The Outdoor Activities Club was founded in 1977 by Life Member, Nigel Smith, who drafted out an advertisement to be put in the New Zealand Herald, seeking any person or persons that would be interested in some outdoor activities, be it walking, tramping, etc., anything active and to challenge family or friends to participate and enjoy an activity of their choice whilst seeing more of beautiful New Zealand as a bonus. Nigel Smith was very surprised at the response he got, hence the beginnings of the Club. From this small advertisement the Club has continued to grow to a membership of over 180.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITY CLUB and KEDDLE HOUSE
Auckland Regional Authority purchased Keddle House and some land from Jack Keddle in 1975 to add to the Waitakere parkland and had caretakers live in the house, to deter vandalism and serve as fire wardens. This arrangement proved unsatisfactory and in 1981 O.A.C. were offered a lease on the Keddle House. By then the house was in a state of disrepair with possums, rats and mice in residence. There was no furniture, stove, heating, or hot water, and the grounds were overgrown.
In spite of all of this, the house retained its majesty and mystery. Attracted by the location and spectacular vistas of Anawhata beach the club decided to take on the house for a one-year trial. After several working bees and the donation of household items, the house became habitable.
The club continued its walks and tramps in the surrounding Ranges utilising the house as a base. In return, they continued the general maintenance and upkeep of the house.
Perched high above the beach, club members have at times witnessed dramatic rescues, plane crashes and bush fires formed lifelong friendships, and returned year-after-year because of their love of Anawhata.
In 2008 Keddle House was opened up for public use as a short stay holiday retreat but O.A.C. continues to have regular access to their long time ‘headquarters’.
O.A.C. memories and stories of Keddle House can be seen in the album in the bookcase at the house.
The picture on the right gets a view over Anawhata beach.