk mostly back along the paddocks to the cars. The wind had started to dry out the very muddy parts, so it was only just a little less muddy going back. But, unfortunatly, one member slipped over at one point, & has some dirty washing to attend to !! We walked 12.3km in approx 4hrs. – Ken.
12. 5/3/2014 Both. Quoin Point to Bull Creek. Leaders: Lex and Peter.
Failed to reach Bull Creek. Ed note.
11. 13/2/2013 Trampers. Quoin Point to Bull Creek. (9)
Nine of us enjoyed the tramp, three of us oldies, six newies, to show it off to. And they did appreciate it.
We saw lots of seals/sealions (?) on the way.
It was surprising to see such a high sandbar at Bull Creek.

A high extensive sandbar now. (Ian pic and caption.)

Backed up

Bull Creek water backed up by the sandbar. (Ian pic and caption.)

Although a souwester was very strong at times it was good tramping weather.
A feature of the tramp at its end was the discovery of a very flat battery in Ian F’s car, whose parking lights had been accidentally knocked on and left for 5 hours! With an AA call-out rescue, we got all got home by teatime. – Ian.

10. 2/6/2010. Both. Quoin Point to Bull Creek. Leaders: George and Dot.

It was a most unusual start. Various reports had it that after the recent rainy period the paddocks would be too wet or the coast road would have been damaged. As it turned out, not – in either case. The upshot was though, that one of the leaders led a number on a round trip road walk up the Scroggs Hill from Brighton. 12 went on to Quoin Point. Of the 12, only 4 went to Bull Creek.

It was a nice low tide, but the Bull Creek flood waters were too deep to comfortably cross.

Packing up after lunch. Ken, Doug.

The remainder stopped for lunch a few gullies back.

Bull Creek minus 30 mins. (Bill caption and pic) Lex and who?

The day was brilliant with little wind.

How did this get here? Noticed on the way back.

It was a good day out. All the more enjoyable for contrasting with the previous week’s extended rain. – Ian
9. 23/12/2009. Trampers. Ken and George. Quoin Point to Bull Creek.
A good walk on Wednesday, lots of rock hopping. It was a perfect day for it as well, with virtually no wind, and not too much sun either.
Returning from Bull Creek. George. (Ken pic)

Returning from Bull Creek. George. (Ken pic)

8. 4/4/2007. All. Quoin Point to Bull Creek. Easy+. Leaders: George, Hazel, Eleanor B, Joyce S
7. 1/3/2006 All. Quoint Point, Bull Creek. Easy. Leaders: Dot B, Glenis, Frank & Lesley
6. 6/4/2005. Both. Quoin Point. Leaders: Hazel, Dot B, Anne R, Colleen.
Ian and Bob

Tea Break. Ian,  Bob H.


Seascape (Ian pic and caption.)

High tide at Bull Creek. No crossing today!

High tide at Bull Creek. No crossing today! (Ian pic and caption.)

5. 22/1/2003. Both. Quoin Point, Bull Creek. Medium. Leaders: Doug M, Bill and Pat, Denise.
4. 24/4/2002. Quoin Point Bull Creek. Medium. Leaders: Graham, Bill & Pat
3. 28/11/2000. Quoin Point. Leaders: George, Pam, Audrey K.
2. 29/3/2000. Quoin Point Bull Creek Leaders: George, Hazel, Bev J.
1. 15/5/1996. Quoin Point – Bull Creek. Return. Russell Road. Medium. Leaders: Jack M, George, Ted, Jack R.
Alternative: Woodhaugh – Leith Valley. Average. Leaders: Daphne, Mary Y

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Nov 02 2019

Porkys/Jim Freeman

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

Trampers Report for Jim Freeman/Porky’s 30/10/19

A well planned tramp!!!

Previous days there had been some heavy rain and Arthur took on the task of planning a good tramp, even with a bad weather report for the day. He decided to take us on reasonably dry tracks. The Jim Freeman track was the choice. We wandered along a pleasant track finally reaching Ben Rudd’s shelter for morning tea.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Smoko in Ben Rudd’s shelter”

The track then headed up to the ridge to meet the Flagstaff Swampy  track. The sun was shining with a steady breeze.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading up the firebreak”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Steep bit before lunch”

We walked until we came to the Porky track junction where we had lunch.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch among the flax and tussocks

We followed Porky’s track down to Possum busters track

and finally back onto the Jim Freeman track – there were a few damp spots! And back to where we started.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Bruce Campbells Rhododendron dell”

Coffee was planned for Blend.  We were all having our coffee and snacks when an enormous gust of wind came with heavy sleety rain which blew a tree over next to Blackstone coffee bar.  This provided the icing on the cake!! Plenty to look at and plenty of advice while it got cleaned up.


Photo and Caption Dave – ” Fallen tree in wind gust provides entertainment”

Well planned Arthur!!!


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Nov 01 2019


Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

Hikers Report for Waitati on 30/10/2019.

Twenty three hikers took welcomed refuge at the Blue Skin Cafe from the forecast down pour that struck our party a short distance from the cars. The hike was commenced in pleasant hiking conditions on the board walk to the west of Orokonui Lagoon from the Doctors Point Road.


Photo and Caption John – “I’ve seen friendlier skies”


DSC03555 (1)res

Photo and Caption John – “I think I’ll have a muffin with my coffee today”


Photo and Caption John – “Good to be back!”

From there it was a morning tea stop by the substation. From there we had foot paths to the Waitati school where it was hoped that a person from the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust
would provide information on the schools addition of their solar panels, the BEL solar power buy back scheme & their involvement with the Eco House Build that is to be displayed at the Home &
Living show on the 2nd & 3rd of November at Forsyth Barr stadium. This house was constructed by women. It was due to attending to the final details of the Eco house that the BRCT were unable to oblige.


Photo and Caption John – “Enjoying the Opeke track”

The next point of interest was half way up View St we came upon a couple attending to fitting new number plates to a car. The woman who was obviously very proud of this just completed conversion of this vehicle to pure electric. (EV) The bonnet was lifted to show the very neat functional set up which had a range of 140 kilometres. She just had to have a photo of the car & amp;
group. At the top of View St we crossed a sheep paddock to the top of the Waitati cemetery.


Photo and Caption John – “So much History”



Photo and Caption John – “Old meets new”

Apart from the final downpour it was a pleasant stroll completing the eastern Orokonui Lagoon walkway to Doctors Point Road up to Opeke for lunch & return to the cars.


Photo and Caption John – “These are the good old days!!”

Leaders were Betty & Jim Finnie

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Oct 30 2019

Possum Busters and neaby tracks tramps

Published by under Trampers

No. 67 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Swampy – Jim Freemans – (J Roy) Summer”

13. 30/10/2019 Trampers. Porkys/Jim Freeman Leader: Arthur

A well planned tramp!!!

Previous days there had been some heavy rain and Arthur took on the task of planning a good tramp, even with a bad weather report for the day. He decided to take us on reasonably dry tracks. The Jim Freeman track was the choice. We wandered along a pleasant track finally reaching Ben Rudd’s shelter for morning tea.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Smoko in Ben Rudd’s shelter”

The track then headed up to the ridge to meet the Flagstaff Swampy  track. The sun was shining with a steady breeze.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading up the firebreak”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Steep bit before lunch”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch among the flax and tussocks

We followed Porky’s track down to Possum busters track and finally back onto the Jim Freeman track – there were a few damp spots! And back to where we started.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Bruce Campbells Rhododendron dell”

Coffee was planned for Blend.  We were all having our coffee and snacks when an enormous gust of wind came with heavy sleety rain which blew a tree over next to Blackstone coffee bar.  This provided the icing on the cake!! Plenty to look at and plenty of advice while it got cleaned up.


Photo and Caption Dave – ” Fallen tree in wind gust provides entertainment”

Well planned Arthur!!!Dave

12. 26/10/2016. Both. Round tramp from near Lake Whare. E+. Leaders: Trampers.
Circult Route Map per Nike app, courtesy Ian.

Circult Route Map per Nike app, courtesy Ian.

The Hikers wished to inspect the work that had been done over the last couple of years by the Track Clearing Group, from our Club. Today’s tramp gave them that opportunity.

The clouds remained low all day, but it wasn’t cold, and no rain to be unpleasant.

A combined group of 20 Hikers and Trampers departed Mosgiel on time, and travelled up past Whare Flat and parked a little way up Rollinsons Road.

The plan was to do a circuit, taking in the following tracks (or parts thereof) – Swine Spur, Possum Busters, Smithys and the Lake Whare Loop – all being in the bush below, and to the south-west of Swampy.

If possible, it is always best to do the hard work first, so it was up Swine Spur at the start. This is an uphill track, gently up in the swampy “cutty grass flats” area at the bottom, and again further up.

The bush area halfway is the worst, with several good uphill scrambles to contend with. After negotiating this it seemed like a good idea to have morning tea …

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and let all have a rest.

Continuing up the ridge we were out in the open, but the low cloud restricted any view. Very soon we came to the junction with Possum Busters, where we could admire the excellent track signs that Ian Hebbard had made – they would be at every junction that we came to on today’s tramp.

We turned right now onto Possum Busters track which still trends slightly uphill for a little before following the contour and descending later. The track was in good order although it crosses a couple of creeks and there were several very wet swampy patches …

Through the mud. (Helen pic and caption.)

Through the mud. (Helen pic and caption.)

… to negotiate.

We passed the bottom ends of Porkies Track, and later McQuilkans.

(By the way, you can find a map of the day’s travels on page 5.08 in Antony Hamel’s book. Not all tracks are named on his map.)

Soon after passing McQuilkans we had to cross Sligos Creek twice and were soon at the next track junction.

Once again we turned right, now on Smithys Track. It is an “interesting” track with many changes of direction, and is somewhat rougher with several steep, …

Helping up. (Helen pic and caption.)

Helping up. (Helen pic and caption.)

… but brief climbs or descents, requiring care. We took our time, there being no rush.

At twelve, we came to a suitable lunch spot. There was room for all to sit beside the track where it was more open to the sky. Quite pleasant in fact.

Lunch consumed, it was onward once more. Along and down. We passed the top end of Steep Track, before eventually turning right to find Lake Whare.

Overlooking Lake Whare. (Ian pic and caption.)

Overlooking Lake Whare. (Ian pic and caption.)

The Lake. (Helen pic and caption.)

The lake. (Helen pic and caption.)

Nice tracks to walk along in this area. One duck moved quietly across the placid waters as we arrived at the lake for a brief rest spot.

Not far now. Around the Lake Whare Loop track, we saw the stone ruins (house?) and the stone wall. Only a few hundred metres more and we emerged onto the road back at our cars.

The whole group had successfully completed the day’s tramp, although it would have been tough for those more acclimatised to street walk. But WELL DONE everyone. And I hope you had all appreciated the track clearing that our members had done.

My special thanks to Neil M., in fact to both Neils, for tagging along at the back to keep the troops moving today. Bruce’s machine records the day’s distance at 6.63 km.

As all the Hikers’ tongues were hanging out, a fast trip to Wal’s …

Coffee. (Helen pic and caption.)

Coffee. (Helen pic and caption.)

… was needed to revive them, the Trampers joining them as well. – Arthur.

11. 20/7/2016. Trampers. Bullring – Swampy Summit Circuit. M. Leader: Arthur.
Several of our regular members were away on grandparent duty for the school holidays and for other reasons, resulting in only a small group of 7 out for our weekly tramp.
After parking at the Bullring, we walked up the firebreak 4WD track to the highest spot where we had morning tea with a view. Some clay parts of the track had been rather greasy on the way up.

A further five minutes took us to the top of the track down to Ben Rudd’s Shelter, which we inspected …

Ben Rudd Shelter. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Ben Rudd Shelter. (Margreet pic and caption.)

… before continuing down the Jim Freeman track.

The tracks down to the Shelter, as well as the Freeman track were rather overgrown in places and greatly in need of a trim up – someone had made a start though.
Due to the track conditions – it was also a bit wet and slippery because of the recent rain – we had to take our time. In fact, it was very slow work going down Jim Freeman.
At the bottom we turned right to follow the Possum Busters track for the next leg of our journey. Someone had been along here recently and trimmed some ferns as well as doing some spade work in places. Possum Busters goes along for a bit before trending up-slope. We were making good time here but I was concerned about the time lost earlier downhill, so decided that it was time to go to “Plan B”.
It was with considerable apprehension that I told the group we would shorten our tramp and go up Porkies Track instead of Swine Spur. I knew everyone would be hugely disappointed – and they were! It transpired later that there had been a conspiracy to ensure that the leader did not reach the top of Swine Spur first! The plot was foiled.

And so it came to pass that we ascended Porkies.

Sign. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Sign. (Margreet pic.)

Someone had recently made a very good job of clearing this track. As we climbed gently, as the track does, I’m sure that I heard several comments behind me, to the effect that “This is too easy, I wish we had gone up Swine Spur instead, etc, etc.” But perhaps I was mistaken.

It was time for lunch when we came to the Swampy Ridge 4WD track at 12.25 p.m. The group spread out a bit, each to find a good sheltered spot out of the cool wind. But it was lovely and sunny.
Within 30 minutes we were on the move, facing towards Flagstaff and home. The track, Swampy Ridge, was a little wet and muddy in places.
We had some good views now, noticing that there was some snow on the Rock and Pillar, and on the Lammermoors. Briefly  the “Taieri Pet” showed itself, although small in size, behind Middlemarch.

We turned off to join the Pineapple Track and followed it to the summit of Flagstaff.

Flagstaff. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Flagstaff. (Margreet pic and caption.)

A cold wind was blowing here so we didn’t linger long to enjoy the scenery.

View from the top. (Margreet pic and caption.)

View from the top. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Down hill into the cold wind for 20 minutes brought is back to the Bull Ring at 2.20 p.m.

We had travelled 11.6 km and had a good day’s tramp, with a good variety. The weather had been ideal – an almost clear, sunny sky, with a westerly wind which hadn’t really bothered us. But we were lucky – within 2 hours of finishing, a southerly storm had arrived – wind, rain, cold, the lot! – Arthur H.
10. 23/12/2015 Trampers. Swine Spur, Swampy Ridge, McQuilkans, Possum Busters.
Swine Spur Swampy Ridge McQuilkans Possum Busters

GPS map of route and caption, courtesy Ken. Swine Spur Swampy Ridge McQuilkans Possum Busters.

There were 4 trampers on today’s tramp into Possum Busters territory. We started by climbing all the way up Swine Spur to the Swampy Ridge road, with a stop for morning tea at the junction with Possum Busters. We then walked along Swampy Ridge Rd. to the top of McQuilkans track, where we had a short break before going down there, & back across the creek onto Possum Busters track, where we turned right, & walked up to the junction with Porkies track, where we had lunch. Then we walked all the way around Possum Busters, past where we had morning tea, & out to Rollinsons Rd. above the locked gate. It was then just a short way back to the cars that were parked further down by the bridge.

A good walk after yesterdays track clearing effort, & an opportunity to see what lies ahead of us for track clearing the rest of Possum Busters, & the bottom end of Swine Spur. – Ken.

9. 19/8/2015. Trampers. Flagstaff McQuilkans Possum Busters.
Flagstaff McQuilkans Possum Busters

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Flagstaff McQuilkans Possum Busters (Ken pic and caption). Walked 8.6km; 3.5km/h; 2h 28min. Climbed 390m.

Starting at the Bullring, we made our way up the walking track to the top of Flagstaff. We took this route in preference to the 4WD track as it has had a dozer over it to cover up the fibre optic cable that hides, or was supposed to be hiding, under it’s surface. However, in the past, it has been quite visible in various places, all the way up to Swampy Summit, due to water erosion.
After having morning tea at the Rock Bivvy, we walked along to the joining track, which takes you over to the track leading up to Swampy Ridge Track. This had also been attacked by the dozer, & was VERY muddy & slippery, sending some of us into skiing mode on the downhill sections. I think we all made it along to the top of McQuilkans Track without falling over in the treacherous conditions.
We had a short stop here to discuss what we would do for the rest of the day, & it was decided to go down McQuilkans & find somewhere to have lunch in the sun. So we set of down this newly cleared track [thanks Green Hut Group]] had lunch at a semi-dry/sunny spot,…
Lunch stop (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch stop (Ken pic and caption)

…then negotiated the creek crossings to end up on Possum Busters track. Here we decided to head out onto the Flagstaff/Whare Flat Rd. walk up there to the bottom end of Big Rock Track, & go up there to Ben Rudd Shelter. We found the entrance to the track, where Ian H had put in a sign, but it wasn’t long before we lost the track, & despite a bit of a search for the correct way up, we gave up, made our way back to the road & walked up there back to the Bullring.
The weather was perfect, with hardly any breeze, & a good temperature. Although a short walk, it was enjoyable. – Ken.

8. 29/4/2015. Trampers. Possum Busters, Porkies, McQuilkan.
Possum busters Porkies McQuilkans

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Possum busters Porkies McQuilkans. 7.4km; 2h 19m walking time; 3.2km/h ave; climbed 487mtrs.

7 trampers & Finn the dog turned up to do today’s  tramp. 
We made good time into Possum Busters, around to the junction with Porkies track [misnamed Chalkies by the person typing up the tramp list!!] where we stopped for morning tea. Then it was up Porkies track to Swampy Ridge track, where the wind was really starting to pick up, along with the cold. We made our way along to McQuilkans track, & wasted no time getting down into the bush at the top end, where it was much more pleasant. The walk down here was quite good, apart from numerous lots of Lawyer vine, which promises to tear skin off if one is not careful.
Once down on Possum Busters again, it was a short walk back out to the cars, which we reached at about 12:15pm. Neil & Carol kindly invited us back to their place for lunch, but Neil had a reason for doing this, as he needed a hand to unload sheets of Jib Board from the back of his ute, which we gladly helped with.
A good short walk, almost completed before the rain set in. We were only 10mins from the cars when a short shower came through, but it wasn’t enough to worry us at all. – Ken.
7. 3/12/2014. Both. Jim Freeman, McQuilkan, Possum Busters, Swine Spur, Rolllinsons Road, Smithies. Leaders: Trampers and Doug.
GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

Garmin GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Walked 7.7km; ave 2.9km/h; time walking 2h 37m; climbed 382mtrs.

Apple GPS

Apple Nike app. GPS of route. Unfinished as iPhone battery died.

Junction of Possum Busters & Swine Spur. (Ken pic and caption)

Junction of Possum Busters & Swine Spur. (Ken pic and caption)

Track sign

An historic Les Murcott track sign still extant. Formerly one of several at the junction of Possum Busters and Swine Spur. These signs, once the only indicators in earlier times, are fast disappearing due to being replaced by new signs and weathering of tree supports.

32, or was it 33 trampers started out the day on the joint tramp [hikers & trampers] by going into the Jim Freeman/Possum Busters track from The Whare Flat- Flagstaff Rd. & making their way up to the junction with Swine Spur track, stopping for morning tea on the way up. We then made our way down Swine Spur track, & due to a missed turn [by me], we ended up on Rollinsons Rd. where we had lunch.

Lunch stop on Rollinsons Rd. (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch stop on Rollinsons Rd. (Ken pic and caption)


A more restless picture of the same area towards the end of the lunch period.

Two of us backtracked a little to find where we had gone wrong, & we found a very small sign buried in the long grass, which we had not seen, even although we walked within a couple of meters of it.
After lunch, we walked down Rollinsons Rd. to the end of Smithies Track, where we negotiated the swampy, smelly ditch beside the road, & made our way along the track to join up with the Possum Busters track again, & back out to the cars, where some of the group were waiting for us, as they had walked around the road from our lunch stop, instead of walking the Smithies track circuit.
I think some found the going a bit tougher than they thought it would be, but in general, most enjoyed the walk, & the pleasant weather conditions helped as well. The amount of destruction caused by last years snow & also the amount of work put in by the Green Hut track group, & others into clearing all the damage,was probably an eye opener for some who had not been in the area since. – Ken.
An addendum … Heb divided the mixed group of Trampers and Hikers into smaller groups of six, each headed by a leader familiar with the trickier aspects of the route. This also obviated long regrouping waits at bottle necks like stream crossings. Further, each group, at set key junctions, was required to wait for the next one to arrive before setting on again. Well done, Heb.
After lunch, some Hikers elected to return to the cars by the easier and direct road route. This was as well for them, as the Smithies  imposed some virtually vertical ascents in earlier stretches, incurring strenuous effort and hard breathing for Hikers less accustomed to such exertions. However without exception, all proclaimed the day a great success, giving Hikers a taste of track condition and distance regularly enjoyed by the Trampers, not to mention introducing many to this particular network of tracks giving navigation through this regenerating bush area, and without whose existence, would quickly get one lost.
And a yet further addition. … As on recent past occasions, we enjoyed the company of several visitors on the day, not the least being Bruce’s sixteen-year-old grand-daughter on holiday from Oregon. Those nearby enjoyed listening in to Bruce introducing the aspiring environmental science student to the different New Zealand flora we were passing through on the way. – Ian.
7. 29/10/2014. Trampers. Jim Freeman, Smithies, Swine Spur, Possum Busters, Porkies, Swampy Ridge, Ben Rudd, Jim Freeman.
Jim Freeman Smithies Swine Spur Possum Busters Porkies Swampy Ridge Ben Rudd Jim Freeman

GPS of route courtesy Ken. Jim Freeman Smithies Swine Spur Possum Busters Porkies Swampy Ridge Ben Rudd Jim Freeman. Walked 10.4 km; 3 hrs; Climbed 540 m. (Ken caption)

As our scheduled tramp was cancelled due to DOC not having done any work on the track for many years, & not planning to do anything to it ever again, we decided to do a bush walk in the Whare Flat area.
Five set off into Jim Freeman track, & upon arriving at the junction with Smithies, we decided to go around that way to check out the track conditions, as it had just recently been cleared. We had intended to go to Lake Whare for morning tea, but having taken a wrong turn in the maze of unmarked tracks in that area we found a dry spot & had a cuppa. Moving on from there, we walked along to the bottom of Swine Spur, & struggled up this quite steep track to the junction with Possum Busters track, where the two tracks cross. After a brief spell, we walked back along Possum Busters, past where we had done a lot of clearing work, to the junction with Porkies Track. As none of us had been up this track before, it was to good an opportunity to miss, so we walked up here to Swampy Ridge Track, …
Our lunch spot. (Ian pic, Ken caption)

Our lunch spot. (Ian pic, Ken caption)

… where we had lunch. Then it was back along here, past the tops of Moon & McQuilkans tracks, & down to Ben Rudds Shelter, where we had a brief stop to chat with a young couple who were in there waiting for a light shower of rain to pass. We then made our way down Jim Freeman track back out to the cars.
An enjoyable day, with new ground covered for all in the group, & the weather played it’s part with just a slight hiccup when we got a bit damp while heading to Ben Rudds Shelter.
It was good to see Keith join our group for the first time, & I hope he was not put off from joining us in the future, despite him struggling a bit with a problem knee.

6. 9/7/2014. Trampers. Jim Freeman exploration (incl Lake Whare)

We started off by walking along the Jim Freeman & McQuilkans tracks to the junction with Smithies track, we then turned right, walked along to where McQuilkans crosses the creek. This was to show George exactly where it was, as he couldn’t remember.
We then retraced our steps back to the junction, & proceeded around Smithies towards Lake Whare. This was to be an aborted attempt, as we soon lost the track among the storm damaged bush, so once again we retraced our steps, & went back out to the road at the end of Jim Freeman track. Here we had a discussion of what to do next, as it was still not 12:00, so we traveled back down the road to Rollinsons Rd. in the cars, & walked into the bush right at the start of Rollinsons Rd. & made our way around to Lake Whare for lunch. It was very windy & cold here, so we huddled in the lee of a bank, had a quick lunch, & then made our way out onto the road. & back to the cars.
A short walk by our standards, but at least we got out of the wind & cold earlier than expected. – Ken.
5. 16/2/2011. Trampers. Lwr Jim Freeman, Lwr McQuilkans, Possum Busters, Swine Spur, Swampy, McQuilkans, Lwr Jim Freeman. Moderate.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

Seven of us parked our vehicles on the Flagstaff-Whare Flat road and as you can see indicated from the GPSed route, walked down a couple of hundred metres to enter the lower Jim Freeman at its muddied lower entrance.  Seasonal growth on the track was heavy, with honeysuckle completely obscuring the  track in places. Where it begins to climb the hill we diverted onto what Hamel’s book now marks as the beginning of the McQuilkans, formerly marked by a Les Murcotts sign as ‘Smithies’. We crossed the McQuilkans and Sligos Creeks and had a cuppa at the junction where Hamel’s ‘Smithy’s’, (formerly Possum Hunters) branches off. A little further on we branched off onto Possum Busters where the curious track marker saying ‘Possum Hunters’ still remains.We made a wrong turn at a fork a considerable way up, taking an older  track to the right, from which we had to return after getting bushed in heavy flax quite a way on. So we had to humbly return to take the more recent left fork. Silly us! All the swampy bits were there in their watery plenty. The abundant regrowth included its fair share of bush-lawyer too.
We arrived at the Swine Spur track intersection, but as it was only 11.30, took the right turn up the spur and went on to lunch near the top of the steep climb to Swampy. Some of us needed the break!
At the top, we were met with some colder wispy mist but it soon burnt off.

Mist remaining on the tops.

Coming sou-west along the top, we reached the other end of McQuilkans. Decision-point discussion ensued. We elected to take it back down rather than the originally-planned Jim Freeman because it got us much sooner into bush and shelter from the sun and one of us had not done that part yet. And so we passed by the ‘Possum Hunters’  sign again and then out by the lower McQuilkans and Jim Freeman. (It’s been quite an exercise trying to fix Hamel’s renaming of tracks into our minds.)
A reasonably stretching day, made moreso with two of us feeling a bit below par. A hard fall by another from a slip on a wet root was a bit of a worry, but has been reported the next day as being not that serious . – Ian.
4. 13/10/2010. Trampers. Jim Freeman, Swampy, McQuilkan, Possum Busters, Lower Swine Spur, Smithies, Lower McQuilkan. Leaders: Ian, Ken.

GPS tracking of route, courtesy Ken.

Only Doug turned up for the leaders to escort around the route. We had cleared the Jim Freeman on the recce so it was a quick climb up with morning tea by the Ben Rudd turn-off.
Then it was along swampy ridge to arrive at the McQuilkan descent.

View from McQuilkan prior to entering manuka woodland

Down the McQuilkan and a turn right at the Possum Busters, denoted by the track sign faintly mis-titled “Possum Hunters”. Up, around and across to join the Swine Spur crossing. It was a pity the manuka trunk holding one of Les Murcott signs had recently fallen over. Lunched there.
A left-turn and down the lower Swine Spur ridge before the plunge off to the right into the bush. A track badly overgrown in one particular place especially, but still marked enough to follow. Finally it was down and out of the bush onto the extensive tussock  swamp and across the old stone wall. We reached ingenious bridge of Les’ track-clearers, up into bush, out again into tussock and then a final swing left up into the bush onto what is now all called ‘Smithies’.

Crossing tussock swamp at bottom of lower Swine Spur

A winding down and up walk until we reached the junction with the lower McQuilkan and then out to the road, passing the bottom of Jim Freeman again. FWD enthusiasts have made quite a mess of the exit, turning it into a bog. – Ian

Bogged entrance off Whare Flat road

3. 14/9/2005 Swampy Circuit: Possum Hunters, Possum Busters, Swine Spur, Swampy Ridge, Fire Break, Jim Freeman. Leaders: Ian, Hazel
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.

Entered at lower McQuilkans, climbed Jim Freeman, along Swampy Ridge, descended upper McQuilkans, around Possum Busters, down lower Swine Spur, across to Smithy’s (formerly Possum Hunters) to rejoin lower McQuilkans and back out to road.

2. 27/8/2003. Trampers. Lwr Jim Freeman (frmly Smithies), Lwr McQuilkans (frmly Possum Hunters), Possum Busters, Lwr Swine Spur, Lake Whare, Smithies (frmly Possum Hunters). Easy. Leaders: Ian, Evelyn C, Graham.

Possum Hunters/Busters
Sketch map of area with original track names, probably by Les Murcott.
Smithy on Smithies

Smithy on Lwr Jim Freeman, frmly Smithies.

Group on Possum Busters

Group on Possum Busters Track

Possum Busters Sign

Possum Busters Sign (at intersection with Swine Spur).

1. 9/2/2000. Swampy Circuit from Jim Freeman Track. Leaders: Jack R, Claude, Doug J.

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Oct 28 2019

Leith Saddle, Swampy Spur, transmitter tower. Also Rustlers/Burns Tracks

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

Click Swampy ridge track for background information.
See also: Leith Saddle and Morrison Tracks
Leith Saddle, Waitati Valley Road, Sawmill Track, Swampy Ridge, Burns Track
Click boardwalk history for account about the original Leith Saddle Track  and the establishment of the boardwalk in 1993.
For our Club’s part in the boardwalk venture see boardwalk for an ODT account of its construction.
See also TRTC Jack Merrilees (who died January 2015)

Cars park off motorway at Leith Saddle yard (alternatively down side road at bridge (restricted space). 25 km from car park.
Walk across side road to track.
Gravelled track 1.5 km. (morning tea on lookout seats a little further on)
Transmitter tower 2 hours.
Going further: along road past doppler radar to DoC sign.
Right along Rustlers Ridge track to junction with Burns Track.
Through junction and up and round hill on Rustlers Ridge Track. (Lunch on hill)
Down ridge to pipeline. (Alternatively turn right at junction for Burns and down to pipeline)
Turn right along pipeline.
5.5 hours in all.
Burns/Rustlers circuit Maintained by Green Hut Track Group. DCC land.

33. 28/10/2019. Trampers. Rustlers Track/Swampy Summit. Leader: Dave.

16 keen trampers met at the Leith saddle and parked down the gravel road at the start of the pipeline track. There had been rain overnight and the weather report was not particularly favourable.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Starting off”

The track was wet underfoot with odd areas of mud. Morning tea was held at a dry spot with a view.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Morning tea”

After some pleasant walking through bush and ferns we moved on to Rustlers track. This was when the hill climbing started up to Swampy summit.


Photo and Caption Helen – “Some hill climbing”

The higher we climbed the more open the alpine shrubs were – causing the strong wind to feel colder.


Photo Clare Caption Helen – “White fluffy stuff Swampy summit”


Photo and Caption Helen- Navigational Tower on Swampy summit”

Everyone was prepared for sleety showers and cold wind on the tops. We moved quickly to find a sheltered lunch spot.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch in the shelter!”

The sun briefly shone on the way down from swampy summit.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Dunedin in the sun”

The walk down through the mature bush, with ferns, was a pure pleasure.


Photo and Caption Helen – “Walking down the pleasant Leith saddle track”


Photo and Caption Helen – “The group at the end with Gordon in it. He often tries to avoid being in photos!”

On reaching the Leith saddle it was then a short walk down to the cars.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Nearly back at the cars”

We walked 11.3km in under 4 hours over varied terrain with beautiful scenery. Thanks to the Green hut track group for maintaining the track. Also thanks to Rob for being at the rear of the group.

Coffee was enjoyed at Blend.


32. 6/9/2017. Both. Leith Saddle, Swampy, Burns, Pipeline Tracks circuit. M. Leaders: Betty and Jim.

A total of 33 persons started.
The total party walked to the Lookout Point for morning tea and at this point George Haggie served chocolates to celebrate his birthday.

George plus chocolates. 89 yesterday. (Helen pic and caption.)

Some of the party turned back because of the increased steepness and slipperiness of the track caused by recent rain.

From this point 15 trampers split off and forged ahead for an extended tramp that brought them down to the gravel road and back to the cars at the saddle.

7 hikers had lunch at the micro wave tower at the summit before returning to the cars at the Saddle where they met up with the members that had returned earlier.

We then adjourned to the Plaza Cafe and the tramping party arrived a short time later.

Weather conditions were pleasant.
Cell phone coverage to stay in contact with the split up groups was of assistance. – Betty and Jim.
The combined group split after morning tea on the Leith Saddle Track, 15 trampers forging ahead to go further.

We reached the Microwave up on Swampy soon after 11 am…

At the Microwave. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and decided to carry on to Swampy Summit and do a circuit instead of returning down the same track.
The breeze up top was decidedly chilly but the views were superb – 360 degrees. Whichever way you looked there was something to see.

Taken after the trampers had left the hikers en route to the Burns Track from Swampy. (Phil pic and caption.)

We rested briefly beside “The Space Ship” (Aviation V.O.R. Beacon) at the highest point of Swampy while Neil2 explained its use.

Further on we turned off onto the “Access Track to Burns and Rustlers Tracks” – so the sign stated. Wouldn’t it be simpler to call it “Rustlers” Track – or would that not be logical?
It was lovely walking through the tussock on the upper part of this track. After a time we stopped to ear our lunch in the sunshine, sitting in the shelter,

(Margreet pic.)

and still with nice views to the north-east.

Lunch looking down to Blueskin Bay. (Helen pic and caption.)

Further down, the track was a bit slippery in the bush but we soon came to the Junction.

It is some years since I was last on the lower half of Burns Track, and had forgotten how much pleasure could be had while slip-sliding down the first steep and muddy part. There were also some muddy patches further down, and several members of the group made the most of the opportunity provided to add some mud to their clothing, etc.
However, most of the Burns Track was very pleasant. At the bottom it was along the Pipeline Track and then the road for a kilometre to gain the cars where they had been parked.

Today’s tramp had provided a good variety – bush tracks, tussock, and views – what a great day it had been. Distance – 10.8 km.
The hikers had already returned, so most of the trampers followed to rejoin them at the Stadium’s coffee shop to complete the day. – Art.
31. 23/11/2016. Trampers. Leith Saddle, Swampy, Rustlers, Pipeline Tracks circuit. M. Leader: Arthur.

It was a bit of a shock to the system when we climbed out of the cars at the Leith Saddle carpark beside the Northern Motorway. A cold wind was funnelling up from the south, bringing low cloud with it.

But the Leith Saddle Track was nice and sheltered and we soon warmed up as the first ten minutes had a distinct uphill flavour to it. A good gravel track, with nice native forest to enjoy. Lot of ferns too, but not much birdlife today.

We reached the observation point at about 10.00 a.m., but the only view we got was of lots of cloud. We had our morning tea in the shelter of the vegetation close by.

As we climbed higher the low cloud cleared a little and we could get the occasional glimpse of the city, and back towards Blueskin Bay.

The wind was cold and most unpleasant

Theresa getting blown around up top. (Helen pic and caption.)

Theresa getting blown around up top. (Helen pic and caption.)

when we reached ‘Swampy Spur Trig S’, which is quite exposed. Otherwise the track was more sheltered till we reached the microwave, where we found a group of six trampers having their morning tea. A five minute stop with them was taken. They had proceeded us up the track, but were returning by a different route to us.

From the microwave we had a half hour road walk on top of Swampy.

Space shuttle for the planes. (Helen pic and caption.)

The doppler radar navigation complex. (Helen pic.)

We kept moving as the wind was rather coolish, but we could get quite a good view down over Mosgiel and the Taieri, if a little hazy.

We turned off onto the good track through the tussock, heading down “Rustlers Ridge”. The sign at the top states “Access track to Rustlers and Burns Tracks.”

The weather seemed to be clearing a little and we could get a good look at the Silver Peaks. We stopped a little early for our lunch, while there was still a good view of Blueskin Bay. Unfortunately a light shower arrived while we were eating but we were well hunkered down in shelter.

Lunch out of the wind. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch out of the wind. (Helen pic and caption.)

A chocolate treat from birthday girl, Judy K, keep our spirits up. – Thanks, Judy.

Only a few minutes’ travel got us to the junction with Burns Track. We continued down Rustlers, eventually reaching the Pipeline Track which would take us back in the direction of the cars.

The Pipeline Track had a few muddy patches on it, but also some very pleasant parts. The rocks were a bit slippery when we crossed Burns Creek, and we were soon out onto the road for the last kilometre or so.

The eight trampers out for the day’s fun had walked 12.1 km – a good training day for the tougher tramps coming in the next two weeks. And it had been an enjoyable day’s tramp. Moving time was 2 hrs 40 mins.

It came on to rain lightly as we got back to Dunedin, where we stopped at the Hot Chocolate Shop (some did have coffee though). And then back to Mosgiel, all fired up for next week. – Art.

30. 25/11/2015. Trampers. Burns-Rustlers.

Garmin GPS of Route, courtesy Ken: Burns Swampy Summit Swampy Ridge Burns Rustlers Pipeline tracks

Garmin GPS of Route, courtesy Ken: Burns Swampy Summit Swampy Ridge Burns Rustlers Pipeline tracks

Today, we did a tramp that maybe only one member of the group had done before.

We started off at the beginning of Burns Track from the Leith Valley Rd. car park, made our way up the short climb to the Pipeline track, where we turned right, & walked along to the short track leading to the Intake for the pipeline. We thought this was the entrance to Burns track, as Hamel’s book states that the entrance is hard to find. However, we soon ran out of track, so retraced our steps, & walked further along the Pipeline track until we found the large sign proclaiming Burns Track, & this was where we had morning tea.

1 Morning tea spot at start of Burns track. (Ken pic and caption)

1 Morning tea spot at start of Burns track. (Ken pic and caption)

As we were making our way up to Burns saddle, we came across two Green Hut track workers, who were doing a great job of track maintenance. The climb up to Burns saddle is quite steep, but with a few rest stops we all made it ok.
After some discussion, we decided to take the track to Swampy Summit, & have lunch at the Airways building at the start of the Swampy Ridge track.

2 Lunch at Airways building. (Ken pic and caption

2 Lunch at Airways building. (Ken pic and caption

After lunch we walked along the Swampy Ridge track till we found the sign at the top of Burns track. We followed this sometimes muddy/swampy track back to the Burns Saddle, & then took Rustlers track back down to the Pipeline track. This was also a bit muddy in places, so I don’t think anybody got home with clean boots. From here it was just a walk back along the Pipeline track [also a bit muddy] back to the cars.

There were some tired bodies at the end, but all enjoyed the walk on a very nice [25° C] day to be out tramping.

Walked 12km
3h 30min moving
climbed 562m
max height 740m – Ken

29. 4/2/2015. Both. Leith Saddle, Swampy Spur, Transmitter Tower. Leaders: Ian, Jill.

Twenty-three of us turned up for the scheduled Leith Saddle Track route. To accomodate our differing individual climbing speeds, the leaders advised us to climb at our most comfortable rates, to all meet at the view point seats for the morning cuppa. After a sociable meeting, Jill led us on again, ever onwards and upwards. However rain set in, getting only heavier and colder with even some hail appearing. And it did get HEAVY. At the trig on the exposed Swampy Spur, the wind was so fierce that leader Jill made a prudent decision, given the uncertain outlook at the time, for the Hikers to turn back,  allowing seven Trampers among us to carry on. Unbeknownst to us at the time,  the worst was over and the storm was passing. For the Trampers, of course, there was the immediate shelter in the dip in the track beyond the Trig, where it drops down from the Swampy Spur.  For the Hikers, it was back down into the shelter of the bush.
The Trampers reached the Telecom Tower on Swampy Ridge. The possibility of going on along Swampy Ridge to the point where the Rustlers Ridge track turns off, and returning along the Burns track was complicated with one or two of the party being found to be part of car loads with Hikers who were already returning back.
Meantime the Hikers had spent some time down at the Lookout, allowing all to regroup and make sure everyone was all right. As it turned out, Elaine had taken a fall on one of the wet wooden step side edges but was still mobile. During that time, the Trampers caught up on the Hikers just as the latter were setting off down again.
At track’s bottom, we separated. A few stopped off nearby to lunch in the sun.
Several Trampers, (whose car-loads were not complicated with some Hiker passengers), set off down the Waitati Road and along the pipeline track to take a look at the end of the Burns Track for those among them who hadn’t seen it before.
Here is Ken’s account of that part:
“These pics…

1 lunch stop. (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch stop 1. (Ken pic and caption)


2 lunch stop (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch stop 2. (Ken pic and caption)


…were taken on the pipeline track at the bottom of Burns track. We just went for a little bit of a recce to see what the area was like, with a view to doing something in that area later. -Ken.”
The majority of the Hikers lunched at Sullivan’s Dam in calm sunny air on a nicely warmed-up concrete slope.
Somewhat approaching a dozen caught up on each other at Topiary’s later for a convivial coffee.
An interesting day. A different day. All ended well (except for Elaine). – Ian (for the leaders).
28. 5/12/2012. Both. Leith Saddle. Leaders: Bev and Leslie.

27. 13/11/2013 Trampers. Leith Saddle, Swampy, Rustlers, Pipeline tracks.
From the Leith Saddle we went up a very well constructed and maintained track to the picnic area (where the seats are) where we had our morning tea. In the quiet, the roar of trucks on the motorway was very noticeable.
We encountered fog from that point on, very light of course, but when we got to the top it was clear only at the place we were and a short distance ahead.
We passed the place where it seemed the aliens had landed (the airplanes navigation complex) and headed down the track that that led to the junction of the Burns and Rustlers tracks.
We lunched about halfway down Rustlers in a good sheltered spot. We eventually got down to the bottom and headed along the almost flat pipeline track. The end part of it was mown grass! Instead of heading down the farm track we continued right ahead, across the bridge and out onto the road and back up to the car.
I must say all track signs were very clear. – Heb.

26. 14/9/2011. Trampers. Leith Saddle, Swampy, Rustlers, Pipeline tracks.

Bush sheltered us for the first bit along the now step-less, if still steep in places, beautifully gravelled DoC track. It looks like what one of us said that those in the UK would disparagingly call a Yellow Brick Road or pedestrian motorway. Perhaps however, the only practical way to overcome the bush underfloor condition. Even beyond the bushline, the track was still wonderful underfoot, accompanying and crossing only muddy traces of the original. Here we took our ‘cuppa’ on the lookout seat there, after wiping the remaining snow off it.
Now we were exposed to the gale coming straight up from the Antarctic as we tackled the steep hill-side beyond.
 At the Swampy Ridge Trig, we were exposed to the wind blustering from our left so much so that we were blown off our feet. It was a relief after negotiating past the trig’s stay-wires to slip down through the rocks into the comparative shelter of the dip beyond.
Across the dip, the last bit of a climb and we scurried into the shelter of the Post Office building.

We had planned the clockwise direction so that the wind would be behind us on Swamp Ridge. Well, not quite behind us, more on our left shoulders. But it was still preferable to battling it head-on.

Once we turned off onto the track linking down to the Burns/Rustlers junction, the wind was now more comfortably behind us. Relief. And then when the track started its plunge down from the tops, – no wind. Ahh. Had it stopped or were we just sheltered?
We should pause here to acknowledge the benefit of the most magnificent track-clearing work we have ever experienced on this track. Bravo. Where tussock, celmisia and flax often used to overhang and impede, the track was open all the way! In fact, when we got to the steepest and slipperiest part just before the junction, it was hard to find anything left to hang onto!
At the junction, all was sheltered and most pleasant with bits of sun shining through. We lingered for a while after lunch.


Rustlers had been cleared too, but it was the same old Rustlers Ridge, tree-rooted and bits of bog in places.
Then we were down on the contoured Pipeline track, level – did I say level? – all the way except for its now many ups and downs.
And its boggy bits get not better. Except, that  someone has where possible put sodded tracks alongside some of the worst of them. Except for the following one.

Remember the detour that led around to the Burns Creek weir crossing? Well, it’s still there, but now relegated to redundancy. The former disused track that lead down to the old non-existent bridge, has been reopened and steps dug down into the creek and back up the farther side.

Whom to thank for all the track work we benefited from today? The Green Hut group? Task Force Green? Well, thanks all, anyway. You made it all so much easier and pleasanter.

Then it was just onto the really level part of the Pipeline track, past the foot of the Burns Track, out the old Waitati Road and up the cars. As you can see from the pics, we were well wrapped up, we survived and enjoyed a good workout. – Ian.

25. 24/3/2010. Trampers. Leith Saddle, Swampy Ridge Track, return Burns Track, Pipeline Track. Moderate.

Today was the first time we tried out the track since it had replaced the steep stepped boardwalk two years ago.


It turned out to be an excellent tightly-packed gravel path bordered all the way to the lookout with staked sides. In contrast to the former stepped boardwalk, (a few of whose boards had also suffered breakages), we encountered no steps until well up the hillside. (This didn’t exclude some quite steep slopes also at times.) But what a path!

Doug and Sabina stop for a chat on the track.

On the steeper slope past the lookout excellent steps had replaced the former scramble. It was gravel with occasional heavy metal all the way, past Swampy Spur right up the telecommunications tower at the top.

As we walked along swampy ridge, the glint of sunshine on cones of the doppler radar navigation complex caught our attention

Further on, as we turned off swampy to go across and down to the Burns Saddle for lunch, we found the track to be beautifully cleared for most of the way. Thanks to the clearers.

We found parts of the Burns Track well cleared also, but prior to entering the bush it was so heavily covered by what appeared to be rank hook grass (but fortunately seedless at this stage) that we could detect the track only by pushing through by feel. Down at the bottom, the pipeline track had been recently mown making for easy walking. Then it was up the road and back to the cars. Seven of us ventured out. It was a good day. – Ian.

24. 24/11/2008 Trampers. Leith Saddle, Rustlers Ridge, Swampy, Leith Saddle Tracks. Leaders: Peter & Wendy

Once again the weather forecast was chancy but nine of us had the best of the day, striking rain just as we got back to the cars at the end. From just a little way down the Waitati road from the Leith Saddle, by a bridge where we parked our cars, we made our way up to and then along the nicely level Waitati-Leith pipe-line track (that takes water to Sullivans Dam), passing the foot of the Burns track and going further along to the Rustlers as we had decided to do the circuit anti-clockwise this time. Rustlers proved well cleared and we made our way easily up to the crossing junction of the 4 tracks, viz. Rustlers Ridge (and the extension of Rustlers up to Swampy Summit) and Burns (and the Burns extension to the Swampy Ridge track further north) and early-lunched at 11.30 a.m.


Lunch at Rustlers-Burns. Wendy, Peter, Glenice

Lunch at Rustlers-Burns intersection. Wendy, Peter, Glenice


Lunch at track junction. George, Hazel, Pat, Bill

Lunch at track junction. George, Hazel, Pat, Bill

Returning on the Burns, we soon crossed the Burns Creek…

Burns Creek crossing. Sabina, Hazel, Glenice, Bill Pat, Wendy

Burns Creek crossing. Sabina, Hazel, Glenice, Bill, Pat, Wendy

…and enjoyed the walk through the flax and later the bush, back down to the pipe line and out to the cars. We heard a bell-bird and two or three grey warblers but that was all. We enjoyed the bush and were rewarded by the magnificent views. – Ian

 23. 29/10/2008. Trampers. Burns-Rustler. Medium-. Leaders: Leonie, George, Ria L

22. 24/10/2007. Trampers. Rustlers, Burns. Medium. Leaders: Wendy and Peter.
21. 20/9/2006 Leith Saddle, Swampy Spur, return Rustlers Ridge. Leaders: Ian, Sabina
20. 1/9/2005. Both. Burns, Rustlers. Shirley, Bruce, Doug M, Bob and Nadia, Kerri
19. 20/10/2004. Both. Leith Saddle, Swampy Spur, return Burns Track. Leaders: Barbara M, Val, Arthur and Barbara.
Dunedin from Swampy. Pat

Dunedin from Swampy. Pat



18. 2/7/2003. Trampers. Burns – Rustler Track. Medium. Leaders: Lex, Ian.

On Swampy Summit


Sign on Tracks' Crossing

Snow on Burns Track

Rustlers Track Sign

Near end of tramp. On pipeline.
17. 25/9/2002. Leith Saddle – Rustler Track. Medium. Leaders: Hazel, Bill and Pat.
16. 8/5/2002. Alt. Burns – Rustler. Medium. Leaders: Nancy, Joyce, Val.
15. 26/9/2001. Leith Saddle, Rustlers. Medium. Leaders: Claude, Les and Margaret.
14. 31/1/2001. Rustler – Burns Track. Leaders: Nancy, Frank and Lesley.
13. 7/9/2000 Leaders: Bob & Nadia, Shirley
12. 12/7/2000. Leith Saddle – Rustler Track. Leaders: Bob H, Shirley McN, Val.
 11. 9/2/2000. Burns – Rustler Track. Leaders: Eleanor, Bev McI, Daphne.
10. 31/1/2000 Burns-Rustler. Leaders: Nancy, Frank & Lesley
9. 10/2/1999. Burns – Rustler Tracks. Eleanor, Nancy, Lesley S.
8. 30/9/1998. Pigeon Flat, Swampy, Burns Track. Leaders: Ted, Les W.
7. 15/9/1998 Leith Saddle, Swampy Spur, return Rustlers Ridge. Leaders: Les W
6. 1/7/1997 Leith Saddle, Gold Trail return Swampy Spur Leaders: Jack & Rosemary, Daphne
5. 11/11/1996 Leith Saddle, Gold Trail return Swampy Spur Leaders: Bev H, Ria L
4. 30/8/1995. Pigeon Flat, Swampy Spur, Burns Track. Medium+. Leaders: Bob H, Doug and Ngaire, Ted.
3. 13/5/1992. Burns Rustler Track. Combined bush and open country. Great views. Average. Leaders: George, Margaret S, Ivan & Bev
2. 18/10/1989 Burns Rustler Track. Average+ Native Bush. Leaders: Bob H, George H, Mary Y, Margaret S
1. 10/2/1989 Burns Rustler Track. Leaders: Eleanor B, Nancy, Lesley S

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Oct 23 2019

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.

14. 23/10/2019. Hikers. Evansdale Glen. Leaders: Betty and Jim.

After completion of the morning tea circuit of the 21 people present 18 completed approximately a further 7km hike to the 3rd crossing of Careys Creek which was flowing at doubly normal flow.



Photo and Caption John – “Hikers and Ramblers meet for morning tea”


photo and Caption Bob – “Crossing the Creek”


Photo and Caption John – “More morning tea!”


Cool temperatures were conducive to a pleasant hike in spite of the of the water logged surface of the track.  The threatening rain did not eventuate and a refreshment stop was made at the Blue Skin Cafe on the return to Mosgiel @ 3 o’clock.

Leaders were Betty & Jim Finnie

13. 11/4/2018. Trampers. Evansdale Glen –Rongomai/Honeycomb. M. Leader: Dave.

How could 5 trampers’ turn down coffee out with Margreet and Neil and Jill’s fresh hot muffins on a cold wet morning?

Well they did! It was off to Evansdale Glen with a little snow on the side of the motorway on the way. The weather cleared a bit as we started. The creek was up after the rain so it was wet socks and boots as we made our first crossing of Careys creek.

Just out of the car and into it…brrrrr. (Phil pic and caption.)

The discussion then started on having waterproofing on the inside of boots? We were sheltered in the gorge of the creek. The bird song was very pleasant – bellbirds, tuis, fantails and the odd wood pigeon.

Trying to get heat to the feet! (Phil pic and caption.)

  At the Honey  comb/ Rongomai intersection we decided to take the Rongomai track just to guage how slippery it might be. The track was a little steep to start with.  As we followed the well-defined track we walked through very attractive areas of quite big Kanuka with smaller plants of Lancewood, Mapau, Broad leaf and the odd small Totara.

Because of the wetness of the track, we took the connecting track to the honey comb track. This was pleasant with the many ferns green and lush. We then followed up to the top of the honeycomb track to meet Semple road.

Standing on the ‘snowline’. (Phil pic and caption.)

Skyline from the top of the Honeycomb Track. (Phil pic and caption.)

Lunch was had in the shelter of trees and a disused gravel pit at the top.

We then followed back down the Rongomai to Careys creek again – illusion the creek seemed to be higher!  The leader who shall be nameless slipped on the slippery rocks and got wet!  Phil to the rescue. Thanks Phil.

The discussion continued on the design of new boots, with a special one way valve and pump to eject the water from within them .  Arthur gave us a demonstration.  He is now applying for a special patent for boots with these features.

Afternoon tea started with a taste of blackberries on the side of the track, followed by coffee at Blueskin Bay Nurseries and Café. – Dave

12. 17/8/2016. Trampers. Evansdale Glen, Honeycomb, Rongomai. M. Leader: A Heenan.
Seven Trampers were delighted to discover that some thoughtful person had placed stepping stones to allow us to cross Careys Creek with dry feet, at the beginning of our day’s tramp. The second crossing also had the stones.
It was cold walking up the Careys Creek track in the shade, and with evidence that the frost had not thawed for some days in parts.
We stopped at the first sunny spot that was encountered to have our morning tea. It was only a very tiny spot, just adequate but welcome for our purpose.
Continuing on up this very good track, we eventually came to the junction.

A year ago our group did the circuit in a clockwise direction, so to be different (I like being different), we went up the Rongomai Track.

Up the Rongomai. (Margreet pic.)

Up the Rongomai. (Margreet pic.)

This is always a good dry track, if an energetic climb at the lower end.

Turning left we followed “the old nature trail”, the cross track to Honeycomb. This track generally follows the contour, but goes up and down continually, with a number of well placed steps in places. In one place, a large fallen tree proved a little awkward to climb through carefully. Considerable bird song was noted here – Bellbirds and Tuis, etc, and several pigeons were seen. A little Tomtit had kept just in front of us for a short distance, as close as two metres to me.

Coming to the Honeycomb track, we turned left again and following it for a short distance, found our lunch spot bathed in sunshine.

Lunch in the sun. (Margreet pic.)

Lunch in the sun. (Margreet pic.)

The Honeycomb Track was drier than expected and we made good progress going down, only the last 200 metres or so needing extra care – steeper and wetter here.
Following Careys Creek now, the track was quite wet in places and the air noticeably much colder in the gully.

There are five river crossings along here on the way back to the Rongomai junction.

Care had to be exercised at the crossings as the rocks were just a little slippy. …

One of the crossings. (Margreet pic.)

One of the crossings. (Margreet pic.)

… One member narrowly avoided disaster.

Back at the junction. (Margreet pic.)

Back at the junction. (Margreet pic.)

Around a further hour’s tramp returned the group to the cars, having covered 12.4 km.
Some members of the group wanted to stop at “Blueskin Nurseries” on the way home. In my simplicity(?) I presumed that the lovely spring-like afternoons of the previous days had brought out the ‘gardening desire’ in some. But the plants and flowers were ignored, the group heading indoors. I tagged along to see what the score was.
I soon found that the score was:- 3 coffees, 2 hot chocolates, 1 tea and 1 juice! Discussion followed, and as noted on previous occasions, has a tendency to include food. Today such culinary delights as lamb shanks, pork bellies, pumpkins, sweet breads and tripe were avidly mentioned.
Personally I avoid tripe myself, although some may suspect that what I write here is a load of tripe(?).
Eventually seven happy Trampers returned to Mosgiel after enjoying a day’s exercise in the sunshine and fresh air. We couldn’t have had a better day out. – Arthur.
11. 12/8/2015. Trampers. Evansdale Glen, Honeycomb, Rongomai.
GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Evansdale Glen Honeycomb joining track Rongomai (Ken pic and caption)

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Evansdale Glen Honeycomb joining track Rongomai (Ken pic and caption). Walked 12.4km; 4km/h; 3hr 20m moving; climbed 253m; max height 340m.

Today’s tramp was to Evansdale Glen, then up Honeycomb, & back down Rongomai tracks.Now normally this is not a problem, BUT there was still a lot of snow on Flagstaff, &  around my place on the hill, so I was sceptical about our chances of getting up Honeycomb very far. However, after a bit of a conference among the 7 trampers at the carpark, we decided to go & see what was in store for us. As we got over to the other side of the Northern Motorway, it was a different world, no snow, & everything looked really normal.
The walk along to Honeycomb was accomplished with only one member getting wet feet, from the many creek crossings. The track was quite wet & muddy in places, & Honeycomb looked a bit slippery as well. However, we all made it up the steep climb without to much drama, but a few rest periods, & arrived at the junction of the joining track that goes across to Rongomai, where we had another short rest. We then headed off along here to hopefully find a sunny lunch spot on the road at the top end of Rongomai, before the track proper starts into the bush. So we stopped for lunch…

Lunch break (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch break (Ken pic and caption)

…in a quite sheltered spot just before entering the bush, but if we had gone a little further, we would’ve found an even better spot!!
After lunch we made our way down to the creek at the bottom of the ridge, & back out to the cars. The day was enjoyed by all, especially the ones who had not been in there before.
An incident free day, with good weather conditions, life is good !! – Ken

10. 16/10/2013. Trampers. Evansdale, Careys Creek, Honeycomb, Mountain Road, Rongomai. Medium.


GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Honeycomb and Rongomai from Evansdale. Distance: 11.8km; time: 3hr 3mins; ave: 3.9 km/hr; climbed: 507mtrs; max elevation: 378mtrs.


We parked at Evansdale Glen, walked up the Careys Creek track to the bottom of Honeycomb track, stopping off on the way to have morning tea at one of the drier spots we found. The grass on the track looked like it had been covered with a frost, & the whole track was quite wet, but not as wet as one team member got after slipping on some rocks while crossing one of the numerous creek crossings. Honeycomb is quite steep, as one member found, when the plant he was clutching pulled out of the ground, & he was sent tumbling downhill for a couple of meters, before a handy tree arrested his fall. So there were numerous halts to regroup & get our breathing under control. It does get less steep for the last 1/4 – 1/3 of the climb, & some good views are obtained. We had lunch at the top of Honeycomb …


Lunch at top of Honeycomb track

…  then walked the couple of hundred mtrs. along to the top of Rongamai track, which is now just a forestry rd. This goes down past the shortcut track which goes back across to Honeycomb, & continues for some distance beyond there. It eventually reverts into the original Rongomai track, which follows a ridge, & then as it gets to the toe of the ridge, it steepens greatly, until the valley floor is reached. From here, it is just a reverse walk along the Careys Creek track back to Evansdale Glen.
A good day, with basically no wind, even at Mountain Rd. end, & all 4 of us said it was a good walk, which had never been done by 3 of the party.

9. 18/3/2009. Trampers. Evansdale, Careys Creek, Honeycomb, Mountain Road, Rongomai. Medium. Leaders: Sabina, Ian

It was half a tramp, half a blackberry-plucking expedition as Hazel discretely filled a bag for next weekend’s blackberry crumble. Careys creek showed signs of a flood in recent past weeks but its level was down to a tolerable crossing and re-crossing shallowness. A notable hurdle was Bill’s aptly-dubbed “Beaver Dam” at the second crossing which we made by precariously struggling over small and large fallen branches.

The first pic shows Rongomai Ridge ahead of us.

click to enlarge

Rongomai Ridge from Careys Creek

Rongomai Ridge showing ahead

A little while later we reached the junction heralding the beginning of the loop we had decided upon doing clockwise.

The next pic shows the beginning of the steep climb out of Careys Creek up the beginning of the Honeycomb track, a climb during which at least two of the seven strong group vowed that this was their last tramp here.

Start of Honeycomb steep climb from Careys Creek at Double Hill route sign. Bill's gaiters.

Start of Honeycomb steep climb from Careys Creek at Double Hill route sign. Bill – well, his boots and gaiters.

We made it across the ridge at the top of the climb and then on further up to the Mountain Road exit. A short walk up the road and it was into and down the Rongomai with a large expanse of clear-felled forest to the left.

Back down to Careys Creek and the blackberry plucking continued with George assisting Hazel, with his long picking-pauses on the trip back filling a hefty bag of berries.

The high-light/low-light of the tramp towards its end was Hazel wrenching an ankle, which proved to be a broken fibula at the ankle on inspection the following day, leading to six weeks in plaster. However she bravely continued to limp along with the benefit of two trekking poles, even to the extent of four of us tackling an exploratory Beaver Dam by-pass track on the creek’s true right, a rather hair-raising steep up and down track in places, never to be repeated again.

Best wishes for a p-a-t-i-e-n-t recovery, Hazel. You have joined the recovering-ranks of Tash (ankle broken in three places), and Ken (two broken wrists). Best wishes to you all. Although only you Hazel can claim to have suffered your mishap on a tramp. How you made it back to the cars the rest of us will never understand. – Ian

8. 25/10/2006 Leaders: Peter B, Nelson

7. 16/11/2005. Trampers. Honeycomb, Rongomai. Medium. Bob H, Ian.
[There have also  been six earlier circuits of Honeycome-Rongomai tracks made from Mountain Road but I have managed to lose any record of them!]


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