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Jun 04 2019

Upcoming Trips

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Winter Start Time: 9.15 a.m. at Car Park for 9.30 a.m.

5 June.
Both. Aramoana area. Judy K and Linda. E. $9.00.

12 June.
Trampers: Horsehoof – Maungatuas* M. $6.00. Arthur.
Hikers: North East Valley, Pine Hill. E. $5.00. Jan B & Jenny.

19 June.
Trampers: Deep Stream Pipeline. M. $8.00. Neil and Carol.
Hikers: West Harbour Walkway, St Leonards. E. $5.00. Jenni and Raewyn. Continue Reading »

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Apr 17 2019

Edgar Centre to Rotary Park, return.

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2. 17/4/2019. Hikers. Edgar Centre to Rotary Park, return. E. Shona and Jill D.

28 hikers assembled at the Edgar Centre, before walking along Portsmouth Drive to Bayfield Park stopping en route to admire the memorial stone “RONGO”.

We enjoyed an early morning tea on the seats at the park, then continued to the bus
stops (some keen souls had continued to the stop further up the street) and
caught the bus to Shiel Hill terminus.
We continued walking up to Rotary Park, through the pine trees there and down the reserve track to Harbour Heights, missing our planned stop as it was too early for lunch, which we took further down Larnach Rd in the sun at the local school playground.
After lunch, we continued down to Shandon St, before turning and walking down
the Arthur’s Walk steps to reach Portobello Rd to follow the harbourside walkway back to the cars and continuing the early  theme of the day, having an early coffee at Nichols. Distance 6.7kms. – Shona Jill

1. 16/8/2017. Hikers. Edgar Centre to Rotary Park, return. E. Leaders: Judy and Adrienne.

(Adrienne pic.)

(Adrienne pic)

26 hikers met at the Edgar Centre carpark in clear sunshine after a frosty start to the morning.  We walked along Portsmouth Drive a short way to the Bayfield sports fields for a leisurely morning tea on the comfortable seats in front of the pavilion.

From there it was another short leg to the bus stop at the bottom of Silverton Street, where we boarded the bus for the ride up to the Shiel Hill terminal.   Another short walk took us further up the hill and across the road into Rotary Park for an early lunch.  A lazy breeze found us well spread out, seeking sunshine and shelter – hard to find both.  The views of the city and harbour are magnificent from this park.

Soon we were joined by Les and Margaret, with welcome birthday chocolates – thankyou!  It was good to see Les up and about again after a bout of pneumonia.

Unfortunately it was a bit too cool for the proposed lengthy lunch and sunbathe, so by midday we were off again for the walk down the hill, via McKerrow St, Larnach Rd and Shandon Rd to the top of Arthurs Walk.  With knees creaking a bit we descended the many steps down to Portobello Rd, and so back to the cars, and coffee at Nichols. – Judy and Adrienne.

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Apr 10 2019


Published by under Beach,Uncategorized

Distance from carpark: 40 km.
8. 10/4/2019. Hikers. Warrington. Leaders: Jenny and Jan B.
25 happy hikers and 6 ready ramblers set off for Warrington  Beach.  In calm conditions and at low tide we walked along the length of the beach before stopping for the obligatory morning tea break – with soft sand beneath us making for a comfortable rest.  We carried on again in softer sand this time making hard work of it …
C.1) We left only footprintscc

We left only footprints. (Clive pic and caption.)

… until we found a track taking us back around to the domain where it was decided to have an early lunch to beat the impending rainfall.

C.2) Play Lunch?c

Play Lunch? (Clive pic and caption.)

After lunch, as the rain had not yet arrived, we dropped our backpacks in the cars and walked around the block, admiring  some interesting houses and hedges, and by the time we returned to the cars there was a few drops of rain appearing.  So with good timing we headed off to Blueskin Cafe where we arrived just ahead of the trampers.  It was a full house as we chatted happily and were thankful we had a good day out and didn’t get wet!
Jenny and Jan B

7. 16/3/2016. Hikers. Warrington. E. Leaders: Judy, Shona.

Nike app GPS of Warrington route.

Nike app GPS of Warrington route.

Trip Report Wednesday 16th March 2016 – Warrington Beach

A calm but overcast morning provided good tramping weather for 23 hikers. We left the cars at the picnic ground and a half-hour walk took us up Hill Road to the junction with Park Road then round to the Esplanade for a pleasant morning tea just above the beach.

After a quick scramble down to the beach, it was a short walk to the track leading back to the Surf Club. Here we turned left along the track through the pines, to reach the sewage ponds after about 30 minutes. The track to the left led us back to the beach, and a long trudge to the end of the spit and an early lunch, disturbed only by loud screams from Liz as a mouse invaded her territory.

Lunch at end of spit. Happily before the mouse invasion.

Lunch at end of spit. Happily before the mouse invasion.

As it was just past high tide the beach on the inlet side was still covered in places and the sand very soft in others. We alternated between beach and the track above for some way

Alternating between beech and track. (Judy pic)

Alternating between beach and track. (Judy pic)

before returning to the main beach and the walk back to the cars. This was a short but pleasant hike, and left plenty of time for the now customary coffee stop at Blueskin Nurseries. –  Judy and Shona

6. 30/10/2013. Hikers. Warrington. Leaders: Peter and Wendy
5. 4/4/2012. Both. Warrington beach. Leaders: Margaret and Les.

Along the inner beach

Interior of St John’s Church

Lunch in the graveyard

Durable cedar tiles on St John’s Anglican Church, Warrington

4. 13/4/2011. Hikers. Easy. Leaders: Bev, Lesley.
3. 13/1/2010. All. Picnic at Warrington. Leaders: Bathgates.
Low Tide at end of Warrington Peninsula. Rabbit Island behind. Pat, Margaret, Dot, Angela.

Low Tide at end of Warrington Peninsula. Rabbit Island behind. Pat, Margaret, Dot, Angela.

Fishers at Doctors Point

Fishers at Doctors Point

On return along the beach. Peter, Wendy and grandchildren.

On return along the beach. Peter, Wendy and grandchildren.

Warrington Surf Club setting up for the day.

Warrington Surf Club setting up for the day.

Climbing path up former Church Street.

Climbing path up former Church Street. Margaret, Who? Les, etc.

Bus Shelter. Fred, Les, George.

Bus Shelter. Fred, Les, George. (Bill pic)

"Ooh look! House to rent." "KITTENS TO GOOD HOME!" "Hmm..Local activities." "B.....! I wish I'd brought my glasses." (Bill pic)

“Ooh look! House to rent.” “KITTENS TO GOOD HOME!” “Hmm..Local activities.” “B…..! I wish I’d brought my glasses.” (Bill pic and caption) Fred, Ian, Chris, Lesley, Margaret, Dot, Pat, Wendy.

Returning back down past Warrington's old shop.

Returning back down past Warrington’s old shop. Neil, Joyce, Lesley, Bev, Angela, Fred, Wendy Pat.

A start for the new year. (Bill pic)

A query for the new year. (Bill pic)

2. 15/11/2006. Hikers. Warrington. Easy. Leaders: Bev H, Bev M.

1. 20/1/1993 All. Beginning of Year. Picnic at Warrington. Bring your grandchildren. Leaders: ?

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Jan 30 2019

Herbert Forest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One more obstacle. (Gordon pic and caption.)

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

Nearly down. (Gordon pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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Nov 14 2018

Hollyford Camp

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12/11/2018. Hollyford Camp. M. Phil.
Trampers: 12-16 Nov: Hollyford Camp. M. Phil.

Hollyford Escapades:  12-16 November 2018

Planning to execution seemed to go very well as everyone was at Waihola early….. this being a trait that continued for every start during the week.

18 intrepid walkers in 6 cars set off and bang on time arrived at Cocoa’s Café at Mandeville airport for a necessary kick start to getting to Te Anau reasonably refreshed.  First stop was at the DOC I-site to get hut tickets and check the weather, then it was food and petrol top-ups plus a visit to the best public loos in the world for most – albeit some of us had to go back to the car to get the entry gold coin!

The clearing weather meant the drive up through Te Anau Downs and the Eglinton Valley was pretty well up to the Mercedes car advert standard, then after a brief stop at Knobs Flat we arrived at The Divide.  With clear tops on the Livingstone Range, it was decided to attack Key Summit,

At the Divide about to head up Key Summit . (Gordon pic and caption.)

initially via the Routeburn/Greenstone track, before branching off on the zig zags to the Summit and, for some, beyond the well known tourist look out.  The group split into 3 as each limit was reached; lovely views of Lake Marian, the Darrans, the Hollyford and also the Greenstone Caples were in view and appreciated.

On Key Summit looking to the Greenstone: McKellar Saddle ( and Caples). (Phil pic and caption.)

We finally descended in good time and once back in the cars, moved into the Hollyford proper.  Turning right into the Lower Hollyford Rd we stopped, read and discussed the memorial to Davey Gunn that celebrated his 56 mile journey over bush tracks from Big Bay to the Milford Rd in 23 hours to raise support for the injured in a plane crash there.  What the books don’t say is Davey had a cuppa then returned to Big Bay to carry on his guided trip… he had also cracked some ribs getting plane passengers from the crash in the surf….

Finally we arrived at Gunn’s Camp and settled in to our ‘little huts on the Prairie’…… followed by good craic and a variety of well cooked dinners.

We were at the Lake Marian track ahead of time on the Tuesday morning, everyone keen to get going.  Crossing the Hollyford River involved the first swing bridge for the week, then some time was taken on the Gantries overlooking the tumbling waters of Marian Creek;

Marian Creek cascading. (Phil pic and caption.)

from there it was a steady 2 hour walk up to the Lake, to be greeted by emerald clear water and towering peaks,

Lake Marian in all her glory. ( Phil pic and caption.)

capped off by some loud avalanches at the top of the valley (they resembled large waterfalls).  We stayed here for a good 40 minutes enjoying a very special environment, before returning.

  It was a sign of the nature of the track that the return time was also 2 hours……

After lunch, having ensured that no-one laid down on their bunk, we travelled up the Upper Hollyford and just before the Homer Tunnel, veered off to park in the Gertrude Valley carpark.  We then rambled a while to the base of the Saddle, enjoying the amphitheatre of surrounding peaks as well as the early celmisias, ourisias and Mt Cook lilies that were smiling back at us.

Gertrude Valley with Saddle behind. (Phil pic and caption.)

  Once back at the cars we returned to Camp, allowing for a short stop at Falls Creek where new carparks and Gantries have ensured another great stop on the Milford Rd.

The Camp was busier on the second night with the Stray Bus arrival, plus some trampers who had arrived from the Demon Trail, telling of tall stories and lots of trees over the track, and loads of hunters and jet boaters in the huts…

Wednesday dawned fine and we travelled to the road end, where we set off to enjoy the Hollyford Walk;

Heading off down the Hollyford Track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

guarded over by towering mountains named mostly after Ngatimamoe and Ngai Tahu chiefs intersprinkled with mountains named after bureaucrats, nieces and mothers;

Mt Karetai. (Phil pic and caption.)

we rambled through forest of Beech, Miro, Matai, Totara, Kamahi and Rimu, finally arriving at Hidden Falls Hut for lunch (having already stopped off at the Hidden Falls to get showered upon).

Lunch at Hidden Falls. (Phil pic and caption.)

  A few green hooded orchids spread throughout the moss and liverwort track edges.

Following lunch, 5 hikers turned right and returned to the road end by 4pm, whilst 13 trampers turned left and after 40 minutes begun the ascent of Little Homer Saddle;  through the forest gaps great views of Mts Madeline and Tutoko were enjoyed and after another 30 minutes we were at the top of the saddle;  whilst not high, the effort was considerable in the heat of the day…… a drop off to the Little Homer Falls

Little Homer Falls. (Gordon pic and caption.)

followed with tree falls along the way becoming a little harder to limbo under….. the Falls drew everyone to them and then after a well earned break we set off for Lake Alabaster through self pruning beech forest.  As we veered in to the Pyke Valley, we were greeted by tall straight Kahikatea.

Finally we emerged into a clearing where the Pyke Lodge of the Guided walk stood and gazed upon the majestic view of Mt. Madeline dominating the Hollyford skyline.

A further 20 minutes of tired tramping followed before we arrived at Lake Alabaster

First views of Lake Alabaster. (Gordon pic and caption.)

– 7.5 hours after we started, and according to GPS estimations some 2 kilometres longer than official publications credit, at just on 23 kilometres for the day!

Progressively the breezes dropped and shadows and mountain and forest reflections dominated the Lake,

The Darran Mountains and Mt Madeline reflections in Alabaster. (Phil pic and caption.)

interspersed with splashes of delight as keen trampers (some) had a ‘swim’ and dried off before the sand-flies could do damage.

A good spread of birdlife was enjoyed along the walks including tui, bellbird, grey warbler, (bush robin at Marian),shining cookoo, ruru (at night!), chaffinch and the melodious Kaka.  Masses of perching orchids (the bamboo – Earina mucronata) adorned tree branches around the shoreline.

We had the company of a small number of other trampers for the first night at Alabaster.

On the Thursday morning, helped by feedback from trampers off the ‘Demon Trail’, 10 decided to follow the dotted lines on the map along side the Lake up the Pyke Valley;  this in effect being a bush bash with the lapping levels of the Lake the easier going.  About half way along we stopped at a large flowing creek…. fishing and fossicking were undertaken, with not a lot of luck, though style was fine.

Returning through thick bush we stumbled upon a small ‘grave site’ and then returning to the hut we had a cuppa and lunch, before crossing the largest swing bridge in Fiordland over the Pyke River, to touch upon the Demon Trail.  A hundred metres of this was enough to convince us that we should save this for another time…..!

Our second night at Alabaster was a very social affair, with jet boaters …

What do jet boat drivers have that fellow walkers don’t? (Phil pic and caption.)

… and pack rafters arriving along with a range of trampers heading up or down the valleys from or to the Coast.  Deer had been shot, trout caught, a jet boat sunk and being expensively recovered with helicopters ….so much to catch up on….. and best of all, no news from the outside world!  Mattresses were spread throughout the common areas to accommodate all.

Notwithstanding the week of walking everyone was up and away at 6.50 am on the last morning, well before the official start time, as a slight rain began to fall…and fall….and fall.  At last we were experiencing a Fiordland shower… becoming so consistent and insistent that when the time came we made a detour to Hidden Falls Hut for an early brunch to recharge, before the last 2 hours trudge to the road end.  We took 1.5 hours off the incoming time, very commendable as we were going uphill all the way!  (but then apparently the GPS said the distance was shorter…) ah we are better off without these new contraptions!

After 6 hours tramping we quickly reorganised before driving to Gunn’s Camp where we checked for final messages from the Hikers, picked up belongings, then drove back to Te Anau and civilisation.  We caught up with the Hikers at a local Café which was being inundated by bus loads of tourists, they were swarming and biting better than sand-flies!

The Hikers meantime, had an enjoyable day trip to Milford Sound on the Thursday.  First stop was the well known Chasm, and then they made a call into the Milford Sound Lodge.  What used to be a backpackers hostel now has several new cabins and areas for motorhomes, all well laid out with the Cleddau River nearby.

Enjoying Milford Sound. (Raewyn pic and caption.)

  The coffee wasn’t bad either apparently!  On the way out they made a stop at the historic bridge over the Tutoko River and a lookout near the tunnel entrance.  Friday for them dawned with heavy rain so the decision was made to stay put, light the fire and relax in the common room awaiting the trampers return. By 1pm they decided to head for Te Anau for lunch and rendezvous there as originally planned.  


A most enjoyable 5 days of great company, tracks and views to click the camera at.  Four days of sunshine out of five is not a bad record in Fiordland terms. Next stop Martins and Big Bays?

Gunn’s Camp

Everyone felt at home here and the accommodation and facilities most appropriate for a stay.  It is a very good base for exploring northern Fiordland, whether sightseeing, fishing, hunting or walking and would save multiple trips to and from Te Anau – or to just step back in pace or in time.

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Oct 29 2018

Committee Minutes 29/10/2018

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Aug 29 2018

McKessar Track

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

3. 29/8/2018. Hikers. McKessar Track from Foot. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

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

2. 15/11/2017. Hikers. Purakaunui Station. McKessar Track, Mopanui Road. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

Starting off from the site of the old Purakanui railway station, a party of twenty hikers made the short road walk down hill to the Purakaunui inlet for an then returned, for the morning tea stop at the cars.

(Clive pic.) [Cars at the station a first for the Club. – Ed.]

This was followed by the hike up the McKessar Track in very pleasant conditions to our lunch stop at the end of Mopanui Road.  We had a breather on the uphill climb where Ian showed us the relics of the old McKessar homestead.

(Clive pic.)

An after-lunch

(Clive pic.)

stroll beyond the road end, took us to a point which gave us an excellent view to the north.  Little time was required for the pleasant stroll down hill back to the cars, which took us to our refreshment stop at the stadium Plaza cafe. –  Betty and Jim

1. 9/3/2016. Hikers. Mopanui Road, McKessar Track, Albert Road. E. Leaders: Bev, Lesley.

GPS of McKessar trek

GPS of McKessar trek

Horse Drinking Trough on Mount Cargill Road.

Horse Drinking Trough on Mount Cargill Road.

Orokonui Village

Orokonui Village

Hikers' cuppa at top of McKessar Track

Hikers’ cuppa at top of McKessar Track

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Jul 30 2018

Protected: Committee Minutes 30 July 2018

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Jun 27 2018

Taieri Ramble

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27/6/2018 Outram Ramble E. Leaders: Peter and Wendy

Route Map, courtesy Ian. Allanton Rd, Granton Rd, Loan Metal Rd, Beehive Rd, Hickeys Rd, Nichols Rd, Beehive Rd, Janefield Homestead, Nichols Rd, Allanton Rd.

27/5/2015. Momona Environs. E. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.

GPS of Momona route

GPS of Momona route

23  of  us started from Momona Hall

Start. (John pic)

Start. (John pic)

at the intersection of Centre Road and Nichols/Bruce Roads. Some distance south (approx) along Centre Road we turned aside into what Peter told us was the original route of the road to emerge back a little further on. Towards the corner we cut through a lane to emerge on Millers Road (kms 1 & 2) which we followed down past some fattening turkeys

Turkeys. (John pic)

Turkeys for the table? (John pic)

to turn into Bremners Road (kms 3 & 4).

We stopped in a gateway for morning tea,  partly sheltered by a belt of trees. The small cold wind forced us into wind-breakers at this point.

Morning tea panorama (John pic)

Morning tea panorama (John pic)

From Bremners, we  turned down Lee Creek Road (km 5) and then along Granton Road. Next turn was into Beehive Road, (kms 8 & 9) our first road to take a more winding route, and this led us eventually to a turn into a paddock whose fence line led us across to the Janefield homestead, (km 10) where we lunched. This was just as well, for Lesley’s legs had started to go ‘rubbery’.

Panorama lunch (John pic)

Lunch panorama. (John pic)

This was Ian Bathgate’s property. Peter had been telling us about his Bathgate relatives’ history on the Taieri Plain.

The feature of Janefield was the huge barn loft where dances had been held in times past. Now it was just used for storage.

Barn loft (John pic)

A wing leading off from the large Barn loft (John pic)

As we turned the corner we were confronted by a large stock truck loading loin chops in their original form.

Lamb cutlets? (John pic)

Loin chops to be? (John pic)

The road out from Janefield came out on Nichols Road (kms 11 & 12) which by various twists and turns led us diagonally across the plain eventually back to our cars.

Thanks, Peter and Wendy. A good winter’s (well, weather-wise anyway) road walk – an alternative to what would have been a soggy farm walk to Weka Falls. And an original choice too. A new ‘first’ for the club through a bit of Bathgate family history! – Ian.




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May 15 2018

Middlemarch area tramps

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[Rock and Pillar via Six Mile Creek This climbs 3300 feet up the eastern face from Glencreag Station up a leading ridge south of Six Mile Creek. This is the most direct approach.]

[Rock and Pillar via spur south of Lug Creek. Information: Climbs 3000 feet up the eastern face of a well-graded vehicle track up a leading spur south of Lug Creek. Average time to Leaning Lodge is 3 hours on foot.
9.5km north of the Middlemarch store on SH87, just before Lug Creek, is a farm entrance (RAPID 7219 – no DoC sign). A short way up the driveway is a DoC car park. There is public access up the vehicle track to the conservation area boundary. The track is now a recreation reserve administered by DoC.
Easiest route to Big Hut from Leaning Lodge (foot only – unmarked – good visibility essential) is another 45+ minutes climbing gently southwards to cross a steep gully and then climb a gentle shelf to above the eastern basins. Sidle several hundred metres past the lower prominent rock tors before gently descending to Big Hut once it becomes visible. Route very wind and cloud-prone. Ice axe and crampons may be necessary to traverse steep snow slopes near Leaning Lodge.]

7. 25/5/2018. Sutton Hut. Biking/Walking. Leader: Eleanor.

Tuesday 15 May.  Leader Arthur
6 keen trampers arrived at Sutton Lodge to a rather chilly welcome, even though Warden Melinda had heaters and hot water turned on.  After unpacking we enjoyed smoko, reading the O.D.T. and lunch.
Early afternoon we set off walking the long straight Kidds Road for approx. 3 km to reach the Sutton Salt Lake loop track. (The only Inland salt lake in N.Z).  Was glorious walking round in brilliant sunshine looking at spectacular Tors, Lake Reflections, views of the Rock and Pillar Range and surrounding Countryside.  Ducks lifted off the lake, however, 3 swans were happy to stay put.

Swans. (Helen pic and caption.)

The loop took about an hour, then back to the Lodge we went.  Soon after the 7th member arrived after playing a round of golf.
Was most enjoyable sitting round the open fire chatting in the lounge, soon to be followed by a delicious dinner and desert.

Wednesday 16 May. Leader Arthur
A clear morning dawned.  Today is the big hike!  Due to recovering from injury, 1 member stayed behind.  2 other members drove up and joined her for coffee and a look and walk around the Salt Lake.  6 members left the Wandle Road car park at 8.55am, which sits at approx. 330 metres.  We headed up, up and up some more on a 4 wheel drive track on our way to Leaning Lodge Hut, which sits at approx. 1220 metres, about 9 km away.
The original hut was part of a failed attempt to build a ski field on the Rock&Pillar Range by Otago Ski Club in the 1950’s.  It was bought in the 1970s by Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club, for many years it was used for Snow Craft Training.  The hut got its name from the rather alarming angles the floors were on!  The leaning Lodge Trust was formed in 2006 with intention of either bringing hut up to standard, or replacing, which they have.  The new hut was completed in 2013, sleeps 8, doesn’t have a fire or water tank.  Sadly, as of April 2017 the hut closed after discussions with D.C.C. and D.O.C.
Smoko was a welcome break with great views over Strath Taieri.  Then it was onwards and upwards along the many zig zags till we had a breather at the giant rock beside the track, knowing it wasn’t too far till the track forks to the left into the hut (no signpost). 2 of the group were happy to lunch at the hut(locked), then walk down, down, down to the cars.  They took car keys so they could leave car at the end of our track.  It was lovely walking amongst the many schist tors, rocky pillars, sub alpine shrub lands and snow tussock.  1 of the remaining 4 walked the 1/4 hour in to have a look at Leaning Lodge Hut.  Meanwhile, we were looking up to the big square rock (visible from highway 87) that was to be our lunch stop.  We arrived at 12:15pm, put on hats and gloves enjoyed lunch–very chilly breeze at this height!  before another bit of a climb to the SUMMIT ROCK at 1450 meters,

Rock and Pillar summitted!(Art pic and caption.)

which gave us an outstanding vista of surrounding Mountain Ranges.  Also, a great place for photo shots!
We had finished climbing, so now it was downhill  for us to the Big Hut, which was reached in about 15 mins.  By now fog was swirling around us.
BIg Hut Ski Lodge (locked) A spacious 70 bunk Lodge was opened in 1946 by the Otago Ski Club.  A crawler tractor and trailer hauled 30 tons of building material 3200 feet up the steep eastern face of the range.  For many years this Big Hut, as it was known provided the venue for large weekend parties of ski enthusiasts until easier access slopes on Coronet Peak became irresistible during the 1950s.  Now owned by Rock and Pillar Trust, sleeps 16 and doesn’t have heating.  Inside the hut a lot of local history can be read.
We followed snow poles down, down and down some more

Descendiing in tussock. (Art pic and caption.)

on a very narrow track for quite a long time, till in the distance the road and farm shed were spotted.  Soon after, probably about 2 km away the 2 cars were driving towards the shed, so we knew the end was near.  Finally, we arrived

At bottom of Big Hutt track. (Art pic and caption.)

at that red car and headed back to Sutton.  What a great day tramping we had!
How grateful we were to have the fire going and hot drinks ready by our left behind member.  Another very tasty dinner and desert was enjoyed, with not as much chat as the night before!

Thursday 17 May.  Leader Theresa
Another clear morning greeted us-even though Rock and Pillar Range was coated in snow.  We enjoyed free range eggs with our breakfast.  Quickly everyone got into action and tidied the Lodge ($12.50 a day).  Then we drove to the site of the Red Bridge,

Wrecked Sutton Bridge. (Art pic and caption.)

that was washed away by the 2017 July flood.  Next we drove and parked at Sheep Wash Creek and climbed Smooth Cone–the visual symmetry of this small Cone

Climbing Smooth Cone. (Art pic and caption.)

topped by a cluster of Basalt Boulder

Smooth Cone. (Helen pic and caption.)

is the same from all angles.  The large lone Radiata PIne Tree was planted on 8 November 1918, 4 days before the signing of the Armistice.  I hope I look as good when I am 100!!  Was a lovely spot to have smoko looking out over Strath Taieri.
We then went back, picked up gear and stopped not far past Sutton , climbed through fence and enjoyed lunch in the sunshine.

Taieri Pet. (Art pic and caption.)

A most enjoyable tramp was had by us all.  Maybe we could look at a combined trip sometime?

– Cheers, Eleanore.

6. 28/3/2018. Redan Crater/Taieri Ridge (Dry Ridge). M. Leader: Theresa.

On a sunny day that got hotter as the tramp progressed, 13 people enjoyed the day in the Strath Taieri.
Leave Mosgiel and go highway 87 to Middlemarch. At the northern end of the township turn right. Go east, cross the Taieri river bridge and take the first left on Hartfield road. Continue up the road, pass the Renwick (the land owner) homestead on the left then park up at the first gate on your right. Cross paddocks…

and they are off…to the Crater (on the horizon). (Phil pic and caption.)

…and continue to the top on a 4WD track. At the top while we had lunch there were views to the East of the Waikouaiti hills and the Nenthorn and Moonlight valleys. South we could see Saddle Hill – well half of it.

Still on  the top, follow the track for about 20 mins then head NW down towards the crater. This is a very obvious crater rim.

Nearly there… (Phil pic and caption.)

To view it from the  highway on the Rock & Pillar side looking towards the Taieri Ridge you should be able to pick it out. Lots of rock outcrops can also be seen but the crater rim is a stand-out example of the volcanic action in the area.

After a safe walk inside the crater…

– Redan Crater…and bubbling pool?,(Phil pic and caption.)

… it was down and back to the cars. There was a gully to negotiate…

Following sheep and goat tracks will get us there! (Phil pic and caption.)

…before we rejoined the track we took on the way up.

Coffee at the Kissing Gate in the outside seating was the usual debrief…

Enjoying the KissMeKate cafe. (Phil pic and caption.)

…with lots of laughs and good company. – Theresa.

5. 27/4/2016. Taieri Ridge, Redan Crater. M. Leader: Arthur H.

The day dawned fine and sunny. Even better, it was a Wednesday –  and the day for our tramp up onto Taieri Ridge. Perfect.

12 Trampers left Mosgiel at 9.05 a.m. in 3 cars. A brief pit-stop was made at Middlemarch and to reassemble the convoy. We parked on the roadside at 10.10 a.m. and sat in the sunshine to partake of morning tea.

The Start. (Helen pic and caption)

It is some 6 km to the top of Taieri Ridge, uphill all the way.

Across several paddocks above the road and then up a 4WD track through the rocks and tussock.

Back to Rock and Pillar Range (Helen pic and caption)

The grade is a little variable, but good all the way. Beautiful country to walk through.

We stopped for lunch on top, just after noon.

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption)

We had good views in the direction of Nenthorn, and both Saddle Hill and Maungatua were visible away in the distance to the right. To the left the valley pointed the way to Moonlight and Macraes. Neither could be seen however.

We had just resumed our walk along the top when a tiny orange piglet shot across in front of us. He was obviously in a hurry as he didn’t stop to say hello. From lunch-stop we had a 20 minute walk before turning downhill to the Redan Crater. We sidled round the highest remaining piece of the ridge and gazed down into the crater where a few sheep grazed.

Rim View. (Helen pic and caption.)

It is a few hundred metres in diameter – I forgot to take my tape measure so can’t be more specific. Sorry.

The Redan Crater is about 20 million years old, the result of volcanic action. There are other volcanic sites in the area, but this one is the best example of a volcanic crater in Otago.

We walked through the center …

Helen and Theresa walking inside the crater. (Margreet pic and caption)

… and out the other side, and down the ridge. Following the sheep tracks showed us the way to cross two deep gullies. Across a fence and then uphill briefly, when the day became noticeable hotter.

Soon we were back to the 4WD track and followed it back down. We arrived back at the cars at 2.55 p.m., having travelled 14.6 km.

The coffeeholics were in dire need of a “fix”, so a stop was made at Middlemarch to alleviate the problem. Showing normal good social manners, the rest of us accompanied them.

Coffee to end day. (Helen pic and caption)

And so 12 happy trampers returned to Mosgiel. It had been a good day! – Arthur.

 30-31/3/2016. Trampers. Leaning Lodge.

We had 6 trampers keen to do the overnight trip to Leaning Lodge on the Rock & Pillar range. This made the travel arrangements, & the journey up
the hill to the hut quite easy. We had the loan of Ian Heb’s trailer, & Neil’s 4WD Ford ute, with his quad bike on the back.
This allowed everybody to travel to the start of the track in comfort, then we hooked the trailer onto the back of the quad bike, loaded all the packs & other gear onto it, & the back of the ute, put 4 people in or on the ute, & I drove the quad bike with Ian hanging on for grim death sitting on the rear platform. We had morning tea at this point, & then began the drive up the hill.

1 Ready to set off up to hut (Ken pic and caption)

Ready to set off up to hut (Ken pic and caption)

it’s about a 7km climb up the hill to the parking place by the hut, & takes quite a while due to the roughness of the track, but we all made it safely without mishap. it was then a case of ferrying all the gear down to the hut, & getting things set up in there, after which we had lunch while discussing what to do for the rest of the day, as the weather was really good.
it was decided that we would walk along to Big Hut via the highest point on the range, to take advantage of the views available from such a high point. [1457mtrs]. We walked up the road to the tops, where we discovered that there was a 4WD track leading all the way along the tops, & this went very close to the high point. There are the remains of a trig station [Trig H] on the very top which is easy to access. After spending some time here looking & taking photos, …

View from Summit Trig (Ken pic and caption)

… we carried on towards Big Hut, & were surprised to see a DOC sign pointing the way to the hut. From this sign it’s only a short distance down to the hut, …

Approaching Big Hut from above (Ken pic and caption)

 … where we had a rest, while everybody examined the info on the walls inside, & marvelled over the solar heating system on the North facing side of the hut.

We then retraced our steps back to Leaning Lodge, …

Bit of humour (Ken pic and caption)

… & got things organised for the evening meal, which basically meant boiling plenty of water for the freeze dried food everybody had, & then boiling even more water for tea/coffee afterwards, plus some more for doing a few dishes.
Neil rigged up his lighting system [a 12v battery plus lead, & bulb with
a shade] so we had a good amount of light when it got dark. We made use
of this by reading some of the magazines left in the hut, & Ian gave us
a run down on how to map read. We were all in bed by about 9:45, & were
serenaded with snoring by one member who will remain nameless!!! After a
cool night, which saw the fog surround the hut, we woke to a clear
morning, with the fog having descended down to cover the valley floor,

Middlemarch is under there somewhere (Ken pic and caption)

& the sun starting to light up our side of the valley.
Breakfast was taken at a leisurely pace while we discussed what the day’s
plans were, packed everything up, & carried it back up to the vehicles.
As we had gone to Big Hut the day before, we decided to drive to the ‘tops’ road, & walk along in the opposite direction to view some more of the amazing rock [tors] formations that exist up there. We stopped for morning tea at a suitable tor that gave us shelter from the slight cool breeze that was blowing, & then walked a few kilometers further, before turning & going back to our morning tea spot for lunch.

Arthur taking notes, with our route home in background (Ken pic and caption)

Then it was back to the vehicles, & after securing everything, we set off back down to the car park at the bottom of the track, where the quad bike was loaded onto the back of the ute again, the trailer hooked up to the ute, &packs etc. loaded into the car ready for the drive home.
Of course we had to keep up the coffee club tradition, so a stop at the
Kissing Gate Cafe was in order before the drive back to Mosgiel.
We all had a great time, the weather was superb, & the company great, the hut is nice & comfortable, with double glazing, & insulation, so a successful trip.

Walked [over two days] 20km
Ave 4.5km/h
climbed 521mtrs
max elev. 1457mtrs – Ken.

18/2/2015. Leaning Lodge. Trampers.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Leaning Lodge. (Ken pic and caption)

With an 8:30 start, eight trampers turned up for our assault on Leaning Lodge. We drove to Middlemarch, & then along Highway 87 towards where the Rail Trail crosses it. As there is no signposting for the track up to Leaning Lodge we had to keep a sharp eye out for the turn off.
After parking in the large carpark paddock, we loaded up the packs & set off up the track, which is a not too steep, zig zag 4WD track, that goes all the way up to the hut & beyond. It is a relentless climb of 9km with hardly any level spots to stop & rest, so we found a place to have morning tea, & then continued climbing.

About 2kms from the hut some of the party decided they would stop for lunch, [we didn’t know then that it was another 2k to go] but 3 of us went on determined to get to the hut for lunch.

Leaning Lodge. (Ken pic and caption)

The hut comes into view about 1km before you actually get to it, so it’s like a beacon drawing you on for the last bit of the climb. Then you have to go DOWN some quite steep steps to get to it, & after spending the best part of 3 hrs climbing, going down steep steps seems really foreign to the body.
However, the 3 of us made it safely, & had lunch in the hut.


Lunch inside Leaning Lodge (Ken pic and caption)

Leaning Lodge with track leading to it (Ken pic and caption)

Zoomed in shot of the Lodge (Ken pic and caption)

As you may know, this hut is only one year old, [to replace the old Leaning Lodge on the same site] so it’s in very good, clean condition. It has a wonderful view…

View from hut (Ken pic and caption)

…down into the highway 87 valley, will sleep 12 people, has a long drop loo, no water supply, but two sinks in a stainless steel bench, with drains to an outside sinkhole.
As it was the day before my birthday, I carried a bottle of wine wrapped in newspaper to keep it cold, to share with the others at lunchtime, but with only the three of us, & one person declining to partake, the level in the bottle didn’t drop very far, so I was resigned to having to take it all the way back down again!!
George also kindly arrived at the carpark early to present us with some cake & chocolates to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary.
While we were having lunch, we saw two others walking along the 4WD track towards the hut, but they then turned around & went back again. We later learned that they had just come up to see the hut after their lunch, but decided to not go all the way to it.
After lunch we climbed the steps back up to the 4WD track & proceeded to walk back down the mountain., where we came upon two of our group resting in the shade of a big rock cluster. it was here that we learnt of one group member who had taken the wrong turn, & was last seen heading up the 4WD track to the mountain tops, which was away above the hut site. To make matters worse this person [who shall remain nameless] left their pack behind, which contained their water supply, & a cell phone, so when I rang the number, it didn’t get answered. By this time everybody had climbed high enough to at least view the hut, without actually going to it, so we just had to wait around for the errant tramper to return, which happily happened after about 1/2 an hour wait.
We then started the long walk down to the cars. This was rather hot going, as by this time of day the temperature was quite high, my wrist watch temperature gauge said 34°C at one stage, but from past experience, as I’m wearing it, it reads about 7°C too high, but even so, it was very hot work, & quite a few ran out of water before we got back down, so they were thankful for a stream near the bottom of the track. We were glad of the early start, which allowed us to climb in the cooler morning conditions.
We picked up the last member of our group, found lying in the shade near the cars, packed up, & drove back to Middlemarch hoping that the coffee shop would still be open, but as it was well after 4pm this was not to be, so we carried on home, arriving at the Mosgiel carpark about 5:30pm.
We all agreed that the trip was worthwhile, & the weather was superb all day, with just a very gentle breeze at times. – Ken.

23/10/2013. Trampers. Rock and Pillar – Big Hut.


GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Distance 10.5 km; Moving time 3 hr 45 mins; Stopped time 1 hr 37 mins; Ave 2.8 km/h; Climbed 973 mtrs; Max Elevation 1337 mtrs.

As this was a new tramp for most, we left early to make sure we had plenty of time. We arrived at the start of the track to find a really nice looking day, so as the signs at the bottom say, we “set off slowly, & then eased up” as the grade got steeper. You have to realise that this is a 3000ft [970mtr] climb, so haste was never on the cards, especially for us 4 old farts that made the trip. We had a couple of stops on the way up to enjoy the views,



Snow-cave near the top with a stream running through it (Ken pic and caption)

but we could also see some clouds that looked a bit threatening, so we pushed on up to Big Hut at almost the top of the range.

Ian approaching Big Hut. (Ken pic and caption)

Ian approaching Big Hut. (Ken pic and caption)

After a good look around, we had lunch,…

Lunch in Big Hut. (Keith pic)

Lunch in Big Hut. (Keith pic)

… & because we could see the occasional wisp of cloud going past the windows, we didn’t dally too long before heading back down the mountain. The air temperature had dropped markedly since our arrival, so we made fast progress down to warmer conditions. We stopped 3 – 4 times on the way down to give our screaming thighs some respite from the continual down hill pounding. One stop in particular was very enjoyable, as both the temperature, & the views, along with the comfort of the tall tussock were hard to leave. We arrived back at the car, & it was a bit of a struggle for some to fold themselves into the seats, due to stiffness setting in. A stop at the ‘Kissing Gate’ cafe for a well deserved coffee was appreciated by all, & we all said it had been a good tramp. We arrived home at about 4 pm, so it wasn’t as long a day as we thought it might have been before we set out. It took us 2 3/4 hrs to go up, which was within the recommended times of 2 – 3 hrs. So we felt really good about that. – Ken.

4a. 9/11/2008 Sutton Camp. Leaders: Bill and Pat. (See Sutton camp post)
The Youth Adventure Trust/Rotary camp, based on the former School House, Hall and Cottage complex at Sutton was ideal and 19 of us enjoyed a very pleasant weekend stay, due in no small part to the organising and ‘recceing’ of Bill and Pat. – Thank you! The highlight was the tramp up to the Redan Crater.

Crater on Taieri Ridge.

Crater viewed from side. (Bill pic).

with 18 of us reaching the highest point of the tramp and 13 of us making it on back down to the Crater.

Group pic on Redan Crater NE rim. Ria, Joyce, Evelyn, Leonie, Ian, Doug, George, Bill, Molly, Graham, Bev, Lesley, Bob. (Bill pic)

There were many rock formations to wonder at on the way.

Rock seal? (Bill pic)

Monster Owl Rock. (Elaine pic)

Another Rock (Bill pic).

And yet another. (Bill pic).

Another one still?

Surely this is the last. Is that an eye, a face? (Bill pic).

Maybe this is the last, then. (Bill pic).

Goats climbing Crater slope.

A magnificent achievement, if a bit long and tiring for some. The day was beautifully sunny with an early morning tempering wind preventing us for overheating. The more adventurous headed back by going over and down from the crater with the rest retracing the more prudent longer but gully-free track back.

Sunset at Sutton. (Bill pic and caption.)

4b. 9/11/2008. Rock and Pillar via spur south of Lug Creek – attempt! Leaders: Ian, Leonie.
The Sunday proved more problematic with an overcast sky, but nine of us attempted the three-hour 4WD track which turned off the highway 9.5km north of Middlemarch (RAPID 7291 – no DoC sign) and led up the ridge leading to Leaning Lodge. But we had made it only a little way up before we experienced the WIND. We snatched as much shelter as we could find for an early morning tea…

Windy tea break. Bev, George, Ria. (Ian pic and caption.)

… but had climbed only a little bit further before several of us wanted to turn back, with the remainder following suit only a little later when they could no longer keep their feet as the northerly only increased in strength. Prudence triumphed over ambition. But we vowed we would return some time in the future as the gentle gradient of the zig-zag route was a gift of a climb.
4c. Sutton Salt Lake.
The other trip was to the Sutton Salt Lake, within a comfortable walking distance from the camp. And it was as wonderful as it ever was.

Sutton Salt Lake view point. Bill H, Lesley S, Pat. (Elaine pic).

Lake. Graham, Leonie. (Ian pic and caption.)

Group photo, Sutton. (Elaine pic).

Enjoyment of the weekend was so high that there was discussion of options for another camp some time in the autumn. – Ian Camp Contact:  03-464 3473


3. 28/5/2003.Crater and Lake day trips:  Leaders: Bob, Arthur H, Val and Denise


Morning Tea out of the strong wind.

Long steady climb. Graham. (Ian pic and caption.)

Down Into Crater. Doug recognisable. (Ian pic and caption.)

Crater heart. Arthur, Lex recognisable. (Ian pic and caption.)

Salt Lake entrance. (Ian pic and caption.)

Close-up of lake. (Ian pic and caption.)

2. 14/11/1990 Leaders: Bob H, Betty B.

1. 23/11/1988 Bus Trip. The Redan, an extinct volcanic crater on Mr R Renwick’s property, Middlemarch. Leaders: Bob & Audrey, Jack M

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Mar 28 2018

Balclutha River Walk

Published by under Uncategorized

69 km from car park.

28/3/2018. Hikers. Balclutha River Walk. E. Leaders: Bev and Lesley.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

Luckily the day was bright and sunny as we were going a bit further afield for our hike today, to Balclutha. There were 17 met at Naish Park in Balclutha  and as it was 10am we sat in the sun and enjoyed a leisurely morning tea before setting out on the walk.

Morning tea at the park. (Clive pic and caption.)

Naish Park is a lovely area with beautiful trees, garden, aviary and childrens play ground.

Naish Park. (clive pic and caption.)

It was originally a market garden and orchard, donated to the people of Balclutha by the Naish Family.

The walk is called the Blair Atholl walkway and goes along the stop banks beside  the Clutha river.

Along the flood bank beside the Clutha River. (Clve pic and caption.)

We went to the end of it…

The terminus tree that the leaders made us all  circumnavigate before returning. (Kevin pic.)

… and up a side track by a rhododendron dell that must be a great site in the right season. We had a our lunch here. Once again taking out time and enjoying the sun. Then back the way we had come till the track divided and we went along a loop that was closer to the river. Unfortunately where you had to cross an inlet the water was higher than expected. However, some elected to wade across…

Back to the park (some through the ‘ford’). (Clive pic and caption.)

…while the rest of us retraced our steps and followed the path we had started on. We then adjourned to the Heart & Soul café for the after walk social get together. – Bev.

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Mar 20 2018

Ross Creek and environs

No. 94 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Ross Creek – McGlashan College Year Round”

28. 20/3/2019. Hikers. Ross Creek. Waterfall. Leaders: Pam and Jill.

Last Wednesday 27 eager hikers left Mosgiel to go to the Woodhaugh Gardens in Dunedin. All day there was low cloud but temperature wise quite warm.

C.1) Woodhaugh Gardensc

Woodhaugh Gardens. (Clive pic and caption.)

We had morning tea in the gardens before walking up the nearby Bullock track to Maori Hill. The 3 Ramblers set their own pace and followed us up.

C,2) The Bullock Trackc

The Bullock Track. (Clive pic and caption.)

From the top of the track we meandered through the northern part of the Town Belt and through some of the city rise student accomodation areas. It was rubbish collection day and as usual student pranks were evident with bins having been tipped over or the glass bin contents broken. Quite messy sights to behold.

C.3) Up the Khyber Passc

Up the Khyber Pass. (Clive pic and caption.)

Above the Town belt we ventured into the residential area of Maori Hill to the playing fields of John Mcglashan  College for our lunch break.
An early lunch and off into the bush and the Ross creek trails. Parts of the track had been washed out so care was needed especially around the waterfall area. The waterfall was spilling beautifully down the rock wall in a horsetail formation.

C.4) Spectacular waterfallc

Spectacular waterfall. (Clive pic and caption.)

The tracks overall were in good condition easy to navigate. The Ross Creek reservoir is the oldest artificial lake in N Z and the oldest water supply reservoir still in use today .Created in 1860 to provide water for the cit. Length 350 m
Width 80m
Depth 30 m
Volume 162000
The Valve Tower is a N Z historic places trust catergory 1 feature.
Throughout our walk there was plenty of birdsong which was so refreshing.
The last leg of our walk was past the newly reinforced reservoir and down to the Woodhaugh area again.

C.5) Ross Creek Reservoir and Dam after the repairc

Ross Creek Reservoir and Dam after the repair. (Clive pic and caption.)

Total of 10 kms through beautiful areas within the city bounds how lucky we are to have these easily accessible areas so close to home.
Back over the hill for the coffee fix at Blend in Mosgiel.
Jill and Pam

27. 7/11/208. Both. Hikers: Craigieburn and McGoun. Trampers: Craigieburn, Davies and Pineapple. Leaders: Pam, Dawn and Art.

Hikers’ route map, courtesy Ian.

The 44 setting out from Rockside Road. (Ian pic and caption.)

Trampers’ Report: The Hike leaders for the combined club day suggested that the Trampers could extend their walk, which we did.

Morning tea at the Byre. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Leaving the Hikers after the morning tea stop at Craigieburn, 12 Trampers look the shortest route to McGouns Road and on to find the bottom of Davies Track.

It was rather warm and humid as we climbed up through the second-growth bush, on the lower part of the track. The juice flowed very freely!

However, on reaching the older native bush the temperature dropped considerably, allowing all to enjoy this part of the track.

Trampers heading up Davies track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Above the bush line we emerged into the flax and tussock – the pigs had been busy up here. Davies Track is well maintained, other than the topmost part in the tussock where small gorse bushes will need to be dealt with at some time.

Trampers’ view from Pineapple track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

It had been an enjoyable (?) climb, but all were very glad to reach the top and emerge onto the Pineapple Track. Five minutes took us down to the junction with the track to Swampy Ridge, where we had our lunch.

Trampers’ lunch break on Pineapple track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

By the time the lunch half hour was over the wind was picking up, and the sky darkening. But it was downhill all the way now on the Pineapple Track and we made good time.

Hikers’ lunch in the shade at head of Booth Road after short-cutting from McGouns through the lower part of the original Pineapple to the water tank. (Ian pic and caption.)

After a while it came on to rain lightly, …

Trampers on way home in forest in the rain. (Gordon pic and caption.)

… but had stopped by the time we reached the bottom of the track.

A group of hikers was seen just in front, but they didn’t wait, disappearing down Tanner Road somewhere.

The Trampers returned to their cars via Craigieburn and the bush tracks to record a useful day’s work of about 10 km. – Art.

26. 24/10/2018. Hikers.Ross Creek Trails. E. Leaders: Clive and Doug.

26 Hikers set off from Malvern Street bridge along the Upper Leith walk. Many had done this walk before and were not sure what to expect.

Down the staircase in the bush. (Clive pic and caption.)

Firstly we had to cross School Creek as the track to the dam face was closed. Jumping across the stepping stones was tricky but no one took a spill. That was exhausting so we settled down for morning tea on the other side. We then continued up the stream to Burma Road. Lots of vehicles parked here for repairs to the dam.   Arriving at the side of the dam we could see the water level was very low. (It had been hoped to refill the dam by the end of October.)

The reservoir was very low. (Clive pic and caption.)

We continued up Burma Road to Wakari Road and then right to the junction of Tanner Road where we entered the track system again. It was a hot day reportedly 25 degrees, but under the canopy of trees and bush it was very pleasant. We looked at old stone remnants of building past and scaled the heights to the old byre.

A rest at the old byre. (Clive pic and caption.)

Bit of a rest here after that climb saw some breaking out the sandwiches, but a bit early for lunch. Downhill to the other side of the dam in time to sit down for lunch, if you could find a comfortable spot!

Lunch beside the dam. (Clive pic and caption.)

After lunch we made a loop of the dam, as the face was closed, arriving at a point on Burma Road we had been at earlier. Some opted for the down hill section back to the stream crossing. Those with a bit left in the tank headed uphill to Cannington Road before dropping down a steep slope to the creek. Total distance 9.1k.

All arrived back at the cars safely and then it was off to Croc-o-dile cafe in the Botanical Garden for afternoon tea. – Clive & Doug

25. 25/10/2017. Hikers. Ross Creek, Craigieburn, Cycle tracks, McGouns, Ross Creek. M. Leaders: Dawn and Pam.

Route map courtesy Ian. It stopped recording 1.5 km before finish! (Ian pic and caption.)

(Clive pic.)

Morning tea. (Clive pic.)

Steep descent. (Clive pic.)

Did they really order that much?. (Clive pic.)

24. 24/4/2016. Hikers. Ross Creek, McGouns, Tanner Lookout, Craigieburn. M. Leaders: Dawn and Pam.
GPS of route. Failed to complete it at time; hence straight line indicating car travel to Plaza Cafe. We did just on 7 km, despite the '6' not showing. (Hidden by the "1"?) Distracted by Spittles' wonderful disbursement of blackboy peaches.

GPS of route. Failed to complete it at time; hence straight line indicating car travel to Plaza Cafe. We did just on 7 km, despite the ‘6’ not showing. (Hidden by the “1”?) Distracted by Spittles’ wonderful disbursement of blackboy peaches.

Panorama of some of the 26 hikers lunching.

Panorama of some of the 26 hikers lunching.

23. 20/1/2016. Hikers. Woodhaugh Gardens, Ross Creek reservoir, Craigieburn, Tanner Lookout. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.
GPS route map of Ross Creek tramp courtesy Bruce.

GPS route map of Ross Creek tramp courtesy Bruce. Distance covered 10.6 km, moving time 2 hours 55 minutes, moving average 3.6 km/hour, stopped time 1 hour 44 minutes, overall average 2.3 km/hour, and total ascent 221 m.

Twenty-two hikers departed at 9.30 am from the Gardens’ Carpark opposite Mecure/Leisure Lodge on a sunny calm day, in contrast to the previous drizzly afternoon. We turned to the left in the Gardens and followed the north perimeter with the themed borders to the main gate, crossed at the traffic lights to the north side of Bank Street and walked around to the Woodhaugh Gardens, past the mural of the Otago University Clocktower building with a portrait of the architect Maxwell Bury (1825–1912), painted under the Pine Hill Road bridge.

Clock tower mural under bridge. (Bruce pic and caption)

Clock tower mural under bridge. (Bruce pic and caption)

We kept to the left in the Woodhaugh Gardens circumnavigating the duck pond by proceeding along a bush track and stopped at 10. 00 am for morning tea near the paddling pool.

Morning tea at Woodhaugh (Bruce pic and caption)

Morning tea at Woodhaugh (Bruce pic and caption)

Morning tea at Woodhaugh. (Bruce pic and caption)

Morning tea at Woodhaugh. (Bruce pic and caption)

We then followed the path near the right bank of the Leith to Malvern Street, crossing at the bridge and turning left opposite the building that was originally the Woodhaugh Hotel into Woodhaugh Street. We followed the track on the left on the left bank of the Leith Stream and passed an excavator at work clearing the boulder trap built in 1963. We ambled along the track up the valley past the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s property before crossing the foot bridge and continuing to the site of the disused Woodhaugh Quarry and the explosives store. Our path continued up the valley and along the true right side of the Ross Creek reservoir (facing down the valley) after which we crossed the bridge over Ross Creek and after proceeding about 300 m down the true left side of the reservoir took the track uphill on the left. Where this branched after another 100 m or so we turned to a relatively new and level track to the left which later passed close to some rimu trees before swinging right and coming out on the grassed area below the Craigieburn cow byre. After passing the byre and the left hand end of the stone wall further ahead we stopped at Tanner View at 11.40 am for lunch. After lunch we turned to the right on the track and then, at a sign, to the left passed the cobbled road to the little ruin.

Little ruin at Craigieburn. (Bruce pic and caption)

Little ruin at Craigieburn. (Bruce pic and caption)

From the ruin we took the track to the rimu forest eventually emerging at the bridge at the top of the Ross Creek reservoir that we had crossed earlier. We made our way down the left hand side of the reservoir and then followed our earlier route back to the gardens,

Group photo Woodhaugh Gardens. (Bruce pic and caption)

Group photo Woodhaugh Gardens. (Bruce pic and caption)

reaching Crocodile at 2.10 pm where many stopped for refreshments.

– Bruce and Marjorie

22. 25/3/2015. Hikers. Ross Creek and McGouns Track. Leaders: Pam and Dawn.
GPS of Hikers' route

GPS of Hikers’ route

The hike was planned well. First, we parked our cars at the beginning of Malvern Street. Pam and Dawn  then led us into the Upper Leith Walkway
Upper Leith Walkway (John pic)

Upper Leith Walkway recent sign. (John pic)

that runs alongside Woodhaugh Street till we came to and crossed the large footbridge onto the other side of the Leith and through the old quarry that lies under the cliffs that bound the north end of Maori Hill, where Braeview Crescent runs along their top. The path then twisted us up into Ross Creek, with cliffs now on our right marking the boundary of Rockside Road houses above. On and up until very steeply up to crest the big earth dam (that is scheduled to be reinforced some time) of Ross Creek Reservoir.
Plaque. Ross Creek Water Works. (Jphn pic)

Plaque. Ross Creek Water Works. (John pic)

Meantime the water level is kept remarkably low to relieve stress on the dam wall. Morning tea was up at the second part of the reservoir, which we found to be surprisingly set up for water polo, but absent any players.
Morning tea. (John pic.)

Taken by the morning tea stop. Unusual dewatered view of reservoir. (John pic.)

Then on up through the bush tracks. We passed through the Craigieburn area…
The Little Ruin. (John pic)

The Little Ruin. (John pic)

…to emerge at the intersection below Booth Road. This was an important regrouping point before Pam led us on through a gate…
A new McGouns Track sign. (John pic)

A new McGouns Track sign at entrance to McGouns Road. (John pic)

into McGouns Road leading to the start of the McGouns track. This took us across to the Pineapple Track and back down to Booth Road.
Back into the top of Ross Creek bush, but this time up to…
Tanners View sign. (John pic)

Tanners View sign. (John pic)

… the old cow byre …
Tanners View (John pic)

Old Cow Byre (John pic)

Lunch (John pic)

Lunch on old cow byre site. (John pic)

…for lunch.

After lunch it was simply back out and down through the Ross Creek environs to the cars.

Thanks to Pam and Dawn for a well planned hike. – Ian.
21. 12/6/2013. Hikers. Ross Creek and surrounds. Leaders: Lex and Fred.

Route. 9.65km

We parked our cars at the north end of Burma Road. Lex led us through the bush to exit up on Tannock Road. Along a bit and down Leighton Road to  morning tea in the grassy reserve at the road’s end.
Then back along Tannock Road, (just past 1km on map) down through the bush and along the reservoir to the dam at its end. It was a shock to see how much the water had been lowered.
Low water

Low water in Ross Creek Reservoir.

Of course, because of the cracks that have been detected in the earth dam.

Looking down

Looking down the dam face to cleared bush below.

We crossed the dam, turned left and down to walk past the cleared bush site …

Looking up

Looking back up the face of the dam.

and on down to reach the junction of Rockside Road at its bottom and Malvern street. (2km mark on map)

Then it was to walk leisurely up Malvern Street, stopping for Lex to point out various interests on the way. What surprised ss was a string of tall posts diagonally across the Leith above the first set of houses we passed. We thought it might be to trap flood debris.

Just further up Lex pointed out a weir, immediately below which he used to swim in when a small boy. Ian and Lex talked about the Clark family house that used to be across the locked pedestrian bridge overlooking the weir.

Then it was yet further up to the old Jacksons’ beautiful stone house when Ian recalled, (as a boy in company with others) stealing  cream out of a jar left to cool in the clear cooling water of a ditch, replacing what was removed with water. Just a bit further up, at the foot of Fulton Rd was the house of the late artist Eana B Jeans with only the gate of Ian’s old home showing a sort distance up Fulton Road. On up, to turn from Malvern Street up to the left onto Islay Street, (Beyond 4km mark on map) upon which, in a sunny spot, we stopped for lunch, just above the road connecting across to Fulton Road. Ian and Lex recalled calling the three roads the steepy (Fulton), the toppy (Islay) and the greeny (the connecting less-used road, now (surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly) closed.


Lunch on a bank in the sun on Islay Street.

At the top, opposite Lex’s childhood house we went over to the former plantation road (nr 5km mark on map) that led to the start of the McGoun Track and stopped to view the stone cairn 1996 Tannock memorial. Further on and up until we reached the top of the (comparatively) recent set of mountain bike tracks (2/3 of way to the 6km mark). These we took, zig-zagging down to reach the large car-park at the end of Wakari Road. (7m mark) It was here that one or two of our party of 17 elected to take a short cut down to the cars while Lex took the rest of us along Wakari Road, past the end of Polewarth Road to turn down Joshua Place (a bit before the 8km mark) and from the along to a track that led us back to Polewarth Road. This we turned down heading for Burma Road at its other end, until called back by some at the rear who had noticed a dog worrying a flock of sheep in a paddock. We cell-phoned the DCC to inform them of such, along with the dog’s registered number. – Good deed for the day. Then on down Polewarth Rd to join the Burma Rd (abt 9km mark) and along it back to the cars. Thanks to Lex and Fred for yet a further novel changed route – and the chocs! – Ian.

20. 24/10/2012. Hikers, Ross Creek. Leaders: Lance and Lois.

19. 30/5/2012. Hikers. Wakari Road. Cycle Tracks etc. Ross Creek. Leaders: Lex, Jill.

18. 25/5/2011. Hikers. Ross Creek area. E. Leaders: Lex, Molly
17. 21/7/2010. Hikers. Ross Creek area. New track. E. Leaders: Lex, Graham
16. 26/3/2008. Hikers. Ross Creek. Easy. Leaders: Lex, Jean.
In Ross Creek

In Ross Creek

As we’ve come to expect, Wed. was fine and 15 happy hikers parked by the Meter House, near the corner of Wakari & Burma Rds, ready to set off on the Ross Creek area and tracks.

Lex was our leader, and as he lived in that region from childhood he is very knowledgeable about the territory, which makes a popular walk even more interesting. We did various tracks through the lovely bush, stopping every now and then for Lex to tell us about some trees that had been planted and trialled, or other things of interest about that part. It was lovely to hear so many birds whistling and singing cheerily all round us. So often these days one is very disappointed at the lack of birdsong in a region where once you would have heard them. We arrived at Prospect Park

Lunch at Prospect Park

Lunch at Prospect Park

View from the Bullock Track

View from the Bullock Track

via bush and road and relaxed and soaked up the sun while enjoying our lunch. Then it was off down the Bullock Track to the lovely little trail along the Leith Stream through the old Woodhaugh Quarry area. From there it was back up one of the bush tracks to the cars. A lovely pleasant day out, as usual. – Bev Harvey

15. 26/3/2008 Leaders: Lex, Jean A

14. 14/11/2007 Trampers. Woodhaugh, Ross Creek, Davies, Flagstaff Track, Pineapple, Ross Creek return.

13. 21/2/2007. Hikers. Ross Creek, McGouns Track. Easy. Leaders: Lex, Dot B.
12. 14/7/2006. Ross Creek Reserve – Woodhaugh. Leaders: Doreen, Rosemary and Jack.
11. 28/9/2005. Hikers. Ross Creek. Leaders: Betty B, Nelson T
10. 13/10/2004 Ross Creek, Burma Road. Leaders: Lex, Doug M, Margaret D

Tree canopy

9. 2/10/2002. Combined. Ross Creek, Burma Road. Easy. Leaders: Lex, Doug M, Evelyn C.

8. 1/10/2001. Alt. Ross Creek – Cannington Road. Leaders: Joan H, Jean, Peggy M.
7. 18/4/2001. Ross Creek. Leaders: Bev and Ivan, Peggy M.
6. 24/11/1999. Ross Creek area. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Jean.
5. 8/9/1999. Rose Creek Reserve. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Jean.
4. 29/7/1998. Ross Creek, John McGlashan. Leaders: Ivan and Rosemary.
3. 19/11/1997. Ross Creek, School Creek from McGlashan College. Leaders: Bev and Ivan.
2. 7/8/1991. Ross Creek area from John McGlashan College. Easy. Leaders: Nel, Margaret B, Ivan, Margaret D.
1. 13/6/1990. Ross Creek and School Creek from John McGlashan College. Easy. Leaders: Margaret S, Joan, Jean and Jack.

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Mar 07 2018

Clarksbrae, Clarks Junction

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35 km

2. 7 Mar 2918. Both. Clarksbrae, Clarks Junction. Leaders: Jay and Jan.

Route Map, courtesy Ian. Station House to Deep Stream.

On Wednesday 7th March 40 trampers and hikers completed a walk on “Clarksbrae” farm, Clarks Junction.  After a 30 minute car ride we arrived on a lovely summer’s day at “Clarksbrae” Farm and parked close to the woolshed. I must say the tidiest and cleanest woolshed I have ever seen.

From there we had to take 6 cars to the end of the walk to shuttle people on completion of the walk.

It was 10.30 when we started

Some cars were hidden in a valley about 10k from Clarksbrae and we set out to find them. We set out across well tended farmland … (Clive pic and caption.)

and the walk was on  a designated stock laneway. It was a steady but gentle climb through beautiful farmland

… and live stock. (Clive pic and caption.)

and wonderful views of the Maungatua, The Lammermoor Range, the Rock and Pillar Range through to Middlemarch. At the end of the laneway we turned left and walked up to the trig station where we had our lunch at 12.30.

With a late start we missed morning tea but made the most of lunch at the trig point. (Clive pic and caption.)

After lunch we followed a track that in place​s was marked out with painted arrows and warratahs with plastic bags on ​put in place by the farmer so as we knew which direction to take to get back to the cars. This part of the walk was generally down hill.

Downhill to search for the cars. (Clive pic and caption.)

Hurray, we found them. (Clive pic and caption.)

Many of our walkers filled plastic bags with beautiful fresh mushrooms.

The distance travelled was 11.5ks. Coffee was at the ” Wobbly Goat” in Outram. – Jay and Jan B

30 August, 2017. Hikers. Clarksbrae, Clarks Junction. Leaders: Jay and Jan.

Tramp Report from the hikers group.  Our walk today comprising of 21 enthusiastic  folk started at “Clarksbrae” Farm, Clarks Junction. Farm owner, Richard Nichol gave permission to us to walk along the stock lane way which was very comfortable under foot.   The walk was a gentle climb with three steep short gullies to get the heart rate up a bit. Very doable for all concerned.  The scenery encompassed The Maungatua, the Lammermoors, the Rock and Pillar Range and the Kakanui Range.  We had lunch at the trig station which gave us 360 degrees views. The walk back was all down hill. All up we walked 10.3ks.  – Jay and Jan.

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Feb 21 2018

A cancelled tramping day

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Thirteen turned out for coffee. (Judy K pic and caption.)

Thirteen turned out for coffee. (Judy pic and caption.)

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Feb 19 2018

Protected: Committee Minutes 19 February 2018

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