A South Otago walking group named after the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice pushed beyond their comfort zone.

The group of five blind or low vision members, three volunteers and one staff member challenged themselves to complete a 13 kilometre trek from Horseshoe Bend to Millers Flat, mostly along the Clutha Gold Trail in Central Otago.

This deviated from the group’s usual five kilometre walks and the goal of the trek was to not only enjoy the great outdoors but to also prove to themselves that they could do it.

“There were some pretty technical parts of the track early on, but all our members negotiated these really well, and although tired and sore by the end of it, all felt a real sense of accomplishment,” says Blind Foundation Recreation and Volunteer Coordinator Chris Moffitt.

A swing bridge across the Clutha River was an exciting challenge as well as using a well-used shared bike and walking trail – but perhaps the biggest challenge was keeping the sand-flies at bay which were out in full force.

The group followed in the footsteps of gold miners and prospectors traversing the same path that many travelled to find their fortunes in the Otago Gold Rush of the 1800s.

After completing the walk, the group celebrated the achievement with a refreshing dip in Millers Flat school pool and a meal at Millers Flat Tavern.

Now that the Blind Mice walking group have conquered a longer walk, the sky’s the limit and ultimately they want to participate in regional and national tramping events.

The group meet every third week of each month. New members interested in joining can contact Chris Moffitt on 03 466 4230 extension 4245 or email cmoffitt@blindfoundation.org.nz.