Jun 05 2019


Published by under Hikers

Aramoana: Pathway of the Sea.
The Spit, known as Shelley Beach.
The Mole: The mole has deprived the Spit of its natural supply of sand.
In 1992 a short board walkway was constructed at this point to try and stop further erosion. Managed by Port of Otago.
Spit Beach. Known as Big Beach. Rock to explore. Great sand slope, towering volcanic cliffs.
Key Rock.
Salt marsh flats. Path. Conservation area. Managed by DOC.

41 km from car park.
15. 5/6/2019. Both. Aramoana. Judy.
After a welcome extra half hour in bed, 31 eager trampers and hikers headed for Aramoana for our first trip of the month.

It was fine but with a cold sou-west breeze so we were pleased to find shelter from the wind for morning tea at the memorial to those killed by David Grey in the 1990 massacre.

G.1St photo -- To start activities.Smokoc

To start activities.Smoko. (Gordon pic and caption.)

  With a surprising break from tradition the group was then split into teams of four or five and issued with instructions for a treasure hunt.


  • What does Aramoana mean? ________________________________
  • What is unusual about the Southern Right Whale? _______________
  • How many pilot houses are there on the Spit?  __________________
  • Who did the art work on the board-walk mural? _________________
  • In what street is the house called Waiwurri?  ___________________
  • What is the name of the boat house in Moana Street? ____________
  • What is the Maori name for albatross?  __________________
  • Who are Hector’s dolphins named for?  ________________________
  • How long can a yellow-eyed penguin live?  _____________________
  • What is papaka?_____________________

Collect the following:   (It must all fit in your plastic bag).

  • A black pebble                                    
  • A feather                                                                                                                                          
  • A black trumpet shell                                                           
  • Something red                                                                            
  • Part of a crab                                                                                                              
  • A picture of a seal                                                
  • A piece of string                                              
  • A picture of a black-backed gull                 
  • Something plastic                                          
  • A bottle top                                                    
  • A purple flower                                                            
  • Something orange                                        
  • Something wooden                                                         
  • A lolly wrapper                                                 
  • A hinged shell  
  •   A piece of green seaweed              

With low tide at 11.30, teams managed to cover a lot of ground – right along the ocean beach to the end,

H.1.Walking along the beach with the rich and reflectionsc

Walking along the beach with the rich and reflections. (Helen pic and caption.)

out to the end of the mole,

G.5th photo -- Discussion on the Mole --c

Discussion on the Mole. (Gordon pic and caption.)

round the spit past the pilot houses, and along the board-walk across the salt marsh.

H.3.On the boardwalk ecological areac

On the boardwalk ecological area. (Helen pic and caption.)

We gathered back at the memorial for lunch at 1.15pm, glad to be out of the cold wind again.

G.8th -- Lunch back at the Monumentc

Lunch back at the Monument. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Teams had worked with great enthusiasm, with most answering all the questions and finding all items listed.  There was no clear winner so chocs were issued to all before departing for Careys Bay and hot drinks.

–  Judy and Linda

14. 14/12/2016. All. Christmas Lunch. Aramoana. Leaders: Judy K and Liz.

49 happy trampers gathered at the Aramoana Hall for this year’s Christmas lunch.  Goodies were deposited in the hall and after a leisurely morning tea break outside, a variety of walks were had.

14 trampers marched along the beach as far as they could go.  It being low tide, this was right to the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder.  The predicted high temperatures and NW winds did not arrive but conditions were ideal for a beach walk.

Can you see it? (Margreet pic.)

They returned along the beach to the mole, and out to view the lazy seals basking on the rocks at the end.

Just about there. (Margreet pic.)

Sleepy Recumbency. (Margreet pic.)

There was no time to continue round to the wharf as lunch was scheduled for 12 o’clock.
16 hikers walked out to the beach beside Bear Rock and turned right along the beach to the mole, then out to the end to view the seals.

(Adrienne pic.)

(Adrienne pic.)

Various other Club members were met at different points, enjoying the local scenery in a leisurely fashion, some onto the mole, some along the beach and others the board walk across the tidal flats.
A fantastic spread awaited us in the hall and we all feasted amply from the groaning tables.  Holiday reading was available courtesy of Jill, proceeds to the new Mosgiel pool, and we were tantalised by Liz’s photographs of some recent hikes.
Cinderella was then ‘performed’ by an able cast of six – some barely recognisable under wigs, lipstick and skirts.  A great deal of fun was had by all.

The brilliant weird Cinderella cast. (Margreet pic.)

The day was concluded with a couple of rousing Christmas choruses led by Bruce with his guitar.  Some adjourned for coffee on the way home at the university cafe, while the majority headed for a well-earned nana-nap at home. – Judy K.

 13. 28/10/2015 Hikers. Aramoana. Leaders: Doug, Lester.
Morning Tea. (John pic)

Morning Tea

Seal at end of Mole. (John pic)

Sunning sealion at end of Mole. (John pic)

Seal happy as a pig in muck. (John pic)

Sealion happy as a pig in muck. (John pic)


Jetty. (John pic)

Marshland (John pic)

Marshland (John pic)

Cafe Royale, Port Chalmers. (John pic)

The Port Royale Cafe, Port Chalmers. (John pic)

12. 19/2/2014. Hikers. Aramoana. Easy. Leaders: Judy, Lester.

GPS of route. Ignore red bit. The 9+ km shown should have been really 10 – 11 km as I failed to take the camera out onto the salt marsh board walk.

We parked in the Aramoana recreation grounds. (Near “9” on map). We wended our way by road and track to the beach where we had our morning cuppa in sandhills sheltered from the current wind (1 km). En route, some accepted the invitation by its owner to explore the roomy interior of the quaint boat house, beautifully wood-worked with no nails, designed to float if/when the sea-rise comes. We turned left along the beach until stopped by the ebbing tide mark, admiring a number of seal pups. (2 km). We returned …..



and continued on to reach the Mole (4km) and explore to its (almost) end,(5 km) guarded by several seals, who weren’t about to yield ready passage. Here we were impressed by a large colony of Terns, all facing into the wind.



We returned …

Returning from end of Mole.

Returning from end of Mole.

to the Mole’s base. (6 km), where we lunched at the …


Monument to Aramoana Disaster… We then circumnavigated the Spit. (7, 8 and 9 kms). Then it was out to the Aramoana Saltmarsh boardwalk. Unfortunately this reporter left his camera GPS recorder behind with his pack at the cars (sob) for this bit. Further, he failed to turn it off till he got to his Careys Bay Hotel coffee, transforming the recorded 9 km into a sprint-walking further 10 km. (sob again). Anyway, a good walkabout, ably led by Judy, a long-time crib-dweller of the area. Thank you, Judy – and Lester, our back marker, who unfortunately lost touch with us, along with one of the hikers, and was able to re-find us only after lunch. – Ian.

11. 21/9/2011. Hikers. Aramoana. Easy. Leaders: Fred, Evelyn.
Very cold day, [but a] super day. The main event was a an wesome time in a house ..where we were shown through. You would not believe it.
It was a great day….
…Hope you heard all about our time at Aramoana at that house. It was awesome. You would have loved it all the books etc and the wonderful woodwork. -Excerpts from Elaine emails.
10. 16/12/2009. End of Year picnic lunch at Aramoana. Leaders: Lesley, Bill and Pat.
Weather forecast was so-so but about 20 of us turned up at various times at the Aramoana Domain Hall. Our leaders had booked the hall for lunch, which was just as well as rain teemed down while we were eating, but enough of that later. A chilly gusting wind made those sitting outside for morning tea seek the lee side of the hall despite the sunshine. It also warranted parkas for the walk down the Mole that Lesley had organised. As hoped for, there was the odd seal and sea lion.
Sea Lion on rocks

Sea Lion on rocks

What we hadn’t expected was the sea lion’s extraordinary antics as it swam around the point after taking to the sea.

Sea Lion at sea. Tail inspection?

Forest and Bird member Lesley set up her trip-pod-mounted telescope to give us wonderful viewing of albatross nests and shags on the rocks on Taiaroa Heads.

Nesting albatrosses and shags on Taiaroa Heads

An colourful sight was this multitude of small birds in the shingle on the side of the Mole.

A cluster of birds

Returning back, we had to push hard against the wind’s strong blasts. Three set off around the Spit

Natural wind-carved sand sculptures on the Spit. (Bob pic)

while several others of us stopped for reflection at the 1990 massacre memorial.

Memorial Names. Peter, Marjorie.


Memorial Inscription. Bruce, Marjorie, Peter, Bill.


Totara memorial

Back at the Hall, we visited the Gordon Johnston Arboretum behind the back corner of the hall, which we would never have guessed existed if Lesley had not told us.

Arboretum Entrance

Arboretum Entrance

An extensive path led around the native plants Arboretum, fully equipped with informative plant names until half way around there appeared the following entrancing scene.


Seat with eight beautiful swinging legs. Marjorie, Lesley, Margaret, Jean, Bev H, Bev McI, Pat.

Back into the hall for our usual wonderful spread of finger food. We sat in chairs around a table not only provisioned with a glorious variety of tidbits but also with them arranged on a protective oilcloth spread, and with paper plates and serviettes, all provided by the leaders. Most thoughtful.


Meal scene. (Bob pic.)

The wisdom of booking the hall’s shelter was confirmed by the sound of heavy teeming shower after shower on the roof as we nibbled in comfort. Bruce had brought his guitar and song-books (again arranged by the leaders) and we sang gustily to songs, sentimental and raucous, the words of some of which reduced us to helpless laughter, some to tears. Nearing 2.00 p.m. the wiser ones among us deemed it wise to close down, clean up and return home. Thanks to all those who made this end-of-year such a wonderful windup. – Ian
9. 23/7/2008. Hikers. Aramoana. Easy. Leaders: Lance and Lois.
8. 18/10/2006 Hikers. Aramoana area. Easy. Leaders: Lance and Lois.
7. 10/8/2005. Hikers. Aramoana. Leaders: Ray & Diana, Lance & Lois
6. 17/1/2001 Aramoana. Leaders: Eleanor B, Val, Betty B
5. 19/1/2000. Aramoana Area. Leaders: Ray and Diana, Lesley S.
4. 29/1/1997. Aramoana – Key Rock – Spit Beach – Salt Flats. Leaders: Daphne, Denise, Shirley R.
3. 11/9/1996. Aramoana Mole. Leaders: Catherine, Peggy M.
2. 1/3/1995 Aramoana. Medium+ Leaders: Bob H, Bill H, Lesley S, Hugh.
In 1991, 13 died in a hail of bullets unleashed by a deranged gunman.
1. 25/1/1989 Beginning of Year: Aramoana. Bring your children and grandchildren for a Picnic Day. Leaders: Wendy G, Gaynor, Frances.

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