May 12 2020

Les Smith, Club Member 1990-2020, 30 years.

Published by under Uncategorized

Les Smith died on the 12th of May 2020, aged 89 years. He joined the Club in the 1st of March, 1990. Club Member for 30 years. Club President on two occasion, 1998-2000, and 2013 to 2015. Life Member 2018.

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Mar 18 2020

Bendoran: Gap, ABC, Orbells, Fiddlers.

Published by under Uncategorized

9. 18/3/2020 Trampers. Bendoran, Mt Misery, The Gap, ABC caves. Leaders – Arthur and Eleanore
On Wednesday 18 March, 4 trampers had wood, coal, gas and food packed into 2 cars ready to travel 60 km to Bendoran for 2 nights.  Along the way we met up with the other couple in their car.  We travelled up to the old Cherry Farm site, onto McGrath road—then a very dusty trip up the gravel road to Bendoran.   On arrival, we tidied the hut, lit the coal range and had lunch.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “We have arrived at Bendoran Hut.”

On a lovely sunny afternoon, with Arthur as our Leader, we walked up Mount Misery (714 metres) which was reasonably steep, however, we had great views of each every direction.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “On our way to Mt Misery”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Mt Watkins from Summit.”

After coming down rather thick tussock, and heading back towards the hut, we then climbed up the fence line to Terry’s Knob (refer Hamels book section 7:13), then a downhill, uphill to get back home.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Next stop top of Kerry’s Knob.”

Once back, it was time to light the open fire and enjoy a tasty selection of nibbles and have a yarn.  Followed by dinner, consisting of a rather large stuffed chicken, new potatoes, carrots, broccoli and peas.  Then, as if we hadn’t had enough to eat, it was time for Hot Cross Buns with butter and Jam (some members hadn’t matched up jam with the buns) don’t quite know who is right!!
Next morning all were eager to get to the Gap.  Kevin(Barney) Black was Farm Manager and now leases the 5000 acre  Bendoran off David Malloch, arrived to meet us.  We started off at 8:40am, stopping to watch his clever dogs bring in a mob of ewes that were being trucked off.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Where we are heading Thursday morning.”

The morning was very clear, warm and sunny.  While the happy group were following the track up and down, all of a sudden a Falcon was spotted sitting on a fence post. He wasn’t bothered by our presence allowing us to keep creeping up to take photo’s.  Soon, enough was enough, and he flew off.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Friendly falcon posing especially for us.”

A while later another was spotted in flight.
After a while and a steady climb to a hilltop, it was 10:15am and time for a 15 minute  smoko break, enjoying the  magnificent views as we talked.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “A view of Waikouaiti Bay.”

By now the Gap was looking closer, however, one could also see a few more hills to climb before we made it .  Also lopers were taken along,  to cut back gorse in places which made the going a bit easier.  We got onto the ridge leading to that big missing chunk, finally arriving in it at 11:35am.  A steady three hour effort by all.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “The gap between two large rock formations.”

On the way up 3 of the group were keen to revisit/visit the A.B.C. Cave (refer Hamels book section 7:12).  We all went to the trig at the north end of the Gap admiring views and happy with ourselves to have made it there.
Soon after the 3 decided to delay lunch for a while and headed off to the Cave.  Leaving  3 of us to enjoy a leisurely lunch in the sun.  Meanwhile, guess who realised her phone was missing!!!  meaning a walk back to the trig by 2 to find it, while the other cut back more gorse.
We three then started the trip back.  Arthur had made a meeting point with the A.B.C. Group, so 2 of us headed off up another hill with Arthur and his Hi Vis top in view.  We waited till we spotted them heading into the rough gully——where they had spooked a ginger pig for Arthur to see.
Once again all headed towards home, meeting at a junction on the track.  The A.B.C. group were happy to have went the extra mile to visit the cave, enjoying reading entries in the visitors book.
We stopped on the same hilltop as the smoko break, to enjoy well deserved energy bars etc.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading back to hut after the Gap visit.”

By now the hills were almost behind us and Bendoran trees in sight.  8 hours later at 4:30pm, 6 weary but happy trampers were  back home.
In no time, the water was hot and welcome showers had by all.  The open fire lit,   drinks and more tasty nibbles eaten.   Dinner tonight was a delicious (3 recipe) pasta/mince meal with a freshly made lettuce salad.  We must have been a bit weary because the Hot Cross Buns were forgotten!!



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Relaxing in front of fire after Gap tramp”

Lots of photo’s(Is mine better than yours?) were taken of the amazing cloud formations.  However, later on we paid the price,  battered—-huts shaking, doors being  blown open by gale force winds, which had us awake much earlier than we wanted.
Friday morning had us up and away quite smartly, this time the dust was being blown off us!!   Meeting up for coffee at Blueskin.
We all enjoyed great company, great scenery and great food on our trip into Bendoran huts—-a very special piece of Paradise.
Eleanore and Arthur

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Mar 18 2020

Deep Creek Weir from Old Dunstan Road past Rocklands

No. 2 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Deep Stream [Stream crossed out and replaced by Creek] (Rocklands). R Lippers. Cattle.”
No. 56 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Deep Creek from Old Dunstan Road. (Rocklands. Year Round”
Est, 50 km from car park.
See Deep Creek Water Scheme Pipeline history.
See further background information behind Deep Stream project

17. 18/03/2020 Hikers. Deep Creek Pipeline. M. Bob Mitchell and Mike Webb

28 Hikers set off in 8 cars from the car park in Mosgiel to rendezvous at the Clarks Junction pub before driving to the start of the walk. More than a few of the ladies eyes lit up when Bob announced that we would be having refreshments at the pub at the conclusion of the hike. It was good to see that it is not only us blokes that take drinking seriously.
After meeting in the pub car park we proceeded in convoy up the Old Dunstan Rd and found a suitable spot to park the cars away from any cattle that wanted to use them as back scratchers.
Te papanuiressss

Photo and Caption Clive – “Te Papanui”

We started the walk at about 1000 and had morning smoko at the one of the gates/cattle stops.
Morning teares

Photo and Caption Clive – “Morning tea.”

Pump house at Deek Creek

Photo and Caption Clive – “Pump house at Deep Creek.”

From there it was a steady climb to some maintenance huts at the top of the gorge. The distance from the cars to the huts was 3km

Photo and Caption John – “Vast open country.”

.The weather was fine with great visibility and from the huts we could see the pipeline snaking its way around the gorge.

Into the gorgeres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Into the gorge”

Deep Stream a long way down (1)

Photo and Caption Clive – “Deep Stream a long way down”

From the huts it was a steady climb down to find the track that leads to the pipeline. The track is approximately 2kms in length, and quite narrow in some places with railed walkways over some of the more challenging parts of the track. The views were quite spectacular and we were soon strung out in single file looking like porters on the Ho Chi Minh trail. Frequent photo stops were the order of the day.

We could hear a bit of bird song and one falcon and one hawk were observed flapping/souring overhead during the walk. One point of interest was on old hut set in the bush about 10m above and to the side of the pipeline not far from the tracks end. Probably accommodation for the guys laying the pipeline all those years ago.

Photo and Caption Clive – “Walking to dam along the river.”

After a brief halt and photo stop at the dam/weir at the end of the track we did an about turn, retraced our steps and eventually stopped for lunch in a nice sunny spot overlooking the gorge.
Pump house and damres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Pump house and dam”


back down the gorge (1)res

Photo and Caption Clive _ “Back down the gorge.”



Photo and Caption John – “Lunchtime always with a view.”

From there it was a short walk up to the huts and back down to the cars.

Back at the carsres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Back at the cars.”

We walked a total of 10km.
Bob had organised the publican at the Clarks Junction pub to lay on coffee, cakes and scones and also to open the bar early for those that wanted to support Speights. Glad to report that at least two unnamed ladies were seen with pints in their hands. Legends!
The rest obviously enjoyed the coffee and food as the shark like feeding frenzy at the counter was a sight to behold.
A good day was had by all and I can vouch that the Speights was up to its usual standard.

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Mar 12 2020

Goodwood Road, Bobby’s Head, Puketapu

Published by under Trampers,Year round

69 km from car-park
11/03/2020 Trampers.  Goodwood/Puketapu.  Leaders Jill D and Jenni
15 trampers ventured out this Wednesday 1stly to do a loop walk round Bobbies headland following a well maintained track through the Tavora reserve.

Photo and Caption Jenni – “Stunning views of Tavora Reserve.”

This area is just north of Waikouaiti and out to the coast. The Tavora reserve is maintained by the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust. (Tavora is the old name for penguin). They have done extensive replanting in the area to  try and recreate the original vegetation.  A relatively easy track zig zags up to the headland. Here there are magnificent views up and down the coastlines.

Photo and Caption John – “Rugged coastline.”

We had our morning tea on the beach and spotted seals under the cliff on the rocky outcrops.
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Photo and Caption Gordon – “Morning tea in the sand dunes.


Photo and Caption John – “Seals watching us have morning tea.”

The headland was once (18,000,000 years ago), an active volcano.
This walk took about an hour.

Photo and Caption John – “Erosion like rust never sleeps.”


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Returning the information sheet at the end of the reserve.”

From here we travelled by inland route 10 kms to Palmerston where Puketapu the 300 m Sacred Hill is situated, a landmark on the surrounding countryside.
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Photo and Caption John – “Starting up Puketapu.”

The track starts relatively easily, across the face of Puketapu crossing several elaborate fence like styles.
The last 50 m is straight up to the famous monument in memory of James McKenzie.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “A real stiff climb to the tower.”



Photo and Caption John – “The McKenzie plaque.”

This monument is 13 m high with an internal metal stairway to a viewing platform. From here there is a superb 360 degree panorama south to the Otago Peninsula inland towards the Pigroot, to the Maniototo and north to the Shag river Waitaki district.

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Photo and Caption Jenni – “Karen on top of the world.”

At the summit we enjoyed a leisurely lunch break taking in the view and very little wind to spoil the day.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch at the tower.”



Photo and Caption John – “Taking in the view from the top.”



Photo and Caption Gordon – “A view of Mt Watkins from the top of the tower.”

Our return trip down followed a sheep track till we met the gentler slopes again. Sheep and cattle grazed unconcerned with the humans passing by.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Cattle unconcerned as we wander by.”

As a side each year there is the annual Kelly’s canter race up and down Puketapu at a much quicker pace than us!
In the last 6 weeks we have summited 3 prominent peaks Mt Watkins, Mt Charles and now Puketapu great effort by all.
Total for the 2 walks 8.3 kms but 94 floors !!
We debriefed at Blueskin nurseries cafe.
Jenni and Jill D

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Mar 12 2020

Brighton: Beach, Big Stone, Rapleys, Beach

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers and tagged: , ,

11/03/2020 Hikers and Ramblers Brighton Beach  E Leaders Liz and Alex
Brighton Beach is always a beautiful spot to visit, and today was no exception.
Over 25 Hikers and Ramblers set out from the Brighton Bowling Club.  The wind was cool so a vigorous walk along the beach towards Taieri Mouth got us warmed up before turning around and heading back to the surf club at Brighton for morning tea.
brighton Beach car park

Photo and Caption Clive – “Brighton beach car park.”

Brighton Beach Surf Clubres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Brighton Beach Surf Club”

We then headed off towards Ocean Beach, a tunnel and sand dunes.   The blackberries were ripening nicely and provided a sweet treat.   We were able to point out past and present Homes of ex all blacks, Community leaders and some colourful characters from Brighton’s history.


Ocean Beach tunnelres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Ocean Beach tunnel.”

Ocean Beachres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Ocean Beach”


In the sand dunesres

Photo and Caption Clive – “In the sand dunes”

By lunchtime we reached the old creamery coal mine.   There were several tales to be told about the coal mining days and of tragedy in the deaths of two of the coal miners.   We sat amongst the gum trees for lunch and listened to stories.



lunch amongst the gum treesres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Lunch amongst the gum trees”


The old coal mine was over thereres

Photo and Caption Clive – “The old coal mine was over there.”

After lunch we walked up the hill and met Warren Harris who owns the site of the old coal mine.   We were treated to a visit to his ‘Man Cave’ with some historic treasures and memorabilia.


Warren explains his collectionres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Warren explains his collection.”


Tragic stories of coal mining daysres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Tragic stories of coal mining days.”

Historical photos from Brightonres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Historical photos from Brighton.”

creamery mine Brightonres

Photo and Caption Clive – “The creamery.”

We then headed back into Brighton past some million dollar homes with fantastic sea views, followed by coffee and a natter at the Brighton Café.

Alex and Liz Griffin (pp Clive Crossman)

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Mar 04 2020

Traquair Station Tramps

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers,Farm

Not during lambing or calving. Permissions from Traquair and Horsehoof.
Location: 22 km.
14. 4/3/2020. Both. Traquair Station via Microwave M. Leaders Jim and Betty and Jill R and Barabara

Of the 28 people that commenced the walk 23 made it to the Micro Wave Station where 3 sheltered in the lee of station while the remainder had a further brisk walk on the access road before returning an hour later for the lunch stop.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Early smoko out of the wind.”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading up to the Tower.”



Photo and Caption Gordon – “The cell tower.”



Photo and Caption John – “Taking in the view.”


Photo and Caption John – “The View.”

Conditions made for lunch to be brief, because of the chilling wind.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch back at the tower in the shelter.”



Photo and Caption John – “Wonder what these steps are doing here?”


The downhill return on this working farm took us among a variety of animals, including some black & white horses, & after a short gallop, they could be seen looking over the ridge at what had come among them.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Interested spectators.”



Photo and Caption Gordon – “A good walk in the wind and cold.”

Thank you, Sarah & Barbara, for your assistance.   It was unfortunate that Barbara could not be with us on the day.  The social stop was at the Wobbly Goat on the return to Mosgiel.

Betty & Jim

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Feb 28 2020


Published by under Hikers

10 km from car park.

11. 27/2/2020 Hikers/Ramblers E Leaders Raewyn and Judy

It was a nice calm morning when 22 hikers set out along Brighton Road to the morning tea stop in Friendship Drive. 3 Ramblers set off at the same time to have their own adventure. Another 3 hikers decided not to do the Blackhead part of the circuit & ventured off along the Speedway road. The main group turned into an unknown track to many, one on which the ‘little yellow digger’ had already played a part in widening, but those weekend horses had stirred everything up!


Photo and Caption Clive – “Through the sand dunes.”

Branching off to follow a narrow pathway through the sand dunes, we were soon out on the beach and walking towards the Blackhead carpark (after taking a few photos of the young seal basking in the sun).


Photo and Caption Clive – “Narrow track to the beach.””


Then it was up the road to another secret entrance and downhill to where the ‘little yellow digger’ had completed his construction.


Photo and Caption Clive – “Not a lot left of blackhead”

The ‘Blackhead Loop’ was completed at Friendship Drive and a short walk around the streets took us to the Island Park Golf Course for lunch & toilet stop.


Photo and Caption Clive – “Lunch at Waldronville.”

There we found our 3 other hikers waiting as arranged (plus an extra!). A lovely view over the golf course for lunch, and after watching four golfers ‘tee off’ (and making sure we weren’t in the firing line for stray balls), we set off and circumnavigated the golf course.


Photo and Caption Clive – “Island Park Golf Course.”

By then the sun was out and the heat of the day was beginning to take affect. At this point, some opted to leave the walk, but 14 continued on. With a little bit of a detour in the shade, we were soon out on the beach again and walked around the Estuary back to the cars. 11km was achieved (a bit of variation between apps), so refreshments at the Village Green were most welcome. A beautiful day weather wise, with good company.

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Map Raewyn

Raewyn & Judy

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Feb 26 2020

Mt Charles, Cape Saunders, Puddingstone Rock, Allans Beach

Published by under Farm,Trampers

No. 99 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Mt Charles Mr Neil Farm”

27 km from car-park. Permission from land owners – Sharyn and John Clearwater, 03 478-0274, Sam Neil 03 478-0878, Des Neil 03 4893540, Mr and Mrs McKay 03 478-0279.

Click here to read about Cape Saunders Lighthouse and the two graves

10. 26/2/2020  Allans Beach, Mount Charles and Cape Saunders. M-H Leaders Helen and Phil

Mount Charles (408 metres high)
On a nice 20 plus deg morning, 21 trampers headed towards Allens Beach, this took slightly longer due to road works on the peninsula, but as per quote of Thomas Bracken (1879): “When a visitor arrives at Portobello he will naturally wonder why Australian’s and NZders rush to Europe and America for sightseeing when they can find such beautiful scenes within their own doors”



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading off to Mt Charles.”

We were greeted by Mr Neil one of the land owners at the start 10am as we headed off on a couple of good climbs with great views back of Allens Beach and Belmont House, and to the side Wharekakahu (pidgeon island).


Photo and Caption John – “Remote beach before the mist set in.”


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Photo and Caption Phil


Photo and Caption Phil

Morning tea was taken 10.30 ish above one of the nice small beaches.



Photo and Caption John – “Morning tea”

As we found another good nudge we worked around toward (Kaimata) Cape Saunders Lighthouse. A dangerous place to fish as many have been washed off rocks over the years by freak waves. Captain Cook sighted this landmark 25/02/1770 and was named in honour of Admiral Sir Charles Saunders who he had served under in Canada 1759.



Above the lighthouse old founds of one of two old house sites, below a restored picket fenced grave of two children, Ellen(2yrs). Report has it she died from a fire after the two had been playing with matches and Thomas (1yr) who died 3mths later of meningitis they were the children of assistant light keeper Patrick Heneghan. A good spot on a no windy day, very infrequent, as one notes all trees point to the north, like old stooped men.


Photo and Caption John – “Remote graves”



Photo and Caption John – “Family Tragedy.”

After a stop to take in the cliffs and views we continued a further climb to the junction of Cape Saunders Road and Kaimata Road, where we had lunch out of the strong southerly and mist.



Photo and Caption Phil



Photo and Caption John – “Lunch is always with a view.”

The view of Hoopers Inlet, Palmerston on a good day can be seen from spot but not today. Lunch taken, this built up the energy to take on last climb, through misty farm fields on east to make our way to the summit of Mt Charles, Whoo hoo! The views to all parts of Otago can be seen, but not today, in deep mist, group kept in close proximity trusting our leaders, as one could easily get lost. But out of the gloom the peak of Mt Charles appeared. Disappointing that the trig station is damaged and has not been repaired, most sad we could not see a thing further than 3 or so metres in front of us.



Photo and Caption Gordon – “On the top”


Photo and Caption Dave -“Wind blown fuschia hanging on – on the top.”


Photo and Caption Jenni – “One of our very active photographers”

The decent although difficult was made in short time, avoiding the two brown bulls,just another neat tramp in Otago, I hope your time at top was well worthwhile, for first timers it means we have to do it again to take in views.



Photo and Caption Dave – “The mist briefly clears as we go down to the cars then to Nichols’ for well deserved refreshments.”

Thanks to our friendly farmers Clearwaters, McKays and Neils for their access.

Cheers Helen and Phil

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Feb 23 2020

Possum Hut

Published by under Trampers

No. 46 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “High Top – Possum Hut. L Smith”

Location: 41 km.
DoC: Silver Peaks Routes: Possum Hut Route – Silver Peaks Route to Jubilee Hut – Silver Peaks Route beyond Jubilee Hut
Click Silver Peaks Forest for background information on the area.
14. 19/2/2020 Trampers.  Possum Hut via Green Hut track and Miners Direct. M. Leaders Carol and Neil
On a slightly foggy morning, 19 Trampers set off for Double Hill Rd, to begin Green Ridge Track.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Starting off up Green Hut track.”



Photo and Caption Gordon – “The Happy Trampers.”


Being such a well-maintained track (by The Green Hut Track Group) made for a very pleasant tramp.  We stopped for morning tea on a grassy patch at the junction to Swampy Ridge Track before moving on to the old Green Hut site and a photo shoot.  We were reminded that further off the track is a fresh water spring and evidence of another well hidden hut.


Photo and Caption John – “Time for a break.”



Photo and Caption Gordon -“Looking out towards Mopoutahi Peak.”

Possum Ridge, with its dampened surface took us down, and down over roots, stumps, rocks, slips ….. “Ooooh, one down” ….. Fortunately sturdy stumps and trunks were close enough to grab (“we love tramping”) on many occasions while we still went down accompanied by the occasional …. “are we there yet?’ … bellbird song in the nearby trees, also fluttering fantails.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Much steeper than photo shows.”

Looking down on Possum Hut’s roof was a welcome sight and so was the lunch that followed.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch at Possum Hut.”


Photo and Caption John – “Indecipherable plaque – must be something important.”

Up and away again required a short walk past an overgrown tarn and then to the junction of  Eucalypt Spur  off which branched  Gold Miners Direct track.  This new track was wide, clear, stepped,and well marked.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading back to cars.”

A robin captured a photographer’s attention when it ventured within 1 metre of us, hungry for pickings.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Where’s all the bugs?”

Vegetation was varied,  and interspersed with ferns, mosses, an avenue of kanuka, beech trees etc,  continuing upwards …(.”we still love tramping”)….. to the sign ‘Car Park’. A few metres of slight downhill and there, unexpectedly, we burst out of the bush to where our cars had been positioned about 5 hours earlier.
We returned to Dunedin and a coffee stop where everyone was happy to linger and chat.    Was it medium, was it hard, different people, different ideas, but we hope all enjoyed the walk.

Morrison and Morrison

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Feb 23 2020

Ross Creek and environs

No. 94 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Ross Creek – McGlashan College Year Round” 17 km from car park.

30. 19/2/2020. Hikers. Ross Creek. Leaders Barbara and Noi

19Feb20 Photograph at your peril!res

Photo and Caption Noi – “Photograph at your peril”


19Feb20 Ross Creek bridgeres

Photo and Caption Barbara – “Ross Creek Bridge”


19Feb20 Negotiating Ross creek tracksres

Photo and Caption Noi – ” Negotiating Ross Creek tracks.”

19Feb20 Morning tea Cosy Dell Tennis Clubres

Photo and Caption Noi – “Morning tea – Cosy Dell”

19Feb20 Ross Creek - pretty as a pictureres

Photo and Caption Noi – “Ross Creek pretty as a picture.”

19Feb20 Town Beltres

Photo and Caption Noi – “Town Belt”


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Photo and Caption Barbara – “Relaxing lunch in the bush.”

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Photo and Caption Barbara – “Who knew Dunedin had a waterfall”


Photo and Caption Barbara – “Ross Creek enjoyed”

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Feb 13 2020

Mount Watkin/Hikaroroa Open Day

Published by under Trampers

3. 12//2/2020 Mount Watkins. Leaders Dave and Keith
Mount Watkins (616m) is a volcanic mountain 11km inland from Waikouaiti, surrounded by the Dunedin City Council reserve (650 hectares) and two farms. The goal was to circumnavigate the mountain and climb it.

Photo and Caption Dave – “The goal.”

The morning was rather foggy so it was decided to leave the climb of Mount Watkins to later in the day. The 15 keen trampers set out early from the entrance to the Mount Watkins reserve administered by the Dunedin City council.
There was a short walk to a hunters hut, where conveniently we had morning tea.

Photo and Caption Shona – “A convenient hut for morning tea.”

We were surprised that someone had mowed the grass especially for us!


Photo and Caption Wendy – “There is always plenty to .discuss.”

It was then gradually downhill on an old four wheel drive track. The flora changing from kanuka to native bush.

Photo and Caption Dave – “Coloured fungi.”

We reached the bottom of the gully where the four wheel drive track ended and there was a stream to cross.
Then it was a steep climb up the other side.
 This was ably lead by Phil.

Photo and Caption Dave – “Our up hill leader Phil”


Photo and Caption Wendy – “Karen you’re doing well!”


Photo and Caption Wendy – “Neil you’re doing well!”

The climb up was steady, unmarked and animal tracks could be followed.


Photo and Caption Dave – “Time for a break.”


Photo and Caption Shona – “At last onto a small grassy plateau.”


Photo and Caption Shona – “The final push to the top”

On reaching the farm at the top the weather had cleared to a fine day, lunch was had at a second hut.

Photo and Caption Dave – “Lunch conveniently at the top hut”


Photo and Caption Shona – “the goal Mount Watkins in the background.”

A walk along farm tracks and an airstrip took us back out to the road. It was then a rather hot walk along the road to the start of the climb. Seven started the climb and the rest walked the road and thankfully brought back the cars to where the climbers would finish.

Photo and Caption Shona – “Jill ready for the final assault”

The climb up was solid going with rocks, tussocks, spaniards, occasional bushlawyer and the heat to contend with.

Photo and Caption Shona – “At the trig on the top – we made it!”


Photo and Caption Wendy – “An amazing view out to the sea in the distance.”


Photo and Caption Shona – “Tracking down through the columnar basalt to the cars below.”

On reaching the cars (after covering approx. 12.2 km) we headed off to Blueskin nurseries, in time, for well deserved refreshments and a chat.

Yes it was a hard tramp, but well worth the effort!

Keith and Dave

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Feb 13 2020

St Martins/Quarantine Island

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers,Camps

*Click this Wikipedia entry on Quarantine Island, if you wish.
*Click here for a PDF fact sheet of the original Quarantine Island
*And here is the St Martin Island Community web page. Click the photo at the bottom to see original buildings!
*Click a quarantine-island-botanical-report for a (bit dated) 1987 report on the island’s vegetation, if you like.

4. 12/2/2020. Quarantine Island. Leaders Janice and Peter

43 hikers and trampers parked at Back Beach, Port Chalmers and walked along the wharf
edge past the stacks of logs. No cruise ship in port this time. Headed up the hill to our
morning tea spot at the beautifully maintained Lady Thorn Dell.


Photo and Caption John – “Morning tea at Lady Thorn Dell”

The lookout gave us good views of the container wharf which was busy with a container ship in.

Port chalmers from aboveres

Photo and Caption Clive _ “Port Chalmers from above.”

Meandered along the road , through the cemetery, and down to the main Aramoana road.


Photo and Caption John – “Visiting the Cemetary.”

A small detour took us down to the new extended fishing wharf at Boiler Point.


new wharf boiler pointres

Photo and Caption Clive – “New wharf boiler point”

what to see in Port Chalmersres

Photo and Caption Clive – “What to see in Port Chalmers”

Carried on to the main street of Port Chalmers and up the hill to the lookout and Ralph Houtere Sculpture Park.


Ralph Hotere sculptureres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Ralph Houtere sculptures.”

Back down a bush track to Back Beach. With half an hour to go before the boat was due to arrive
most of us lunched in the car park. Were entertained by a heap of shags and gulls feasting
on some small silver fish. By this time the weather had cleared from a slightly drizzly misty
start to a very pleasant sunny calm day. Perfect for a boat trip.



Photo and Caption John – “On our way.”

Another two hikers arrived, which brought our numbers up to 45. Because of the numbers, the boat did two trips to the island. We were met by a very enthusiastic knowledgeable volunteer who took us to the old married quarters and gave us a very detailed overview of the history of the island.

renovation inside married quartersres

Photo and Caption Clive – “Renovation inside married quarters.”


Photo and Caption John – “Time for a break.”


Quarantine Island chapelres

Photo and Caption Clive -“Quarantine Island chapel”

The renovations to this building have now been completed. Following this the majority of the
group did the half hour walk round the point, through the old cemetery, returning to the
wharf to be transported back to the car park.


Photo and Caption John – “Harbour view”


Photo and Caption John – “All aboard”

Refreshments (including a yummy Devonshire tea for some of us) were at the historic Careys Bay Hotel – a pleasant end to the day sitting in front of the hotel overlooking the boat harbour.

Taieri Tramping Club2

Photo and Caption Janice – “the Quarantine Island visitors.”

Jan and Peter

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Feb 07 2020

Middlemarch area tramps

Published by under Uncategorized

11[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.]

64 km to Middlemarch.

Redan Crater- contact for access Ken Rennick

8. 5/2/2020 Redan Crater.    Leaders Theresa, Jenni, Alex and Clive.

 Relief for all as the torrential rain ceased early morning of 5 February 2020 enabling forty five happy members to board the bus bound for Redan Crater in picture perfect conditions. After two days of rain no one was quite sure what to expect.   The sunshine followed us throughout the day. Despite the massive amount of rain, the locals would have welcomed the drenching of their tinder dry paddocks.

We were buoyed by the sight of fresh snow on the rock and pillar range (which is opposite Redan crater).

20200205_102903 (2)res

Photo and Caption Clive – “Snow on the Rock and Pillar range”

As soon as the bus arrived in Hartfield Road we all sat down to morning tea.


Photo and Caption Clive – “Morning tea”


Photo and Caption John – “Meeting the friendly farmer and his three dogs.”

Trying to spot the crater from here was impossible.  However we had a couple of wise heads who had visited here before and it wasn’t long before we all set off in an Easterly direction.  The fitness of the trampers soon told and they were up and away into the distance.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “The trampers start off after morning tea.”

One of those ‘wise heads’ Art, stayed back with the hikers and guided them on their way to the crater.

The schist tors along the way were seen to contain faces, animals and monsters.   The imagination is a fine thing.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Where we are heading to Redan Crater”

Soon the uphill climb began to tell on some of the hikers and they dropped by the wayside whilst still short of the crater.   The fitter and more adventurous hikers with Art leading with Alex were soon heading off downhill?? before turning sharp right to scale the heights towards the crater.

The well defined farm track led the trampers to the top of the hill where they admired views to the East of the Waikouaiti hills and the Nenthorn and Moonlight valleys. South, could be seen the tip of Saddle Hill. It was deemed a perfect location for the trampers lunch stop.


Photo and Caption John – “Lunch for the trampers – what a view!”

The sun shone and no one was in too much of a hurry to leave with stunning views and the usual fun banter flowing.

A bit later the hikers reached the crater and took the lunch respite before setting off on the direct route back to the bus.

After lunch, the trampers climbed further to the top of the crater, and skirted around the rim.



Photo and Caption Clive – “Approaching the crater”



Photo and Caption John – “First view of Redan Crater”

They negotiated the terrain, some scrambling down, into the bowels of the crater.

For more factual information on Redan Crater than we can provide, check this out:


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Some interested spectators on our homeward bound journey”

The trampers managed a new route down from the crater which is easier to negotiate than on previous trips. Essentially after crossing the crater they headed down the ridge in a North-West direction which led  to a gate and fence at the bottom. They continued along the fence line from where they crossed the creek and headed up to the same track they had come up on in the morning.

(Hope this all makes sense and is useful for future visits to the crater.)

The weather was very pleasant and our happy trampers returned to the bus after walking around 15kms.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading back to bus”

Peter our bus driver dropped around 30 at the Middlemarch Store for ice-creams and sweet treats, and the remainder carried on to the Kissing Gate Cafe to enjoy refreshments in their charming garden.

We arrived back in Mosgiel around 5.20 pm, so it was good long day out, enjoyed by all.

Theresa, Jenni, Alex and Clive.


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Jan 31 2020

Walrus Bridge. Nardoo Scientific Reserve. Little Peak.

Published by under Trampers

Distance from Bush Road Car-park: 50 Km.


Tramp area map

Suggest leave Mosgiel 8.30am to get to ‘Little Peak about 1km above ‘Walrus rock’.

9. 29/1/2020. Trampers. Nardoo Reserve. Leader Phil

17 trampers headed off in to the wild blue yonder in vehicles suited to the terrain; picking up Chris at Lee Stream and then on to and up past Lake Mahinerangi ( according to one translation – ‘ moon glow of the heavens’; the lake being named after the Dunedin Mayor Burnett’s daughter, Neil S commenting he did not know marijuana was smoked back in those days).

We ventured past the windfarm and on down and up past the ‘old’ Waipori Cemetery ( prompting the question from John – where is the ‘new’ Cemetery?), the  Lammerlaw bridge crossing and through Waipori Station, following large tractors doing silage on the lower slopes, till we came to the road end – where we startled 3 fine red deer spikers that easily hurdled the fences and raced off down the valley.  Gary needed to be restrained and was seen to be frothing at the mouth and muttering under his breath….


Having saddled up we traced around an old water race, one of 16km of races that served the Waipori goldfields, and entered the Nardoo Scientific Reserve ( the sign not being visible from the road end)  where a group photo was requested, it being decided we may not look so good if the photo was taken at the end! (this proved to be so true).


Photo and Caption Gordon – “All 17 and all still happy”

A bit of useless info was provided on the meaning of Nardoo, thanks to Dr Google….a name given in India to a plant powder used in cooking and also called ‘aboriginal flour’ in the West Island, having been extracted from a type of fern……not sure who has the naming rights.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading to morning tea break”

It was then onwards and upwards through a ‘garden’ where over 500 different plants exist, competing with and strangling each other in the process and yes well almost the trampers themselves, as we picked up our feet to negotiate silver tussock and spaniards and ground coprosmas and celmisias, these all punctuated by windflowers and the higher we went the purple orchid, Thelymitra.

Morning tea was provided on the first main rock outcrop where views to the Blue Mountains, the windfarm approaching Lawrence and on around to the Waipori catchment , the Maungatua and to Swampy and Flagstaff and the Silverpeaks were evident.  The main route for goldminers in 1861 from Outram, the upper Maungatua and across the upper Waipori River and leading ridge to Gabriel’s Gully was outlined as well as where 2000 folk lived and mined in the 1860’s at Waipori Township.


Photo and Caption John – “Pale blue flowers in bloom”


Photo and Caption John – “Morning tea from the first rocky outcrop”


Photo and Caption John – “Lake Mahinerangi from morning tea spot”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading uphill to Walrus rock”

From then it was a steady ‘zig zag’ pattern across low saddles and up ridges till we made lunch at the base of the Walrus Bridge rock outcrops; the herb fields were parched (as were the trampers), dry and crisp and the models in the group posed for photos in the reflective waters of the tarn under the rock.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Models posing in front of the reflective waters of the tarn at Walrus rock!”


Photo and Caption John – “Lunch out of the breeze”

It proved quite easy to ‘rest a while’ in the wonderful environment with the extensive views and silence and to spend time to find the first flowering gentian for the summer.



Photo and Caption John – “A well deserved break for Arthur”



Photo and Caption John – “Beautiful flower believed to be a gentian”


Photo and Caption John – “Small orchids could be found”


Photo and Caption John – “The very fine coral lichen”

A little thought had been given to moving on to Little Peak but it was unanimously agreed that time to return to good coffee and ice cream in Outram was the more important so downward we went trying hard to re trace our upward steps to save energy….which amazingly we managed to do, with only one or two ‘off track’ moments.  A benefit of leading was seeing numerous skinks playing chicken……


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading down to cars and Wobbly goat”

Not too far from the vehicles we were strafed by a low flying Cessna type plane flown by ‘Snoopy’ Morrison who gave us and received the appropriate salutes.  Why he did not land on the airstrip to offer some a ride back?    We managed to make it back to Outram in time to catch up with Hikers and Ramblers to finish off a great club day out.

For future Nardoo walks a suggestion is to start this walk at 8.30am to give time to get to Little Peak and a return to Outram for coffee and craic. And why not – a quote from our recent European escapade ‘ coffee does not ask difficult questions, coffee understands’!


Photo and Caption Phil -” The route that we followed”


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Jan 24 2020

Nicols Creek, Swampy, Pineapple Track, Moon Track, Booth Road

Published by under Trampers,Year round

(David Nicol was an early settler and dairy farmer. He reputedly bought land here in the hope that the railway line woould be routed north through Leith Valley.)

Click here for Antony Hamel’s YouTube video showing his exploration of the 5 falls of Nicols Creek.

Click here for an EXCELLENT MAP of Nicols Creek showing the location of The Basins (called the Cup and Saucer on the map), and the 5 waterfalls. (It also shows the Pepper Tree track location.)
Neighbours at War Click here for background and photos to the Finnerty Family and their house site on the Moon Track by Nicols Creek.
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.
Click Pineapple Track for background information.
Click Pineapple and Flagstaff walk for background information.
No. 17 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Nicols Creek. D McCabe. Year Round”
 Nicols Creek circuit Maintained by Green Hut Track Group.
DCC land.
Booth Road 16.1 km from car park.
23. 22/1/2020 Trampers  Morrisons – Pole Line – Swampy – Moon – Nicols Falls M Leaders Carol and Neil

Wednesday 22 January on a warm, cloudy morning, 26 Trampers travelled to Morrisons Track entrance 1.5 kms past Nicols Creek.  The cars returned to Nicols Creek for parking.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “26 members starting off in the shade”

9.50 am, the walk started at the gate on Morrisons Access Road instead of the Pipeline bridge which was blocked off and so began the Morrisons Track climb of 3/4 hour.  Morning tea under the trees was very pleasant and we would say, well deserved.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “A very pleasant smoko in the shade”


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Out of the bush and heading to Swampy”

 On Saturday, the Recon Pair were greeted by a fallow deer just past this spot, but not so today.

Photo and Caption Ross – “Onto a 4 wheel drive track and upwards!”

Out in the open, and the first Pole appeared …. obviously we were on track …. and a 4-wheel drive track led us up to Swampy summit and the microwave tower. This was a 50 min steady climb.

Photo and Caption Ross – ” Its hot here and we not at lunch stop!”


Photo and Caption John – “From the Top”

There was a background of rolling mist and an outlook across to Mt Cargill.  A 50 minute walk along Swampy Ridge Track brought us to the start of Moon Track where a couple of bikies joined us while we were having lunch.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Finally lunch in the hot sun”

At this stage the day had heated up as the sun had broken through and unusually, we had a leisurely, relaxing time which invited at least one Tramper to have a stretch-out doze.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Heading off to start the Moon track”


Photo and Caption Ross – “A panoramic view as we walked down”

Moon Track with its varied downwards contours of grassy, dusty, rooted, rocky surfaces led us to the aged macrocarpas where a house had once stood after which we criss-crossed many bike trails. A hidden marker was missed by the leader but a shout from the back rectified this mistake: thank goodness.  We passed through alleys of foxgloves, dancing daisies and masses of shiny ferns as we worked our way down towards Nicols’ Falls, all with the feeling of cool, clean and green.  Quite delightful.

Photo and Caption Ross – “Masses of shiny ferns”


Photo and Caption Ross – ” No one showered under the waterfall”

No one decided to have a shower under the waterfall so we continued on to the bottom where the morning car shuttle proved of worth as we reached them at the bottom of the track. These vehicles, being well trained, then headed towards the local Cafe for the drivers to muse over a very pleasant day.

Photo and Caption Helen – “Together at the café, the conclusion to a great day

Climbed 650 m
Walked 10.8 km
 Morrison & Morrison

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