The Branch holds social nights on the fourth Wednesday of the month (except December). These are usually held in the hall at All Saints Church at 305 New Brighton Road. Socials start at 7.30pm and include an activity or guest speaker followed by supper. For security reasons the door has to be locked at 7.30pm. If you arrive after this time just come around to the back of the hall and knock and someone will let you. Everyone is welcome. There is a small charge for these events to cover costs $2 for YHA members and $3 for non-members.
In order for these to be successful we need more member participation; there is a core of regular attendees, but there are many more of you out there, so why not join us. It is difficult to organise an interesting programme, particularly speakers while we have such a small group.
During 2011, the Branch has had to cancel some events at short notice and to help with such situations in the future we have arranged to have cancellations broadcast on Newstalk ZB and More FM in their morning cancellations list so if in doubt about an activity tune in that morning.
Social night 24th April 7.30pm
Alan Guy will give what promises to be a very interesting slide talk on his 18 day cruise around the UK including a spot up the Thames under the London Eye for the Queens flotilla plus other side trips including D Day commemorations.
Kaikoura Member Event weekend 3 - 5 May
Don’t forget to make your bookings at Kaikoura hostel for what will be a great weekend. Click here for futher details.
Social Night 22nd May 7.30pm
Cards Night – Bring along your favourite card game for a fun evening.
Branch AGM and pot luck meal 26th June
- Please keep this date in your diary as this is an important meeting.
6.15pm for pot luck meal at 6.30pm
The Branch Annual General Meeting will be held at All Saints Church Hall, 305 New Brighton Road commencing at 7.30pm
There will be vacancies on the committee including the position of Chair and Newsletter Editor so please think about coming forward to help keep the Branch alive and thriving.
Don’t forget to bring your membership card as proof of membership for voting.
Branch activity reports and photos
Easter Trip 2012 - Greymouth
The forecast looked good as 14 members of the Branch packed into cars and headed to YHA Greymouth via Arthur’s Pass.
We enjoyed a lunch break beside the lake at Moana and then went on an interesting walk along the Arnold River through bush with lovely views of Lake Brunner.
Some of us stopped at the Brunner Mine Site Memorial for a history lesson, before heading to the hostel which was as welcoming as ever, including a delicious afternoon tea provided by Clarrie, a longstanding member of Greymouth Branch, for which we were very grateful.
Saturday morning, while some checked out the local shops, a group of five of us climbed up through the King Domain Walk to the Lookout where we had a splendid view over the Grey Valley one way and Greymouth town and port the other way.
After lunch back at the Hostel, we all set off to Blackball for the afternoon. This small town founded in 1864 once, in its Hey Day, had a population of 1200. Gold then coal was Blackball’s claim to fame and it was also the birthplace of the New Zealand Labour Party. We enjoyed a walk around the town, part of the Water Race Track, visited the famous Salami Factory and enjoyed some drinks at “Formerly the Blackball Hilton” Hotel.
Saturday evening we enjoyed a meal at “Steamers Restaurant” after a very hot and enjoyable day.
Sunday morning, we drove up the coast to Punakaiki and viewed the fantastic rock formations along with many other tourists. The blowholes were working well owing to a good swell rolling in from the Tasman Sea.
After a coffee, we head to the Pororari River Track as far as the new bridge leading to the Inland Pack Track. We heard a kiwi calling and several other native birds were seen during this lovely river walk. Some of us also visited Truman’s Beach to round of a great day on the coast before heading back to the Hostel.
Easter Monday, on the fourth sunny day, we headed home via Kumara Junction, visiting the historic swimming pool built during the Depression en route (only a 5 minute walk from the main road and well signposted). Most of us met up for lunch at Arthur’s Pass.
Great weather, good company and food. What a great way to spend the Easter break.
Other past events
In March the Branch held a Beetle games night to raise money for the Stewart Island Project.
In February Leo Manders gave a presentation on his travels from Naples to Hong Kong.
Halswell Quarry Walk
The Christchurch Branch recently organised a walk round Halswell Quarry Park. While they did not choose the best weather, nine hardy members enjoyed the walk despite the cold wind and grey skies. They reported that it was interesting to see the growth and development in this area since they visited last year.
The weekend was enjoyed by 28 members mainly from Christchurch but Dunedin, Invercargill and Timaru were represented. Members arrived at the hostel throughout Friday evening and settled in ready for the following day's activities.
Most members participated in the walk along the lake and up the back of Mt John, enjoying a lunch stop on the way. It was a beautiful day and great views were enjoyed. After a coffee stop at the cafe on top, we descended via the hot pools, ice rink and luge complex where some members later enjoyed a good soak in the pools.
Saturday evening's barbeque was enjoyed by all before some members participated in a "Star Gazing" Tour. The remainder socialised at the hostel and a few games of scrabble were played.
A very informative Board Forum was held in the hostel on Sunday morning, chaired by Coral Laughton, who introduced our newest National Board Members, Steve Wakefield and John Hammond. Mark Wells (Chief Executive) also updated us on recent happenings, including the current situation of the Christchurch Hostels. This was followed by morning tea before members departed for a bit more sightseeing en route home. Christchurch Branch handled the catering well and they were thanked for their effort.
YHA Members Weekend - Kaikoura May 2010
While this event did not attract as many as our previous event those who did attend had a memorable weekend. Friday evening members spent at the hostel socialising and playing scrabble. Saturday dawned and the Branch had breakfast organisation down to a fine art. After breakfast some members set out for a walk guided by Hostel staff member on the Kaikoura Peninsula, others set out to visit the market and shops in the town as we all waited eagerly for the highlight of the weekend, a trip out to see the Dolphins and Albatross.
The boat trip was organised with Dolphin Encounter as a charter trip so we had the boat to ourselves and plenty of space to get really good views of whatever we might find. After a somewhat bumpy fast trip out to sea we could see in the distance the large pod of dolphins we had come to find. There were somewhere around five hundred dolphins leaping and bow riding our boat and everyone had a great time observing their antics and trying to get that special photo, almost impossible with the speed of the dolphins and the motion of the boat. We spent about fifteen minutes watching the dolphin display and then reluctantly moved on to see the next attraction.
Further south along the coast in somewhat smoother water we went looking for Albatross, the boat stopped and a lure of fish scrap was towed behind the boat, immediately small birds arrived for a free feed. The idea is that the albatross see the activity of the other birds and come to see what is on offer, the idea worked and soon we saw the enormous wing span of the albatross as it circled the boat before coming in to land, we saw several varieties of albatross and molly hawks, some in flight some swimming in for a feed. They are truly magnificent birds and a sight I will not forget, the sheer size of the wings means that the birds have to fold them differently, (they look like they are hinged in the middle) when they land. All too soon it was time to return to shore where the Dolphin Encounter folks had laid on afternoon tea and the owner spoke to us about the development of the business.
Back at the hostel after a memorable afternoon it was time for a Kaikoura special meal, Blue cod chips and salad followed by fruit ice-cream. A special surprise was in store for one of our members, it had been discovered that Enio had a special birthday and Kuini (Hostel manager) had managed to get a chocolate cake organised complete with one big candle. The cake was enjoyed by everyone and was the perfect finish to the meal.
The rest of the evening was spent in conversation and games while the rain fell outside. We had been very lucky to have had the good weather we had enjoyed for the boat trip.
Sunday morning after another good breakfast we went down to the council hall for the Members Forum. We had three National Board Members and two National Office Staff present who all took part in the Forum. Jono (Sustain–o-man) gave a talk on the latest developments and plans in the sustainability world and answered our questions. The Board members brought us up to date on the latest YHA news and answered our questions. The Forum was followed by a cuppa and biscuits before we returned to the Hostel for lunch and our journey home.
Special thanks go to Kuini and her staff for making us so welcome and organising the boat trip, and to YHA for discounting the accommodation, we look forward to returning as soon as possible.