2024


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​May - Sunday 19th - Castledowns Wetlands 

After a very cold frosty start another successful day with about 40 new plants in the ground, a new area cleared for planting, traps checked and rebaited after removing three possums.  Ann

​​​​​​​May - Wednesday 8th - Club Meeting - Nigel Barret from Perspire Ridge Clothing

​​​​​​​April - Sunday 21st - Castledowns Wetlands 

It was a lovely day in the wetland yesterday and 11 people managed to get 120 trees planted in the area opposite the farm sheds, up stream. It was really made very easy to transport the trees by trucks up the farm track and then turning the electric fence off and crossing the creek which was achieved along logs in the creek as the level of the creek was a bit higher. This almost gave me a dunking … all part of the excitement. The trees were thrown across and mostly caught and taken to the planting site. Half were planted before lunch and the balance after.  Ian and Adrian were busy with chainsaws (two sizes) and a hedge cutter on the stream track and then planting 8 kahikateas down at the Hidden Pond. Afternoon tea was offered around, Pear cake, Lemon loaf, Almond orange biscuits, blueberry muffins and other delicacies. 
2 Chainsaws, 2 Utes, 120 trees, 57 hours - 1possum,2 rats 1 weasel traps worked by Judy.  
Ian, Heather, Adrian, Ann, Judy, Janice, Allan, Keiran, Terri, Virginia and Rowland 

​​​​​​​April - Saturday 20th - Sunday 21st - Port Craig and Wairaurahiri Jet Trip 

Group 1- Six of us decided to set off for Port Craig on the Thursday and had a bit of time to explore and enjoy a hut day along the way.  Three of us came across a vehicle and after attempting to hitch-hike one individual caught a ride a km or so up the track.  I have to admit that the other two (including me) took up the offer to be relieved of our packs for a while and enjoyed a km with no packs.  We met up with the others and continued onto Port Craig,  stopping on the beach for lunch. We would have stayed longer on the beach but the sandflies wanted fed too. Our first night in the Port Craig hut was full of laughter, the other occupants were full of entertainment making it a good first night.

The second day was a hut day and a morning of rain. That didn’t stop some going for a walk and checking out the lodge and relics. The afternoon was drier so a beach walk to the little cave was enjoyed. We filled in the rest of the day playing games and reading before a young  couple joined us. On dark we were joined by a further three young lads from Invercargill and Bluff. 

An early start on the third day as we set off to tackle the mud.  Mud, water and a little rope climbing/scrambling.  The track from Port Craig to Percy Burn was a pleasant enough walk.  We stopped for a coffee, chocolate and gingernuts at the Percy Burn hut then it was across the viaducts to mud, mud and more mud!  Then settled down at the Waitutu hut and a night with no extra visitors just games enjoyed by us all.

The last day we wondered across the bridge to the Waitutu Forst Lodge where Alan Mcleod kindly made us all a cup of coffee and read us some poetry.  We had to check out the red phone box on the beach where some sent texts home before heading back up and over the bridge to wait for the second group of tramping club members to arrive in.

Then…. It was the most brilliant jet boat ride thanks to Wairuahiri Jet and back to the carpark. Of course, a meal at Tuatapere finished the trip off nicely and then we headed homeward.  Anne, Barbara, Pip, Sally, Richelle and Anne T

Group 2 - South Coast Track, Rarakau to Port Craig hut checking stoat and possum traps along the way, and traversing the historic tram line, and all 4 viaducts including the worlds largest surviving wooden viaduct at Percy Burn.  A tough slog through a few tons of mud to jump on the Wairaurahiri jet and head back up NZ's longest waterfall.  What a weekend, and what a bunch of sloggers, nearly 40km done and dusted.  ​​​​​​​Courtney, Graeme, Sandra, Nick, Grant,  Mathew and Joyce 


April - Sunday 14th - Manuka Mire QE Convenant Waituna 

Gay and Ron Munro have invited members to visit their QE11 Covenant at Waituna.  Jan, Graeme, Anne T, Eliz, Barbara, Anne M


March 19th Tuesday - 5th April - Victoria Rail Trails in Australia (some leaving earlier and some returning later)

Tuesday 19th March:   Departed Invercargill on a direct flight to Auckland at 1:10pm on an Airbus A320.   Arrived Auckland about 3:00pm and met up with the North Island Contingent of our party.   Total 19 persons.   Departed Auckland 6:30 pm, 4 hour flight to Melbourne, on an Airbus A321.   Arrived: 8:30 pm Melbourne time.  Got a shuttle Bus to the Atlantis hotel.   Met Blair and Ann Fieldes, our party now 21.

Wednesday 20th March:   Did a self-guided walking tour around Melbourne, total distance travelled about 17 Km.   Wednesday Evening a number of us walked up through China Town for Dinner followed by a Musical show, “Groundhog Day” at the Princess Theatre.   Groundhog Day was put out as a movie many years ago starring Bill Murray.   It was a strange topic for a Musical and as such it probably didn’t really come off.   However the choreography, acting and singing were top notch.

Thursday 21st March:   A number of us had booked tickets for a free walking tour of the inner city.  This was well done and very informative.   A donation was accepted.

Friday 22nd March: Departed the Atlantis hotel about 8:30 am bound for the rental car agency at the airport.   We had hired 2 mini buses.   These were 12 seater commuters.  No luggage space in the back requiring careful packing of suitcases, 11 in one bus and 10 in the other and we were on our way up the Hume Highway to Tallarook before turning to the east and heading through to Alexandra.

Saturday 23rd March:   Drove around to Mansfield, got our hired bikes and rode the 72 odd km back to Alexandra on the “Great Victoria Rail Trail” via  Bonnie Doon, Lake Eildon, Merton and Yarck.

Sunday 24th March:   Cycled the 35 odd km from Alexandra through Molesworth to Yea where we spent the night.

Monday 25th March:   Cycled the remainder to the trail from Yea through to Tallarook.   After our hire company picked up their bikes, we drove on up the road, further inland, closer to the NSW Border to Wangaratta.

Tuesday 26th March:   Had a rest day and did a days sight-seeing.   Went across the NSW Border, across the Murray River at Corowa and drove alongside the Murray and the artificial Lake Mulwala.   Crossed back into Victoria at Yarrawonga and visited 5 Grain Silo’s that had been painted with Murals before returning to Wangaratta.

Wednesday 27th March:   Drove to Beechworth, hired bikes and rode part of the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail, 80Km to Bright via Owens, Eurobin, and Porepukan.   The bike hire company picked us up and returned us to Mansfield where we collected our own bus and returned to Wangaratta for the night.

Thursday 28th March:   Once again drove to Beechworth to get on our bikes and proceeded to Milawa.   Here we cycled the first 17 odd Km the same as the day before (mostly all downhill) to Everton.   From there we had the option of cycling the rest of the rail trail (another 50 odd Km) via Wangaratta to Milawa or taking a short-cut through some farming areas, a distance of only 13km.   Robyn went the long way, I went the short way.  We ended up at Brown Bros Vineyard for a pick-up and return to Mansfield and then back to Wangaratta.

Friday 29th March:   Departed Wangaratta for Meeniyan which is towards the South Coast.   Travelled via the back roads via Alexandra and over the tops to Healesville.   A smidgeon over 400Km for the day.

Saturday 30th March:   Everyone had ‘e’ bikes for this trip as these were the only bikes available.   Cycled the Great Southern Rail Trail.   We had our bikes and ourselves transported to Nyora and we cycled the 52km back to Meeniyan.

Sunday 31st March:   Bikes and people were transported to Port Welshpool an we cycled the 56Km back to Meeniyan.

Monday 1st April: Rest Day.   We drove down to Wilsons Prom National Park.   From the Park HQ and camp site at Stoney Creek some took the bus trip Mount Oberon Saddle and then walked to the Summit.   The rest of us did a short walk out to Pillar point for some great views out over Bass Straight and the Lisbon’s Prom Coastline.   Once we all regathered and had some lunch we drove to the car park at Leonard Bay and onto Squeaky Beach.   With the threat of rain coming in and thunder and lightning we headed off back to Meeniyan.   It was here that many of us got our first view of a Koala bear, up a tree in the Motel Grounds.   He would have gotten quite damp that night as there was a lot of rain, more than Victoria has seen in the last few months.

Tuesday 2nd April:   We drove further round the coast away from Melbourne to Bairnsdale.   We drove up through Tarra-Bulga National Park and then on past the 1200MW Loy Yang Coal Fired Power Station.  This supplies about 20% of Victoria’s Electricity.   Had our quiz night tonight.   Plenty of Easter Eggs to give out.

Wednesday 3rd April:    Drive to Nowa Nowa and hired bikes for a short cycle ride.   We did about 17Km along the East Gippsland Rail Trail before turning off the well graded track onto something a little rougher, the Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail for about 14Km.   We had to travel a further 2.5 Km to the end of a road to be picked up by our rental van (Not allowed to drive them on a gravel road).   Some of us took the option of walking that last section, a very pleasant experience.   Todays ride was through the Colquhoun/Boyanga Gigi State Forest.   After returning to Bairnsdale 11 of us decided we would like to travel down to the coast to Paynesville and catch the 4 minute free Ferry Ride across to Raymond Island.   We were there about an hour and ended up seeing 20+ Koala bears as well as Kangaroos, Rosellas and Golah.   Returning to Paynesville we had fish (or other stuff) and chips at the take-away just across the road from where the Ferry berths.

Thursday 4th April:  Effectively the last day we are all together.   Departed Bairnsdale about 8:00 am heading down the A1 / M1 to Melbourne via Sale, Traralgon (for morning Tea) and on to Pakenham (For Lunch).   Here the 2 mini busses separated, one heading back to Melbourne airport whilst the other dropped Robyn and I off at Parkville Motel on Park St.

Friday 5th April: Visit the Melbourne Zoo, a 15 minute walk away.

Saturday 6th April: Parkville Parkrun at 8:00am where we will meet up with Michael Robbie.

Sunday 7th April: 4:00 am up, 4:30 am taxi or Uber to Airport for 9:00am flight to Wellington, arrival about 3:00pm, then a 6:30 pm flight back to Invercargill, 8:30 pm arrival.

Jan, Graeme, Cliff, Anne, Ruth, Gillian, Ann, Blair, John, Jenne, Ann, Adrian, Sally, Dene, Robyn and BJ - Mike, Sandy, Carole, Kevin and Barbara (North Islanders)


​​​​​​​March - Sunday 17th - Castledowns Wetlands (listed by Rural Women (E/W)

30 odd plants donated by Allan Ledington (former STC Club Member) were planted by Ann and Adrian, ably assisted by Neroli, while Anne and Ridley checked all the traps removing 1 possum, 1 ferret, 1 rat, 1 mouse and 1 hedghehog from the Wetland.  Ann I, Adrian, Neoli, Anne M and Ridley.

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

March - Saturday 16th - Vet South Gorge Adventure Race

Two of us headed to Lora Gorge early in the morning to assist as marshalls/safety officers.  On arrival at the site we were told to grab a plastic bag and some food (choice of mouse traps, muffin, biscuits, chips and bottles of water)  Chris and Neroli dropped us off near some yards, while they carried on to a high spot on the next set of hills.  Meanwhile we set up our deck chairs, got out the coffee and made ourselves comfortable as we hunkered down in the shelter of a row of big round hay bales, with a 180 degrees view of rolling hills and valleys, while waiting for the first of the happy participants. Each team was given a map and a set of points to find cow ear tags, which had a number corresponding to their map and a word on the reverse side.  Each tag was worth a set number of points, and of course the more points you collected the better chance of winning.  After most of the 6 hr competitors has gone through and before the 3 hours ones arrived we thought we would have a walk round and see how many ear tags we could find.  After finding five of them we arrived at the compulsory check point, where we got a nip of Moonshine whiskey, and just before departing back to our hay bales, a ute arrived with hot hamburgers, lolly cake and a can of coke/lemonade for our lunch.  Back at our spot, another bunch of happy, sometimes muddy participants collected their ear tag clue, near us in the drafting pen, and continued on their merry way.  At the conclusion of the event we arrived back at Neroli and Chris's for coffee and cake and then on to prize giving.  The Organisers had done an amazing job setting out the course through six properties in the district, along with a mystery activity and a water slide for additional points.  The number of sponsors and spot prizes that had been donated was a credit to the hard working organisers.  Apparently about $15,000 had been raised for the Limehills Netball and Rugby teams.  P.S.  We did see Graeme at one stage as he passed by as a passenger on one of the four wheel motor bikes that was circulating round the course checking on competitors.     Neroli, Graeme, Jan Barbara and Anne

​​​​​​​

March - 9th & 10th 2024 - Hut Mistake Creek (F/O)

3 Club members took a nice relaxed stroll up Hutt Creek, over U Pass 1395 to the top, then slid down to Mistake Creek ripping the bum of our pants all the way.  10 hours and 55 minutes of hard slog on the Saturday, and a quick 2 hourish on Sunday got it done.  Graeme, Courtney & BJ, 


March -  Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd - Homer Stoat Trapping 

A successful trip was held with five ladies checking Mustelid boxes, possum traps and Good Nature A24's.  Nothing was caught, which is probably as a result of a bait drop in November.  The weather was a bit patchy with one group getting a litle liquid sunshine, while the other group only got a bit of scotch mist on Saturday, with a fine Sunday.

Thanks Team Sally, Eliz, Barbara, Neoli and Anne

 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​February - Saturday 10 and Sunday 11th - Jane Peak (Eyre Mountains)  Cancelled due to weather


​​​​​​​February - Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th - Hidden Falls 

Barbara (team leader) Anne, James and I all left Invercargill, Saturday at 7am, to travel to Te Anau and onto the end of the Hollyford Road.  There we met up with Elizabeth and Sally. The forecast wasn’t great, with a lot of rain predicted for the weekend.  After a photo opportunity we headed across the first swing bridge spanning the Humboldt Creek, and onto the track into the beautiful rain forest.  The track as per DOC is approx. 9km from the carpark to the Hidden Valley Falls Hut, and is made up of easy walking, rock and boulders, board walks and swing bridges. Estimated walking time is 2-3 hours.  The Darren Mountains boldly draw your eye, some higher peaks with snow, a few scars from slips and the long tendrils of waterfalls.  Along the track due to the amount of rain, waterfalls were impressive, as they cascaded over rocks and rushed toward the Hollyford River. 
The Hollyford River curves back and follows the track until Sunshine Hut, there was no sunshine Saturday or Sunday.  Looking to the north the Skippers Range creates a full stop, at the end of the valley.  From the Swing bridge, we looked up the Hidden Falls Creek to hear the roar, and see the mist of the waterfall.  Turning off the main track we walked a short distance to view the 31 metre cascade of water plummeting to the valley floor, and spraying off the rock face on the opposite bank.  Even from a safe distance, you get quite wet from the spray, but stand captivated by the power and beauty of the falls.  After lots of videos and photos, Barbara and I walked back onto the main track to the hut.
The Hidden Valley Falls Hut is a very good hut sleeping 12 comfortably, and with good bench space for that number of people.  There were 5 others there when we arrived, and shortly after a young couple arrived with their 9 month old baby boy – Albert. The young couple and Albert had brought a tent to stay in.  Conversation, coffee, tea was cooked and enjoyed, cards and rummikub played.  The Hidden Falls Hut area is one of Davey Gunn’s cattle run clearings, for up to 1000 head of cattle,  he farmed from 1926 – 1955.  Some of the buildings used by Davey are still standing, although in disrepair at present.  The whole area is steeped in history with the Hollyford Valley, being an old pounamu trail used by the Maori.  Sunday morning was cool and the mountains shrouded in mist, as we walked out after a hearty breakfast and clean up.  The rain held off until we had returned to the carpark.  We loaded up the cars, and headed to Mirror Lakes for coffee, then onto Lake Mistletoe for a walk. It was good to stretch the legs.  Called into Hilary and Donald’s home in Te Anau, enjoying coffee and a chat before heading back to Invercargill. It was really good to have such a relaxed trip home, with stops along the way.  As a novice, I learnt so much from very generous mentors and had a wonderful weekend.  Anne, Barbara, James, Eliz, Sally, Michael and Jan

​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​January - Sunday 28th - Lorne Peak - Tennants Peak (once again the weather didn't play ball and this was cancelled)

January - Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st - Kayaking Mataura River

Saturday - Eight intrepid paddlers with 2 support drivers arrived at Fairlight on Saturday morning.We were going to go further upstream to start but the river was marginally higher than normal(20mm)and slightly off colour with rain threatening.  We set off eagerly and made our way downstream with a few changes between kayaks to suit peoples abilities.

There were some thrills and spills with the willows proving a major hazard at times.  The river was very windy with right angle turns which required some energetic paddling to get out of trouble with the willows and the undercurrents.

Three paddlers exited at Garston with the remainder carrying on to Athol where we decamped to our beaut accomodation for the night.At this point one paddler decided to go home injured by a wayward willow stick and the writer deciding not to do the next leg due to a strained back and shoulder.Hint.A great experience that will be so much better with some more upper body strength training.   (JK)

Sunday - After a hearty breakfast our group left Athol Lodge at 8.45am. By 9.45am Courtney, Graeme, Enrique, Barry and Sandra (on the double sit-on), and I, were on the water. Jude had left the group on Saturday evening, and JK decided to join Robyn and Jan as support crew. The weather was slightly overcast, and the river wider, lower, less swift and a lot less powerful than Saturday. We had fewer rapids than Saturday and longer periods of paddling on calm water giving opportunity to chat with one another, view the distant mountains, look at the passing farmland and gaze at the sheep gazing at us from the riverbank. The sheep were gazing in awe before moving a safe distance away from us strange creatures floating past, waving sticks and jabbering.  

After morning tea on the riverbank with Robyn, Jan and JK, we 6 paddled off only to find, immediately around the bend, a mass of fallen willows blocking the river. The River Gods however had thoughtfully provided us with a low, wide sandy shore which we used to drag our boats around the mess of willows, to the free-flowing river and on toward Nokomai.

As we paddled closer to Nokomai we could hear a rapid which sounded notably larger than the other rapids we had encountered that morning. However, this rapid turned out to be a FUN rapid. This rapid didn’t have lethal willow trees lining the banks, waiting to reach out and cause havoc with paddlers, nor did it have a current pushing us to where we did not want to be. This rapid was wide and shallow; this rapid was noisily rolling stones around; this rapid was pushing up small waves - this rapid was a large bubble bath on steroids! Each boat was skilfully steered through this bubble bath by its captain without mishap. Enriche got some good action video footage.

Shortly after surfing through that fun rapid we saw Robin, Jan and JK waiting for us on the banks of a large field in Nokomai.   We landed, had a leisurely lunch in the sunshine, loaded the boats on to the trailer, changed and drove back to Invercargill, pleased with our day.   (Lynda)

Sandra, Linda, Jan, Graeme, Robyn, BJ, Jan, Enrique, John K, Courtney


January - Saturday 20th - Waipohatu Track

After arriving at the car park we checked out the Fordson Major tractor and gave the crank handle a couple of turns before we headed about 700m up a forestry road before heading into the bush.  The track was a bit muddy underfoot after the recent rain overnight.  Arriving at a sign pointing two directions we headed to the Pouriwai Falls which is a 10m high waterfall, flanked by moss covered banks and after crossing the shallow stream on slippery rocks to get the best view, we stopped for an early lunch.  Back up to the turnoff we then scrambled down to view the lower Punehu Falls, and then back up the slippery muddy steps we got back on the main track and strolled along the stream and a couple of bridges before completing the 3hr (7.8km) loop track.  A compulsory stop at the Fortose Café completed our trip.  Barbara, Neroli, Robert, Anne

​​​​​​​

January - Sunday 14th - Lorne Peak - Tennants Peak (Postponed due to weather)

​​​​​​​

January - Sunday 6th - Thursday 11th - Bike Ride Millers Flat to Waihola & round Dunedin

Sunday - It was a good morning when we took off from Invercargill at 7am, all loaded, heading to Millers Flat, and arrived at 9-15am with B J arriving shortly after.  After unloading all the bikes we headed to Beaumont for lunch and then to Lawrence.  Our camp at Lawrence was "The Prospector" where we had a wonderful tea, great accommodation, ready for the big push to Waihola next day. The work that was put in to the building of the track was just fantastic, like the whole trip.  Rabbit

Monday - Leaving Lawrence we had a uphill climb before cruising along the lovely country side to Waitahuna for a coffee stop. Riding was easy  through lovely groves of trees, tunnels and reserve at Mt Stuart.  We followed the old railway corridor through railway cuttings and across a small viaduct cruising into Milton camping ground for lunch. We followed the Tokomairiro River into Lake Waihola along the new developed boardwalk a total of 63km for the day.   Headed back to Dunedin Holiday camping ground for the night. Jenne

Tuesday - Portabella Return - It was a leisurely start as we left the Dunedin Holiday Park to cycle the 20 kms along the cycleway to Portabella. It was a well-constructed and offered wonderful views towards the harbour and hills. We needed to be aware of the drop off close to the water edge to our left. The cycle way was well used, walkers as well as cyclists.
The cafes along the way were patronised by the 23 on the trip.  On the way, seven of us visited the Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, well worth the short cycle up the hill. There were many different tree species, as well as the under plantings of hellebores, flaxes, and hydrangeas. Numerous birds flew around and perched in the trees. Jan

​​​​​​​Wednesday - The end of our perfect weather arrived during Tuesday night and was replaced by strong North Easterly winds and rain, which meant a head wind and rain for those who chose to bike out to Port Chalmers as per our programme. On the way out from our Holiday park accommodation we witnessed a couple of council rubbish bins being blown over and contents strewn along the footpath. Most of us braved the conditions and headed out into the head wind and rain towards Port Chalmers. (The shared cycle pathways round the coast line were wonderful.)  We all arrived in various stages at a cafe there (near where two large cruise ships were berthed) wet and a bit cold and ready for morning tea.  Our trusty van drivers had the vans and bike trailers waiting near the cafe for those who wanted a ride back. Unfortunately Anne T got a puncture, but fortunately the tyre went flat just outside the cafe we were at, so she and her bike and a few others got a ride back to our holiday park.   It was decided not to drive out to Aramonana to walk to ‘The Mole’ as it was not sightseeing weather for already wet cyclists. The rest of us had a relatively pleasant bike ride back with a steady back wind and no rain. We had lunch back at our accommodation then had the afternoon free to do whatever we liked in Dunedin. To conclude the day we all met at the Speight's Ale House for a very enjoyable set course menu and company.  Nerol

Thursday - The last day of a great bike trip. There has been plenty biking, socializing, great food and overall this has been a memorable trip. With the bikes already loaded and ready to go the night before our journey was not quite over. Before we started our journey back home, we went to the Orokonui ecosanctuary. It was started with a small talk letting us know a little about the ecosanctuary and the work that has been put into what it has become today. Then we were let lose to walk around for a couple of hours.  Most of us got to see Takahe family. This was an enjoyable experience all on its own. There were plenty of Tui, Bush robins, bellbirds, and fantails to be seen. We found a gecko sunning itself and a tuatara who was happy to be photographed. The bush and track were beautifully maintained, and the weather couldn’t have been better.  We finished the morning off with lunch and coffee before all getting back into the vans and heading south to say goodbye to each other and head to our own homes. I will look forward to seeing what the next bike trip brings us all.  Richelle


January - Tuesday 2nd - A wander around Graeme & Jan Appleby's QEII Covenant followed by a Pot Luck  Tea

Had a great afternoon on the 2nd. 19 of us were at Appleby's farm to have a look over their QE II Covenant. The Manuka regeneration had certainly taken over since last time we visited in January 2016 (8 Years previously). Last time we visited the Striped Sun Orchid (Theylmitra cyanthea) were seen occasionally. On this visit they seemed to be everywhere.  We continued walking round their wetland and saw a swallow's nest in the shelter by the pond.  This was followed by an amazing variety of food for tea.