Apr 24 2019

Taieri Mouth

Published by under Year round

No. 78 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Knarston Park Sth Coast (Ask Jean Young) Farm”
Location: 31.5 km.
9. 24/4/2019. Hikers. Taieri Mouth Area. Leaders: Chris, Dot, Alex and Liz.

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

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

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

C.1) Morning Teac

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

C.3) Picnic Gullyc

Picnic Gully. (Clive pic and caption.)

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


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


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

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

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

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

C.8) The view from the topc

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

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

– Clive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GPS of Route

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

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

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


At Moturata Island

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


Rock at northern end of island.

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

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


Lunch at terminus of John Bull track.

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

Onto road

Onto road

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

A most satisfying day. – Ian

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

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

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

The Taieri Mouth in the distance behind us.

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

A careful steep climb.

The track climbed. (Elaine pic.)

A view from the paddocks. (Elaine pic)

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

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

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

The lunch stop.

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

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

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

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

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

1, 8/2/1989. Moturata Island.

Moturata Island. Peg Chisholm, Molly Vaughan.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Taieri Mouth”

  1.   elaineon 07 Jul 2010 at 7:20 pm

    well what a lot of thought went into the legs in the taieri mouth photo coffee shop stop, the brave person is Joyce, I know she will love me telling every one this

  2.   Angelaon 07 Jul 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Looks like I missed out on a great social outing-pity I had to work , if only I was 10 years older & I would’ve joined u.

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