February 7, 2012

Preparing for National Park

Hmm, will this bridge stand up to another safari pounding?
Feb 22 update: Too late, the safari is now full. 

Spent Waitangi weekend helping – and I use the term loosely as the others did all the work – prepare for the Auckland 4WD Club's National Park safari, now coming up to its fourth year on March 3-4. It’s open to anyone with the $70 entry fee and a 4WD that has low-range gearing. This year, it raises funds for Ruapehu Alpine Rescue. It's a great spot among some equally great scenery and the Waitangi weekend mission was to make the run as different as possible from last year's event. The two Landcorp farms are littered with tracks, so the mission has been pretty much accomplished. It was mainly a matter of finding out which new ones were drivable and whether they really went where the map indicated. 

Despite the presence of a couple of tough-truck Nissan Safaris, this is an event easily do-able by any 4WD with low range and a driver with a modicum of off-road skills. But don't get too complacent, as the organisers have thrown in a few surprises that might cause a few butts to clench. You can get information on the trip and accommodation here. I reckon that at 70 bucks for one and-a-half days, it's the best value on this year's tag-along calendar. On top of that, the trip finishes around noon on the second day at the 42 Traverse so those who want "one more trail" can knock it off, too.

No, Martin Langridge isn't taking a quick heave; he's confirming that it looks like the bridge will, indeed, stand up to another safari, or so it seems from the underpinnings.
"Hey, I like the cut of your BFGs, big fella."

It's a bit boggy here, but the group fails to get stuck.

Group of spectators decide it'd be better to flock off.

Martin Langridge leads the team.
We stop for lunch at the 42 Traverse, while swarms of blowflies dine on the animal dung that has accumulated on our trucks. The Jeep tasted delicious.

The Trooper gets a hand across the hazard that Peter Vahry is seen digging in the item above.


  1. hi there, new to the whole 4x4'ing thing. My partner and i have just bought an '89 Hilux surf. Have reset the leaf springs to 2.5" and put new shocks in the back, have raised the front up about an inch and put on 31 mud tyres. The Truck has low ratio and is a manual, havnt dont alot of 4x4'ing - would we be able to do this National Park tag along event or do you need to belong to 4x4 club? my email is a.sharpie2@gmail.com - would you be able to let me know? Thanks Allie :)

  2. You should be okay with that setup. Check the website http://www.4x4nationalpark.co.nz/ for more info. Tell them you're new to the game and someone will be happy to look after you.