Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Jul 12 2018

Upcoming Trips

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Winter Start Time: 9.30 a.m.

18 July.
Trampers: Sandymount circuit. M. $6.00. Phil.
Hikers: Allan’s Beach. Low tide 1.20 p.m. M. $6.00. Bruce and Marjorie.

25 July.
Trampers: Bullring loop. M-H. $3.00. Helen.Machine Creek* M-H. $7.00. Government Track. $7.00. Sue
Hikers: Townbelt ramble/bus ride. E-M. $4.00. Dawn.

1 August.
Both: Bus Trip. Moeraki. E-M. Adrienne and Bev. Continue Reading »

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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

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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 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 14 2018

Aspiring Hut

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14/2/2018. Report on Mt Aspiring Hut Trip 12-15th February

Eight keen trampers  signed up for this trip. Wendy and I tramped in to Aspiring Hut early on Monday 12th February to secure bedding in one room for all of us.  Jill, Clare, Janine, Keith, Helen and  Phil arrived late in the afternoon after battling a head on Northwest wind and driving rain. This walk was 9km and approx. 2.5 hours. Aspiring Hut is owned by the NZ alpine club and operated by DOC. It was built in 1949 and its exterior is covered in river schist stones. It  is about to undergo a refurbishment which includes earthquake strengthening and interior lining. There are 39 bunks altogether in two bunk rooms. Gas cookers are supplied during the summer season. We all soon settled and prepared our meals.

The next morning it was partly cloudy. The scenery from the hut was superb without going anywhere!

Group. (Helen pic and caption.)

We decided to go up the valley to Pearl flat (2 hours). The valley walk is very pleasant through beech forest and open grassland surrounded by high mountains with clinging glaciers.

We then decided to go up to the Liverpool hut (10 bunks). (1134m – Helen). This track was steeper than expected but the team coped extremely well. We walked up through beech forest on a steep track with rocks and tree roots.

Half way up to Liverpool Biv. (Phil pic and caption.)

This took 2.5 hours. The views from above the hut were superb – either looking down onto the valley below …

View from the Hut hill.(Helen pic and caption.)

… or glaciers on Mt Barff and Mt Liverpool. We were also looking across to French ridge hut which is used by climbers to climb Mt Aspiring.

We got back to Aspiring Hut after a 9 hour walk knowing we had done it!!

That night of the 13th the hut and camping area had its record number of guests at 84. We felt like very rare Kiwis!!!

The next morning was perfectly fine – however our legs knew they had worked the day before.  Unfortunately Wendy had to leave as she had work early the next day. This time we decided to go up the Cascade saddle track …

Liverpool done, off to the Cascade.(Phil pic and caption.)

… – a pleasant walk through red and beech forest.

Morning tea on way to Cascade Saddle. (Helen pic and caption.)

This finally led up to a lookout after 2.5 hours. (1184m. – Helen). The views of the 2 valleys and mountains all around were amazing, especially looking at Mt Aspiring.

Above the bush line on Cascade Saddle. (Phil pic and caption.)

There were quite a few people heading up to the saddle.

On returning to the hut the ladies enticed the men to go down to the river for a dip. [No pics supplied! – Ed.] This was very, very refreshing especially for those who got under the water!!

Another interesting meal was cooked by all. There were a lot fewer in the hut – the men played poker with hilarity. Someone was heard talking in their sleep!

After breakfast and packing up we headed off down to the car park. The weather deteriorated with the following North west wind very strong – even blowing 2 of us over on the grass. The dust was rising in the river bed. The rain followed and it was quite wet by the time we got to the carpark. Rob Roy glacier was left for another day!  We were then off home having coffee and ice creams on the way.

Thanks to all of the team for making it a fun trip.

Also thanks to Eleanor for suggesting the trip but unfortunately was unable to make it.


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Jan 31 2018

Tracks between Racemans and Rollinsons Road

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12. 31/1/2018. Trampers. North Coal and Little Coal. M. Leader: Neil M.

9 trampers arrived at the Pump-house to start up Racemans at 9.20 am. We passed Tunnels track junction 1/2 an hour later and continued on till morning tea stop at 10 o’clock. Very pleasant in the bush as it was heating up out in the direct sunlight and the birdsong was all around us.

Group. (Helen pic and caption.)

Reached North Coal junction just after 11 o’clock and after a suggestion of going to the end of Racemans and returning, or going up North Coal and down Little Coal it was decided to do the loop, so up we went. After an hour of steady climbing with plenty of rests  we arrived at Little Coal junction. Was midday and no one was keen to go on the extra 3/4 hour to the picnic area at top of Steve Amies for lunch, so here we stopped. Again very pleasant in the shade and slight breeze.

In the shade of the bush for lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

After lunch it was mostly down and down in the bush on dry leaves where one had to be careful to not slide, till we arrived back at Racemans track. An hour plus later …

Crossing the stream wishing it was deep enough for a swim. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and we were back at the car park. Most retired to Blackstone for a refreshing drink and a chat. Although the day was very hot in the sunlight it was cool and very pleasant in the bush and everyone enjoyed the walk. – Neil M.

11. 11/10/2017. Trampers. Little Coal Creek and Steve Amies Circuit. M. Leader: Helen.

Eleven trampers left the car park and travelled to Whare Flat parking at the pump house car park. Walked along Racemans track until 9.50am. Too early said one unnamed tramper. Had our morning tea…

Morning Tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and carried up Racemans and then up Little Coal Creek Track. Views over to Green Hill, Pulpit Rock…

Pulpit Rock in the distance. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and over to Powder Ridge were seen. Then continued right up to the picnic tables almost at the road to Swampy.  A very pleasant lunch was had there.

Lunch at the top at the picnic tables.(Helen pic and caption.)

Had to go to the road for a look as well looking at the new trees and also older memorial ones which had been planted. Les Murcott, Steve Amies and some others.

On the down trip we went onto Steve Amies track…

Start of Steve Amies Track. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and then down the short cut track. Very steep down it was. Then onto the Tunnel Track and over the swing Bridge and back to the cars.

‘Our lady of October’ (as some botanists know Clematis paniculata) in all her glory. Great to see so many – a sign the possums are being beaten! (Phil pic and caption.)

A  very enjoyable 14.5km walk with lots of steep up and down. A few slipped and an unnamed person fell backwards but had a soft landing. We adjourned  to Blackstones for coffee and guess who was there, all the Hikers having their debrief. – Helen.

10. 21/1/2015. Trampers. Racemans, Raingauge, North Coal, Powder Ridge Loop.
Racemans Raingauge North Coal. (Ken pic and caption.) GPS courtesy Ken.

Racemans Raingauge North Coal. (Ken pic and caption.) GPS courtesy Ken.

Eight people plus Finn the dog turned up to do this tramp. We stopped at one of the track junctions for morning tea break, & then it was along to the end of the Racemans track by the top Silverstream weir, & up the first steep climb on Raingauge Spur. [Oh to have 4WD drive like Finn has !!!]

We had lunch in the grassed clearing…
Lunch stop, with an expectant dog ! (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch stop, with an expectant dog ! (Ken pic and caption)

…not too far from the top of Raingauge, then walked down the road to the Steve Amies Picnic area, where we stopped for a short breather before tackling the North Coal track. We paused long enough to check out the helicopter landing pad, which really needs some serious clearing work done, & then it was off down Little Coal track to the junction with North Coal track. This was when things got a little interesting !! The first part of this is quite steep,…
Another tricky decent (Elinore pic and caption)

Another tricky decent (Elinore pic and caption)

…& there was some storm damage which made the going a bit difficult, but we decided to press on, as going back up didn’t seem to be an option. As we progressed down the track it was obvious that it was going to be a lengthy climb down, as the storm damage didn’t get any better,…
Struggling through the storm damage (Elinore pic and caption)

Struggling through the storm damage (Elinore pic and caption)

…& navigation became an issue, as the track markers were badly obscured, or the trees that they were attached to were no longer standing. Under normal conditions, the track was very well marked in both up & down directions with orange triangles, it was just the storm damage that upset things, & we often had to search around for the correct way down. However, if we had just followed Finn, he would’ve led us down the correct way at all times. It really was uncanny how he knew where the track was, although Dermot had him down there a few months ago, so maybe he was remembering it from then.
We eventually made it…
Nearing the end of a difficult decent (Eleanor pic and caption)

Nearing the end of a difficult decent (Eleanor pic and caption)

…back out onto the Racemans Track, & then back to the junction that leads down to the Silverstream crossing onto the Powder Ridge track, where we wanted to check out some trees that were down across the track, with a view to taking chainsaws in to remove them. From there it was back across the bottom weir, & back to the cars.
The day turned into a real adventure, with the climb down North Coal, but everybody seemed pleased that they made it ok, although one  [who shall not be named !] took a tumble off the track at one point, into the scrub below the track surface. No damage was done, except to their pride, which was a relief to all party members. – Ken.
9. 7/11/2001 Bob H, Winifred, George

8. 29/4/2009 Rollinson Road. Picnic Area. Trig Q. North Coal Creek Track. Racemans. Weir. Rain Gauge Spur. Rollinson Track. Elbow. Rollinson Road. Leaders: Ian, Glenice.

Only five of us ventured. Dry for a start before the mist descended.
Pupit Rock hidden in mist. Ken's watch.

Pupit Rock hidden in mist. Ken’s watch.

Lip of lookout.Cuppa time.

Lip of lookout. Cuppa time.

Light rain as we got lower down. Heavier on Racemans. Odd break on Rain Gauge Spur until heavy soaking mist towards top.
Doug (rather wet) nearing top.

Doug (rather wet) nearing top.

George sans parka. Looking drier than he really was.

George sans parka. Looking drier than he really was.

We ended up fairly wet and glad to get back back down Rollinson road to car. – Ian.

7. 17/9/2008. Access Road, Picnic area, North Coal, Raingauge Spur. Hard. Leaders: George, Ken.

6. 27/7/2005 Rollinson Road. Elbow. Rollinson Track. Turn off down to Rain Gauge Spur. Leaders: George, Dorothy S

View from Raingauge Spur

View from Raingauge Spur

5. 1/11/1999 Silverstream Weir, Raingauge, Elbow, Raceman’s Track. Leaders: Margaret D

4. 17/8/1994. Silverstream Weir, Raceman’s Elbow. Medium. Leaders: Bob H, Peg C, Frances, Jack R

3. 28/4/1993. Silverstream Weir, Elbow, Raceman’s Track. Two groups. Medium or Easy. Leaders: Bob H, Les W, Diana, Joan A.

2. 1/5/1991 Elbow – Swampy – Raceman. Steep parts. Harder. Alternate route for some. Leaders: Mary McG, Daphne, Bob, Barbara McC

1. 11/1988 Leader: Peg C

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Nov 29 2017

Bendoran: Gap, ABC, Orbells, Fiddlers.

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8. 29/11/2017. Trampers. Bendoran over-night, Orbells Cave. H. Leader: Art.

Route Map, Bendoran to Orbells Cave/3 O’Clock Creek/Fiddlers Hut, courtesy Art.

This tramp was a First Time for our club.
Two cars(six trampers) left Mosgiel at 8.00 a.m. rendezvousing at Cherry Farm before travelling together to reach the Bendoran Huts at 9.30. Morning tea was taken, and five eager trampers set out just after 10 am on the day’s adventure. One stayed in camp to heat water for showers later.
The day was sunny and warm enough. High cloud drifted across after an hour, but it remained hot. We stopped several times to take on water – and we were going downhill!
We descended down to Orbells Creek, and followed it for some distance, being on a grassy 4WD track all day. Tussocky hills surrounded us, with many interesting rocks, such beautiful country.
A mob of grand Hereford cows with calves (beef) moved in front of us for a time, before going up a side gully.
Eventually we came to the first ascent of the day, leaving Orbells Creek for a time, the 4WD track going up and over a saddle. At the top we had a short descent and then a climb up to a second saddle.
But from here it was downhill all the way to the cave. We met Barney, the Bendoran Farm Manager, out with his dogs shifting a mob of cows and calves – black with white faces this time (Angus Hereford Cross).
We came back to Orbells Creek by the cattleyards, crossed over, and in a few minutes were at Orbells Cave (with Orbells Garden flourishing in profusion in front (foxgloves). It had been hot work, but to our great relief found that it was very pleasantly cool in the cave. The time was 12.20 pm. We sat and rested for half an hour here, while eating our lunch.

In the cave for a cool place to have lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

 Fiddlers Hut was our next objective, about 2 km further on. Was we left, bird calls from high above the cave alerted us to the presence of a N.Z. falcon circling there. We saw it – or another one –  later in the day, too. Crossing 3 O’Clock Stream, we arrived at Fiddlers Hut at 1.3. We admired the stone walls, very neatly constructed, and with a vey sound modern corrugated iron roof.

Fiddler’s hut. (Helen pic and caption.)

But sadly the interior had been badly neglected, birds obviously had been the only tenants for some years past.

As we began the homeward journey, a light and very pleasantly cool north-east breeze arrived to provide some relief, especially helpful on the uphill bits. Five tiny little Paradise duckings were on the water when we crossed back over 3 O’Clock Stream. All water bottles were refilled.
The same route was followed going back as we had travelled out earlier. It was a long climb back up to the two saddles. At the top of the first one, 10 minutes was well spent in resting, while taking on water, eating fruit, etc.
In time we came back down to Orbells Creek, and walked, the kilometres behind us, with an occasional brief stop (water).

One long hill awaited us – the climb out from Orbells Creek. The hill seemed to go on forever, but by putting one foot in front of the other, we found the top. But our legs were mighty tired now, and there was only a few hundred metres left to go. And so we arrived back at the Bendoran Hilton …

View of Bendoran huts. (Helen pic and caption.)

… just before 5 p.m. A good list down and rest seemed to be the logical thing to do now, so that’s what we did!

All five had thoroughly enjoyed the day. An energetic tramp to equal any other that our club has done. VERY SATISFYING.

Total distance was 20 km. Orbells Cave was approx. 8 km from Bendoran, and Fiddlers Hut a further 2 km beyond. Bendoral Huts are at an altitude of 500 metres, Fiddlers Hut about 200 metres. – Art.
On completing the tramp we had a lovely muffin and cup of tea before showers and liquid refreshments. Fire lovingly looked after by camp mum Jennifer. Eleanor our great organiser had Also arrived by this time.
Tea was prepared consisting of silverside, stuffed chicken, new potatoes, carrots and two salads. Dessert: chocolate brownie berries and yogert. All had bought some part of it.
Jill Arthur Phil Wyn and Helen the walkers.
It helped revive us. – Helen
75 km from car-park.

11. 8/3/2017. Trampers. The Gap, and ABC Caves. M. Leaders: Arthur and Eleanor.

After a one and a half hour drive from Mosgiel, we arrived at Bendoran Huts.  David Malloch the station owner arrived to welcome us and give us a brief history of the 5000 acre property.

Us with David Malloch. (Helen pic and caption.)

After unpacking and eating lunch, we walked in a cool s.w. wind, overcast with a few skiffs of showers to Mount Misery @ 714 metres.

Eleanor on Mt Misery. (Arthur pic and caption.)

A great view for those brave enough to tackle the wind on such a rocky peak.  From there we ventured onto “Terry’s Knob” (refer Hamel’s book page 7:13), …

Terrys Knob. (Arthur pic and caption.)

… before returning to Bendoran for drinks and muffins.  After lighting up the coal range to heat the water and apple crumble, we then enjoyed home baked Chicken, vege’s and salad.  Next job was firing up the open fire, sitting round chatting for the evening.

Before 8.30am next morning we were up and away tramping in ideal conditions for 3 hours to the “Gap” @ 670 metres.

The Gap from morning tea stop. (Arthur pic and caption.)

After numerous photo shots of surrounding valleys, peaks, ranges and the trig,  we then headed down onto a new track, where after a lunch stop, we approached the A.B.C. Caves.

Helen Janine & Eleanor at abc caves. (Arthur pic and caption.)

After a challenging tramp, we were impressed by the cave interior, …

From in ABC cave. (Helen pic and caption.)

… but were disappointed the “visitors book” left no room for our claims to reaching this  monumental milestone!   We then had to return steeply uphill a little before bush-bashing a track across a gully to join back onto our original track, leading us back to our cosy “Bendoran home”.

Bendoran where we stayed. (Arthur pic and caption.)

Arriving back @ 4.15pm, we found 2 members (who returned without going to A.B.C. Cave) had the coal range going with the kettle boiling for drinks and a HOT shower!!  All fresh and clean again, we dined …

Dinner. (Helen pic and caption.)

… in front of the open fire on beef casserole, new potatoes, peas and salad, followed by brownie and peaches—-not your average tramping food, and certainly above standard accomodation.

It was an exceptional tramping trip for Arthur, Neil, Carol, Helen, Janine and Eleanore, with new tracks and experiences for some of the party. – Janine and Eleanor.

10. 25/3/2015. Trampers. ABC Cave from Bendoran Huts.

On a day when the weather was a bit suspect, we arrived at the Bendoran Huts to see fog in the valleys, but clear around the tops. Because of the distance travelled to get there, we decided to have a late morning tea break,…

Late morning tea stop. (Ken pic and caption)

Late morning tea stop. (Ken pic and caption)

…at one of the high points on the track. After this, we walked around the road [farm track] to a point at the head of the valley leading to ABC cave, where we arrived for a late lunch in sunshine.
After lunch we more or less retraced our steps back to the cars, with a couple of refreshment stops on the way.
The day turned out ideal for tramping, with just a trace of breeze at times, a little bit of sunshine for lunch, & the temperature just right, & the fog actually lifted during the day.
Next time we do this, it would be a good idea to start early, as it’s a long way to drive, & the road in is all narrow gravel. – Ken.

9. 8/5/2013 Trampers. ABC Cave from Bendoran Huts.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. We walked 13.6km, 4hrs moving, 2hrs stopped, total ascent 839mtrs, max elevation 701mtrs.

There have been MANY new tracks bulldozed in around the area, making it very difficult to know which track to take. The original idea was to go to the Gap, & then down to the ABC cave, but we were running out of time, due to the distance travelling there, getting held up for about 1/4 hr by a very large mob of sheep with no sign of humans or dogs anywhere. Plus as we didn’t know where to go, we ended up bush-bashing our way down a ridge on the top side of the bush, as you can see by the Google pic. We eventually got down to the DOC track leading between the GAP & ABC, so just carried on to ABC, had a quick drink/snack, & left there at just on 2pm. Then we struggled up another ridge that was a lot clearer than the one we had came down, but it was steep, & it took us an hour to reach the top. From there, it was a relatively easy walk back to the 4wd track that we had left to go down past the bush. One or two of the climbs on the track back to the car were certainly a bit ‘trying’, but we all made it back to the cars OK, & after the drive back to town, got home at just after 6pm.

George didn’t go down the ridge to the cave, so he sheltered for a while, then wandered back to the cars, leaving suitable signs that he had passed that way. There were 7 of us in the group, one of whom was heard to say on the way in, “you think this group is a serious walking group?” so by the end of the day when I asked if they still didn’t think we were a serious walking group, the answer was ” that was a serious walk”. – Ken.

8. 22/2/2010. Trampers. ABC Cave from Bendoran Huts.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

It had been many years since any of us had done this tramp, and memories were hazy. So much so, that we parked the cars at the end of Blucher Road, mistaking the shearing shed location there for the actual Bendoran Huts site about six kms further on. So we walked the farm 4WD route to the huts, instead of driving it!


A hut ruin on the route. The fog was round us all the way. But it was dry! A fog, not a mist, as one of us distinguished.

An pic of interest on the way.

Lunch across from one of the Bendoran huts. (Ken pic)

Lunch in lee of the hut. (Ken pic)

We walked on beyond the huts on the track we should have originally started on, for a further km, but there was nothing to be seen through the fog which accompanied us all the way, except for only one brief respite. We then retraced our steps to the cars. About 14 km walked that day. – Ian

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Nov 16 2017

The stone-wall ruins on the McKessar Track

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The stone-walled house was burnt out by a bushfire in 1914 after the McKessar family had left the district and the farm had been taken over by a neighbour.

George and Emma (Driver) McKessar had lived and farmed there. George was born in 1836 and Emma in 1853 and they had six children. Emma was a child of Richard and Elizabeth (Robertson) Driver. Richard was the first official pilot for Otago Harbour, and she had been born at the pilot house at Taiaroa Head. She died  at Purakanui at 47 in 1900 and George at 75 in 1912. – edited from research by Clive Crossman on various websites.


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Nov 15 2017

McKessar Track

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37 km from car park to Mopanui Road end.

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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Oct 25 2017

Ross Creek and environs

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

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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Oct 18 2017

West Coast Bike Trip

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Oct, 2017. West Coast Bike Trip.

Nine happy bikers, set off for the Coast.

To do the famous Wilderness trail- not that we will boast.

First to Kaniere, to drop off all our gear.

At a cottage in the bush – and then we had a beer.

A barbecue for dinner (after happy hour)

Then off to bed we all did go – we needed muscle power.


The morning dawned quite sunny, so down to Ross we drove.

To climb upon our bicycles, feeling fit, by jove.

The trail was good to start with, but then there came a hitch.

Jill and bike fell off the trail, right into a ditch. (A wet one)

Up she got, and carried on, but oops, what’s happened now?

A conveyor belt was in the way, right across our bow.

The track was closed, or so they said, to build a bridge one day.

We couldn’t let that stop us! We had to find a way.

The brave, strong men took over. They carried all across.

A dangerous operation, we did it without loss.


To Hokitika we did come, eventually, at last.

And had some lunch, ‘twas well deserved – we really went quite fast.

That unisex toilet, was a wonder to our eyes,

A mural weird and wonderful, it really took the prize.


After lunch we carried on, mostly up-hill now.

At last we reached the cottage, I really don’t know how.

Another night of merriment, more good food and wine,

And in the morning, oh alas, the weather wasn’t fine!

The vehicles taken down the road, Kumara was the goal,

The rain it stopped, the sun came out, and we were on a roll!


Up we went, and up – and up.  Judy’s turn to fall –

Right off the trail, it was quite steep, her bike it did a stall.

To Cowboy Paradise we came, I think they’ve got it wrong.

We weren’t even greeted, with rodeo or song.


We carried on, and on and on, mostly now it’s down.

But oops, where’s Keith?  He’s lost the trail, what a silly clown!

At last we’re sorted out again – don’t need another stunt.

But what’s this Dave, you silly B, your helmet’s back to front!


Kumara was a welcome sight, comfy huts and all.

And yummy dinner in the pub, we really had a ball.

The final day was misty, and cold about the knees,

But we didn’t seem to mind it, as we zipped among the trees.

Easy riding all the way, right beside the road.

And then along beside the beach, the ocean ebbed and flowed.

Into Greymouth at top speed, Jim and Betty first.

Thinking they were at the back, they (almost) boilers burst!

Nine happy bikers, aches and pains galore,

Headed home with smiles, wishing there was more. – Judy.

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Sep 20 2017

Portsmouth Drive to Marina

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17 km from car park.

3, 20/9/2017. Hikers. Portsmouth Drive to Marina. E. Leaders: Judy and Dorothy.

Twelve harbour strollers, went to Andy Bay.
We parked beside the inlet – it was a windy day.
Along the Portsmouth Drive we went, trudging in a row.
We passed the harbour molars, and onward we did go.

A sunny sheltered spot was found, and morning tea was had,
Relaxing in the sunshine, it wasn’t half too bad.
Then on we went, around the wharves, and round the harbour basin –
We found that walking in the wind, was really somewhat bracin’.

We viewed the plaque in memory of “Neptune”, sunk in war.
She hit a minefield in the Med, and then she was no more.

We passed the Neptune memorial at the wharf and some members were able to point to the names of loved ones who were involved in this tragedy. (Clive pic and caption.)

On we went and onwards, across the Leith we strode,
Then Clive led us along the groyne, to where the water flowed.

We took a walk out on the groyne at the boat harbour and nearly got blown away in the 20 knot winds. (Clive pic and caption.)

Back around the boat harbour, some picnic tables found,
For lunch and chatter in the sun, then homeward we were bound.

Lunch outside the Yachting Club. (Raewyn pic and caption.)

A cracking pace was soon set up, the wind was at our backs.
Perhaps the increase in our pace, was due to lighter packs?
We viewed a lot of logging trucks, a queue a mile long –
Sending all those logs away, we feel it is quite wrong.

A photo stop was taken, beside the harbour molars –
And so we coined the title, “The Mosgiel Harbour Strollers.”

The Molar strollers. (Clive pic and caption.)

The cars in view, we stepped it out and headed fast for home.
A coffee stop at Blackstone – and then I wrote this “pome”….
(Well, try to find a better rhyme!) – Judy.

Stats for the day: 11.7 kms; 3 hours and 4 minutes walking time; 480 calories. – Clive.

2. 14/1/2015. Hikers. Portsmouth Drive to Marina. E. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.

GPS of route

GPS of route

We parked in the carpark by the Bayfield High School. And 21 of us set out.

Some of us waited while others investigate the doings of a suspect prowler.

The bulk of us waiting for others investigate the doings of a suspect prowler back a the carpark and to call the police to investigate. Helen found a passing cyclist friend to chat to.

We walked along Portsmouth Drive past the molars, turned down Kitchener St, huggiing the harbour edge and stopped off for morning tea.

Sheltering from a cold wind for morning tea.

Sheltering from a cold wind for morning tea.

Carrying on, we turned round into Birch St, across the top of the harbour basin then down along Fryatt St almost to its end. Then it was up Wickliffe St, across the railway overbridge, briefly on Anzac Avenue, down Parry …


Skirting the Statium.

Skirting the Stadium.

…and Minerva Streets to cross the Leith on SH88 bridge, and on the north side to turn under the bridge and out along Magnet St to get to our lunch stop at the Marina.


Again sheltering from a cool wind, this time for lunch.

On our return, we walked the length of Anzac avenue. Then onto the railway station platform, where Dorothy performed a most believable but all too brief strut down the catwalk. Out at the other side, on past Toitu Settlers Museum and along the grassy verge ahead where we stopped, briefly thwarted by the railway bridge overpass pathless on-ramp ahead. So it was across all four laned SH1 Cumberland St, with the assistance of the lights further back. This safely accomplished, it was Les and Peter led us up Water St, along Vogel St, back down Jetty St and onto the pedestrial spiral ramp to get us onto the bridge. Then via Birch St, Buller St and French St we rejoined Kitchener St which took us back out onto Portsmouth Dr and back to the cars. From talking to one or two others, I must say coming to the end of eleven kilometres on hard pavement had taken its toll of leg muscles, on this the first tramp after the holidays. A good walk, not too hot or windy. Thanks to Peter and Wendy for a good start to the year. – Ian.

1. 20/11/2013. Hikers. Midland St, Portsmouth Drive to Marina. Leaders: Bev and Chris.



The walk was most inventive and interesting, leading us along back streets few of us had ventured on before. We parked at the bottom of Midland Street where we could cross onto Portsmouth Drive with the safety assistance of traffic lights. The laying of cable along the walkway forced us onto a less inviting traffic-coned path along the road till we returned to the walkway at the molars.


Molars. The 20 of us are almost all in the pic.

A little further on we turned down to the length of Kitchener St turning left up at its end into Birch St to join Wharf St esplanade and have morning tea on the seats, to admire the inner harbour view as well as a gentleman, lent back on a camp seat, fishing, hat over face, asleep.

A happy surprise was Lex sharing round chocolate marshmellows in anticipation of his 85th birthday the following day.

Then it was up and on again, down virtually the entire length of Fryatt St to turn left up Wickliffe Street and over the elderly railway overhead bridge, down the other side to the right, and to stop and admire (?) the special road-coned entrance/egress of Hall’s work-yard and the still-hooded traffic lights. We gingerly made it across Anzac Ave, across Frederick St, back again across Anzac Ave to join Parry St, make way across the SH88 Leith Bridge very wide pedestrian walkway, down, back, under the bridge and along Magnet St. (4 km)

and the Harbour Walkway (5 and 6 kms) to lunch at the northern end of the map in what shelter we could find from the nor-easterly wind.

We retraced our steps to the SH88 Bridge underpass, this time following the Leith bank up to Anzac Ave (7 and 8 kms)

which we followed right to the St Andrew St lights where we turned down along it to the roundabout, followed Mason St, then into Tewsley St and into Fryatt St to retrace our route alongside Wharf St (9 km), Birch St, Kitchener St and Portsmouth Drive back to the cars.  11 km in all. The harbour wind-blast along Portsmouth Drive almost blew us off our feet. Many thanks to Bev and Chris for a varied and interesting streets exploration around a corner of the harbour. – Ian.

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Sep 13 2017

Street Walk – Willowbank-Opoho area.

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13/9/2017. Street Walk – Willowbank-Opoho. E. Leaders: Lester and Peter B.
After some difficulty in finding car parks in Duke St, 18 Hikers began their walk with a look at the Wilson’s Distillery at Willowbank.We then made our way via George, Duke & Queen streets

View half-way along Queen Street North (just off Duke Street). Nelson Mandela? Martin Luther King? Opinions divided. House directly in front, plus two to the left (one out of sight) originally all one. Two to the left were disconnected and moved to the street front. (Ian pic and caption.)

to our morning tea stop at Woodhaugh Gardens.

With everyone refreshed,we continued on our journey to North Rd where we split into 2 groups, the first group going up Glendining Ave, while the second (and much fitter} group went up Chambers St. When we met up again at Arden St, Lester asked the Finnies what they had seen on their climb, and they both said THE FOOTPATH.

Our next stop was a visit to Knox College,where ‘Deputy Master’ Caroline gave us a woderful guided tour of Knox for the next hour. This was particularly interesting for Ian, as his parents had both worked at the college about the time he was born.

Carolyn was happy to take a group photo of us on the front steps. (Ian pic and caption.)

Looking down the stair well from the 3rd floor. There was still two more flights up the tower to go. (Ian pic and caption.)

Ah! On the top. Santa Sabina Convent (now commercial apartments, which we didn’t explore due to time constraints)  straight ahead. (Ian pic and caption.)

Onwards and upwards, we headed to the Gardens for lunch. Margaret and Molly joined us here. After lunch, it was a short walk up to the new Propagating Unit, where Alice took us into the various rooms, each with >a different temperature and all the latest watering equipment.

It was all down hill from there, with the coffee drinkers calling into the Kiosk to conclude the day’s activities. A big thanks to Lester,as he had obviously done a lot of preparation in making this such an enjoyable day. -Peter B.
18 Hikers walked the Willowbank-Opoho area. Many places of interest were explained. Morning tea was enjoyed in the Woodhaugh Gardens.
Down North Road where half our group went up Glendenning Avenue and the other half up Chambers Street to report in Arden Street at the top on the merits of each.
Down to Knox College for a great conducted tour, …… with Ian adding his family connections back in the early 1930s period.
Then up to Hatfield Street to look at the spiral chimney and gate posts of a property. Lunch in the upper Gardens where we added 2 more Hikers.
After a tour of the Propagation Unit, we headed down to the lower Gardens for coffee.
Great weather, company and walk, with many interesting places. A really enjoyable day. – Lester. [Report supplied by one who never reads them and wishes he had never taken up with emails and the internet! We were all impressed by the many property features Lester pointed out to us. Thank you, Lester. – Ed.]


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