Wednesday 21st December 2022

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​There were 10 of us who gathered at the Otatara South Scenic Reserve and we set off just after 7:30 pm.   We had Lloyd with us and gave us a run down on many of the plants there, moss that just sat on the ground, a plant species that is only found on Stewart Island and the South Coast of NZ and only about 100M from the Coast, Orchids, there were at least 2 varieties.   Our walk took us down to the shore of the Oreti River at low tide so we were able to dawdle along the beach a bit and head back into the bush near the boundary of private property.   All in this dawdle took us just over an hour and a few headed back to our place for a cuppa.   Those on the trip: Lloyd, Geoff, Graeme, Jan, Reece, Sarah, Carl, David, Sally & BJ

Sunday 11th December 2022 - Down River Dash

This year a comparatively small number of runners and cyclists took part in the event.   There were prizes galore and hardly enough people to get them.   Robyn and I were the only STC people there but there were another five parkrunners there for the 16K run.  In all there were 17 cyclists doing the event and only 3 were female.   Consequently Robyn ended up as the 2nd female home.... and 2nd prize.   The other 14 were all males so it was really no surprise that since they were all younger than me that I was well down the pack, however my time of 1:03:56 (ish) was much better than the 1:05:20 I did two years ago.   Both of these events were into slight southerlies so I am personally please with my result.

This was the 8th year the event was run and if numbers don’t improve in future it may not continue much longer.   We were also promised a survey to fill in to see what could be done to improve numbers.   It will be interesting to see what the outcome is.

As always, events like this do no happen without the dedication of an organising committee and a pile of volunteers on the day so, from us, a big thanks to the Mossburn Community.   Those entered from the STC:   Robyn & BJ

​​​​​​​Sunday 4th December2022  -  Xmas Dinner (S) at 6pm at the Ascot

The tramping club dinner was held at the Ascot Park Hotel on 4 December. Nineteen of us assembled at 6 p.m.  for drinks in the Emberz Bar before moving through to the Whitestone Room for our meal.

We had a 2 course menu with three or four  choices for each course. The meal was good with the ice cream sundaes being a popular choice for desert. Sandra

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sunday 27th November -2022 Forest Hill

Seven members met at the usual Victoria Ave area, we left at 12.30 and travelled to the Tussock Creek end of Forest Hill on a cool overcast day in ideal walking conditions.  We set off just before 1.00 and met again at the west side lookout, the view towards Riverton was a bit hazy, but still we could see to Stewart Island.  Next meeting point was at the base to the loop track, wherebwe had a snack then walked up to the east lookout, again it was hazy but once again great views.  From here it was back to the cars, the last ones arriving about 4.20, David B said we walked 14km, back home 5.00ish. ​​​​​​​Peter, Richelle, Judy, David G, David B, Jimmy and Rabbit.            

23rd November 2022 - Walk Talk & Cuppa - Thompsons Bush

Six gathered at the Waikiwi Tavern and went on our way to Thompsons Bush, and wandered through the bush and came out at the track that leads to North Road.  From this point we went along North Road back to the Tavern. Afterwards Rabbit and Terry went to McDonalds for coffee and a burger.  A pleasant walk was enjoyed by all of us.  Leo, Anne, Jimmy, Rabbit, Sandra and Terry.

​​​​​​​20th November 2022 - Winton Township Walkway

On a lovely Sunday afternnoon 5 of us set of in Terry's car for Winton where we met Jan & Graeme, and also Gillian turned up, to enjoy a great walk around the track that circles Winton.  It is an interesting 8km walk with so much going on in the wee town.  After our walk it was time for the ice cream shop and a look at the Middle Pub.  What a great job they have done doing it up, and then it was time to return home.  Terry, Jimmy, Roy, Gillian, Graeme, Jan and Rabbit

​​​​​​​12/13th  River Crossing Course - Postponed

6th November 2022 - The Bastion   

A tramping trip to the top of The Bastion Escarpment at Dipton and back again.   7 of us met at the Kennedy farm and carpooled to the backblocks of John and Jennes property near Dipton to walk the Bastion on a fine and clearing day. We were forewarned to wear long trousers, long sleeves and gloves too, in expectation of native ongaonga stinging nettle and that it would be rocky and slippery on the escarpment.   We set off up uphill from a starting point of 120m the track taking us though cultivated paddocks and past friendly heifers over the top of the hill,  then down into a wooded gully before the final climb up the escarpment through bush.  The climb up was steep, rocky and  scrambly, and we had to upscale our clothing for this section as there was indeed plenty of Ongaonga nettle, but  Graeme did a great job of whacking it out ahead of us.  Peter had both his water bottle then hat grabbed by vegetation,  but after short sharp exertion we exited out to the top at 516m, to lunch and panoramic views at the Trig point.  The views were almost 360degrees, from Forest Hill and southern coast, the Takis, Eyre mountains and the little known and little seen Winton Falls in the foreground below.  The Bastion is part of   the Southland syncline which folds the Mezozoic greywackes of the Murihiku Terraine .On the northern Dipton side the ridges are 1000m deep, created from the erosion of alternating strata of marine sandstone and mudstone.   The stand of bush on the Bastion was pretty amazing,  we could see mature Matai and many many kowhai, and lots of twisty alpine plants on the very interesting rocks at the top.  A Very exposed and cold environment for them.  Also really interesting to see and learn about the farm, including the  impressively high pressure of John's clever water supply system that harnessed water from the top of the Bastion down via a series of holding ponds to the lower areas of the farm.  All up we did a 10km loop over rolypoly farmland with great views all the way down.   Thanks John, really neat to check out this interesting geological feature and stand of special native bush, a great walk.  Ian, Heather, JK , Peter, BJ, David, Graeme and Lou

​​​​​​​29-30th October 2022 - Homer Hut - Servicing Stoat + Possum Traps

A very wet weekend provided the team with some challenging conditions.  On arriving Friday night we donned wet weather gear and after H & S and a quick refresher course on how to set and rebait traps we headed out to check the traps round the hut.  After hearing the rain drumming down on the roof all night our first task was to remove my car to the public car park as the creek now had ankle deep water flowing in it.  (it was bone dry on Friday evening)  On Saturday we split into two teams of two to check the Gertrude Valley in the morning, back for a quick hot cuppa and off to the Homer lines,  another hot drink was required after this, then off to check the Crosscut line.  On returning to the hut a change into dry clothes was the first priority, stoked up the fire, followed by hot food and a few games of cards, rummy cup and scrabble.  On Sunday morning unfortunately the amount of water rushing down the creek prevented us from checking the possum line, so packing our gear we waded through the creek to the car and returned home.  Our tally for the weekend was 17 rats and two stoats.  Also two of the Good Nature A24 traps has rats underneath them.  Graeme, David, Annabel and Anne

​​​​​​​26th October 2022 - Walk Talk & Cuppa - Donovan Park/Andersons Park

5 or 6 ? keen trampers  meet in Bainfield Road at 6-30pm to walk the tracks around Anderson Park on a lovely evening night for  a couple of hours, then we headed back to Craftys for coffee and snack, very enjoyable so don't miss the one on 23rd Nov.  Thanks Shirley for a well lead trip.  Carl

​​​​​​​23rd October 2022 - Lake to Lake Bike - Te Anau Bike Ride

Sunday morning dawned fine and reasonably mild in Te Anau, although with a firming NW’er of around 35K predicted.   There were seven of us who gathered at the DOC Car Park, opposite the Camping Ground at about 10:30 am, and headed off on the track towards the Te Anau Control Gates and then Manapouri.   We had hardly gotten started when we had to stop and have a chat to Jenne and she and JK were up in Te Anau for the weekend also.   However we were soon back on track and for the next hour and a half we dawdled and dithered our way to about halfway to Manapouri, stopping frequently to hear the gentle sounds of Nature and the continuous roar of Jet Boat engines as they plied the Waiau in search of the biggest fish for the annual fishing competition.   About half way down Hilary and Donald turned to head back to Te Anau (as they has planned to do).   The rest of us upped the pace a bit and were in Manapouri about an hour later at about 1:15 where we frequented the two cafe’s in the area, each frequenting the establishment that met our personal food requirements with Latte’s and cappuccino’s prevalent at one and Jimmy’s pies and milk shakes the speciality of the other.   Then the choice, which way do we go back?   The 30K in the shelter of the bush on the track or the 20K along a more exposed, although flatter route along the road.   The road won out and an hour and a half later we were all back in Te Anau.   A visit to Hilary and Donald at their place for afternoon tea was the next order of business before we returned home.   Those on the trip: Graeme, Hilary, Donald, Sandra, Yuliya, Robyn & BJ

16th October 2022  - Sunday - Bike Ride from Invercargill to Bluff

 With a start at the Stead Street Wharf on Sunday 16th October quite a few good people, sixteen to be precise, started what was to be an interesting bicycle ride of thirty one kilometres to the southern point of mainland south island.   Riding on what is a solid surface made of tar and chip it was a safe and pleasurable bike ride with only a moderate wind some of the way.   With a good rest at Greenhills, there was a good ten kilometres to go.   On the approach to Bluff township there was a detour off the main street, alongside the wharf where fishing boats were docked and we also biked past the ferry terminal.   We arrived at Sterling Point where the bike rack on the trailer was adjusted slightly to accommodate all bikes.   Coffee was enjoyed with good banter at McDonald's restaurant after what was another great trip with the Southland Tramping Club.  Barry, Robyn, Paula, Jimmy, Sandra, Carl, Anne, Ridley, Neil, Yulia, Richelle, Hilary, Dene, Sally, Geoffrey (non biker) and Terry

25th September 2022 - Sandy Point Bike Ride

The first day of daylight saving for the 2022/2023 summer season and i made sure that everyone knew to put their clocks forward so that we could all be at the meet point at Fosbender Park at 1:00 pm.   It was great, everyone was there by 12:45 which I thought was a good omen.   However, Neil??? forgot his helmet and I told him he wasn't coming with us without one.   Since Neil??? had come with Terry, Terry had to take Neil??? home to get it.   Four of the ladies got bored waiting and so set off down the side of the Oreti River towards Daffodil Bay.   Eventually Neil??? atrrived back and we set off some 30 minutes late and the 5 of us set of in persuit.   Our speed was quite sedate and all was going well until about 15 minutes into the trip Neil's??? mind began to wander and this was followed by the rest of him and his bike as he hived off from the middle of our Peloton to talk to some complete random stranger White Baiting on the shore of the Oreti.   (something to do with food I think).   The ones in front didn't see him and carried on and I stayed with them, eventually noting Neill??? was about 75 Meters behind as we continued at a very leasurely pace.   When we got to Daffodil Bay Neil??? was no-where to be seen.   I awaited a short while and still no Neil???   Fearing I'd be left behind too I continued on and caught up with the rest of the party as the road headed off towards Whalers Bay.   A quick search for Neil??? was a no-go.   We then discussed the fact that since we'd lost 1/9th of our party that was still an acceptable 89% pass rate and a very tidy A pass result.   The question as to whether Neil??? was all there also arose and as we figured out he was only there for half an hour of the 3 hour trip he was in fact only 16.67% there.   We had no idea where the remaining 83.33% was but we hoped that maybe Neil??? had some ideas as to the answer of that one.   The remaining 8 of us headed off towards Whalers Bay and then on to the Shoreline of the Oreti River where there is a great view to the south covering views of Bluff Hill, Omaui and the outlet of the river into Foveaux straight.   As we came back along the road I got a txt from Neil??? to say he was back at the cars which saved a call to Search and Rescue.   As we got to the Mountain Bike track we headed through the back blocks of Sandy Point to the west of teratonga and the speedway coming out onto Pitt Road before joining the main track that runs alongside Dunns Road.   Five of us had the obligitory stop for Coffee/Hot Choc at the Cabbage Tree.   Terry carried on and as we were finishing he arrived back with Neil???   We headed off back to our cars and headed home.   A great day out with fine warm weather.   Those on the trip: Anne (100%), Barry (100%), Robyn (100%), Neil (16.67%), Terry (100%), Graeme (100%), Sandra (100%), Sally (100%) and Yuliya (100%).

11th September 2022 - Sunday - (Listed on behalf of Otatara Landcare Group) Planting Day

The Otatara Landcare Group put on a great day (weather wise) for their annual planting day on Sunday. There were 5 STC members there, although David B and myself were also representing other groups. However it was great turn out with about 100 people in total and about 30 of those were young kids which was great to see. To my count there was 1168 trees went in the ground covering an area of just over 0.2 Ha (1/2 acre). Great bbq afterwards, plenty of snags. A foggy early start turned into a fine, warm and calm day.  Barry

10th September 2022 -  Saturday - 10pin Bowling and Meal ​​​​​​​ - awaiting report

9-11 September 2022 - Rabbits Annual Ski Trip 

With weather conditions being unfavorable, we got away on friday 9th and headed to Kingston.  Up at the crack of dawn, which happens with Rons alarm.  We had a great day at the Remarkables, sunny all day and returned to  Kingston to Martha's cooking, as she was Camp Mother this year, which we haven't had before.  We didn't have our sauna this year and the happy hour really got longer after a few bottles of red wine to go with venison, deserts and rum, along with music from the Mcleod library, it was a great night.  Sunday plans were put on hold and Cardrona will be rescheduled. Thanks Martha, Ron, Greg, Andrew and Carl (Rabbit)

​​​​ ​​​​​​​28th August 2022 - Sunday – Omaui Walk

8 of us assembled at Omaui for the steady climb to the lookout in the 20 hectare ICC Omaui Reserve.  Starting at the grassed area the walking track becomes a loop track through regenerating bush leading to a elevated viewing platform which we checked out. It gives a panoramic view over the Invercargill estuary and Sandy point towards the Takitimu ranges on the horizon. This track is managed by ICC  Parks.

Further on the track takes you through beautiful ferny bush to a viewpoint at the top of the hill.  Along the way look out for giant rata, manuka trees, parakeets and kidney ferns. The DOC scenic reserve hill comprises of 217.6 hectares and is 2400m return and takes around under the hour to reach the top. At the top on either side there is a picnic table to take in the views. Brabara had cooked scones, added jam and cream and Sally supplied chocolates and lollies. The view took into account the surrounding coast and views of Stewart Island. From here we inspected the unusual rock and tree formations which would have been ideal for a singing platform.  Thanks to Terry or leading this trip.  

Terry, Barry, Barbara, Erin, Anne, Dene, Sally and Neil

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​20th August 2022 - Te Rere

Having advertised the Te Rere planting trip on the Southland Tramping Club facebook page we found we had quite a following and at one stage we had 22 enthusiastic people on our list.   However with Covid, old age and other injuries we ended up with only about half.   However our group joined with Forest & Bird Southland, Students from the SIT and when we got down to the Catlins there were 3 more of our part who met us there.   As well a group of helpers arrived from Dunedin to make a total of 42 people on site.   In the journey in we noted that a lot of the farmland had been planted in pine trees in the last year and the access tracks were certainly in better condition as a lot of work had been done on them.

Once in at the site Brian and Fergus gave us a brief talk before we dived headlong into the planting of 500 Native trees.   These trees were all grown by Pukerau Nursery from seed gathered at the Te Rere site.   To complete the planting plus some releasing of previous year’s plantings took about 2 hours and then we retired back to the vehicles for lunch.   The weather played ball, calm, mild and sunshine, a real cracker of a day.

After lunch is was a guided tour of Te Rere, just to see if there might be any Hoiho about, alas, this was not to be but what a glorious day to be on the cliff tops watching a swell of probably less than 1 M gently dampening the rocks below.

We departed the site about 4:30 pm as the clouds were starting to thicken and we got a light drizzle as we headed back to town.   STC Members on the trip: Anne Barry1 (me), Barry2 (him), Judy and David.   There were two former STC members on the trip too: Allan & Anne (yea, another one!) and the rest of the team who booked up through the tramping Club: June, Jessica, Emma, Astra & Liam

Please see the Southland Tramping Club Facebook Page for a few images of this trip

​​​​​​​13-15 August 2022 - Motorau 

Saturday lunchtime 6 of us met at Rainbow Reach. We walked through beautiful green mossy beech forest, spotting tomtits and a robin that had serenaded us. At first we were alongside the Waiau River, then past the wetlands. At the viewpoint we stood in the sun and chatted, listening to honking noisy Canada geese. It took about 1 ¾ hours to get to the Motorau Hut. The sun was warmer than the hut, so we sat on a log on the beach with our cups of tea, enjoying the view. Revitalised, we walked down to Shallow Bay Hut for some pics and a go on the swing. The evening sky gave us some splendid sunset shots. After dinner was games time- take two and 99.

Sunday we had a leisurely start, some of us getting sunrise photos with the nearly full moon over the snowy mountains. It was frosty out and pretty cold on the walk down to Rocky Point Shelter. We did our bit, clearing sticks and one log from the track as we went. We were all a bit disappointed by the unexpected climb near the shelter, that we had forgotten about. We had lunch and a brew at the shelter, where we moved a table out to enjoy the warmth of the sun. It took just over 2 hours to return to Motorau Hut, all of us feeling a sit down was needed. Various devices showed we’d gone between 16-18.5 km. A bit of a rest soon had us ready to do some firewood chopping, resupplying what we’d burnt. Another evening of relaxation and games.

Monday morning I rose early and made it back to car park by 9 am (1 hr 40mins). The others followed later and lunched in Te Anau. Another memorable trip with great company and weather. Barbara (trip leader), Anne, Sally, Pip, Nerolie, Annabel 

​​​​​​​29-July - 1st August 2022 - Luxmore Hut (M/O)

There were five of us heading out into the unknown cold weather and expected night walk, brimming with excitement for the days to come.  Starting in typical Te anau fashion, we were soaked as we garnered our gear and abandoned any last-minute items, adorning all coats we dared. In a likeminded fashion as soon as it started, the rain stopped, resulting in the striping, buckling, and rearranging of discarded items from the morning shower, with that, we ascended the mountain. The track was a bit worse for wear in some places but the setting sun behind the forest drove us on. As we sporadically reached the tree line each in their turn looked past their accomplishment for the promise of hot water waiting at the hut as we trudged through the snow. We gathered on the track for a final march in the twilight. I found myself having to remember that the figures in the night were trees. No sane person would be out in weather like this but with smiles on our faces, I think we few are something much more glorious. Ah, the Hut, greeted by friendly faces, and with full bellies, we settled in for a cold cold night. For the first time, I queried if I should have brought two sleeping bags. YES, the answer is YES.

Saturday was a day of relaxation, caving, games and gossip. It was peaceful, and Annabel joined us, and group then became 6.  However, the weather outside was not peaceful. Half resided in the bunks and the other half conceded to the kitchen we settled in. With generous thanks for the provisions from the wardens, God bless their souls. That second sleeping bag would have been welcome. I know I shouldn't have been so stubborn to take the small pack.

On Sunday the sun rose with thick heavy drifts of snow and many eager bunnies out with them, on this morn I was one of them. All in the hut were preparing for a day of climbing. We set off up the mountain over drifts and generally deep snow. Enjoying the game of where is the boardwalk, dictating that each marker we passed would be the last. The parties’ numbers began to dwindle. We headed over the Ridge where the snow became icy, but the view was indescribable. I took this as a sign to head back. Thus, we returned through more of a slush than a drift. We took a nosey in the caves. I'm sure I could have fit both sleeping bags in the small pack.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed we headed down the mountain much faster than expected, passing DOC workers repairing the well-worn track. As we moved past Brod Bay, I ate the last of my chocolate and crackers dreaming of a hot piece of cake.  It passed my mind if the weather was well on the top of the mountain. We made it to the car salvation and cleaner clothes for a hot drink and an amazing piece of cake, meeting old friends, I was praying we didn't smell that bad. Mustn’t have because OK as no comment was made but the noises of well-accomplished women. I felt as though there were two types of people on the trip. Those who wish they had another sleeping bag and those who were “just fine”. I assure you this winter tramper in the future will be the latter, as this is not for the faint-hearted.  Denise, Anne, Barbara, Neroli, Annabel (sat-mon) Pip (thur-sun) and Stephanie

24th July 2022Sunday  – 1:00 pm – Sandy Point Walk - (E/D)

Four people travelled out to Daffodil Bay, meeting with two others and started walking to Noki Kaik beach, where we checked out old relics in the water.  From here we continued along the waters edge to Copers Crossing village, up the road to Hatch's Hill track and to the lookout, where we could see Bluff Hill, The Windmills, Omaui, Stewart Island and Oreti Beach.  The weather was a perfect winters day, for an hour and a half walk, followed by coffee/hot chocolate etc at the Cabbage Tree.

Sandy Point is an important recreational site for many sports and recreational stuff.   The Invercargill City Council is currently doing a review of where sandy Point will fit into our lives in the future, at some stage the public will be able to make comments on any plans.   If you have a look on the Southland Tramping Club Facebook Page you will see some photos of this trip plus an aerial photograph taken in 1948 (courtesy of Retrolens) and also a 2018 aerial photograph (Courtesy Google Earth).

Barry, David B, Terry, Neil, Sandra and Anne

2nd July 2022 - Mid Year Christmas at Sandras

Once again we were hosted by Sandra and Geoff at their Woodlands residence.  Mulled wine to start, along with cheese and crackers, before we started on the main course, being a different dish provided by everyone who attended, as it was pot luck, but the variety was amazing.  Xmas crackers were pulled and this was followed by desert, coffee and afters, with titillating conversation.  BJ, Robyn, John, Jenne, Callum, Judy, Shirley, Jackie, Sandra, Geoff, Mary, Duncan and Anne

26th June 2022 - Bike Trip - Queens Park / Stead Street loop

On a relatively calm Sunday afternoon 6 of us met at Feldwick gates and headed up to the Waihopai flood bank, where we cycled under the bridge, to our first stop to remember Alex Kidd, a past member who passed away biking along the track, and on to Stead Street where we deviated off the track to have a look at the Camper Van Associations new camping area, which is accessed via Bond Street by vehicle, or off the track on cycles.  We proceeded along the trail and over the bridge, where we watched the water pouring under as the tide was receeding and on to the shelter where we regrouped, had a quick sip of water and continued round the loop track and returned the way we came, but by this time it was into a head wind.  Nice cruisy ride!!!  BJ, Jimmy, Neil, Paula, Ridley and Anne

 Saturday 4th June 2022 - STC Planting Day – Oreti Totara Dunes Forest
There was a group of 11 of us met at the Car Park on Oreti Rd, Otatara at about 1:00 pm. Although the temperature was about 10⁰C and a slight northerly wind blowing it was very pleasant working conditions. Species planted included Lemon wood, Wine Berry, cabbage trees, Mingimingi, Narrow Leaf Mahoe, 7 finger and Fuscha. The Club had purchased $500 worth of plants (100 plants) and I found I had one Astellia in my collection of plants at home so that was added to the collection, so, 101 plants in total. We continued planting around the area we planted last year and made fairly short work of the job, we then went and released last year’s plants from a small amount of grass and found we probably had about an 80% success rate, not bad considering we had a massive drought and the plants
hadn’t been looked after. All in, afternoon tea and all, it took us just a couple of hours. After some biscuits and a drink we all headed home again. It was a good turn-out with 4 of our planters being past members. Thanks to our planters: Allan and June, Gordon & Sally, Ann, Graeme, Janice, Carl, Jimmy, Sandra and myself - BJ

Saturday 4th June 2022 - Awarua Communications Museum

Ruby you’ve rolled up and tinted your hair, painted up your nails are you contemplating going out
You bet.
37 of us dressed in various fashion clothing and accessories ( fur and pearls) from yester years
fronted up at the Awarua Communications museum to celebrate the Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum
Brendan Sparks introduced himself with a brief overview of the theatres design and memorabilia. He
had selected a variety of movie clips for us to watch. Starting with standing for the Queens
Anthem and this showed the pomp and ceremony of such when Elizabeth ascended the throne.9
Advertising clips followed when the Blue Star Taxis costs £4 a day to hire.
Thus set the tone for a very enjoyable and entertaining evening. The awe inspiring sky divers
jumping out of planes and forming synchronised amazing formations. They made it look so easy!
Another was days of old when Money or the Bag was the hottest quiz show in town.
Off course the ubiquitous slapstick comedies too.
Half time ice cream.
And the final movie was a comprehensive overview of making the Wilmot Road in 1960s for the
Manapouri Power scheme. Amazing footage of a historical event that is so taken for granted now.
Then followed roving around the museum exhibits and Brendan acknowledged Arthur Williams
contribution to such.
Sandra and myself organised the supper with an emphasis on a selection of high tea varieties.
This all seemed to be well appreciated by all.
Once again the success of the night was thanks to those that came. 37 so show was virtually a
sell out.  Great night out for me and no doubt others.  Jackie ( Ruby)

20-26 May 2022 - Abel Tasman

Day 1 - 11 people converged on Nelson from the Southland and Whangamata Tramping Clubs and enjoyed a Thai meal and a night at the YHA and got to know one another.

Day 2 - Nelson - Marahau - Anchorage - Trek Transport picked us up and delivered everyone to Marahau where, under slightly damp conditions, we started our walk to Anchorage.  A great hut which was even better once all the day walkers departed.

Day 3 - Anchorage - Bark Bay - With eleven trampers there were various options for the days walk, with some choosing the low tide crossing to the hut, while others ventured to Cleopatras pool and Cascade falls before crossing an impressive 47m suspension bridge and on to the hut. The tracks were in excellent condition and the ups and downs were mostly gradual.  This hut was quite dark, but with a warm fire and everyone having a hot meal, they were happy campers.

Day 4 - Bark Bay - Awaroa - Some people chose to cross the estuary after removing their boots, while others chose the high tide track and dry boots before a steep climb over Tonga Hill.  There were several strategically placed seats for a breather and a perfect seat for a lunch spot.  Unfortunately Awaroa Lodge was closed for the season, so no coffee stop!!!!  After descending to the Awaroa hut and plenty of the afternoon left, some chose a swim while others spent the time wandering round the estuary.

Day 5 - Awaroa - Whariwharangi -  After a later start while we waited for the tide to receed, we had a 30 minute, frozen feet crossing of the estuary.  After drying our feet on our socks we heading off through regenerating bush to Totaranui.  The track alternated between beautiful beaches and stiff climbs over headlands.   At Mutton Cove some headed to Separation Point and others directly to Whariwharangi historic homestead hut.  After tea was consumed the usual compulsory games of 99 was played it was bed by 8pm.

Day 6 - Team A - (Graeme, Christine, Mike, Chubb, Rose & Adrian) Whariwharangi - Awapoto -

             Team B - (Anne and John then Kevin) Whariwharangi - Totaranui - After walking along a stream overlooking Wainui inlet we climbed over Gibbs Hill to Totaranui where we were joined by Kevin 2 hours later.  B Team then caught the sea shuttle and returned to Nelson.

             Team C - (Gillian and Paula) Whariwharangi - Totaranui via Separation Point.  After leaving Seperation and down to Mutton Cove and while snacking at Awapai beach approx 10 dolphins swam by about a metre from shore. On to Totaranui to catch sea shuttle back to Anchorage passing beautiful bays along the way.

Day 7 - Team A - Awapoto - Castle Rock

              Team C - Anchorage - Marahau - After spending the night at Anchorage we tramped the next day to Marahau where we enjoyed hot showers, sheets and a cup of tea with milk. 

Day 8 - Team A - Castle Rock - Marahau - Nelson

             Team C - Marahau - Nelson - Relaxed and waited for Team A to arrive wet and tired but pleased to be out.  Team A & C shuttled back to Nelson for shopping and farewell dinner with a great group of trampers.

Participants were - STC - Graeme, John, Gillian, Paula and Anne and 

                                   WTC - Kevin, Mike, Chubb, Christine, Rose and Adrian

4th – 13th April 2022 - North West Circuit Stewart Island

On the 4th Sally and I started our adventure with a rough boat crossing of Foveaux Strait and then a boat taxi, not quite so rough, up Freshwater River where we walked the 4 hours to Mason Bay. For the next nine days we walked in beautiful lush bush up and down head lands between beaches some stoney, some rocky and others sand. The headlands were full of guts where root climbing with nose to the ground was needed. We came across moss sheep, rock shags and an elfin house and that was before the mushrooms. Birds we saw were Kaka, Greyfaced Heron, Robin, Kereru, Paradise Duck, Brown Creepers, Tomtits, Fantails, Dottrels, Variable and Black Oyster Catchers, Blackback Gulls, Common and Redbilled Gulls, Bellbirds, Silvereyes, Shags and Kakariki.  Saw 4 lizards on a rocky beach, about 10 whitetailed deer and Easter Orchids which reminded us when we get back to the real world it was going to be Easter. We covered 104km, stopping in eight huts. Four nights we shared. Mason Bay with tourist, Yankee River with hunters, Christmas Village and Port William with trampers.  We tried to go up Mt Anglem but the tanawha turned us back at the top ridge, but we appreciated the views of the big country Stewart Island is.  At Smokey Beach we meet hunters who feed us freshly cooked Blue Cod at 10am, the best Blue Cod ever. Returning on the 13th Foveaux Strait was calm letting us have a nap.

Thank you for Sally for joining me on this trip, a huge achievement for her and a lovely companion to have on our journey.  Judy

​​​​​​​20th March 2022 - Walk & BBQ at Sandra's, Woodlands - awaiting report

11-13 March 2022 - Homer Stoat Trapping

Susan and I arrived at Homer Hut on Friday evening to find Judy had already rebaited the traps in the Gertrude Valley, so on Saturday the three of us headed up to rebait the Homer area traps.  After completing this task, the perfect weather allowed us to climb to the Homer Saddle, where we had a clear view of the eastern portal of the tunnel and the road snaking off into the distance.  Susan, as a new club member, got thrown in the deep end removing dead animals from the traps.  Another good day dawned so Judy and Susan decided to stay an extra day, enabling us to visit Milford, and also a quick look round the Chasm to see what devistation was caused to the walkways during the 2020 flooding.    On Monday Judy and Susan departed while I stayed on as Hut Warden, and while rechecking the possum line, got two more possums in the traps one day.  Our total catches for this trip were 3 rats and 5 possums.  Judy, Susan and Anne

5-6th March 2022 - Navigation Course, Mavora

Participants gathered from various points, meeting at the swing bridge to the Kiwiburn.  Along the right hand track we proceeded to the second clearing where maps and compasses were retrieved from packs and the lesson began.  When we had sufficiently grasped the concept we headed across the clearing and just a bit further along we headed up, up and up a bit more.  Unfortunately an angry wasp, who stabbed one participant twice, caused a pause while this was dealt with.  Team decision dictated we turn back, just in case this became more serious, and once again we found ourselves back at the clearing, by a slightly different bush bash to avoid angry wasps, and more studying of the maps and compasses.  Electronic gear was also used and discussed.  Once bask to the vehicles we proceeded to North Mavora Lake in search of a camp site for the evening.  A minor tent city appreared quickly, followed by team discussion about what we had learned and what we wanted to achieve the next day.  This was accompanied by cheese, crackers and liquid beverages.  Once tea was cooked and consumed a fire was lit and we moved in a circle round it while the young boys cooked marmellows, which were put between chocolate thins and enjoyed by all.  While we were sleeping the wind had risen, making packing tents a bit of a mission, but once this was achieved we moved down to the DOC sign leading to the Upper Oreti Hut.  We walked about three kms along this track and enjoyed lunch, and the maps and compasses were out again revising what we had learnt.  Once all our brain had absorbed all they could we returned to the cars and head to The Dome for a quick debrief before heading off in various directions.  Special thanks to Barry for organising and passing on his knowledge to us all.

Barry, Neroli and Anne STC - Jude WTC - Shane, Sue, Sarah, Rose, Oliver, and Lewis HTC

​​​​​​​27th February 2022 - Makarewa Falls

We met Neroli, our awesome leader, at the Mandeville Road car park to Makarewa Falls near Lora
Gorge.  We started walking at 10am, going first though a paddock which we noticed mushrooms in. Then it
was to the swamp, now boggy in places, but not as wet as excepted because of our dry Southland
summer.  As we entered into the bush we noticed an Umbrella fern (Gleichenia cunninghamii) not
commonly seen in Southland. The bush had lots of large Matai and Broadleaf trees but with little
under growth because of sheep, deer and pigs.  The first waterfall we came to was the Staircase Falls
a lovely three step fall and our first lunch spot.  Then onto to the Makarewa Falls 24.5m, the tallest
waterfalls in Southland where we had to climb a ladder to get good views of the falls. We had a
second lunch and chat in the sunshine.   Then back on a loop track back to the vehicles, admiring the
large trees as we went and then collecting mushrooms in the last paddock.  Back at cars 5pm. 16km.
Neroli, David, Gillian, Rebecca, Heather, Sally, Ann I, Louise, Anne McD, Denise, Terry and 2 lads,
and Judy.

23rd February 2022 - Walk Talk & Cuppa - Omaui

On a warm evening with a slight easterly breeze we walked uphill to the wooden lookout, which gives views over Omaui, the Estuary and Sandy Point.  The track continue uphill, across a strip of farmland, an onward towards Rocky Knoll.  While listening to kaka screeching and a bellbird singing we continued to the fenceline where we headed south to a picnic table which gives views across to Stewart Island.  On our return we continued along the fence line to aother picnic table which has views of the windfarm, Tiwai and Bluff Hill.  As we wended our way back to the start we continued along the loop track to the amphitheatre and marvelled over the rocks and roots of trees which were intermingled.  On our return to the grassy area, cups of tea and biscuits were produced and enjoyed while sitting on the grass and watched the clouds traverse the sky.  Judy, Merril, David, Denise, Paula, Jackie, and Anne

​​​​​​​10th-18th February 2022 - Travers Sabine Circuit - Nelson Lakes National Park 

Day 1 - Thursday 10th - Air NZ changes/cancellation/delays, finally meeting all partipants at Nelson airport, followed by shuttle ride to St Arnaud and getting wet feet before a boat ride up Lake Rotoiti arriving about 4.30pm. Plan B involved staying at Lakehead hut after a 15 minute walk in the rain.  Some adventurers found fresh mushrooms to add to our tea, after which we listened to frogs while playing cards.

Day 2 - Friday 11th - Lakehead hut to John Tait hut.  Warm but wet.  Some of the track was beside a raging torrent, with the bank falling away in several places forcing trampers to bush bash.  Late lunch at hut and decided to push on to Upper Travers hut, BUT Summit Creek bridge was MIA and the water level was too swift to cross safely, so about face and return to John Tait hut.  Some visited the spectacular Travers Falls.

Day 3 - Saturday 12th - At John Tait hut.  The weather eased somewhat so with Plan B in place we headed uphill to Cupola Hut and further onto the tops for a 360o view into surrounding valleys.  On our return some members again checked the feasability of crossing Summit Creek, but again it was a "NO GO" safely.  Remained at John Tait hut for another night as Plan C, D, and E were discussed.

Day 4 - Sunday 13th - Left John Tait hut in the rain, still with wet boots and returned to Lakehead Hut in time to oganise a boat ride the next day.  Snow had appeared on the tops overnight, but the robins and silver eye's that were spotted along the track were load and cheerful.

Day 5 - Monday 14th - We awoke between 6-7 to a beautiful clear day.  Having retraced our steps down the Travers Valley the previous day we boarded the water taxi at 9am and headed up the lake to West Bay.  Here we bid Eliz farewell as she returned to St Arnaud whilst we commenced an uphill climb to Robert Ridge car park.  The opportunists hitched rides and waved as they passed Bruce, Chub and Mike who completed the climb.  Before setting off Anne & Barbara decided to join Eliz.  After further farewells the remaining 8 (now called Team A) tramped off to Spreagrass Hut.  The undulating 6.5km track, through Beach forest took us less than 3 hours.  As wash in the nearby Spreargrass creek was very refreshing. Team B hitched back down to Alpine Lodge, showered, washed followed by a visit to the loacl DOC Centre.  Pizza and wine for tea. 

Day 6 - Tuesday 15th - Team A awoke to a slight frost followed by another clear sunny day which started with an invigorating uphill climb before board walking with great views to the west.  Later, after views of Lake Rotoroa, we began the descent down to the lake edge to find the track disappearing under water due to high lake levels.  We arrived at Sabine Hut at lunchtime having completed the 12kms comfortably in 4.5 hours.  After settling in and lunch, about 2pm, we walked about 40 min to the gorge bridge over the Sabine river.  Chub went on to explore further to the D'Urville river.  Once back, most enjoyed a swim in the lake, including Merril, who had never encountered so many sandflies and wasps.   Team B had a leisurely start and walked round Black Valley track to camping ground and lake front, followed by a 1 hr loop on Black Hill Track.  

Day 7 - Wednesday 16th - Team A - ​​​​​​​It was straight up the mountain today, on the Mt Cedric Route, but once above the tree line there were stunning views of Lake Rotoroa and mountains.  Once close to Mt Angelus, we sidled right across rocky scree to a little tarn.  Three ladies went on to the hut, and Graeme, Mike, Chubb and Annabel dropped packs and ascended the final 300m to the summit of Mt Angelus (2075m) for utterly fabulous 360 degrees views, before heading to Angelus Hut for the night.  Team B - partipated in various options including strolling round town, visited classic boat museum, orienteering, a massage followed by wineing and dining.  

Day 8 - Thursday 17th - Team A - A perfect morning saw us head off along Robert Ridge.  A goat track along the rocky ridge line, alpine plants, amazing scenery.  At morning tea cloud blew in, having us walk in the mist for a couple of hours before it thinned, offering views of the old Mt Robert ski field.  A leisurely lunch at Relax Hut before the descent down Pinchgut Track to the carpark.  The shuttle came and we were re-united with the B team for the drive back to Nelson. Showers and steaks were welcomed, with a short constitutional walk to the cathedral before bed.  Team B spent most of the morning following the Orienteering Course, until the shuttle arived after picking up Team A and we all headed to the YHA in Nelson, followed by a lovely meal at Lone Star.

STC members - Graeme, Annabel, Merril, Judy, Eliz, Barbara & Anne

Whangamata members - Mike, Chub, Bruce & Christine

​​​​​​​14-16th January 2022 - Takitimu track

Friday evening four of us walked into Aparimu hut from Dunrobin Road near Mossburn. We went via
the track getting waylaid by long grass causing as to get lost and hayfever. We crossed the Aparimu
wire bridge to the hut. On arrival we found the hut full of TA walkers so we stayed in the Deer
Cullers hut. A cosy wee hut with 3 beds and Nic sleeping on the floor. 6km.
Saturday we went back across the bridge though a swampy area and then into the beach forest. We
noticed red petals on the track and for a while couldn’t work out which plant they were from, then
we saw the mistletoe high in the trees and continued to see more mistletoe along the way.
Obviously the 1080 is working and possum numbers are down. When getting to the Lower Wairaki
Hut (4 bunk) two TA walkers were there so we went to the creek and found a flat area for tents and
an easy track to the river. A couple of us had a swim which was cold and refreshing. Then we
warmed up with dinner and a fire by the creek chatting until the dark came. 14km.
Sunday we pitched camp and went back to Dunrobin Road and day was hot so being in the bush was
a blessing. The forest is beautiful beach and the track easy to follow. Once back at the Aparimu hut
turn off we were out of the bush and into the heat, we went on the 4WD track which made going
faster back to the car. 18km.
Members on tramp Nikolay, Linda, Merril and Judy.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​5-7th  January 2022 - Lake Dunstan Trail (B/O)  Cycle Trip -  Based at Bannockburn and Cromwell.

Wednesday - Two vans departed BJ’s at 6.30am – one via Queenstown and one via Roxburgh, picking up bikers along the way, arriving at Ann & Blairs, all keen to start cycling.   On arrival two teams were formed.

I was in the A van and left from Kennedy’s ahead of schedule !

Arrived at our hosts with a very warm welcome as was the weather also.

Waited for Van B to arrive early lunch and Blair gave 18 Coffee/Tea cyclists their briefing.

Too many instructions for some of us as if I had of continued to follow lead cyclist would have ended in Clyde instead of Smith’s Way via Pisa Moorings.

New track from Bannockburn was great and an easy cycle despite the heat. For some of us part of track thru Old Cromwell Precinct onto Pisa Moorings was familiar.

Back to Cromwell and onto our very nice accommodation thanks Ann.

Dinner at Stoakers which was very nice.  Day 1 finished with more eating and drinks at Highlands

Thank you to organising team who did a great job.  Gillian

Wednesday - A Team – The gunho team.  Five of us piled into Blairs ute and headed up the Nevis road to a high point called Weirs rock where we mounted our trusty steads.  Uphill to start off with and the track was OK, with a smattering of puddles from the previous nights rain.  The track headed up and down, up and down and onward to a marker pointing to the Young Australian Water wheel where we dumped our bikes and walked down a narrow steep track to the water wheel.  Back on our bikes the track deteriorated.  It was washed out and very rough and all of the bikers had to dismount and walk down at various times.  The next stop was Carricktown (or what is left of it – mostly a panel describing the history).  Back on our mounts and head down hill to B & A’s. approx. 17kms for the ride.

Thursday - Next day the A team left B & A’s heading out on Bannockburn Road to the Hawksburn Road and over the Pylon Road.  The 4WD gravel road was a pleasure to bike on and the hills soon had us in granny gears and puffing.  Each uphill was followed by a downhill, another uphill and downhills again.  A very steep downhill saw us arrive in Clyde and up the road to meet up with the vans which has dropped the B team off at the start of the Dunstan Trail.  The five of us then proceeded to bike back to Bannockburn along the new Dunstan trail behind the others.  We met approx. 300 bikers, not to mention a further 20 at the coffee float.  68kms ride for the day. Blair, Graeme, John, Barry and Anne.   Special thanks to Ann & Blair for organising logistics and accommodation and BJ for transport.

Thursday - 2022 Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail Clyde to Bannockburn section. Grade 1-3 14 cyclist's in the 'coffee connoisseur ' group gathered at the Clyde Dam end, Dunstan Arm Rowing Club to be precise. Rabbit (Carl Johnstone) hired an e-bike from BikeItNow in Clyde, by the time he rode it to the start of the trail (3km), he had it under control. At 10am we 14 set off biking, a mix of e-bikes and manual, therefore we got spread out riding at our own pace and stopping to admire the spectacular scenery or gathering our breath at the top of yet another hill. Highest point 324m, 130m above lake level. A steep decent down Cairnmuir Staircase took us to 'coffee afloat', a welcome and recommended stop for coffees, burgers, butties on a hot day. 'Fetch the Milk' boat moored alongside was ready to run an errand if supplies became short! All cyclist's arrived without incident at Ann & Blair's by 3.15pm to relax over refreshments and nibbles before dining that evening at Amigo's restaurant in Cromwell. Highlights on this section of the track...tight corners, steep drop-offs, narrow trail sections, 2 long-drop toilets, Huge suspension bridge, switchbacks, vineyards and olive groves, swim in Bannockburn Inlet. 34km biked  - on my speedo. Hilary 

2nd January 2022 - Bald Hill, Longwoods
Well………on this particular day Southland had its hottest day 32 temp! Not that we knew it at the
time. Bald Hill 805m is the highest point in the Longwoods thus involved up and up and up walking!
Gradient not steep but with such temps sure was noticeable.
After meeting up at Graeme’s farm (Isla Bank) we headed off in his trusty Toyota with all windows
open. We hurtled along on the 16 Ks of gravel road in the forest to the track start at the Gravel Pit.
Graeme informed us such was his training ground for bike trips having done such 68 times! Thus
he knew every pothole and rise and fall on the road that required navigating!
The walk then continued along the gravel road for about 4 ks up to the mast/ transmission tower
and took about 1 and half hours! A welcome sight for me! And we were justly rewarded with
panoramic views across the Southland Plains, Fiordland and Stewart Island.
2 women on the Te Araroa trail asked us do we do this for fun! They had bit of rough track
to such from Martins Hut. I didn’t answer!
Back down ( much easier) and it was another drive to Graeme and Jan’s for a BBQ. The
rural scenery was just stunning. What an ideal night for a BBQ weather perfect - yummy food and drinks too which we all consumed eagerly. Graeme suggested another walk before dessert!  But this time it was a drive and a walk around their farm to view the Peat Bog.  QE11 protected area with lots of flowering Manuka and other botanical features ie grasses and orchids.  Then along to an extensive Wetlands pond with surrounding vegetation they have created.
All very impressive.  Grateful thanks to Graeme and Jan for the trip and hospitality. And the opportunity to
venture into Southland rural heartland.  Participants - walking (12)
Adrian and Ann, Gay and Ron, Gillian, Merril, Sandra, Nick and 2 friends (Wakatipu)
Graeme ( leader) and me Jackie BBQ plus Liz, Judy ( on way back from Homer as Hut Warden) Geoffrey, Jan.

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