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Wakari Creek - The Redwood Loop

Wakari Creek - The Redwood Loop

Mountain Biking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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The Redwood Loop is one of many very conveniently located mountain bike tracks in and around Dunedin. And although you can join the track at a number of points, we generally start from the car park off Wakari Road, a stone's throw from Ross Creek.

Although the track is short, it is well suited to beginners, and is perfect for an after-work ride of a few laps.

It starts off descending slightly before ascending 40m to the top hub (approximately 1.1km) on single track with hairpin bends and switchbacks. The track down to the bottom hub (approximately 2km), a descent of approximately 90m, takes you along the creek through fern and native vegetation. Don't forget to duck just after joining the Slytherin track. Bridges make the creek crossings a little easier for the less experienced riders, and a balance beam puts your technical skills to the test.

The 30m ascent back to the car park (600m) makes its way on single track with a number of hairpin bends. And for some added fun just before you reach the car park, keep to the right of the track and ride the see-saw.

 Posted to Routes 3 years ago by Craig de Beer
Palmers Quarry Garden

Palmers Quarry Garden

Running / Walking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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I am certain the rhododendrons that line the walkways are absolutely spectacular in full bloom, and a sight to be seen. Unfortunately my trip through Palmer's Quarry Gardens was perhaps just a few weeks too early. 

Nevertheless, the walk up from North Road to the terraces, around the amphitheatre which used to be a popular music venue, leads to spectacular views of Signal Hill, Opoho and North Dunedin, and in particular Knox College and Baldwin Street, the World's steepest street.

Once back on North Road, cross the road and head up Baldwin Street. 

Although relatively short, Baldwin Street is recognised by Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world. At its steepest, your altitude rises 1m for every 2.86m travelled. It's no surprise then that the surface is concrete. Anything else would simply just slide down the street.

 Posted to Routes 4 years ago by Craig de Beer
Flagstaff Creek

Flagstaff Creek

Tramping / Hiking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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You can't help but be overwhelmed by the size of the 94 year old Douglas firs, Radiata pine and Sitka spruce that stand tall and proud at Flagstaff Creek. At the same time though you can't help but be disappointed that a part of the walking track is closed due to damage to Flagstaff Creek bridge. 

Setting off from the Taieri Plain lookout and crossing over Three Mile Hill Road, the track makes its way through a clearing before entering a forest of Douglas firs. The view up towards the tree tops is immaculate. Unfortunately you can't go further down through the European larch forest, and along Flagstaff Creek through the Japanese cedars forest. 

Nevertheless, follow South Road to meet back up with the walking track at a set of steps, where it climbs through a mixed forest of Douglas firs, Radiata pine, European larch and Sitka spruce. Again, the sight of the trees is spectacular. From here it's a short walk through the clearing back to the car park at the lookout.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Frasers Gully

Frasers Gully

Tramping / Hiking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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An inner-city walk in Dunedin that takes you away from the hustle and the bustle, and replaces it with the sound of running water, birds, rustling leaves, and gravel under foot.

The path runs alongside the Kaikorai Stream among many a fern and other native flora, from Frasers Road to Dalziel Road. And although it's only 2km one-way, you climb 140m, making the return journey to Frasers Rd a pleasant 'walk in the park'.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Town Belt

Town Belt

Running / Walking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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The Town Belt, apparently one of the world's oldest and planned in Scotland in 1848, is a green belt that surrounds the city of Dunedin, from Signal Hill in the east to Kensington in the south.

Our walk started at the northern end in Maori Hill and followed Queens Drive almost all the way. Despite the dense flora, there are a number of viewpoints along the way from which to admire Dunedin from above: less than 1km from the city centre and at an altitude of between 90m and 130m you'll have a bird's eye view. Look out for the University's Clock Tower, the Cadbury's factory, the Railway Station and the may steeples.

Having said that, the city's landmark buildings aren't the only thing to admire along the way. Spot the tree fuchsia, lemonwood, manuka and juvenile lancewood. And not forgetting the many birds that have made the Town Belt home, like the tui.

Along the way you'll pass right by Olveston, a historic family home. Time your walk well, and take in a guided tour through this home and see how one family lived in the early 1900s. Further along you'll pass Moana Pool: the largest of Dunedin's four public pools. Cross Stuart St and pass along the back of Otago Boys High with a spectacular view of the cricket grounds and the blue stone school building.

Continue along Queens Drive, stopping for a view of the city and the harbour at Richard Evelyn Byrd's memorial before descending past Montecillo Sportground towards the oval in Kensington.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Lake Wilkie

Lake Wilkie

Running / Walking route near Chaslands in Otago, New Zealand

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Be prepared to be awed by the reflection of the trees on the lake's still surface.

Lake Wilkie is situated approximately 140km south of Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand. It is said to have formed behind coastal sand dunes after the last ice-age and has been reducing in size ever since. Apparently there aren't any fish in the lake and there's also no river that feeds it. Could it be fed entirely by groundwater? Quite unique though is the local frogs that were introduced to the lake.

Walking along the footpath from the car park, there's a vantage point that provides a great view over the lake and surrounding forest. Continuing on steeply down the path among lush forest are a number of panels with information on the history of the lake and the forest. Keep right and walk along the boardwalk that crosses over the edge of the lake.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Slope Point

Slope Point

Running / Walking route near Slope Point in Southland, New Zealand

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Slope Point is the southern-most tip of the South Island. And there I was always led to believe The Bluff was the southern-most point.

There are rolling green hills as far as the eye can see, with just a handful of trees. And the trees stand bent and buckled from the relentlessness of a wind that never seems to ease up. I was most fortunate to see Slope Point on what must’ve been a very rare windless day, judging by the slant of the trees.

The car park is 5.5km from the Slope Point Road/Tokanui-Haldene Road turnoff, approximately 11km from Tokanui. The walk from the car park across farmland to the cliff’s edge is short and easy, about 800m.

I couldn’t help but be slightly fascinated along the way by tussock that seems to grow at an angle. The coastline itself is not unlike many other places on the South Island, with rock-face cliffs and secluded beaches

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Victory Beach

Victory Beach

Tramping / Hiking route near Okia Flat in Otago, New Zealand

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If you want to see a pyramid, a crouching elephant and a ship wreck, Okia Reserve is the place to be.

Our walk began from the car park on Dick Road, approximately 2.5km from Weir Road. We climbed over the fence at the stile, with the pyramids clearly visible in the distance, and continued on down the track for approximately 1km. Once we reached the pyramids we kept right and took the footpath to the top of the smaller pyramid. The walk up the narrow path using rocks as steps only took 15 minutes. Well worth it though. The 360 degree views over Okia Reserve were quite spectacular. But it's not until you go back down and a little further along the Loop Track that you see something truly amazing. About 20m along the path, turn around, look back at the smaller pyramid, and see if you can spot the crouching elephant.

We then wound our way along the Victory Beach Track through regenerating native marshland for approximately 1km, stopping at the information boards along the way that explain the area's history and the long term plans to reintroduce indigenous plants to the area. Considering that this land was still used for grazing about 20 or so years ago, the regeneration programme appears to be going well.

Before long we were at the beach. But it wasn't until we crossed over the dunes that we realised the natural beauty, with high cliffs to the north and the entrance to Papanui Inlet to the south, and white sand stretching across for 3.5km. We walked north towards the cliffs. Just when we thought we were alone on the beach, we saw sea lions congregating among the rocks, basking in the sun with some cubs playing in the waves. We kept our distance. A female felt it necessary to charge us, but soon realised that we were no threat and she retreated. At the southern end of the beach lay the wreck of the SS Victory that ran aground in 1861, with the fly wheel clearly visible from the beach during low tide.

Returning along the same tracks, we reached the car park at 1pm, completing the 6km walk in just on 3 hours.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Tunnel Beach

Tunnel Beach

Running / Walking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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The view from the car park is good but as you walk down toward the sea it gets better. Halfway there you think “Should I go further” and “Will I make it back up again”. Don’t stand still, just keep on going, and make sure you have your camera with.

The view of the ocean is vast and seems never ending, all the time I am wondering about all the beauty hidden in it’s deep darkness. The sandstone rock formations along the coast are an awesome sight. Breath taking.

The entrance to the actual tunnel and walking down the seventy two steps gives one the feeling of being in the story book adventure of Alice in Wonderland. Magical. This tunnel was hand carved to have access to the tiny secluded beach hidden away behind the magnificent sea and wind carved cliffs.

Now for the walk back to the car, it will take longer than the way down, make sure you have an energy drink, and for those not so young or not so fit, you will need some very strong companions to give you maybe more than just a helping hand.

It is really a sight to behold.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Wendy de Beer
Mount Cargill

Mount Cargill

Tramping / Hiking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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My description of this walk doesn't do Mount Cargill and its views justice. And considering it snowed the day before, it was spectacular. We arrived at the small car park--with space for about three cars--at the entrance to the walking track on Mount Cargill Road, approximately 2.7km from the Upper Junction Road intersection, 11km from the Octagon at 10am. Our walk began from 436m at the timber steps and rose 76m in the first 0.4km through dense native bush. The climbing soon paid off with the views out towards Blueskin Bay in the northeast starting to open up. We reached the Organ Pipes a further 0.4km along the well-maintained footpath. These grey, octagonally shaped volcanic rock pillars are quite amazing, with hundreds if not thousands lying scattered across the hillside with many more towering above. Continuing on to Mount Cargill, the next 1.0km rose a further 56m to Buttar's Peak, offering spectacular views over Dunedin, the harbour and the Otago Peninsula to the south, and as far as the eye could see to the north. Just 0.7km ahead to the west lay the Mount Cargill summit at 642m with its television mast. After taking a few photos we returned to the car park at 1pm to complete our 5km walk. There is a longer option, starting out on Hall Road in Sawyers Bay, taking in the Grahams Bush Scenic Reserve. An alternate route to the summit is from Normanby via Bethune's Gully.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Sandfly Bay

Sandfly Bay

Tramping / Hiking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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The drive out to the southern shores of the Otago Peninsula is every kilometer worth it. The view over farmland and stonewalls, rolling green hills and the turquoise sea under the bluest of skies is breathtaking.

Our walk began from the car park on Seal Point Road, approximately 1.8km from Highcliff Road. Starting out at 104m, we took the footpath across farmland for the first 0.25km before reaching a platform overlooking Sandfly Bay. A sight not easily wiped from memory! It's important to read the information boards at the platform to know how to behave around sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins: don't linger on the beach below the hide or anywhere else the penguins come ashore and don't go to within 200m of them, and also stay 10m away from sleeping sea lions and at least 20m from active ones.

Eager to get to the beach for a better view of the wildlife, we set off down the dunes, descending 75m in just 0.3km. Not the easiest of walks, sliding through soft sea sand. Then again, the bay didn't get its name from the nasty little blood-sucking insects. But rather from the sand so fine it flies even in the lightest winds. As we reached the beach we encountered the first of many sea lions. We kept our distance as they lay sleeping and continued along the beach to the hide. We encountered about 10 or 12 more sea lions along the 1.1km stretch of beach. Quite amazing really: some magnificent creatures lying sleeping just meters away and offering up plenty of fantastic photo opportunities.

We stopped over in the hide for a snack and shelter from the sun before returning, and could only imagine what a glorious site it must be to see the penguins coming ashore at dusk.

On the return, realising that we needed to stay 20m from active sea lions, we kept as much room between them and us and walked up beside the dune. Our being there must have upset one sea lion that decided to charge and roar. It's quite a good thing sea lions swim at 20km/h, but don't reach anywhere near that on land. The walk back along the beach allowed for more photos.

The dune that leads back up to the car park then lay ahead. Ascending 75m in hourglass-like sand was quite something. There were times when I took four steps and didn't move an inch--with each step my feet just slid back down. Not long though and we were at the top, and headed back to the car park following the same footpath among sheep and lambs.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Ross Creek

Ross Creek

Running / Walking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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Looking for a gentle walking track for a Sunday afternoon? Try Ross Creek, just on the north-eastern outskirts of the city. There are a number of access points to Ross Creek trails: to the north-west at Booth Road, the west and Cannington Road, the east at Woodhaugh Road, and few others. We began our walk from the corner of Burma and Polwarth roads on the north-west at an altitude of 130m. We followed the footpath for 0.4km down to Ross Creek Reservoir at 107m. From there we continued for approximately 1km down to the site of the old Woodhaugh Quarry (53m). The Woodhaugh Quarry began operation around the 1900s, and was used to produce metal, stone and sand for roading. Quarrying continued operation until 1949, when the site was used only as a crushing plant for six more years. The only structure that still remains is the explosives store. We made our way back up along the same track past the reservoir for 1.2km, and continued for a further 0.5km to 131m. Avoiding the steps, we headed along the footpath for a further 0.6km and passed a tranquil waterfall (105m), before making our way up to Cannington Road at an altitude of 116m, completing our 4.1km walk through Ross Creek.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Harbour Cone

Harbour Cone

Tramping / Hiking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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I enjoy being on top. But getting to the top took some effort this time. The walk started at 9.30am on Bacon Street where we left the car. Starting out due south at 37m altitude, we walked up a broad tree lined path alongside the stream. 0.25kms in, we took a sharp left along the fence, and found a somewhat mud-drenched footpath. A hundred meters further the path turns right. This is where the walk got serious, up along the fence line. Very muddy. Very slippery. The view towards Larnach Castle with the city in the background began to open up. At 0.8km we'd climbed to approximately 123m, and then headed north-east to cross over Highcliff Road, past some ruins, and between tall old trees. Only 1.0km into the walk at an altitude of 147m, Harbour Cone now stood before us. Grey boulders contrasting with the green hill. The walk up the grassy farmland was steep, with the views over the harbour to the north getting better with every step. The last 100m of the 1.7km trip involved a little rock-hopping and careful stepping. At 289m, the view from the top was spectacular. Quarantine Island and the harbour to the north; Papanui Inlet and Hoopers Inlet to the east; Sandymount to the south; and Larnach Castle to the south-west with the city in the distance. After spending a few minutes at the top having a snack and taking a few photographs, we made our way down along the same route, returning to the car at 12.30pm.

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Craig de Beer
Nichols Falls

Nichols Falls

Running / Walking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

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I liked it because there were no glow worms. Daddy thought there would be lots when we turn around. When we turned around there were heaps: more than 10 and we didn't think there would be that many. It was 8:25pm when we started walking back to the car. We switched our torches on and we saw all the moths going to our torches. It was such a muddy footpath. I stepped in lots of puddles. We had so much fun!

 Posted to Routes 5 years ago by Liam de Beer

TAUPO

BMX route near Taupo in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

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Racing starts at 6.00 sharp. Come along and have fun. All equipement can be hired on the night.

 Posted to Routes 6 years ago by chris smith