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Banner Image: Michael Venz

March Trip


On Sunday, the 24th March, 15 members set off to the Wyndham Gorge Road area. The weather was overcast, but remained good for photography all day. We met up with the Invercargill and Waimumu members at the Mataura Bridge.


Our “first port of call” was the Marairua Homestead, just south of Mataura. Mr and Mrs Glover are excellent hosts explaining in detail the history of the homestead. They have spent about 20 years of “hard graft” restoring this beautiful homestead from a wreck to what it is today. Also, a large horse stables at the back are at present being restored. These stable were built about 1880 and would house several horses (5 to 10 at least). A show jumping ring has been constructed and is waiting for a final sand coat to finish. The beautiful garden, ponds and lawns were a highlight.


The next place we visited was the Cummings Family Barn, just before Wyndham. This old barn was an excellent building to photography with plenty of old weathered timbers and rusty iron.
Next a tricky roads drive, away up the hills of Waiarikiki in the backdrop of Mimihau to the Bryson property, where we visited an old cottage (with an interesting stone chimney). It was constructed by the first family that settled on the farm in the late 1800’s. The cottage was great to photography, and we also had a very friendly fantail that enjoyed being photographed.


When we arrived at the Bryson’s we found that there was one car short. We had left Ali and her crew behind in Wyndham, but with cell phones Google maps, we were able to have her join us a short time later.
A visit to the tractor machinery club at Edendale added more interest. Lindsay D showed plenty of interest in a round, hollow, tapered end piece of metal. What do you think this would be used for?? Nobody could answer him. It is a tree splitter. You fill the tapered end with gun powder, place a fuse in the small hole down the side, drive into the log and light the fuse. I have used this type of equipment many times, he said.


Now on to the Lignite Pits, at Kapuku. Where we had a very enjoyable lunch/ afternoon tea and walked around the tracks. There is about 2kms of tracks to walk on.
As the time was getting on we choose to finish at the Pits. A very enjoyable day, with plenty of fun and stories.

Alan R.

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The Homestead

Garden at the Kapuka Lignite Pits

Fraser Cottage

After the Arrowtown trip was cancelled because of the weather on May 11th, it was decided by Vice President Matt to still organise a trip to the Alexandra area on May 19th.
I was asked to organise it. Only 5 members met at the Gore Trout at 7:30 on a day that looked very promising. We decided to go to the Dunrobin area, then proceed to Ettrick. We stopped at the Todd Cottage at Heriot, and at Dunrobin Church. We moved on to Mitchell’s Cottage for morning tea. The sky here was great for photography.

After a good stop, it was off to Ophir. The photogenic old buildings were checked out. We went on to the old bridge. We noticed that the sty over the fenced been removed and signs were erected to prevent people from entering the farmer’s land. This is a pity as a very good image of the complete bridge can be taken at the river’s edge. We moved on to Cambrians, home of Grahame Sydney, to visit the old school. Further up the road we visited the bluebell field area. Of course, the ‘mayor’ of Cambrians came out for a chat. He is a very interesting person to meet. After about an hour, were moved on to St Bathans. This old town never changes. We photographed the great formations, the shadows and the autumn colours. We decided to order a lunch at the Vulcan Hotel. It took ages to get our cheeses sandwiches.

At about 2.30 we decided to start for home. On the way, we dropped into Matakanui to photograph the store. I finally managed to get a good image of the store as an old Hilux that is always parked in front of the store was removed. A resident was outside his cottage. I stopped to talk to him. I asked where he was from He said he was from the prison, but then explained that he’s was a prison officer from Milton.

The trip was great. The best part was that none of the others in the group had been to any of the places before. This is what club trips should achieve. The members who came can now revisit in their own time. They made a great contact with the area.

Alan Ritchie.

May 19th - Central Otago Trip

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St Bathans Hotel - A Ritchie

The Blue Lake - A Ritchie

The Blue Lake - A Ritchie

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